Wet and windy Reeks make for tough going

Anil Chalisey leads the Ultimate pilgrims over a pass in the Reeks in the battle against the sodden and windy conditions on Saturday
Anil Chalisey leads the Ultimate pilgrims over a pass in the Reeks in the battle against the sodden and windy conditions on Saturday

Dónal Nolan

The challenge of climbing the country's 14 highest contiguous peaks in one go was made inordinately more challenging on Saturday as the wet and the wind blanketed the Reeks for the first year of Killarney's Ultimate High Peaks Challenge.

But it did not deter the 130 plus brave souls who presented at Cronin's Yard for the gargantuan endurance fest. It just forced them to dig in even harder.

For safety reasons, the intended 25km route had to be curtailed somewhat, seeing climbers descending before Carrauntoohil.

They still got to savour everything that 11 of the peaks could throw at them.

"The weather really went against us on the day but that's the way it goes," Reeks expert Piaras Kelly of organising firm Kerryclimbing.ie told The Kerryman.

"People got a very different experience from what they were expecting but that presented its own challenge too and everyone rose to it. It made for even better craic by the time we'd all dried off over a few pints!"

Piaras conceived the Peaks Challenge to give all kinds of mountain goers - from dedicated hikers to adventure runners - the chance to come together as one in a single event.

"The route was also chosen so that people could taste the far side of the Gap, beginning as it did up Tomies, Purple Mountain and down by Glas Lough to the head of the Gap."

Not an injury was sustained and Piaras and the team are already setting their sights on next year's event.

Kerryman

News