MacGillycuddy's Reeks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Stumpa Bharr na hAbhann)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
MacGillycuddy's Reeks
Irish: Na Cruacha Dubha
MacGuillycuddy's Reeks.jpg
Highest point
PeakCarrauntoohil[1]
Elevation1,038.6[1] m (3,407 ft)
Coordinates52°01′N 9°42′W / 52.01°N 9.70°W / 52.01; -9.70Coordinates: 52°01′N 9°42′W / 52.01°N 9.70°W / 52.01; -9.70[1]
Dimensions
Length19 km (12 mi) East–West
Naming
English translationthe black stacks
Language of nameIrish
Geography
MacGillycuddy's Reeks is located in island of Ireland
MacGillycuddy's Reeks
MacGillycuddy's Reeks
Location of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks
LocationCounty Kerry
CountryIreland
Provinces of IrelandMunster
Topo mapOSI Discovery 78
Geology
Age of rockDevonian[1]
Mountain typePurple sandstone & siltstone[1]

MacGillycuddy's Reeks (Irish: Na Cruacha Dubha, meaning "the black stacks") is a sandstone and siltstone mountain range in County Kerry, Ireland. Stretching 19 kilometres (12 miles), from the Gap of Dunloe in the east, to Glencar in the west, the Reeks is Ireland's highest mountain range, and includes most of the highest peaks and sharpest ridges in Ireland, and the only peaks on the island that are over 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) in height.

Geology[edit]

MacGillycuddy's Reeks are composed of sandstone particles of various sizes which are collectively known as Old Red Sandstone. The rocks date from the Upper Devonian period (310–450 million years ago) when Ireland was in a hot equatorial setting.[2] During this 60 million year period, Ireland was the site of a major basin, known as the Munster basin, and Cork and Kerry were effectively a large alluvial floodplain.[2] Chemical oxidation stained the material with a purple–reddish colour (and green in places from chlorination), still visible today.[2] There are virtually no fossils in Old Red Sandstone.[2] The composition of Old Red Sandstone is variable and contains quartz stones, mudstones, siltstones, and sandstone particles (boulders of conglomerate rock containing quartz pebbles are visible throughout the range).[2] The Reeks were also subject to significant glaciation which led to fracturing of the rock, and resulted in deep corries (e.g. the Eagle's Nest), U-shaped valleys (e.g. Lough Coomloughra), and sharp arêtes and ridges (e.g. the Beenkeragh Ridge).[2][3]

Geography[edit]

MacGillycuddy's Reeks are variously described as consisting of two main sections, containing all ten of the Reeks that are above 3,000 ft:[4][2]

  1. Eastern Reeks, a high ridge connecting (west to east), Cnoc an Chuillinn, Maolán Buí, Cnoc na Péiste, The Big Gun, and Cruach Mhór; and
  2. Coomloughra Reeks, a horseshoe around Lough Coomloughra that connects, Caher (West Top), Caher, Carrauntoohil, The Bones, and Beenkeragh.

The Eastern Reeks meet the Coomloughea Reeks at the col of the Devil's Ladder, a popular ascent route for Carrauntoohil.[2]

View from Carrauntoohil of the eastern section of the Reeks showing (l-to-r) Cruach Mhor, The Big Gun, Cnoc na Peiste and Maolan Bui; including Maolan Bui's large narrow north-west spur, The Bone.

MacGillycuddy's Reeks contains the three peaks in Ireland which are over 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) in height, namely: Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain at 1,038.6 m (3,407 ft), followed by Beenkeragh at 1,008 m (3,307 ft) and Caher at 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[5]

The range contains eleven of the fourteen peaks in Ireland that are over 3,000 ft (910 m) in height, and meet the Vandeleur-Lynam classification of a mountain—peaks with prominence over 15 m (49 ft).[6] All but one of these eleven 3,000 ft peeks, namely Cnoc an Chuillinn East Top, are amongst the list of thirteen Irish Furths—peaks which meet the Scottish Mountaineering Club's criteria for a Munro, and they are therefore also known as Irish Munros.[7]

There are 29 peaks in the range above 100 m (330 ft) in height.[5] The range contains 14 Irish Hewitts (height above 2,000 ft and prominence above 30 metres),[8][5] and 16 Irish Arderins (height above 500 metres and prominence above 30 metres).[9] The range is also known for its sharp aretes, including The Bones arete, more famously known as the Beenkeragh Ridge, and The Big Gun arete.[5]

