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“Invigorating walk” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carrantoohil

Dunloe, Killarney, Ireland
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Ranked #5 of 63 attractions in Killarney
Type: Mountains
Activities: Running
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Ireland's highest peak.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Invigorating walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Beautiful walk and very invigorating exercise after a day spent in the car. The hill up beyond the waterfall is a bit steep. Just lovely time to spend with nature and it cost nothing at all.

Visited October 2012
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80 reviews from our community

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English first
Limerick, Ireland
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“its the best view spot in Ireland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

I climbed this mountain a few times. It amazing, Be sure to bring water and some snacks. as even for some good climbers this can take up to 6-7 hours. But its totally worth it. And guess what.. Its free.. and the walk and scenery is amazing, :-)

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Carrantoohill and the Coomloughra Horseshoe”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

Thu 27th Sept saw me tackle the horseshoe from the Hydro path (which now as a dedicated car park) and climb anti-clockwise - against the perceived wisdom of going the other way. My reasoning was that, given the forecast for low cloud and rain, my No.1 target was to summit Carrantoohill and if I couldn't go further then back down via Caher seemed the easier route.

As previous reports stress the hydro path is a killer at the start being so steep over a relatively short distance. Having said that, it was nothing compared to the return trip 7hrs later coming down with tired legs and aching knees!! The path beyond the concrete path is clearly identifiable for most of the way up Caher. At the west cairn, in poor visibility it's necessary to check your bearings before continuing. Best tip would be to continue in the direction you approached the cairn (and to its LHS) and the path becomes clear again. A fairly steady decline then steepish incline and you should be able to see the cross on top of Carrauntoohill. A welcome stone shelter awaits where refreshments can be enjoyed out of the wind.

Now it's decision time. Back the way you came or continue along the horseshoe and the famous Beenkeeragh Ridge? Visibility was still poor at this point but the excellent directions from Kerry Mountain Rescue are 100%. Basically 50m back in the direction you came (230 degrees) then veer right (308 degrees) and descend to pick up the path towards the ridge. Having said that, unless you're confident in navigating AND assured in tackling a ridge in damp conditions and cloud cover then DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Had it been anything other than a light wind I wouldn't have contemplated it.

Unfortunately the visibility (or lack of it) meant I couldn't enjoy any views but it forced me to concentrate 100% on picking my way carefully across the rocks. Be careful not to miss the path as you clamber over rocks and boulders - it comes and goes but it is there. On reaching the top of Beenkeeragh it was the same old story....a blanket of cloud! Nothing for it but to descend steeply (and not without a few trips and slips over loose rock and shingle) towards the final, ever reducing peaks of Skregmore. Easy enough to follow and thankfully, once below 800m, I could see further than 30m. This is still quite challenging physically, especially after what has gone before and it still has a few climbs, but it's the homeward journey and time to think about the pint of Guiness back at the guest house!!

Back on the concrete path the only fear is the dreaded, steep decline over the last few hundred metres. There's no short cut here, just grit your teeth and get on with it. All in all a rewarding day taking 4hrs 50mins moving time and 1hr 30mins stop time (6hrs 20mins in total). Total distance was 14.4km with max hgt being 1045m. Total ascent was 1605m (400m more than the Snowdon Horseshoe of Crib Goch, Carnedd Ugain and Snowdon!)

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“The most amazing day of our trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Climbed Carrantoohil with our guide, Piaras, from Kerry Climbing. It was an amazing day and we learned so much from being with him. We will never forget it!

Visited September 2012
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Surrey, England
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Scary and challenging”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

To give context: we are a family of 4 with boys aged 11 and 14 who are fit and determined hikers. We normally take much less time to complete hikes than the guidebooks say. We chose not to do the Devil's Ladder after reading it was unsafe, so instead opted for the 'horseshoe' circuit recommended in Lonely Planet's Hiking in Ireland guide. It starts at the carpark near the hydroelectric road and goes via Mt Caher, then onto Mt Carrantouhil then Mt Beenkeragh and down to the carpark again thus taking in Ireland's 3 highest peaks in one day. LP describes the route in a clockwise direction but anti-clockwise is better as you conquer Carrantouil before you have to attempt the scary part of the walk, so if you get cold feet you can turn back and you have at least already ticked off the highest peak. Great views when the clouds cleared, but a tough old 8.5 mile walk according to our GPS and very slow at 8 1/2 hours which included a lot of stops. First challenge was a VERY boggy plain between the end of the hydroelectric road and the spine of Caher. Took us 30 minutes just to find a way across this. After that a straightforward slog up Caher and then along to Carrantouhil (very cold up here though). Nasty part came after that, crossing the ridge between Carrantouhil and Beenkeragh. I don't know if there was a path here - if there was, we failed to find it. So for us it meant a lot of climbing/scrambling and it felt very exposed especially as the wind was very gusty. We needed two free hands and sometimes one of us to push/pull my younger son up the biggest/steepest rocks. We found that part scary, mainly because we just weren't sure we were in the right place (we were on the left side of the ridge). Anyway we survived but it was the most hair raising part of the day. The way down is then straightforward though we got caught in rain and all slipped over a few times so had quite a few small cuts and bruises by the end. Nevertheless 3 out of 4 of us voted it the best day of the holiday because of the sense of achievement, (my younger son wasn't convinced!) and on a warm sunny day I'm sure the views would make up for anything else. My advice: take lots of hot chocolate even if going in August and leave loads of nice snacks (more than you think you'll want) and preferably more hot choc and a change of very warm dry clothes in your car for when you get back! And if it's windy, think twice about the Beenkeragh ridge unless you're quite plucky!

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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