Climbing Carrauntoohil

Im not the best at stringing sentences together so here is a little write-up of mine and @Cadab’s climb of Carrauntoohil, County Kerry, Ireland.

An early start on a cold November Friday saw us heading to Leeds Bradford Airport to catch our cheap Ryanair flight to Dublin. We arrived in Dublin around 7.30 and had collected our hire car by 8.00.

Once we had picked up some supplies from a local Tesco (water, fruit, sandwiches and treats) and then a quick McDonalds breakfast we embarked on our 4 hour, 207 mile (333 km) drive to Carrauntoohil.

The weather was miserable. There was an orange fog warning the whole time that we were in Ireland but the roads where pretty clear and we made good time to Carrauntoohil. We parked up near Cronins Yard and started out walk at around 13:30.

The first hour was gentle. The fog was still rolling in but we kept seeing a burst of sunshine coming through and the higher we got, the more we pushed through it. About this time is where we first got a glimpse of the famous cross on the top of Carrauntoohil. My first thoughts where “That can’t be the top. This doesn’t look too bad.” although we both knew that we were going to reach the Devil’s Ladder very shortly.

We had done some research as we always do when we attempt any climb. Various routes, timings, distance, parking and even watched quite a useful Youtube video, so we had an idea of how difficult the Devils Ladder was going to be.

It was like they said, a slow steep climb on loose stones and boulders. The low temperature didn’t help, leaving patches of ice on rocks which made all that more difficult.

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Once we reached the top of the ladder though we were rewarded with breathtaking views of the valley in front of us, the peak of Carrauntoohil to our right and the rest of the range to our left.

We were on the home run now. We could see the cross at the top and were aiming right for it. The snow was deep in places, passing my knee if you happened to stand in a deep part but it wasn't dangerous. We didn't have crampons and we didn't wish we had them either. There was plenty of parts of the path to walk on and we slowly made our way to the top.

Once we reached the top there were more beautiful views behind the cross. It was fairly windy at the top but that didn't spoil it.

We spent a bit of time at the top. Had a quick bite to eat and even found a quick geocache. We then slowly made our way back down to the base.

After we were back at the car, changed and ready to set off we made set off on the 200+ mile journey towards Dublin airport for our flight home back to England.

Here is some data tracked from my Fitbit.

DurationStepsDistancePaceAltitudeHeart Rate
4h 38m 05s22,2486.59 Miles42'11"3,04095 bpm

Find out more information on Carrauntoohil on Wiki here -

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