A feature of the range is the modest topographic prominence, also known as "relative height" or "drop", of many of its peaks.[8][4] Only two of the eleven Reeks over 3,000 ft meet the Marilyn classification of a mountain (prominence above 150 metres), namely, Carrauntoohil and Cnoc na Péiste.[8] The only Reek that meets the P600 classification (prominence above 600 metres), is Carrauntoohil itself.[8] The combination of high peaks and low prominence, means the ridges between the peaks are at a sustained height (e.g. why the prominence is so modest), which has contributed to the popularity of ridge walking in the Reeks, particularly, the Coomloughra Horseshoe, and the MacGillycuddy's Reeks Ridge Walk, and the term, "Ireland's highest mountain range".[4][5]

Ownership[edit]

The entire range is held in private ownership, both in individually owned freehold parcels in the lower reaches and in commonly owned, open upland zones (‘commonage’). A State-sponsored report into access for the range in December 2013 titled MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Development Assessment (also called the Mountain Access Project, or MAP), mapped the complex network of land titles.[3] Unlike many other national mountain ranges, the MacGillycuddy's Reeks are not part of a national park or a trust structure.[3]

The private ownership has led to issues around the upkeep of popular paths in the Reeks, most particularly the erosion of the Devil's Ladder path, which is used to summit Carrauntoohil; and various car-parks and bridges used by climbers.[3] The 2013 MAP report noted the importance of safety in light of the increasing climbers and walkers to the Reeks. The MAP report stated that Kerry Mountain Rescue ("KMR") logged 17 fatalities on the Reeks between 1996 and 2000, or just over 1 fatality per annum, but since 2000, KMR had been logging approximately 2 fatalities per annum.[3]

Naming[edit]

Looking into the deep Eagle's Nest corrie from the Hag's Glen. The Nest is surrounded by Carrauntoohil (left), The Bones (back, centre), and Beenkeragh (right); Knockbrinea is at the far right. The Hag's Tooth is visible at the entrance to the corrie, as is the Hag's Tooth Ridge up to the summit of Beenkeragh.

The name of the range is Irish: Cruacha Dubha Mhic Giolla Mo Chuda, which is shortened in the Irish form to Irish: Na Cruacha Dubha, meaning "The Black Stacks".[10][11] However, in the English form, the name is translated as "MacGillycuddy's Reeks" (the translation used in Gasaitéar na hÉireann).[11] The English name is sometimes incorrectly written as "The MacGillycuddy's Reeks", "MacGillycuddy Reeks", or "Macgillycuddy's Reeks".[11][12]

The MacGillycuddy (Irish: Mhic Giolla Mo Chuda) were a sept, or branch, of the O'Sullivan Moore clan. The MacGillycuddy was one of the few Gaelic chieftains to have his lands restored after the Cromwellian confiscations, a circumstance which helps to explain why the name has survived to this day.[11] The MacGillycuddy family tomb is at Kilgobnet, between the mountains and Killorglin.[11] The clan chief, McGillycuddy of the Reeks, owned land in this part of Munster until the end of the 20th century. The word reek is a Hiberno-English version of the English word rick, meaning a stack.[12]

Visitors[edit]

Jim Ryan's 2006 book on the Reeks, Carrauntoohil and MacGillycuddy's Reeks: A Walking Guide to Ireland's Highest Mountains, stated that there were 25,000 annual visitors to the Reeks.[2] The 2013 MAP report quoted Ryan's figures, which were cited in the MAP's Terms of Reference, but stated that: "The Reeks are accessed by at least 25,000 recreational users per annum. It is highly likely that the numbers are a factor of 4 times higher based on observation of the year-round level of usage – but data is required to ascertain the visitor numbers." [3]

Climbing[edit]

The Coomloughra Horseshoe around the Lough Coomloughra, with Caher East Top and Caher West Top on the right, Carrauntoohil back left, and the Beenkeragh Ridge on the far left.

The most common reason for visiting the Reeks is to climb Ireland's highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. The popular route starts from Cronin's Yard (V837873) and enters the Hag's Glen to climb the Devil's Ladder (the col between Carrauntoohil and Cnoc na Toinne), from which the summit is accessed.[4] A more challenging route is via the Hag's Tooth Ridge which circles the Eagle's Nest, and takes in Beenkeragh, and the Beenkeragh Ridge.[2]

MacGillycuddy's Reeks is particularly regarded for the quality of its ridge walking routes,[4] with the 6–8 hour 15–kilometre Coomloughra Horseshoe, that circles Lough Coomloughra, considered "one of Ireland’s classic ridge walks", which takes in all three of Ireland's 1,000 metre peaks, namely, Carrauntouhil, Beenkeragh, and Caher (East Top and West Top), as well as the famous Beenkeragh Ridge.[13][14][4][2]

