Carrauntoohil from the hydro-road route
The Nitty Gritty:
Route: Carrauntoohil the hydro-road
Distance: 13 km
Height gain: 1,178 metres
Details: I suppose Carrauntoohil is Carrauntoohil which ever way you go up it.
I did it once before from Cronins Yard which is the more popular way up.
The start is in an area called Glancuttaun Upper which is in the Glencar area.
A new car park has now been built, so no need to park on the road anymore.
The route starts on a concrete road known as the ‘hydro-track’. This track initially gives an unmercifully steep slog up the lower slopes of Skregmore before bearing right, easing off in gradient somewhat and finally emerging at Lough Eighter.
From here, bear rightwards across open ground towards the spur leading to Caher. As you ascend the long spur, the ground to your left steepens until you are eventually walking along what amounts to a cliff-top track. Care is required here, especially in windy conditions.
The track continues across the three summits of Caher before descending slightly to the col between Caher and Carrauntoohil. Careful navigation is required here in poor visibility, particularly when travelling in the reverse direction.
Continue up relatively easy ground to the summit of Carrauntoohil.
Experience: Second time going up Ireland’s highest. The thought made me nervous.
I hadn’t done much walking for a good few month’s and was carrying a slight hamstring strain.
I was accompanied by 3 other hikers all living near Dublin. Thankfully Keith was an experienced climber, had all the gear and was after a gallon the night before which put the brakes on him.
The day was excellent and after a steep start we made good height fast. The views were stunning of the lakes below and the route was nice and quiet.
Once we reached the summit there was a big crowd up there. Judging from their accents it was a Dubs day-out on top of Kerry. Coming down we were passed by about 70 people with Northern accents. So a real mish mash. For our own party piece Keith threw a bucket of water over himself at the top and Nicole stood on her head. I did the stuff my walking colleagues taught me, drink tea and eat food!