Cork Mountaineering Club

Munster’s longest established Hill Walking Club

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WINTER CAMP ~ Glanrastel: Sat/ Sun 19/ 20 January 2019

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Once again, a superb Winter camp in a uniquely beautiful location.  11 campers trekked in to the deserted settlement at the top of the track. Tents were put up on a wide expanse of level (though somewhat spongy) ground just in front of the ruins.  Our evening walk took us into the valley, where we were treated to the wonder of a kaleidoscope-like movement of a flock of sheep from the craggy heights of the eastern side to the more luscious grazing on the western, including a river crossing, all orchestrated by one man and his dogs.

Our eagerly-anticipated January full moon was soon obscured by clouds, but its exceptional brightness meant that the evening light was maintained.  The ambient temperature was positively balmy, so our evening meal and subsequent chat, craic and banter continued until well past midnight.  It was a pity that the lunar eclipse did not occur until Monday – some campers might have seen it!!   Our Sunday walk took us high, to the plateau of Glanrastel Lake, where we (yet again) failed to find Pluais Carraig na Scriob.  For another day!



Galtees Sunday 13 January 2019

Yes, there were two walks today but, since the same horrendous weather conditions led both groups to the same sensible and safe decision to cut the route short and descend to warmth and safety, we’re doing a composite report.  Photos were out of the question; just one from each group, at the start. It was a lesson in the value of a fully-stocked change bag, to include underwear and a towel.  Most of us learn that one the hard way!

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Ten walkers went for O’Loughnan’s Castle, climbing steeply from Glengarra Wood to the slopes of Knockeenatoung, battling driving rain and strong wind the whole way.  It was a day when “the only people happy out there were the sheep”.   Nineteen walkers went for Galtybeg. They started the day fully kitted out in their best wet-weather gear, in spite of which the driving rain soon had them soaked.  Despite expressions of disappointment from some (yeah, right!!), they also took the safe option and returned to base, not even stopping for lunch.  Our post-walk gathering in Mitchelstown was a convivial affair, and warmed us all up again.

Friday 28 December 2018: Cush Horseshoe

This, the “most attractive and exhilarating walk in the Galtees” was exceptionally exhilarating today.  Six members braved the elements and had a fine day out of it. They chose the clockwise option, climbing steeply first to Cush.  Halfway up Galtybeg, it became clear that the weather gods were not going to smile, and maps and compasses were much in evidence from then on.   By the time they reached the summit of Galtymore they were fully kitted out in warm layers and raingear. Cold and navigation notwithstanding, they completed the route strongly and felt justifiably proud of themselves.

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Sunday 30 December 2018: Ballinspittle Walk

IMG-20190101-WA0003 IMG-20190101-WA0004 IMG-20190101-WA0005 IMG-20190101-WA0006 IMG-20190101-WA0007 IMG-20190101-WA0009This, the last CMC event of 2018, was threatened first by mist and then by a massive tractor rally on the way to Kilbrittain.  The walk was enjoyed by thirteen members, who were delighted with the variety of scenery and many points of interest.  The tractors soon passed on, and we set off through the village.  We tripped along a rural road to lovely Garretstown beach and, thankfully, the mist had lifted.  We passed by 18th-century Garretstown House, then crossed the road by the milk churns into Kilmore Wood where we were able to inspect the 250-year-old Deer Wall.  We circled back to Ballinspittle and dined in a local hostelry.

Sunday 16 December 2018: Winter Solstice Walk

This unique walk made a welcome reappearance on our programme this year. Ten enthusiastic souls braved the heavy morning rain and arrived at Drombeg to sun and blue skies.  Walking on quiet roads with glorious views we reached Glandore village and had our lunch overlooking the sea. We had one heavy shower on the return journey but with the light wind to our backs and the animated chatter and camaraderie, it was scarcely noticed!!!  We arrived back at Drombeg Stone Circle at 3.30 pm, so waited to see the famous sunset alignment. The weather conditions and our timing were perfect.  We were rewarded with the perfect spectacle and many dramatic photographs were taken.

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Sunday 09 December 2018: Festive Dinner

Lest anyone think that we only walk and climb, let them note that we also enjoy the occasional social outing, and even scrub up quite well.  We used this occasion to make our annual donation to Kerry Mountain Rescue.MAO_7554



Sunday 09 December 2018: Mangerton via Barnancurrane

A splendid walk at any time but it needs an early start.  Fourteen walkers enjoyed a mostly dry day -although, as we finished an early lunch, we had a wintry shower with a strong northerly wind on the climb to Mangerton plateau.  The descent via the arête between the Devil’s Punchbowl and the Horse’s Glen brought us back to the bridle path.  En route, we were enthralled by the appearance of a white-tailed eagle and a pair of deer on the horizon.  All in all, a fine day’s winter walking in fine company, and back in time to join our Holly Walking friends for Christmas Dinner.  20181209_113647 20181209_114342 20181209_124425 20181209_132912 MAO_7538

Sunday 09 December 2018: Holly Walk

Twenty-six of us, including two “Hons”, gathered at Muckross to start our annual Christmas “Holly Walk”.  The hike followed a woodland trail, climbing to Torc waterfall and lunch at the “washed-away” bridge. The views from the high point at Cloghereen Upper were excellent.  We chatted our way back to Muckross along the Queen’s Drive, to finish at 3.30 – time to change into smarter clothes for Christmas Dinner.

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Sunday 25 November 2018: Gleann Daimh Wood

23 of us gathered in Carriganima and drove to the start of the walk.  We were lucky with the weather.  It was a typical November crisp foggy morning, but as the fog disappeared the sun shone until after lunch. It was then we felt the cold which was made colder by being surrounded by tall evergreen trees. However this made sure that we kept up a good pace to keep ourselves warm.

Most of the climbing was at the start of the walk and every now and again we got a glimpse of the surrounding countryside through the cleanings in the forest. We had a clear view of the Paps.        We had our lunch sitting in a ditch as it was the only spot we could find where the rays from the sun filtered through.  Most were delighted with this walk because they had not done it before.  We retired to Macroom and a lovely post-walk meal.

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Sunday 18 November 2018 (Paired Walk) – Monavullaghs: Seefin/ Farbreaga

21 of us turned out for a marvellous winter day’s walking.                                                Eleven took the longer route at a faster pace.  We parked at Dalligan Bridge – the colours on the drive in the Maum road were spectacular.  The sky was blue, the air crisp and clear and we were eager for the hills. We passed in by the first standing stone and followed the path up to 617. The sea was shimmering in Dungarvan harbour and Helvic head framed the view.

We admired the whitewashed standing stone at Bearna na Madra, then tackled the steep pull up to Seefin (Mullach Suí Finn) 726m. We had even better views here, over Crohaun to the sea and further off the Knockmealdowns and the Galtees. The wind was strong and sharp as we lunched behind the concrete hut near the summit, but we had the shelter of the Airglinn valley on the return.  The sun was low in the sky as we finished the walk, bathing the hills in a pink glow.  Ten of us took a more leisurely pace to 617, the Bearna na Madra gap and back to Farbreaga, before returning by the same route.    Both groups retired to a local hostelry for refreshments afterwards.   Lá iontach ar fad!

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