RING OF KERRY

There are twenty nine Top 500 Summits in Ireland out of which nearly half, eleven, lie in County Kerry.

  • Carrauntoohil               (3,414ft)
  • Cnoc na Peiste              (3,240ft)
  • Brandon Mountain      (3,127ft)
  • Bautregaum                  (2,792ft)
  • Mangerton Mountain (2,766ft)
  • Brandon Peak               (2,756ft)
  • Purple Mountain          (2,739ft)
  • Beenoskee                     (2,710ft)
  • Stumpa Duloigh            (2,572ft)
  • Mullaghanattin           (2,539ft)
  • Coomacarrea              (2,533ft)

Nick Baker and his brother Paul visited the Ring of Kerry in 2018. Nick’s report is below

‘It was my first hill walking trip to Ireland so we set out to climb the highest mountains.We travelled from Stansted to Kerry airport and then to Killarney on Friday afternoon. As we work in Birmingham, it would have been quicker to have to have taken a flight from Birmingham to Cork then driven to Killarney, but these things are easier to figure out in retrospect.

On the Saturday morning we got a taxi to the start point at the west end of the Reeks (grid reference 771871) where there is now a free national parks car park. The day could generously be described as changeable, there was hail and snow at times.

This was my first visit to Ireland and I was impressed. The Reeks is an excellent walk with some sharp ridges particularly east of Cnoc na Peiste, although this latter section is only suitable for experienced hillwalkers. I thought the level of ridge walking around The Big Gun was of a similar difficulty to Crib Goch in Wales.

The intermittent snow and hail meant we were slow over the ridges because of wet and slippy slabs of rock. However, we still managed to make good time, 8.5 hours for the walk, which measured out at over 13 miles; leaving time for a few drinks in the bar on Saturday evening.

The following day dawned warm and sunny and we headed off to climb Brandon Mountain by the Saints Route. Straight up and down in under two hours as we had a plane to catch, but there were some great views which included the Blasket Islands.  Paul told me that Star Wars had been filmed on those islands.

A great trip, I will be returning to Ireland as soon as work and family allow.’

1 CARRAUNTOOHIL
(3414 feet)

Carrauntoohil…….

kerry-hags-glen

Looking down Hag’s Glen

reeks-eastern-ridges

Eastern Reeks beyond Cnoc Na Peiste

2 CNOC NA PEISTE
(3,240 feet)

Cnoc na Peiste is towards the east of the Macgillycuddy Reeks…..

3 BRANDON MOUNTAIN
(3,127 feet)

Brandon Mountain is my favourite mountain in Ireland….

From Brandon Peak

Brandon Mountain from Brandon Peak.