Well, today saw us head out the door for a quick dander up a mountain (or 'walk' to those of you of a non Irish disposition). I had never climbed Slievenamon (721m) before despite it being an hour away from the front door. It also ranks as one of the most climbed mountains in Ireland due to its good access and well trodden path to the summit. Perhaps this is the reason I've never bothered with it until now, the lure of the Kerry and Connemara mountains are often too great for me. The other reason being that I had to work this morning and was limited in my options for anything further afield.
Slievenamon in Irish, roughly translates as 'Mountain of the women'. Legend has it, Fionn MacCunhaill (one of Irelands most famous mythical figures) sat on top of the mountain while women raced to the summit to win his hand in marriage. The crafty bugger didn't want any old womans hand though, he had previously shown his great love, Grainne, a shortcut to the top and she of course, won the race.
I hope you enjoyed the story behind the mountains name because the walk wasn't anything spectacular. I took the "yak track" up and down as I just didn't have time for a longer walk, whereby I would have knocked off a few of the subsidiary summits. The views of the nearby Comeragh mountains were superb though, in fact visibility was so good, Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs mountains could be seen easily to the east.
The trek up is along a broad stony track, leading to a relatively flat summit plateau where an enormous cairn awaits, the trig point is situated a short distance away and its hard to distinguish which is the higher point. A flask of tea was shared at the summit whilst admiring some stunning views and an interesting geological feature unknown to me before which I shall investigate further.
Add to that a vague sighting of a sun dog (see below) and the afternoon stroll was turning out to be a bloody great day out. I can't be sure it is a sun dog although I'll say it is until I'm told otherwise. A quick descent saw us back at the car with barely an ounce of sweat shed but surprisingly, plenty of photos to take home.
Another new mountain too so that's five now this year, 10% of my target achieved before the end of January, I'm impressed.