Legend has it that in the 4th century Saint Patrick (in Irish: Padraig) climbed the mountain named after him today, took neither water nor bread there and then banished the snakes from Ireland. Legends mostly have a true core, but it is often quite small. Just as today’s research assumes that the figure of Saint Patrick is actually composed of several historical persons, the 40-day fast can also not be quite correct, unless instead of bread and water he took Irish Stew and Guiness (ok, was not there in those days, let’s say: wine). And with the snakes probably the pagans or their shamans are meant. Anyway: Every year thousands of pilgrims make their way on Ireland’s holy mountain, on which there is even a chapel, alone on the last weekend of July, the date of the traditional pilgrimage, about 25,000 believers take the path, partly barefoot, partly on their knees.
According to the weather forecast, we have a time window again that we want to use: The morning should be quite ok, from noon on there’ s rain. So the goal is to be up by noon and the hope is to have some visibility.
We are not the only ones, of course not, because pilgrimages are generally considered to have taken place when the summit was climbed between June and September. In addition, there are probably enough people who, just like us, want to go up there without pilgrim ambitions. Most walk in street shoes or sneakers, many in shorts, some without a jacket. We are obviously out of the frame with anorak, rucksack and even rain pants. Nevertheless: it wouldn’t be mine to run up there in 5 degrees and strong wind lightly dressed and without profile under the shoes. Most of the time it is fine, but not always: the telephone number of the Mountain Rescue together with the rules of conduct is freely distributed in the visitor center. But this is only visited when you come down frozen and warm up with tea or coffee.
At the beginning of the ascent a figure of Saint Patrick greets us. The way is easy to find. Too worn out by the millions who have already been up. Here the missing way construction takes revenge: The way stretches broadly like a festering wound up the mountain, as if this had been flagellated. There is not much to tell about the path: wide, often stepped down to the rocky ground, in the upper part a steep scree flank. But the whole time with a fantastic view to the sea and the countryside – as long as the rain allows us.
Unfortunately the clouds caught us on the summit. Thus the view to the west remains denied to us. The chapel is closed and that probably has it’ s reason. With the multitude of people coming up here, it would certainly be used as a picknick room and especially as a garbage bin. We don’t stay that long. In the descent it clears up again. Irish weather!
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator