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Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Connemara

The weather forecast was bad, so bad in fact there was warnings of high winds, ferry cancellations, flooding, even snow and general mayhem through out the land for several days to come. Not good news for those in the group who had to catch a ferry home from Dublin in a couple of days time.




Fiona & Michael on the summit of Binn Mhor


But, according to the forecast, the rain and high winds were not due to arrive till late Thursday afternoon, and then would last for several days. A quick discussion ensured that there would be an early start to the day in an attempt to get up and down off the hills before the storm arrived in Connemara. So in the morning the group split, with one group going to Cong for the day and the other, our group, heading for The Maumturks.




Dave with the Twelve Bens and the Maumturks ridge in the background



We parked up in a layby on the R336 and squelched across the bog to an old fence which we followed up hill, turning a few outcrops on the way, to the summit of Corcogemore. Corcogemore use to be on the list of Irish 2,000 foot mountains till the publishing of Harvey's 1:30000 Connemara Map. Now it is a Marilyn, that is a relative hill, one which has a drop of 150 metres all round it. For us it was a great view point, with encompassing views out to the coast and surrounding hills, with the added bonus of a sighting of an Irish Mountain Hare, just before the summit, which loped off when it spotted Dave.




The Twelve Bens from The Maumturks



We descended to a low col, where a faint path beside a line of old fence posts marked the steep ascent to Mullach Glas, the second mountain of our day. The wind was now beginning to pick up, and it also had a bite to it now. With Hats, gloves and another layer on, Dave, Fiona & I made our way to the next col crossing a fence on the way. The short ascent to the first top did not take long, with the ground becoming more rocky as we traversed the second top and past some small lochans to Binn Mhor's summit & trig point.





Fiona on the Maumturks Ridge




The views out from Binn Mhor's summit were extensive, taking in The Twelve Bens, Lough Mask, Roundstone bog, Errisbeg, Cashel Hill, the coast and Islands. Normally a place to linger, if it wasn't for the build up of dark clouds to the west. So after a few photos we started our descent to Maumeen. There was a few crags to turn on our steep descent, not one to be doing in poor visibility and bad weather, before crossing the col to the Holy Well, for a late lunch.



Dave and Michael having lunch beside the Holy Well, with St Patrick in the background.



After using the Holy Well for shelter from the wind while we ate our lunch, we set off down The Western Way to walk the 11km back to our car. The Western Way starts off as muddy track through the bog becoming better as you descend & after a few km you reach a minor road, which you follow back (via one junction) to the R336. All you have to do is avoid the temptation to turn left to Keane's Bar, rather than right for your car at the R336. This way back also takes you past the Quiet Man Bridge. Dave, who is a big Fan of the film, insisted on stopping here so we could take a picture of him on the bridge. Takes all sorts I suppose.

An alternative way back from Maumeen, would have been to contour the hillside round to the R336, which would have been a shorter distance than the Western Way and the road. However, it did not look at all inviting from above, perhaps a route back to try when there has been a frost.


Our timing was spot on, making it back to our car just when the first spots of rain began to fall. And rain it did, all night, so to celebrate a good day on the hills and the fact the weather forecast was spot on, for a change! We stopped off at O'Tooles in Toormakeady for a few good pints of Guinness


Waggy jamming with the locals in Toormakeady


A full report by Bernie Marshall of the OTHC meet at Lough Mask will appear in the club magazine, The Link, and on the OTHC website at a future date.

All Photos by Fiona

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't seem to be able to spot Waggy in the outdoor shots...how many days was he in that bar?

April 10, 2008 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger michael gray said...

Good Question! However it would be impolite to provide that answer, as there were several other bars he liked as well!

April 10, 2008 at 7:05 PM  

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