Ascent of Galtymore Mountain on 2015-03-29

Climber: Jason Vogler

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, March 29, 2015
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Galtymore Mountain
    Elevation:2800 ft / 853 m

Ascent Trip Report

As I was driving back from doing Caruntohil I decided to stop and give Galtymore a try which is off the M8.
Suprisingly the winds were stronger today than they were over on Carutohil. The drive from Killarney was pretty straight forward though a little unnerving in spots at least until I hit the road construction that took me miles out of my way. This cost me at least 45 minutes not to mention made my directions useless from the direction that I was coming.

As I finally got close to the mountain I saw a sign for the Gltymore trail and followed it as my savior only to find out after the fact that this was one of two and not the better trail! The trail I was on followed left from a private property farm that had some number of sheep. It was clear but muddy bogged trail similar to Carountohil. After a mile or so however the trail started to decend and I knew something was wrong. I had to make a command decision and started cutting across but directly up the mountain. This is when the full strength of the winds hit me. I have never been in such strong sustained winds before in my life. They were well in excess of 100KPH. As I made my way up the side there was a discernable trail but more of a sheep track than anything else.

As I cleared the first ridge the trail disappered. The winds were so strong that if I lost my balance i would be forced 10 to 20 feet in the wind direction before I could get my balance again. I picked a route that would take me up the next ridge that I thought initally was the summit but as the clouds cleared I could now see the summit behind the that ridge. It was very strange landscape with no trail. There were deep ruts that were like gully's as I crossed bog after bog.

As I cleared the 2nd ridge with a direct route the the summit disaster happend. I monster storm cloud hit the mountain. It was greay out conditions and my visibility dropped to almost nothing. On top of that it began raining and it was very painful. The winds were so strong I could not see. This was dangerous and I needed to get the hell out of there and made the quick decision to turn back. After 20 minutes of this I made it the 2nd ridge line and the weather immediatly changed to my favour but looking back the summit was completly socked in and storming. There would be no summit today. I was flying down the hill and I mean that literally as I could lean out above my feet and the wind held me up to allow me to take a direct steep path down the hill. It was a very odd experiance. I made the 1st ridge and had about 1.5 miles left to get to my car. the winds dropped once I was back to the origianl trail and the temp was very nice but it was nothing but storm clouds on the mountains and more even darker clouds were moving in from the west. I could smell the rain before I felt it but I had to start jogging as the rain began to fall only a quarter mile from my car. by the time I sat inside it was a full scale downpour and I could only imagine how hideous that decent would have been in this weather.

I drove down to the main road and started to head back to the access to the M8 when several miles from where I had gone up I found the trail head that I had actually wanted. I wonder if I would have been able to have summitted if I had taken that trail as the winds would not have been as strong on that side of the mountain. Oh well the one that got away...who knows if I will ever get back to that one...

Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Cold, Extremely Windy, Low Clouds

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