The day before yesterday the weather forecast promised seven hours of sunshine for today, yesterday three hours and this morning it’s raining. Chance of precipitation for the whole day: 80%! We had set our sights on the most beautiful day of the week to climb the highest mountain in Ireland, the Carrauntoohil (pronounced “Carauntool”). With its 1,039 meters of altitude it would be called “Munro” in Scotland, that are the three-thousanders of Scotland (3,000 feet, of course!). But since Sir Munro was Scottish, no one in Ireland had the idea to adopt this classification. To make matters worse, the number of three-thousanders in Ireland is infinitesimally small.
But back to the weather (a popular topic in this country anyway): Shall we or not? But our hosts think it would get better during the day and worse for the rest of the week. A varied view can also consist of the variety of cloud formations, but to be honest this is not our ideal impression of a summit view. But if we don’t try it at all and at noon the sun shines … ?
So let’s go! The rain has stopped and when we get out of the car at Cronin’s Yard, you can almost see the summit of Carrauntoohil. We first walk along a wide path along the valley of the Gaddagh River. Before us the mountains, on the right green meadows, on the left also. And sheep with coloured wool! Purple sheep! Oops, is Milka experimenting with sheep’s milk chocolate? But no, there are also red, blue and orange sheep, some even two-coloured! Is that why you can find sheep’s wool sweaters in the craft shops in different colours? But seriously: we haven’t been able to ask anyone about this yet, but we suspect that the different sheep farmers use the colour markings to easily keep their animals apart.
After a few kilometres we leave the wide path and change to the terrain. There are no markings like in the Alps, we follow the tracks. The terrain, my boy scout past and the alpine experience also help to find the way. Over rocky steep steps, past smaller waterfalls and several lakes we reach a steep channel. This is not a clear path, but with many “alternative (path) facts” quite corrosive to go, but brings us after a good hundred meters of altitude to the summit structure. We meet a French couple, who are already on their way down, but in fact only had a cloudy view. We are more lucky as we finally reach the top. Mostly just below the cloud base, we see Dingle Bay and the peninsula of the same name in the north, the bay of the Kenmare River and the Beara peninsula in the south and the mountains of the Macgillycuddys Reeks lying west of us, at the top of which we stand.
After a long lunch and photo break we descend, not along the shortest path, the steep and strongly eroded “Devil’s Ladder”, but over another peak, the Cnoc na Toinne with its joint-gentle grass and peat ridge, until we reach the valley of the Gaddagh again in a wide arc, at whose foot Cronin’s Tea Shop with scones and then the car awaits us.
In the evening it’s raining!
Max elevation: 1013 m
Min elevation: 146 m
Total climbing: 1009 m
Total descent: -1009 m
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator