Eastern Reeks: It’s still something I notice every time I go walking with the club, and that’s the smiling, friendly faces you come across, even so early in the morning, at the gathering for the walk. The “hello’s” the how’s it going” and of course the banter. There is always that sense of anticipation among us for decent weather and a pleasant day’s walking. Last Sunday was no different and, as the eight of us left Cronin’s Yard, our hearts lifted at the sight of new born lambs in the fields nearby, feeble on their feet and staying close to their mams. Despite an overcast sky, there was a sense that Spring had arrived.
So with a great purpose we all headed for the hills, up the track from Cronin’s and contoured up the glen on the left below Cummeenapeasta lake. We continued along here for an hour until we came to the base of the Bone. Along the way, we noticed the clouds lifting and when we got to the Bone we were in full sunshine,showing the Reeks in all their splendour and majesty. Up the Bone we went, with a little bit of scrambling and the sun on our backs. By the time we were near the top however, the clouds were creeping over with a heavy cover. Lunch then and a change into full battle gear and we were ready to take on the elements. And so it was, with wind rain and hailstones as we made our way along the ridge from Maolán Bui to the top of the Zig Zags. Despite the conditions I heard one of our crew singing some Johnny Cash numbers to herself as we braved the elements. Descending down the Zig Zags the weather improved and we had a good view of the lakes below. A nice break at the bottom before our track back to Cronin’s Yard.
Again one of the great pleasures of walkers is changing into dry clothes after an honest day’s effort and, of course, a well-deserved hot cup of tea and a delicious slice of apple-tart.
Mount Hillary Loop: leaving Cork in the spills of rain, people began to question their own sanity in even considering a walk in such conditions. However, upon their arrival at the starting point the weather began to clear, and the clearance held for the whole day. Fifteen members had a beautiful walk in bright sunshine and a leisurely ascent through forest tracks and trails to the summit of Mount Hillary itself. The company was excellent and more than one person commented on the particularly happy atmosphere of the walk. Post-walk plans fell victim to the vagaries of ESB repair systems; the entire town of Mallow was shut down when they got there and, with it, their chosen restaurant. However, the leader’s recce had included eating plans, so there was a Plan B and they had an excellent dinner.