Fantastic weather yesterday for Pauls first ascent of Irelands highest…We left Cronins yard at 10am and the sun was splitting stones as we trekked up the Hags Glen….We were climbing via “Brother O’Sheas gully”(named after the man who lost his life in a climbing accident here in 1968)….
Paul is hoping to climb Mont Blanc in September and so this was the first of his training days which he’s planned to prepare for the climb. The mountains of the Reeks are truly amazing and all the more so on such a “scorchio”day. As we left Loch Gouragh and ascended the 3 tiers it almost felt like we had the mountains to ourselves!!!
The final slog up “O’Sheas” really gave Paul the test of fitness and stamina he needed, as we emerged onto the magnificent Beenkeragh ridge…. 15 minutes later Paul was finally at the summit cross with the amazing views spread out beneath us….We descended by the “Heavenly Gates” track, and as we neared the Gates it was great to see so many climbing parties on Howling Ridge!!! There was even a queue starting to build as another pair of climbers had just finished up the rock-climb”Pochair Gaoithe”, a climb I was familiar with, having being part of the first ascent of this climb in 2006…
We retraced our steps out the Glen spurned on by the thoughts of homemade soup,brown bread and cappachinos in Cronins tea room…..When we did arrive back to Cronins and sat for a while to relax, Paul could now fully appreciate the scale of his achievement on such a beautiful sunny day….Mountain days don’t get much better than this…”ANYWHERE”….Not even Mont Blanc!!!
Paul headed off on his 3-hour car journey home, content but knowing he would would be back again in 2 weeks for his second training day on Corrán Tuathail…Next time he will be climbing by the fantastic scrambling route of “Stumpa an t-Saimh” or Hags Tooth ridge and then tackling the full Beenkeragh ridge…..(places available on this climb)