The Galtee Mountains are located on the border of Cork, Tipperary and Limerick. They’re pretty much the halfway mark between my home and Noelle’s, we’ve passed them so many times driving up and down to each other, we thought we’d go in for a closer look. With the weather as hot as it was, we waited until late afternoon to begin our climb, the bonus being we would catch sunset from the top.
We started from the Black Road, which is accessible from the N8 Dublin to Cork road, just outside the small village of Skeheenarinky. There’ s a small car park which marks the trail head. From here, it’s an easy walk along a wide path, you can see Galtee Mor (3,015ft/918m) ahead and just to the right of it is Galtee Beag (2,6,21ft/799m). Continuing up the trail, counting sheep as you go, there are terrific views out over the countryside to your left.
After a while you will reach a stone cairn on your left hand side, where the trail splits in two. Take a left here and follow the stoney path. Around here the ground becomes quite soft and boggy underfoot, so take care. You should be walking towards the col between Galtymore and Galtybeg.
Once you reach the low-point between the two peaks you can take a right to go up to the top of Galtee Beag or take a left to the summit of Galtee Mor, Ireland’s fourteenth highest mountain. It’s a steep ascent to the top with spectacular views overlooking the Borheen Lough below. Be cautious at this section of the climb as there is a sheer drop off the edge, to the right of the path.
Once you reach the top, you can see for miles around. Three counties are visible from here; Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. It’s not that difficult of a climb to get to the summit and it’s well worth the effort. Along the ridge at the top there is a white celtic cross and a stone cairn which marks the summit. This is the spot to break out the sandwiches and relax after your walk up and take in the views before backtracking to the car park. If you climb in the late afternoon as we did, you might get lucky and catch the sunset, a definite bonus!
Note: Some of these photos were taken with our iPod, hence the poor quality. We were snap-happy on the way up, thinking we had plenty of battery power; we should have followed our own advice!
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