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TGO Prep in Kerry

Date: March 2013
Submitted by: Alan Tees

As part of our carefully structured preparation for the TGO 2013, Finbarr and I did a two day backpack across the Iveragh Peninsula, carrying the sort of pack that we will have to in SCOTLAND. We Started steeply from Ballaghbeama pass, climbing to Mullaghanattin (the Matterhorn of Kerry) in snow, thence over the numerous (4) Beoun tops, and ridge to Finnareragh. We descended through the myriad of rock and small lakes (one of which Marty and I swam in last year) and climbed to Coomura 666m and a real beast, where we got reacquainted with a couple of white tailed sea eagles I met last year. We met a couple of fit looking lassies yomping in the other direction, who were as surprised to meet someone else up there as we were! A difficult descent and reascent over Knocknacusha, before we staggered down to Ballaghisheen Pass and the vans, relocated there, thanks to Margaret and a 15mile road walk. 9.5 hours in total. Baltic, so we decided not to use the tent etc that we had lugged over the hills!

Day 2 we hoped would be easier, so I opted to wear the new Scarpas I had picked up for nothing at a party on the Friday night(from a nice man who edits Walking World Ireland). Up Knocknagapple, Colly East, Colly, Meenteog, Coumcarrea, Teermoyle Mt, Mullaghnarakill, Been Hill, Beenmore, and Drung, before descending onto the Kerry Way, meeting Margaret, and thence into Glenbeigh for a pint. 6.5 hours. Dinner in Kenmare to celebrate a couple of days outstanding walking in wintery, but great conditions!

Margaret was working through her agenda to chech things for the Irish Peaks book, so on wednesday we headed into a remote valley south of Mangerton to find a possible route up the famous peak of Drumderalough. So well known that the farmer who owns part of it said 'Where?' Despite a plethora of Keep out signs, we were allowed access, and Finbarr also headed off over Mangerton, where we collected him at Muckross (the hotel not the cliff). Finbarr then went home and we took another day to tour Wesht Cirk, before being driven home by the deteriorating weather.

Photo of Route