Sunday, January 24, 2010


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.


  1. Hmmm... if it were me, I'd not likely race other women up a 'short' mountain for a guy. What fun is that? :)

    Love the story behind the name... that is cool.

  2. Love the pics, particularly the third one.

    Re. the sundog -- I've consulted the oracle (Minnaert) and am wondering whether it could be a short segment of a rainbow, as it doesn't seem as localised as most sun dogs I've seen. If you can remember which side of the photo the sun was on, that would decide it. Sun dogs are reddish on the side closest to the sun, turning to yellow than blueish white as you move away. Rainbows (primary bows anyway) are red furthest from the sun.

    I've taken the liberty of pushing your photo through some curve and contrast adjustments, to try and bring out whatever it is a little better (here).

    That's given me an idea for another post now!

  3. Paul, my atmospheric anomaly expert, I had worried that it was just a small section of rainbow. The sun was directly west of the 'dog if that makes things any clearer. I appreciate the image enhancement, there aren't many of us so enthused about the oddities we see in the sky!

    Thanks Titanium, a lot of Irish hills have some sort of mythical explanation to their names. Fionn was supposedly a giant who ruled Ireland once upon a time and, during a feud with a scottish giant, picked up a sod of earth and threw it across the Irish sea at his foe, only for it to land short in the middle of the sea. We now call that portion of land, the Isle of Man and the earth he threw became Lough Neagh, the largest inland lake in Britain. So there you go.


Got something to say? Please do...