The most challenging route is the full MacGillycuddy's Reeks Ridge Walk, a 12- to 14-hour, 26-kilometre (16 mi) traverse of the entire range.[2] The route normally starts at the eastern end from Kate Kearney's Cottage in the Gap of Dunloe.[15] The route takes in Stickeen Mountain (440 m) and Cnoc an Bhráca (731 m) before reaching the ridge proper at Cruach Mhór (932 m). From there it continues along the narrow arete of The Big Gun (939 m) to Cnoc na Péiste (988 m), and continuing along the chain of Maolán Buí (932 m), Cnoc an Chuillinn (958 m), Cnoc na Toinne (845 m) to the summit of Carrauntoohil (1,038 m). From Carrauntoohil, a number of variations are possible, the main one being a detour to Beenkeragh (1,008 m) before returning along the same route to get to Caher (1,000 m) and then on to Caher West Top (975 m) before descending to the Hydro-Track (V772871) car park near Lough Acoose, Glencar. An alternative variation is to continue from Beenkeragh (1,008 m) on the northern side of the Coomloughra Horseshoe to the peaks or Skregmore (848 m) and Cnoc Íochtair (747 m) before descending to the Hydro-Track car park.[16][4][2]

MacGillycuddy's Reeks are not especially known for their rock-climbing routes, unlike Ailladie in Clare or Fair Head in Antrim. The 450–metre V–Diff, Howling Ridge up the central arete between the east and north-east faces of Carrauntoohil is notable.[17][18] The north-east face of Carrauntoohill (e.g. the Eagle's Nest area), is better known for its winter climbing, conditions permitting, offering 80 routes with 7 up to winter Grade V.[19][20][21]

List of peaks[edit]

The following is a download from the MountainViews Online Database, who list 29 identifiable Reeks with an elevation, or height, above 100 metres

  Furth (or Irish Munro): Height over 3,000 feet (914 m), and on the SMC Furth list.
  Marilyn: Any height, and prominence over 150 metres (492 ft).
Peaks of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks (MountainViews Online Database, October 2018)
Height
Rank
Prominence
Rank
Name Height
(m)
Prominence
(m)
Height
(ft)
Prominence
(ft)
Topo
Map
OSI Grid
Reference
1 1 Carrauntoohil 1,039 1,039 3,407 3,407 78 V804844
2 8 Beenkeragh 1,008 91 3,308 298 78 V801852
3 5 Caher 1,000 100 3,281 327 78 V793839
4 2 Cnoc na Péiste 988 253 3,241 830 78 V836842
5 25 Caher West Top 973 24 3,194 79 78 V790840
6 20 Maolán Buí 973 38 3,192 125 78 V832838
7 15 Cnoc an Chuillinn 958 53 3,143 174 78 V823833
8 21 The Bones 957 37 3,138 122 78 V801847
9 12 The Big Gun 939 74 3,081 243 78 V840845
10 22 Cruach Mhór 932 34 3,058 112 78 V841848
11 28 Cnoc an Chuillinn East Top 926 21 3,038 69 78 V828834
12 23 Knockbrinnea (W) 854 29 2,802 95 78 V807858
13 26 Stumpa Bharr na hAbhann 852 23 2,796 76 78 V797858
14 16 Skregmore 848 50 2,781 164 78 V792860
15 27 Knockbrinnea (E) 847 22 2,779 72 78 V810857
16 9 Cnoc na Toinne 845 80 2,772 262 78 V811833
17 19 Cnoc Íochtair 746 44 2,448 144 78 V785860
18 7 Cnoc an Bhráca 731 96 2,398 315 78 V858854
19 14 Cnoc na dTarbh 655 60 2,149 197 78 V862850
20 29 Hag's Tooth 650 15 2,133 49 78 V809850
21 17 Brassel Mountain 575 50 1,886 164 78 V830823
22 10 Screig Bheag 573 78 1,880 256 78 V787874
23 6 Binn Bhán 460 96 1,508 315 78 V756828
24 24 Binn Dubh 452 27 1,483 89 78 V749829
25 11 Binn Dhearg 450 76 1,475 249 78 V762820
26 18 Struicín 440 45 1,444 148 78 V866882
27 13 Cnoc Breac 425 70 1,394 230 78 V757868
28 3 Knocknabrone Hill 353 188 1,158 617 78 V801881
29 4 Gortnagan 298 122 978 400 78 V721885

Bibliography[edit]

