MUNSTER MPC 1994

8th to 10th April
VENUE: Gap of Dunloe, Killarney, Co. Kerry.

MEETING PLACE: Assemble at the carpark opposite Kate Kearneys Cottage (Grid. Ref.V881888). If coming from Killarney, turn off of the main Killarney - Killorglin road (R562) shortly after Fossa village. The Gap is well signposted, but it is easy to miss a turn off to the left at Ref.880904.

FRIDAY NIGHT

1 Carpark (Ref.881888) to Tuming Circle (Ref.889892)

From the Carpark (Grid Ref.881888), walk back down the road to the gravelled entrance to the right at Ref. 882894. Follow this laneway for about 750m, pass through a gateway, continuing to the left until a turning circle is reached at Ref. 889892.

2 Tuming Circle (Ref.889892) to edge of forest (Ref.899889)

Pass through a gate, and set out across rough open moorland. First head in the general direction of the stream bend at Ref.894891. Near here, an uncrossable fence along the stream meets another fence at right angles. You can cross the fences at this point. Then pass through a gate and head for the forest edge at 899889

3 Forest edge (Ref.899889) to Ford (Ref.91 2877)

Just inside the forest edge, cross a stream, and walk through the woods in an easterly direction until you meet an uncrossable deerfence. Follow this fence for a short distance to the right to a fence corner, where it can be crossed. Now, continue eastwards until you meet the forest road at Ref.901888. Use your compass, rather than sense of direction, in the woods. NOTE: The other forest road which, on the map, appears to exit the woods at Ref.899889, does not exist. Once on the road, follow it to your right and on to a ford on the stream at Ref.912877.

4 Ford (Ref.912877) to Base Camp (Ref.913873)

Cross the stream, and continue along the road to where the forest ends at Ref.917872. Leave the road at this point, and climb up to the ruined fence/ track at Ref.916872. From here head directly to the campsite at Ref.913873, crossing the stream in the process.

SATURDAY

5 Camp (Rel.913873) to Tomies (Ref.895868)

From the campsite climb through some holly woods to the col at Ref.901874. Stop along the way to admire the view of the camp, of Lough Leane and of the cliffs of Shehy Mountain across the valley. From this col, head for another at Ref.893872, between Gortadirra (Ref.891875) and Tom ies (Ref.895868). There is a clearly visible stony track, an old firebreak, joining the two cols. Water is available from a small stream crossing this track. From the col at Ref.893872, climb to Tomies summit at Ref. 895868, This climb is steep, and the upper part is made more difficult with scree. Keep away from the steep drop to the right as you climb. Now you will have a clearer view of the Gap and its lakes. The Gap is one of the most spectacular displays of the effects of Glaciation in the country.
Tomies (Ref.895868) to Tomies South (Ref.894859).

From Tomies, descend a gentle slope to a broad col and pass Spot Height 695, to your right at Ref.894864. In mist it is possible to mistake this noticeable knoll for Tomies South further on. The col is sometimes sheltered and a place for lunch in windy weather. Proceed on up a short climb to the Tomies South Summit at (Ref.894859). This top is rocky and provides good Vews.

7 Tomies South (Ref.894859) to Purple Mountain (Ref.887852) and back.

Tomies South is a complex summit, with ridges leading away in three directions, so carefully check your bearings before you leave the summit. Descend to the col at Ref.851856. Now climb the narrow and rocky ridge to Purple Mountain (Ref.887852). This is well worth the visit, because it is the highest peak of the range. The views include more of the Gap, Cummeenduff (Black Valley) to the south, and the Macgillycuddy Reeks to the west. When you have seen enough, retrace your steps to the col at Ref.851856 and then to Tomies South.

8 Tomies South (Ref.894859) to the end of the Shehy ridge (Ref-922867)

The Shehy ridge, while not being particularly narrow, has a sheer drop on its northern side. Take care with your bearings and keep your eyes open, especially in conditions of poor Visibility. While walking the ridge, you can use the steep drop to your left as a handrail feature, but keep a safe distance in from the edge. From Tomies South (Ref.894859), proceed on a bearing to the start of Shehy Mor at Ref.899856, and thence a short distance to Shehy Mor itself at Ref.902857, From there carefully down to the col at Ref.906857. Then over a slight rise (Spot Height 632) at Ref. 907856 to the next col at Ref.913858. Now climb to the last summit (Spot Height 571 at Ref.916861), marked by a cairn. From here, carefully follow a bearing to the end of the ridge Ref.922867. There is a large cairn nearby. NOTE: It is important that you do not attempt to descend from the ridge at any other point, as the -ground is mostly too steep.

9 End of Sheby ridge (Ref.922867) to ruined fencelback (Ref.920869). Very carefully, descend the rocky and muddy slope until you reach a rough sheep track running alongside the remains of a wire fence (Ref.920869).

10 Ruined fence/track end (Ref.920869) to Base Cam p (Ref.913873). Follow the fenceltrack to Ref.916872, then go directly to the Base Camp site at Ref.913873.

SUNDAY

11 High Camp (Ref.913873) to Carpark (881888).

From High Camp, follow the stream until you again reach the ruined fenceltrack. Follow the track to Ref.908881. Now leave the fence and proceed across open countryside to the edge of a steep sided and wooded gully at Ref.899884. Along the way, watch out for hidden streams. Carefully cross the gully, only at the place that is marked. When you get up on the other side, head towards Spot Height 203 at Ref.891887, which you should be able to see. Go on past this point, keeping the sheep fence on your right until you come to a fence corner at Ref.887889. Cross the fence here, and with the fence on your left, go down to the gate at Ref.889892. From the turning circle beyond, retrace the Fri. night route back to the car park at 881888.