|Galtee Mountains (Galtees)|
|Irish: Na Gaibhlte|
View of Galtybeg, looking towards Lough Diheen
|Elevation||919 m (3,015 ft)|
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
The Galtee Mountains or Galtees (Irish: Na Gaibhlte or Sléibhte na gCoillte) are a mountain range in Munster, located in Ireland's Golden Vale across Cork and parts of counties Tipperary and Limerick.
The name "Galty" is thought to be a corruption of the Irish Sléibhte na gCoillte (Mountains of the Forests), though this name has fallen out of use.
The Galtees are Ireland's highest inland mountain range, taking the form of a high ridge which rises up almost sheer from the surrounding plain. The highest peak is Galtymore, which rises to 917 m (3,009 ft).
The area has a tradition of dairy farming, and a trade name "Galtee" is now synonymous with one of Ireland's largest food companies which began in the area. Mitchelstown, nestled on the Cork side of the mountains, and Tipperary town on the northern side are the main market towns and centres of commerce for the region.
The Galtees were formed during the Caledonian Foldings, which caused the underlying Silurian rocks to fold into great ridges. However, the Silurian rocks were quite soft and were quickly eroded. The eroded dust from these rocks compacted over millions of years to form Old Red Sandstone, a tough enduring rock. The Galtees are of Red Sandstone, but with a softer Silurian rock core.
Two major periods of glaciation affected the area. The rounded summits of the Galtees were formed due to the higher parts of the Galtees being above the ice. The constant freeze-thaw action on the higher rocks gradually wore these down to form the stony, scree-covered summits we have today. Glacial action also formed cirques on the higher slopes, which are now occupied by five corrie lakes.
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