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The Faha Ridge

Date: 4th May 2011
Submitted by: Columba McLaughlin
 We stayed overnight in Tralee and in the morning we headed for the village of An Clohán on the northern side of Brandon Mountain. Drive through the village and take the 2nd very narrow road / laneway on the left. There is a hidden sign post pointing in the direction. This narrow road will bring you to a small car park below the Faha Grotto. There is room for 6-8 cars.  We walked up passed the grotto on a good mountain path until it started to level. This path leads to the Pilgrim’s Trail and to the summit of Mount Brandon. However, at the point where it levels, we went up onto the crest of the hill over the grass until we came to a short man made stone wall with a breech in it. It was very windy so we put on our harnesses at this point.   The grassy hill soon ended in a large drop and a wonderful view of the narrow arête / ridge. The scrambling soon began from this point and the first moves were down. It is a very narrow arête / ridge with very steep drops on each side. There is some grass and muck interspersed between the rough craggy outcrops and if one is not careful these patches could be slippery and potentially dangerous. However, for us, the scrambling was surperb and the views of Brandon’s cliffs and down to the rocky glen with the Pater Noster lakes is awesome. All too shortly the arête ended. And we were faced with a rock climb of up to 3 pitches of actual rock climbing to the summit or Brandon or to take the steep grass to the right. As we had not prepared for technical climbing we opted for the grassy slopes.  The summit was a pleasant stroll but the rain came in when we were about 25m below the summit. We did get some spectacular views though. Descent from the mountain was via the rocky rough glen with the Pater Noster lakes. We had dinner and a few pints in Tom Crean’s ‘South Pole Inn’ in Annascaul. It was a historic end to a great day’s scrambling. J

23 May 2011

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