Ascent of Carrauntoohil on 2015-09-10

Climber: Michael Vecchiarelli

Date:Thursday, September 10, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:3409 ft / 1039 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started the day in Kilarney at our hotel, where we enjoyed a hearty complimentary breakfast. From there it was a 25 minute drive to Cronin's Yard.

Cronin's Yard has a campground (with permission), toilets, showers, a tea room with snacks/drinks, and ample parking. The lady working the counter said that she had seen as many as 85 cars parked in the yard but today there were maybe 6. Parking is 2 Euro and is on the honor system. Once we parked, paid, and scoped the place out, we were on our way.

We decided on the Devil's Ladder trail. The trail starts out easy for about 2 or so miles, crisscrossing the creek and passing many sheep (and sheep pellets everywhere). The views are great and the road is maintained in some spots. There are even a few bridges to cross the creek. The trail markers are there in the beginning but quickly go away (luckily, they are not really needed).

We reached the Devils ladder and the wind picked up. I stashed my camera at this point as I was going to need my hands to get up. The Devils ladder is a tough stretch: very rocky, wet, steep, and prone to give out from under you at times. I was glad to be up it. The views while ascending were spectacular. There are 2 lakes that become very visible with neighboring mountains in the background, farms in the beyond and sheep . . . Well sheep are everywhere.

After the devil's ladder it was about a mile ascent to the summit. This stretch was very windy and cloudy. We could not see more then 5 meters in front of us but the cairns are easy enough to spot and before you know it you are at the summit. There were no views at the top but the huge metal cross is very cool. There is also a rock enclosure to give you a break from the wind and enjoy lunch. There we were, with every person on the island now below us. We enjoyed it for just a couple of minutes, took some photos, ate, and left. It was too cold and windy to linger, and there were no views.

We made it down pretty fast, only taking our time at the devil's ladder for safety reasons. We saw only a few people on the trail. At Cronin's Yard I purchased a 7-Up and a piece of homemade fruitcake made with Irish Whiskey. Yummy! I gave some too the stray cat near my car which it seemed to enjoy. Then we were back off to Kilarney.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The Ascent up Devil's Ladder. At the bottom right of the photo, you can see me, for scale (2015-09-10). Photo by Michael Vecchiarelli.
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Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2917 ft / 889 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.2 mi / 13.2 km
    Route:Devil's Ladder
    Trailhead:Cronin's Yard  492 ft / 149 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes

Other Photos

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Crossing the summit. (2015-09-10). Photo by Michael Vecchiarelli.
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