On Friday morning 13 Club members started at 9 am in good sunny conditions from Kate Kearney's Cottage. We walked up the road heading for the Gap of Dunloe for half a kilometre, turning into the right hand side, and picking up the zig-zag track which is a moderate climb for about 2.5 km until we reached a spot height of 731m. We changed course, heading south towards Drishana enjoying the clear views all around as far as Carrantuohill and beyond.
A steep descent took us down to the road at the head of the Gap where we stopped for a bite to eat and to take some photos. There followed a long steady climb past Glas Lough up Purple Mountain to our highest point of 832m. We headed back for Kate Kearney’s taking in Tomies Mountain and a long descent where a well-known club member slipped and managed to break both his walking poles and dented his pride. We had just a shade less than 8 hours walking with a distance of 18 km and 1500m ascent.
Saturday's walk saw 12 people out at an earlier time of 8.30 am, meeting at the Cathedral Car Park to tackle the Slieve Mish Mountains which was a new route for the leader and some others. We drove out to the end of the linear walk to drop off some cars at the corner of the military range and carpooled back to the start of the walk at Fybagh, where we mistakenly thought there was a village...there isn't! We prevailed on the kindness of a local resident to accommodate us with parking in his yard while we walked.
The weather wasn't as good as Friday's with low cloud but as the day went on it brightened considerably to clear blue skies higher up. Our walk took us by Black Rock then crossing two small streams for the ascent of Baurtregaum which was our highest point at 851m. At the base of it it was like climbing the north face of the Galtees and as anyone who has done this will know, it is not the easiest climb! We were well rewarded with fantastic views when we broke through the cloud at 600m. We stopped for lunch just before we reached the top to make the most of the shelter available. Once on top we headed east which to all intents and purposes was downhill for the rest of our journey, welcome relief from the stiff climb. The views into Castlemaine Harbour on our right and Tralee Bay on our left were stunning. After 5 hours and 900m ascent we finished our day's walking and went partying for the night. Isn’t it great to be young, not so young, but fit none the less.