Howling Ridge is a steep, well defined route which cuts up the north-east face of Carrauntoohil. It is graded V Diff in summer and goes at various grades in winter, depending on conditions.
It was first climbed in February 1987 by two local climbers, Con Moriarty and John Cronin, in winter conditions. Moriarty, who led the climb, was an experienced mountaineer who four years previously had made the first ascent of Primroses Ridge – the hardest route up Carrauntoohil. He had just recently returned from a winter climbing expedition to Scotland and wanted to prove that challenging ice climbing could also be found in Ireland in the right weather. The route gets its name from Moriarty’s dog, Grimsel, who waited at the Heavenly Gates howling while the pair completed the climb.