Munster MPC - Galty Mountains
12th – 14th April 2002
The Galty’s The Galty’s are an east-west ridge of mountains composed of red sandstone, roughly 25km’s in length. Their southern slopes feature numerous spurs, which are divided by a variety of valleys. The northern slopes fall more steeply and directly into the Glen of Aherlow. Here are found five corrie lakes, with Lough Muskerry being the largest. Galtymore itself is one of the highest peaks in the country, and at 919m/3018ft is one of the few Irish Munros.
The Route This years Munster MPC is based on the southern side of the Galtys, and takes in the most notable peaks of Galtymore and Galtybeg, as well as the unusual rock outcrop of O’Loughnan’s Castle, which is visible from the N8. All of the Galty’s lakes can be viewed from the route.
Map OS Map Sheet 74 (1:50000)
Start The start is Galtycastle Forest Car Park (879 188), which is situated off the N8 between Caher and Mitchelstown.
Travelling from Caher, turn right at the village of Skeheenaranky. After 1km, stay left at a y-junction. A further 2km on the road drops down to a series of sharp turns and crosses a bridge, before rising uphill. The car park is situated at the top of the rise.
Travelling from Mitchelstown, take the second left after Kilbeheny, and then the first right after 1.1km. The car park is located a further 1.5km along the road, at the top of a steep drop in the road down to a bridge.
Friday The walk on Friday night follows a series of forest roads into a valley to the south west of Galtymore. Low camp is located just beyond the end of the woods beside a stream, at the site of a ruined cottage.
Saturday Saturday morning will see teams making their way up onto the main Galty ridge via the spur of Knockduff. Here the eastern end of the Galty Wall will be met. The wall is approximately 3km’s in length and begins at Lyracappul to the west. From here the route turns east along the ridge, first onto the twin summits of Galtymore, then over Galtybeg and spot height 786. Shortly after this, O’Loughnan’s Castle will be reached. From here a spur is followed down into the Glengarra valley. High camp is located between two streams near the north western corner of the Glengarra Woods.
Sunday A stream is followed from high camp up to the col north of Knockeenatoung. From here part of the ‘Black Road’ – an old turf track to Galtybeg - is followed south before a minor track leads down to Coopers Wood. A path leads down through the trees to a river-side forest track, which is followed back to the car park.
Car Park (879 188) to Forest Road Junction (871 201)
Follow the forest track out of the car park in a NNW direction. At 875 196 take care not to turn right, as this track leads to a private dwelling. Shortly after this the road bends around to the left and heads more steeply uphill to a T-junction with a forest road at 873 196. Turn right, and continue down to a forest road junction.
Forest Road Junction (871 201) to Forest Fence (868 218)
From the junction, continue straight on in a northerly direction, with farm sheds on your right. Stay right at all subsequent track junctions as the track turns north-easterly in direction and makes it’s way down to the stream at 874 209. Stay on the track with the stream on your right and, heading uphill again, follow the track to the forest fence.
Forest Fence (868 218) to Low Camp (868 220)
Cross the fence onto the open hillside. A path of sorts leads down to the stream junction at 868 220. Cross where indicated by staff, and check in at the ruined cottage (not shown on the map).
Saturday Route Outline
Low Camp (868 220) to Knocknagalty (875 222)
Check out of low camp at the cottage and head steeply uphill to the right of the stream coming down from Knocknagalty, where a track of sorts can be followed initially This is the toughest climb of the day, but the gradient eventually eases and a flat area is reached at 875 222.
Knocknagalty (875 222) to Galty Wall End (871 235)
Face uphill again and follow the spur of Knockduff up to the main Galty Ridge to meet with the Galty Wall. In mist it would make sense to aim off so as not to wander through the gap between the end of the wall and the slopes of Galtymore.
Galty Wall End (871 235) to Galtymore (879 238)
From the wall end, head in an easterly direction to the first top of Galtymore, and continue along the crest to the second summit.
Galtymore (879 238) to Galtybeg (890 241)
Descend from Galtymore to the col, taking care of the cliffs above Lough Diheen, and continue up to the narrow crest of Galtybeg.
Galtybeg (890 241) to Col (897 242)
The north-eastern end of Galtybeg’s summit ridge ends abruptly in very steep ground overlooking Borheen Lough. The actual check point will be situated at this end of the ridge. From the check-point carefully make your way in an easterly direction down to the col. Poor navigation here in mist could easily lead to an accident.
Col (897 242) to O’Loughnan’s Castle (916 239)
From the col continue eastward uphill toward spot height 786. The ridge bends a little to the south east near the top, before turning eastward again. At the end of the flat summit area, drop shortly down to O’Loughnan’s Castle.
O’Loughnan’s Castle (916 239) to High Camp (908 220)
Gain the small rise (917 238) after O’Loughnan’s Castle, and follow the spur south down to the edge of the Glengarra Woods. Here turn right and follow the forest boundary to the north western corner. Cross the first stream and check in at high camp.
Sunday Route Outline
High Camp (908 220) to Col (893 223)
Check out at high camp and follow the steam to the stream junction at 906 222. Cross the stream before the junction and follow it uphill to the stream bend at 897 224. From here go directly up to the col.
Col (893 223) to Forest Edge (886 211)
Follow the track on the col southwards. At 891 212 take a right hand track, and then take the first track on the left down to the edge of Cooper’s Wood.
Forest Edge 886 211 to Car Park (886 211)
Cross the fence where indicated by staff, and follow a path down through the trees to meet a forest track on the valley floor. Turn left and follow the forest track beside the river. At 876 199 the track emerges onto a surfaced road. Turn left and after a few meters turn right onto a track which is followed back to the road below the car park at 880 199. Turn right on the road and follow it up to the car park.
Don’t forget to check in at the car park.
Bad Weather Alternatives
In the event of poor weather, parts of the route may be changed. Your team should take the time to study the map before the event, so as to be familiar with the terrain in the general area of the route.