FREEZING temperatures have landed a windfall for extreme sports enthusiasts who have been able to indulge in some ice climbing on the country's highest peak.
Ice climbers have been making the most of the big chill by climbing frozen watercourses and waterfalls on Carrauntuohil in Co Kerry. One daring group scaled the frozen ice on the mountain's north face this week at 'The Lick', using ice axes and campons to complete the 400m course.
"This year has been exceptional because we had the big freeze in January and now again," said enthusiast John Hussey.
"We would not have had as good conditions for it in over 20 years since the last big freeze in 1986."
Mountaineering expert Con Moriarty has taken part in the sport for the past 30 years. He said that while watercourses come into condition every year, it's usually not for such a prolonged period.
"Ice climbers travel abroad for these conditions all the time and we have it on our own doorsteps now.
"It has allowed us to open up new climbs that have never been attempted before."