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.
13/02/20 Updated at 09:30
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/rain 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: Light patchy covering of soft snow
Coimín Láir/2nd level: Extensive covering of soft snow
Coimín Uachtarach/3rd level: Extensive soft snow
Gullies from Coimin Uachtarach/3rd level:
O’Sheas: Ankle deep soft unconsolidated snow for its entirety
Curve & Central: 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 compacted refrozen snow.
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 southeastern 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. Very little turf frozen.
TODAY – THURSDAY 13TH FEBRUARY
Scattered showers will die out this morning and it’ll become mainly dry for the afternoon with sunny spells. Temperatures of 7 to 9 degrees. Northwest winds will freshen during the day.
Mist and fog will form this evening soon after dark as winds fall light and skies clear. Temperatures falling to plus 1 degrees to 3 degrees early on and then rising through the night as southerly winds freshen overnight. Cloud will increase from the west with rain arriving at the coast there before dawn.
TOMORROW – FRIDAY 14TH FEBRUARY
Rain will move quickly in a band from west to east during the morning tomorrow with sunshine and scattered showers following quickly. Temperatures will be between 9 and 11 degrees with strong southerly winds veering southwest and easing later.
Friday night will be dry at first with clear spells, cloud will thicken with outbreaks of rain developing, turning heavy by morning on the west coast. Temperatures will be between 3 and 5 degrees with a strong southerly wind.
Storm Dennis will bring a wet and windy day on Saturday with strong southerly winds and widespread heavy rain bringing a risk of flooding. Temperatures during the day will reach 7 to 11 degrees and will fall overnight to between plus 1 and plus 3 degrees as the rain breaks up somewhat and skies clear. There’ll be showers through the night.
On Sunday the strong southwest to west wind going. It will turn cold with daytime maximum temperatures of 4 or 5 degrees with showers turning wintry along western coastal areas, further east will stay mostly dry. Later on a spell of more persistent rain or sleet, with occasional snow on hills and mountains will pass west to east over the country.
Monday continues windy with the westerly winds bringing further showers on the western coastal counties, it’ll be mainly dry with sunny spells further east.
The further outlook in to midweek is for continued breezy conditions with westerly winds bringing showers to the west with the best of the sunny spells in the east.
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.