Wednesday 13 December 2017

Irish Mountain Magic: 12 photos inspiring us to reach new heights

Mountains of Ireland

The first rays of dawn warm the summits of Carrauntoohil and Beenkeragh, reflected in the still waters of Lough Gouragh, Co. Kerry. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
The first rays of dawn warm the summits of Carrauntoohil and Beenkeragh, reflected in the still waters of Lough Gouragh, Co. Kerry. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Dawn panorama from Stumpa Duloigh, looking towards the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
The Glencullin river flowing into Doolough on a winter afternoon, Co. Mayo. From 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Gareth McCormack pictured during a shoot in the Maumturks. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Winter sunset across the Nephin Beg Mountains, taken from the summit of Slieve Carr, Co Mayo. From 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Mountain and trail runner Juju Jay near Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. From 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016).
Winter sunrise over Brandon Peak, Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
A climber high on Howling Ridge on the north-east face of Carrauntoohil, Co. Kerry. From 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Ben Creggan reflected at the end of Doo Lough, with the Sheeffry Hills to the left and Mweelrea to the right. From 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Mount Errigal reflected in Dunlewy Lough, Co. Donegal. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
The sun sets over Luggala Mountain, Co Wicklow. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Geoff Thomas near the crux of 'Classical Revival', high above Lough Belshade in the Bluestack Mountains. Photo: Gareth McCormack, from 'The Mountains of Ireland' (Collins Press)

Online Editors

A collection of images nearly two decades in the making shows the breathtaking beauty of Ireland's mountains.

'The Mountains of Ireland' (Collins Press, RRP€29.99) was shot over a period of almost 20 years by photographer Gareth McCormack.

‘"I clocked up more than 50,000 metres of vertical ascent and descent and several thousand kilometres of walking," he explains.

The results are all the more remarkable given that McCormack was forced to delay his project after developing psoriatic arthritis in his knees.

He persisted with the challenge, however, hauling his gear up and down some of the country's wildest summits in the quest for mountain magic.

Already published in world-class outlets including National Geographic, Lonely Planet and Time, McCormack is today based in Sligo.

Gareth McCormack pictured during a shoot in the Maumturks. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)
Gareth McCormack pictured during a shoot in the Maumturks. Taken from 'The Mountains of Ireland' by Gareth McCormack (The Collins Press, 2016)

More recently he worked on the documentaries Secrets of the Irish Landscape (RTÉ) and 4000-Year-Old Cold Case: The Body in the Bog (BBC4/PBS).

Photos in 'The mountains of Ireland' range from barefooted pilgrims on Croagh Patrick to climbers, wildlife rangers and hill farmers.

On some shoots, he went so far as to bivouac on summits to catch the best light, while one image - of a climber on Lough Belshade - was shot while McCormack hung from an abseil rope 80 metres above the ground.

See collinspress.ie and garethmccormack.com for more.

Read more:

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Travel Insider Newsletter

Get the best travel tips, deals and insights straight to your inbox.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life