Everest Peak 2 – Carrauntoohil

Everest Peak 2

Our second peak of The Everest Challenge was an enjoyable walk up Ireland’s highest mountain, known by the unpronounceable name of Carrauntoohil. Situated in County Kerry, the mountain looks quite spectacular with the scarred ridges leading to the summit and rocky screes scarring its sides. The walk up to the top is rather leisurely, though, apart from Devil’s Ladder, which certainly lived up to its name.

The walk starts quite high up at a farm, where the car park is located. From there, a rough stone path leads across the moorland towards the mountain, crossing snaking streams and boggy marsh but offering superb views of the surrounding landscape. There were perfect conditions on the day we were climbing it; there was barely a cloud in the sky. Then we came to Devil’s Ladder. Unlike the name suggests, this section of the walk has no rungs upon which to climb but is a chute of rocky rubble wedged between two mountains. It was steep, slippery and by far the hardest bit of the climb. Devil’s Ladder also challenged my mum’s fear of heights, which wasn’t helped by the fact she was wearing a rucksack that was threatening to make her topple backwards. I was just glad that there was no-one else climbing it with us to dislodge rubble that could tumble down on us, or that the stream flowing over and between the rocks wasn’t stronger. I certainly wouldn’t have liked to be climbing it in the fog or in icy conditions.

After emerging from Devil’s Ladder, we reached the wide grassy ridge leading to the rocky summit. We clambered up the slope to the iron cross at the top. The sight at the summit made it all worthwhile. We had a full 360-degree view of the surrounding environment: the town we were staying in, the dramatic ridge and other high peaks surrounding us, Dingle Peninsular and the North Atlantic ocean. The beautiful weather made it even better. We soaked it all in, putting thoughts of the descent to the back of our minds. It was the perfect day for a brilliant walk!