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The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland


Postby pgrizz » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:36 pm

Date walked: 10/07/2011

Time taken: 9

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1500m

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Weather conditions look promising but some tops still shrouded in cloud.
Eight thirty and I left the car at a lay by between Benlettery Youth Hostel and Recess on the Galway to Clifden Road in Connemara, County Galway, West of Ireland.
After walking along the road I turned up a Bohreen (lane) into Glencoaghan. When the lane became unfenced I headed up to the south ridge of Derryclare.
The first summit on this anticlockwise route is Derryclare at 677 m. I decided to ascend along the south ridge via Lop Rock, the ridge seemed interminable but after several "false" summits the top was achieved: the views all round were worth the effort.
Next stop Bencorr, the day's highest peak. Heading north along the ridge means a steady drop to 500 metres to a narrow grass col before scrambling up a small rock wall then a rocky "path" to the summit at 711 metres. The views from here are sensational and by now the weather was hot and sunny, a bit too hot.
Leaving the summit in a north westerly direction to descend to The Devil's Col at about 500 metres.The descent along the ridge at first is gentle but the drop to the col is steep, pathless and very rocky. The heat was beginning to take its toll, as was age and weight!!!! A well deserved rest at the peaty col which will be somewhat boggy in bad weather.
Summit number three is called Bencollaghduff and to reach it walking is quite easy on smooth,easy angled slabs. The heat now was at its height and amplified by the light coloured rock. Struggled to the summit at 698 metres where I was caught up by a young man intent on doing the whole Twelve Bens: oh to be young and fit!!!
The slabs and rocks continue as I now head south west to the 4th summit of the day and after dropping about 200 metres the climb up to Benbreen can be started.The ascent is steep and rocky and follows the edge of cliffs falling into the Owenglin Valley. Top of Benbreen at 691 metres!!
The semi circular summit ridge now needs to be left to descend to the col between Benbreen and Bengower, the penultimate summit of the day. First the descent to the col must be negotiated but this is made easier by a good scree run, or in my case "scree walk": painful memories of previous scree runs come to mind, notably Sgurr Thuilm on Skye!!!
The climb up Bengower is excellent though basically pathless but there is plenty of fine low level scrambling. A little problem with cramp hindered my progrees but I made the 250 metre ascent ok.
The final summit of Benlettery was along the southern ridge followed by a rise on the best path of the day. The summit at 577 metres has extensive views. All that is needed now is to descend the rock, heather and bog to the Youth Hostel. This was hard work at the end of a hard day.
Finally back at the car at five thirty: a long, arduous day but most satisfying.
Some of the descents might be a bit dodgy in wet conditions also water is scarce so carrying a good supply, particularly in hot weather is a must.
For connoiseurs of rock and ridges this route should be a must do!!
ireland (1) 106.ORF.jpg
Bencorr (Left) in cloud and the Derryclare Ridge

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Looking down the south ridge of Derryclare

ireland (1) 126.ORF.jpg
Derryclare north ridge towards Bencorr

ireland (1) 130.ORF.jpg
Benbreen (R) and Bengower from Derryclare's North ridge

ireland (1) 133.ORF.jpg
Bencorr and Bencollaghduff from the north ridge of Derryclare

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The descent of Bencorr from Devil's Col

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North from Devil's Col

ireland (1) 144.ORF.jpg
South from Devil's Col

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Three northern Bens which are not on this route from the summit of Bencollaghduff. They are (l to r) Bencullagh, Muckanaght and Benfree

ireland (1) 150.ORF.jpg
The route so far.

ireland (1) 151.ORF.jpg
The route ahead:

ireland (1) 152.ORF.jpg
Looking down Owenglin Valley from Bencollaghduff

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Bengower from Benbreen

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The view back from Benbreen

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The scree run on Benbreen from Bengower

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The Final summit: Benlettery

ireland (1) 163.ORF.jpg
View from Benlettery (1)

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View from Benlettery (2)
pgrizz
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby malky_c » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:41 pm

This looks like a great place to walk 8) . I know very little about the hills in Ireland, even less about the lower ones. Would love to see more stuff like this - cheers for posting :)
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby colgregg » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:13 pm

Nice to see a report from across the water. Ireland really does seem to have a lot to offer the seeker of solitude. The view seaward remind me of the Assynt. Great set of pics and a bonus to end the day in bright sunshine.
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby Red Peak » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:59 pm

Looks like fantastic walking-country! What with that and the Guinness, what more could you want?! 8)
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby Kylemore Pass Hotel » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:33 pm

thank you for those stunning pictures some of the best I have seen
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby soulminer » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:43 pm

Stunning views, certainly - as Colgregg says, Assynt like.
Have stayed in Clifden whilst visiting Galway, the whole area is stunning, beautiful views across to the Aran Islands from the Twelve Pins.
Cheers for posting :)
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby pgrizz » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:18 pm

Kylemore Pass Hotel wrote:thank you for those stunning pictures some of the best I have seen

Thanks for that. I hope you enjoyed looking at them as much as I did taking them.
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby pgrizz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:05 am

malky_c wrote:This looks like a great place to walk 8) . I know very little about the hills in Ireland, even less about the lower ones. Would love to see more stuff like this - cheers for posting :)

If this range of hills was in England you would be queuing up to get onto them. Thanks for your comment
pgrizz
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby pgrizz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:06 am

colgregg wrote:Nice to see a report from across the water. Ireland really does seem to have a lot to offer the seeker of solitude. The view seaward remind me of the Assynt. Great set of pics and a bonus to end the day in bright sunshine.

Only in one view is it like Assynt these hills are much more compact but like Assynt the sea is never far away.
pgrizz
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby pgrizz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:08 am

Red Peak wrote:Looks like fantastic walking-country! What with that and the Guinness, what more could you want?! 8)

I concur fully with your assessment: a couple of pints of "the black stuff2 went down well after this jaunt.
There are some good hills in Ireland, I have just touched the surface.
pgrizz
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby pgrizz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:09 am

soulminer wrote:Stunning views, certainly - as Colgregg says, Assynt like.
Have stayed in Clifden whilst visiting Galway, the whole area is stunning, beautiful views across to the Aran Islands from the Twelve Pins.
Cheers for posting :)

Thank you.
pgrizz
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby gammy leg walker » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:05 pm

WOW stunning pictures you have there,
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Re: The Glecoaghan Horseshoe, Connemara, Ireland

Postby pgrizz » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:09 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:WOW stunning pictures you have there,

Thanks for that, it is a shame that there are not more Irish walks reported on this forum, there is some excellent waliking to be had in the "Emerald Isle".
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