MacGillycuddy’s Reeks – Ireland’s highest mountain range and the inspiration for the Reeks District’s name – are redolent with myths and legends. Why not create your own and climb Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest peak?
The Reeks are the very backbone of the Kingdom of Kerry, a 19km range of Devonian sandstone, carved by glaciers to leave valleys, serrated ridges and towering peaks.
On a clear day, the panoramic vistas from the 1,039m summit take the breath away as they stretch to the Dingle Peninsula and Kenmare Bay and even as far as the mountains of North Cork. The views are so good, you could even say unless you’ve reached the top, you’ve not really seen Reeks District – it’s only from the summit that you get to see the whole region in all its glory.
Summiting Carrauntoohil is a moderately strenuous affair – doable by those with a basic level of fitness but not for the faint of heart. There are several routes to the summit that get progressively harder, meaning people of varying abilities can make the climb. Will you attempt to scale the Devil’s Ladder, sample the scenic but tough Brother O’Shea’s Gully, or scramble up Hag’s Tooth Ridge, probably the toughest way to get to the top?
Those with hiking experience looking for the ultimate climb can add on Beenkeragh at 1,010m and Caher at 1,001m to complete all three of Ireland’s highest mountains in a single day on a circular route that is known as the Coumloughra Horseshoe.
Talk to the expert guides at Kerry Climbing to select the best approach for you and your party based on your abilities, fitness and the amount of time you have in the region.
At the very least, climbers should expect to be on the mountains for around six hours. Suitable clothing and footwear are essential, as is a packed lunch. Throw in a sense of adventure and you’re all set. Days on the mountains don’t get much better.
The Climbers Inn
Enjoy staying in the beautiful, unspoilt location of Glencar, Co Kerry at the family-run Climbers Inn. Choose from en-suite bedrooms, eight-bed hostel dormitory, or a self-catering apartment. Campers are welcome to pitch their tent on the on-site campsite. After a day’s climbing, guests can enjoy an evening meal and spend time in the bar, chatting with other guests or locals