walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Glencoaghan Horseshoe - The Twelve Bens

Glencoaghan Horseshoe - The Twelve Bens


Postby Jim777 » Wed May 30, 2018 7:16 pm

Date walked: 16/06/2012

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

This walk was done whilst staying at Sleepzone Connemara from where I also did Mweelrea. The starting point was a large parking area on the N59 beside Loch Bhaile na hlnse; between Lettery Bridge and Glencoaghan Bridge. This is at roughly 30m height. This is one of the best known horseshoe walks in Southern Ireland. It makes an almost perfect inverted U shape. On the East side and heading from South to North is Derryclare and Bencorr; it then curves around from East to West to Bencollaghduff before heading roughly South East to Benbreen, Bengower and lastly Benlettery.
I started by walking about a kilometre East back along the N59 to the minor road going up Glencoaghan. The minor road is followed North East for approximately two kilometres until after any grazing land and houses.
From here one takes to the hillside ascending in a North Easterly direction to Bennadereen Rock at 225m. From there
a ridge is followed all the way to the top of Derryclare 673m :D . The ridge is heather and grass in its lower reaches but as I progressed up the hill it became obvious that there is actually very little grass on these hills and they are nearly all bare rock. As long as the weather is good the views of the circuit you are about to do are spectacular, and it was excellent this day :D :D .

Benlettery, Bengower and Benbreen from Derryclare.jpg
Benlettery, Bengower and Benbreen from Derryclare


Bengower and Benbreen from Derryclare.jpg
Bengower and Benbreen from Derryclare


Benbreen and Bencollaghduff from Derryclare.jpg
Benbreen and Bencollaghduff from Derryclare


Next on the list is Bencorr just over a kilometre away to the North.

Looking along ridge towards Bencorr.jpg
Looking along ridge towards Bencorr


Looking from Derryclare to Bencorr with Bencorrbeg on right.jpg
Looking from Derryclare to Bencorr with Bencorrbeg on right


I descended Northwards to a col at 551m before ascending a rocky slope to the summit of Bencorr 711m.

To descend from Bencorr to the next col, Mam na bhFonsai 494m requires caution. I walked a short distance North along the ridge then branched off left to descend a rather steep rocky slope. From here I took a gravel like path down to a gap.The gap is an area of peaty grass with a rock wall on either side. It is not a major obstacle but I did use my hands.
From the col it is about a kilometre up a rocky slope to the summit of Bencollaghduff 696m.

Bencollaghduff from Benbreen.jpg
Bencollaghduff from Benbreen


Bencollaghduff.jpg
Bencollaghduff


The descent East from the summit of Bencollaghduff is down a steep rocky ridge but you can see where people have gone before so its not really a problem. There is a small rock band near the bottom which I outflanked on its left hand side to reach the col at 457m.

North ridge of Benbreen I.jpg
North ridge of Benbreen I


North ridge of Benbreen II.jpg
North ridge of Benbreen II


From the col I headed South West up the rocky Northern ridge of Benbreen. The summit ridge of Benbreen is well over a kilometre in length and never drops below 650m. The initial top reached is 674m, the middle one is 686m and the final one and summit is 691m.

The descent South from Benbreen to the col at 470m is a purgatorial steep scree covered slope. It can be 'run' if you're into that kind of thing - let me say it certainly gets you down quicker.

The North face of Bengower looks pretty difficult from low down and you probably will have to use your hands - I did. But, by using a series of gullies and terraces it's not as difficult as it appeared from the bottom. once up it's only a short walk to the summit at 664m.

Descent of South slope of Benbreen seen from Bengower.jpg
Descent of South slope of Benbreen seen from Bengower


Looking from Bengower to Benbreen.jpg
Looking from Bengower to Benbreen


The descent from Bengower heads South West for just over half a kilometre to about 560m and then turns South to descend to a col at 510m.

From there comes the easiest part of the day the ascent of the North ridge of Benlettery to its summit at 577m.
The views from here are tremendous.

Looking South from Benlettery near end of walk.jpg
Looking South from Benlettery near end of walk


The descent South from this summit takes you to the Benlettery Youth Hostel and from there it is a short walk East along the N59 back to the car park.

Benlettery.jpg
Benlettery from the South


Benlettery from the car park - Youth Hostel on far left.jpg
Benlettery from the car park - Youth Hostel on far left


I honestly can't remember how long it took me to do this walk. The hills may not be high but you are still talking about approximately 1,500m of ascent. Once again as on Mweelrea I never met a single person all day. The pity is I didn't have enough time left to tackle the Maumturks which were only 6km away to the East - the problem with them however is that they are basically a linear walk.
Anyway I hope I can inspire some walkers to head over there and try these magnificent hills.
Jim777
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Apr 24, 2017
Location: Perth

Re: Glencoaghan Horseshoe - The Twelve Bens

Postby malky_c » Wed May 30, 2018 9:33 pm

I'm enjoying your Irish reports on here. I only have the vaguest knowledge of the mountain ranges in Ireland and have seen very few photos of them away from the 3000ers. These look great 8)
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 6019
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:276   Hewitts:268
Wainwrights:122   Islands:36
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: Glencoaghan Horseshoe - The Twelve Bens

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu May 31, 2018 10:46 am

They look a tremendous group of hills, a other fine report
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3204
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: martin.h and 6 guests