Report by Eva
Thursday the 11th of July, day 1.
The Belfast group consisting of Eva, Rónán and Lisa left Belfast with great anticipation and a car packed so well that only years of practising Tetris made it possible. After a long and uneventful journey with just a short stop at the infamous Obama Plaza in Moneygall, we arrived at our destination - Cronin’s Yard. We put up our tents just in time for the arrival of Vicky, Kyle and Alistair.
Friday the 12th of July, day 2.
Friday morning started with cloudy weather, perfect for climbing up the highest peak in Ireland – Carrauntoohil. We hiked up to the Heavenly Gates, where we started our climb up the Howling Ridge, stunning 450 m V-Diff grade route which, for some of us, was an introduction into ridge climbing. We completed the climb in two groups of three, using Alpine style techniques. All the efforts, sweat and Alistair’s tears were worth it once we reached the peak with these beautiful views (which disappeared as soon as we neared the top!). From there, we continued our ridge scrambling towards Beenkeeragh in the mist. After a few “Are we there yet?” moments, we reached Ireland’s second highest peak and were ready for our descent down the gully, with some beautiful views over the Hag’s Glen. While some of us decided to embrace the cold and freshen up in the river, Rónán and Lisa went ahead of the group to prepare some well-deserved barbeque.
Saturday the 13th of July, day 3.
Saturday was a sunny day with perfect conditions for some rock climbing in the nearby Gap of Dunloe. We stopped at an incredibly easily accessible Brennan’s Leap, with short yet strenuous routes ranging from HS to E3. All of us had our go at leading and even got to try to top-rope the hardest climb here (Deadline, E3 6a), after Kyle’s impressive lead seconded by Rónán. As the weather more resembled the conditions in the south of Europe, some of us decided to cool down our burned bodies in the nearby lake.
While Vicky headed down toward Kerry airport to leave us dirty rock climbers for the white elegance of Wimbledon, Rónán did a quick run up Carrauntoohil to get some more presentable pictures of the view from the top.
Sunday the 14th of July, day 4.
We continued our climbing in the Gap of Dunloe, this time at a crag called the Bothán. Another good day of climbing, with Lisa leading Agent Orange (HS 4b), Eva leading The Ego Has landed (VS 4b), Rónán and Eva leading Raven (HVS 5a), Kyle and Rónán leading Ljubljana (E1 5c), topped off with Kyle leading Disco Legs (E3 5c) and everyone else having a go at it on top rope. The day was once again finished by a jump in the lake.
Monday 15th of July, day 5.
Monday morning was a good reminder of the importance of checking oneself and one’s possessions before leaving climbing crags, but all was good once Eva’s wallet was found after a quick paced and refreshing walk on the top of Bothán. Afterwards we set off for the long journey home.
To conclude this report, the Kerry trip was a definite success, with a combination of beautiful weather, good company and some picture-postcard rock climbing.