  • O'Sullivan, Valerie (2017). The MacGillycuddy's Reeks: People and Places of Ireland's Highest Mountain Range. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892941.
  • Piaras Kelly (2016). MacGillycuddy's Reeks – Winter Climbs. Piaras Kelly. ISBN 978-1-5262-0666-4.
  • Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Ireland's Best Walks: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892118.
  • MountainViews (Simon Stewart) (2013). A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins. Collins Books. ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7.
  • Ryan, Jim (2006). Carrauntoohil and MacGillycuddy's Reeks: A Walking Guide to Ireland's Highest Mountains. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1905172337.
  • Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e MountainViews: Carrauntoohil
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ryan, Jim (2006). Carrauntoohil and MacGillycuddy's Reeks: A Walking Guide to Ireland's Highest Mountains. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1905172337.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Development Assessment" (PDF). South Kerry Development Partnership. December 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102.
  5. ^ a b c d e MountainViews (Simon Stewart) (2013). A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins. Collins Books. ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7.
  6. ^ "Vandeleur-Lynams: Irish mountains of 600+m with a prominence of 15m". MountainViews Online Database. October 2018.
  7. ^ "Hill Lists: Furths". Scottish Mountaineering Club. The list of peaks of 3000ft or more within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland outside (furth) of Scotland. There are currently 34 Furths.
  8. ^ a b c d Chris Cocker; Graham Jackson (2018). "The Database of British and Irish Hills". Database of British and Irish Hills.
  9. ^ "Arderins: Irish mountains of 500+m with a prominence of 30m". MountainViews Online Database. October 2018.
  10. ^ Paul Tempan (2006). "Irish mountain names and their international links". MountainViews Online Database. Cruach - ‘stack, rick, pile’: Given the original meaning of this word, it is not surprising that most of the mountains with names in cruach show a symmetrical triangular profile, rather like a haystack. This is very evident in the case of na Cruacha Dubha (MacGillycuddy’s Reeks) or, to give them their full and rather poetic title, Cruacha Dubha Mhic Giolla Mochuda.
  11. ^ a b c d e Paul Tempan (2006). "REVIEW: Jim Ryan - Carrauntoohil & MacGillycuddy's Reeks: A Walking Guide to Ireland's Highest Mountains". MountainViews Online Database. However, he makes no mention here, or elsewhere in the book, of the MacGillycuddys (a branch of O'Sullivan More), the family most intimately connected with the Reeks, as well as the area to the north, and which gave its name to the range (Cruacha Dubha Mhic Giolla Mo Chuda, usually shortened to just Na Cruacha Dubha, 'the black stacks'). The MacGillycuddy was one of the few Gaelic chieftains to have his lands restored after the Cromwellian confiscations, a circumstance which helps to explain why the name has survived to this day. The MacGillycuddy family tomb is at Kilgobnet, between the mountains and Killorglin.
  12. ^ a b Paul Tempan (February 2012). "Irish Hill and Mountain Names" (PDF). MountainViews.ie.
  13. ^ John O'Dwyer (20 June 2009). "Our Nation's Finest Mountain Route". Irish Times. There are a few candidates for this honour; Dingle’s Brandon Ridge, Connemara’s Glencoaghan Horseshoe and Mayo’s Mweelrea Circuit immediately spring to mind. But nearly all hillwalkers now agree that one route stands out above even such splendour. Kerry’s Coomloughra Horseshoe is virtually impossible to match in an Irish context, as it takes in our three highest summits and offers an adrenalin-filled crossing of a memorable mountain ridge, great long-range coastal views and a bird’s-eye panorama over some of Killarney’s renowned lakes and fells.
  14. ^ "Route Descriptions". Kerry Mountain Rescue Teams. 2018.
  15. ^ Con Moriarty (2018). "The Ridge of the Reeks". Hidden Ireland Tours. Simply, the finest mountain traverse in Ireland with 7 summits over 3000 ft. From Kate Kearney’s Cottage, in the Gap of Dunloe, to Doire na Féinne and Loch a’ Chúis
  16. ^ "MacGillycuddy's Reeks and Carrauntoohil, Entire Mountain Range Walk". activeme.ie. 2017.
  17. ^ "Howling Ridge". KerryClimbing. 2017.
  18. ^ "Watch the incredible Howling Ridge climb on Ireland's highest peak". Irish Independent. 23 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Carrauntoohil Winter Climbs". UKClimbing.com. 12 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Winter Climbing around Carrauntoohil". IrishClimbingWiki.
  21. ^ "Rock and Winder Guide: Carrauntoohil". KerryClimbing.ie. 2017.

External links[edit]