Reeks Winter Conditions Update
There is very little information regarding the current Irish mountain winter conditions on the internet. We have made an effort to rectify this by providing our Reeks Winter Conditions Updates. As we live, work and play in Ireland’s highest mountains, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks of county Kerry, we are ideally placed as a means of information regarding route conditions and current weather on the ground. These updates though very helpful & useful, should not be taken as totally reliable. Conditions can and do change extremely rapidly and may change overnight so a latest weather forecast is important. Of course opinions about quality will always vary according to the enthusiasm of the individual.
27/12/17 Updated at 17:00
Current Observations :
Another very cold day in the mountains with cold wind & brief wintry showers with precipitation falling as snow down to approx. elevation of 800m and light hail below this. Snow at valley level but extremely soft covering making any exertion extremely tough and arduous. Turf only frozen where exposed, on N/NE facing aspects and not insulated by covering of snow.
Coimín Íochtarach/1st level: Extensive snow covering at all levels.
Coimín Láir/2nd level: Extensive deep snow
Coimín Uachtarach/3rd level: Extensive deep snow
Gullies from Coimin Uachtarach/3rd level:
O’Sheas: Several experienced parties reported to have ascended and little to no problems encountered by these.
Curve & Central: Reports of ascents by some experienced parties. Containing deep unconsolidated snow for entirety. Bottom narrow cleft leading from Coimín Láir/2nd level is banked out but still requiring bridging on higher awkward step. Deep unconsolidated polystyrene beads like – “graupel”>> type snow, making the going tough and exhausting. Extreme care needed as slight possibility of puncturing through to under flowing watercourse.
Devil’s Ladder : Containing soft mushy ankle-knee deep snow for its entirety and top section EXTREMELY TREACHEROUS with unavoidable hard surface ice.
Main High Ridges : Ridges of Binn Chaorach – Corran Tuathail – Cathair, and Cruach Mhór – Cnoc na Péiste now have a decent covering of snow with rime slowly beginning to build especially on northern/northeastern aspects and where exposed to wind and looking truly wintry & superb. Traverse of these is sure to provide a hugely rewarding and satisfying outing and will definitely not disappoint. Coomloughra horseshoe would be a truly sensational outing.
Ice Routes: No ice routes currently in condition.
Tonight will be dry and winds will ease. Clear spells in most areas with a widespread sharp or severe frost and icy patches. Fog will develop and will become dense overnight in parts. Lowest temperatures of -3 to 0 degrees.
Thursday will be cold with frost, fog and ice in many areas. These will be slow to clear. During the morning rain and sleet will develop in the southwest, spreading slowly east, turning to snow in places, mainly on high ground but back to rain by late evening. Temperatures will be between 3 and 7 degrees. Winds will be mainly light variable, becoming southerly later.
Please note that Walkers and climbers are advised to stay away from all steep ground in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks unless they are experienced in winter mountaineering and are fully equipped for extreme winter conditions. The Devil’s Ladder and O’Sheas Gully ARE considered “steep ground”!!! Crampons & Ice axe and the knowledge of how to use them are a mandatory and essential part of standard kit in snow and icy conditions. Do NOT try venturing into the mountains without them! Give yourself ample time to safely ascend & descend. If this means beginning your day before sunrise, so be it! Enjoy and stay safe.