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Guided traverse of the Cummeenapeasta Ridge 11 March ’12

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We guided John from Cork city today on his first traverse of this magnificent route – One of the finest in Ireland and what a day to do it in blistering sunshine looking down on a sea of cloud for as far as the eye could see with only the tops of The Reeks over 900mtrs protruding like islands. A very special day to be in the hills!!!

MacGillycuddy’s Reeks (Irish: Na Cruacha Dubha), meaning “the black stacks”
The name McGillycuddy originates from when O’Sullivan Mór sent his trusted son, Mac Giolla, to be educated under the tutelage of Saint Mochuda at Lismore. He hence became known as Mac Giolla Mochuda, which has been anglicised into McGillycuddy.
The clan chief owned land in this part of Munster. The word reek is a Hiberno-English version of the English word “rick “meaning a stack.
We had Brocken Spectres galore today – a very special day!!!
Those who love mountain climbing may have observed a strange and startling phenomenon: a shadowy, almost ghostly outline of a person magnified by a misty halo around it. This seemingly supernatural experience is called a Brocken Spectre or a Brocken Bow – a climber standing in front of a low sun on a ridge or peak on a misty or foggy day.
Though a Brocken Spectre may appear huge because of fog and the glory obscuring its dimensions, it is merely the shadow of a person seen in the mist – usually one’s own – converging toward the antisolar point and coinciding with a glory (a rainbow-coloured halo produced by light backscattered through a cloud of water droplets).
To see a Brocken Spectre, specific weather conditions need to be met: the observer must be with his or her back toward the sun, for example in high-mountain areas where the sun is low. Many water droplets must be suspended in the air where the Spectre’s glory appears. Through diffraction, sunlight reflects off water droplets and shines back toward the sun and the observer, in these cases even two or more:
By the way, the name of the phenomenon is not a misspelled version of “broken spectre” but refers to the German mountain the Brocken, the higest peak of Germany’s Harz region. The Brocken is also the place where on Walpurgisnacht, witches are said to congregate in high numbers.
The Brocken Spectre was observed and first described by theologian and natural scientist Johann Silberschlag in 1780. Since then, several records of the phenomenon have been kept in regional literature about the Brocken.dimensions, it is merely the shadow of a person seen in the mist – usually one’s own – converging toward the antisolar point and coinciding with a glory (a rainbow-coloured halo produced by light backscattered through a cloud of water droplets).
Check out more photos of this fantastic day by following this link ( and “like” our page while you’re there!!!)
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.273740372700822.63549.110552822352912&type=1
To see a Brocken Spectre, specific weather conditions need to be met: the observer must be with his or her back toward the sun, for example in high-mountain areas where the sun is low. Many water droplets must be suspended in the air where the Spectre’s glory appears. Through diffraction, sunlight reflects off water droplets and shines back toward the sun and the observer, in these cases even two or more:
By the way, the name of the phenomenon is not a misspelled version of “broken spectre” but refers to the German mountain the Brocken, the higest peak of Germany’s Harz region. The Brocken is also the place where on Walpurgisnacht, witches are said to congregate in high numbers.
The Brocken Spectre was observed and first described by theologian and natural scientist Johann Silberschlag in 1780. Since then, several records of the phenomenon have been kept in regional literature about the Brocken.