Date: 30th December 2017
Number in party: 1
Leader: Barry Kennedy
Weather: Dry but extremely windy, patches of snow and ice
Came down the night before and stayed in Neptunes Hostel on New Street in Killarney. The weather over the previous few days hadn’t been great but the forecast predicted a nice window for my hike (ahead of the incoming Storm Eleanor)
Departed from the car park at 10am with near perfect conditions for hiking. Followed the trail up the mountain. Met a lovely family from Killarney along the way up. Half way up the wind started to pick up dramatically.
Took a short break at the Devil’s Punchbowl before heading up the mountain towards the summit. Along the way, the family I had met earlier decided to turn around due to the high winds but I carried on (along with another family). Reached the summit by 12.30 and took a quick selfie before continuing on to the second cairn and descending down the far side of the loop. This was a challenging descent, especially due to the patches of snow along the route. Made it down to the punchbowl by 1pm.
Heading back down the trail. Met a couple who were heading up, despite the late hour and a lack of the correct gear. I warned them against going the full way up (they came back down shortly after I did). Shortly after I met a lovely local man who climbs the mountain on a weekly basis. We had a nice chat about the challenges mountains provide. Made it back to the car by 2.45 and heading back to my hostel in Killarney.
More Photos and Route card to come