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“Not for the faint hearted” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carrantoohil

Dunloe, Killarney, Ireland
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Ranked #9 of 110 things to do in Killarney
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Running
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ireland's highest peak.
Cork, Ireland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Not for the faint hearted”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Great sceinic climb, but this is tough... I was told it would be a bit tougher than a hill walk.... trust me it's alot tougher.... I would think I'm reasonably fit.... and I found this hard... we were lucky we climbed on a very clear day so we got to enjoy fab scenery ..... but it was a little warm.....and you will definitely need hiking boots, the ground is uneven ...

Visited August 2013
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116 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A tourist climb recommendation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

Be honest with your skills and fitness level and pair this with the weather.

For a quick semi safe climb definitely go through Cronin's yard and the devil's staircase. Cronin's is a place where you can park safely, maybe follow a few hikers, and get a bite afterwards. Awesome! Croninsyard.com

I used a few resources to figure out how to get there and my 14 year old daughter and I got dropped off early. No one was there and the visibility and weather decreased precipitously. There is not a marked trail but it is kind of obvious.

Bring a GPS and rain gear!! I strongly recommend this. There are cairns on the ridge traverse but visibility is poor. Not sure about this peak but there are tons of stories of getting disoriented in mountaineering.

It took us a little over 5 hours with the daughter wanting to take breaks. It is a worthy mountain. We had to work this into a half day of a family vacation. Not ideal but we made it work. I am sure on a clear day it is spectacular.

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Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“One of the best climbs in Ireland!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

We climbed Carrauntoohil on a beautiful sunny day via the Coomloughra Horseshoe route. This isn't the most popular route but there is a newly built car park along the road heading down to Lough Acoose and Glencar. The 'concrete' road is very steep and is quite exhausting! Be aware that there are a lot of sheep along this path, I don't mind them but at times it was a bit close for comfort. Many of the sheep were rams with very big horns!

Once at the Coomloughra lake, its easy to see the path that you will walk along. There is a big stretch of bog to cross in order to get up to Caher, the first mountain on this route. Thankfully it was dry but in wet weather I could imagine wellies being needed! The ascent up Caher is rocky and challenging, so take time and watch your footing. The path along Caher is quite precarious at times, there are many views of steep, deadly drops!

Once at Carrauntoohil, the view was spectacular! Its also satisfying to reach the top knowing its the highest mountain in Ireland. We didn't continue the route along the Beenkeragh Ridge. We saw many people attempting it. Although there is a path, climbers have to walk along the rock edges which looked very hairy indeed, so we went back down the way we came.

Climb Carrauntoohil if you are in the region, its definitely worth it!

Visited June 2014
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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Excellent hike - absolute stunning views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

We were very lucky that we had amazing weather - the longest day of the year - and we surprised that the top was absolutely packed. There were lots of groups doing fund raising activities. We took the devil's ladder up and did the zig zags down. We were in a very large group so it took much longer than we would have liked - it should have taken us about 5 - 5/12 hours but we were well over 7 hours with all the stops due to the different abilities in the group.

I would highly recommend this hike. We only wore hiking runners but would have preferred proper hiking boots as the terrain is very rocky. Take lots of water and snacks and go at a pace that is comfortable for you for a long day. In good weather, this is fun and rewarding. In poor weather, I would imagine it might be a bit of a disappointment.

To take the devil's ladder route, I would suggest you be comfortable with light scrambling. Near the top the rocks are a bit loose so you need to be careful about falling rocks.

This is a fantastic way to see so much scenery - all from Ireland's highest peak.

Visited June 2014
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Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Climb it for the challenge, not the view”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

The reason I point out not to climb it expecting a magnificent view is because no matter what the weather is like at the foot you can never be guaranteed of a clear view from the top. I have climbed the mountain multiple times now but only once did I have a clear view and what a spectacular view it is. I just would not recommend climbing it for the sake of the view or you could be leaving rather disappointed rather than proud of yourself for the accomplishment you just achieved in climbing Ireland's highest peak.

Any time I climbed it I started from Cronin's yard (no obligation to pay for parking but donations are accepted, you choose what you want to give). The general rule I always use is an hour to the foot of the mountain, an hour up the ladder and an hour for the final ascent. Obviously you can cut down on these times drastically if it is a dry, clear day but the majority of the time it is better to be safe than sorry when taking on a climb of this magnitude and the devil's ladder can be deceptively treacherous if it has been raining heavily prior to your climb. It is also worth noting it can often take longer to come down the ladder than go up it due to the steep slope and loose footing. There are piles of stones to guide you on the final ascent so look out for these carefully particularly in poor visibility because you can find yourself in trouble very quickly otherwise.

People regularly climb the mountain in nothing but a small t-shirt, shorts and runners but if it was your first climb it would be advisable to bring some clothing and footwear more suitable to hiking along with water and something to eat, a banana or a sandwich at the top is a delicacy like no other.

Visited June 2014
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