Advantages A spectacular, lofty peak overlooking one of the fairest of scenes...
Disadvantages Well, unless you're lazy, none, really
The final part of my 'Places In Ireland' trilogy...unless and until I do the whole Douglas Adams 'Trilogy In Four/Five/Whatever Parts' routine.Carrauntuohill (3414ft) - (trans) Inverted Reaping Hook
For its many and multitudinous pleasures and wonders, Ireland isn't actually that mountainous a country. Huge tracts of the interior are fertile farmland swaddled in low-lying bog and huge, almost stygian loughs. On the east coast there are the Wicklow Mountains, rising from the suburbs of Dublin and providing an outdoor playground for its denizens, and further up the Mountains Of Mourne provide a similar (although slightly more distant) service to its Belfast-dwelling patrons. The tight little groups of the Comeragh Mountains and the Knockmealdowns and the Galtys rise cheekily from the plains in the south and centre, but the real Grade-A pointy stuff is to be found in the west. Overlooking the County Kerry tourist mecca of Killarney (with its vast array of accommodation
Hillwalking is not so well-established an outdoor pursuit in Ireland as on the British mainland: only on a few popular routes, such as the Pilgrim's Paths up Croagh Patrick (in particular) and Brandon, and the Devil's Ladder way to Carrauntuohill are you likely to see more than the most sporadic instances of human life. As we're dealing with Ireland's highest summit, there are a lot of 'non-hillwalkers' who've fixated on its height kicking around, and as such the Kerry Mountain Rescue team (which covers the area) is the Republic's busiest. And it warms the cockles of one's heart that their callout roll is superbly Irish and mad in terms of the incidents listed. Trust me when I say you do NOT get such cracking pub anecdotes as this anywhere else (I know a few MRT members). In the last few years the Reeks have born silent witness to such classics as:
The Team were alerted following a report of shouts for help on the southern side of Cathair con Rí. The callout was stood down after it was established that the shouts were not a request for assistance and were thought to be an attempt to listen to an echo.
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