Mount Brandon, County Kerry 2014

Name of walk Mount Brandon, County Kerry 2014
Date of walk 2014-09-01

It had rained for most of the first week we were in Kerry, so on the first day when it was not going to rain and the clouds were above the summits, we drove to the Dingle Peninsula to climb Mount Brandon (3127ft), the highest mountain in Ireland outside of the Macgillycuddy Reeks, named after St. Brendan. We took the Pilgrimage route called the Saint`s Road which goes up from the west. The route is marked by the 14 Stations of the Cross. The last time I did this route was in mist and I got no views from the summit. Brendan has been up before in good weather. This will be his fifth ascent.

1

Dingle Bay.

2

It was very still today, but not very clear.

3

The shrine that marks the start of The Saint's Road

4

The summit of Mount Brandon peeks out.

5

View back to where we parked the car.

6

The first cross is not Station One, there is a Station Zero! Behind are the Three Sisters and the Blasket Islands.

7

Finally we reach Station One.

8

Station Three.

9

Station Six, Mount Brandon does not look any closer!

10

This is approximately the half way point. There is still a view but it is very hazy.

11

12

With the white markers every ten meters or so it would be impossible to get lost.

13

View out to sea.

14

The crosses now appear on the skyline, and are now much closer together.

15

The nearby mountain of Brandon Peak is now in view.

16

17

Looking back to Brandon Peak.

18

Station Fourteen and a Rosary.

19

View out.

20

View towards the summit cross.

21

The summit cross and the cairn on Mount Brandon. It had taken just over two hours.

22

The summit also contains the ruins of St. Brendan's Oratory.

23

A few feet beyond the cross you can look directly down on the lakes as this side of the mountain is almost vertical.

24

While I wait for Brendan (the husband, not the Saint!) to catch me up I take a detour to where the trail on the other side of the mountain reaches the ridge.

25

View down to the lakes.

26

Me at the summit cross.

28

Brendan and the view we did not get the last time I was here.

29

I then detour in the opposite direction to view the zig zag path that leads from the lakes to the ridge. Next time I would like to try the walk from this direction.

30

Looking out towards Brandon Peak.

31

After a bite to eat and a good mooch around we head back down.

32

It was very quiet today, we had only met one person on the way up, plus a large group of Germans on their way down, and two people on the summit. On our way down it was just sheep.

33

View out to sea.

34

Back to the half way point with the views to the Three Sisters and the Blaskets.

35

Nearly back now as we cross the ditch.

36

Back at the shrine.We were up and down in under five hours.

The walk is only about five miles or so and poses no difficulties. It is a very gentle ascent. We ended our walk by having a meal at one of the pubs in Dingle before driving back to Knockanuha. Still hoping for sunshine for the next ascent of Mount Brandon.

Jo.

 

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