AVR veteran quartet complete 'challenging' Irish run
PUBLISHED: 10:02 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:02 26 June 2019
Four veteran AVR's, Richard Hale, Paul Tolchard, Graham Newton and Dave Thomas, recently crossed the Irish Sea to tackle the highest mountain in the Irish Republic, Carrauntoohil (1040 metres), writes Dave Mutter.
Under strict instructions not to mention the 'B' word, they were each designated specific roles. Dave, being the youngest, was the carer, Paul the driver, Richard the navigator and Graham was to keep the spirits up with his John Cleese impressions. Despite the best efforts of the navigator, the four still managed to find the starting point at Cronin's Yard, where the shortest and most popular route started.
The day was overcast with some low cloud shrouding the mountain. The first couple of miles of the route was relatively flat with no hint of what was to come.
After an hour or so, they arrived at the foot of the Devils Ladder. This was an extremely steep gully filled with screed and loose rocks all the way up, and not for the feint hearted.
The mountain rescue website describes it as 'quite unstable in places' as the path has been badly eroded and required a high degree of scrambling and climbing to negotiate.
Eventually, they arrived at the top of the ladder and found a more straightforward, if steep, path for the push to the summit. Alas, the summit was still in clouds whilst they were there, so they could not see the fantastic views you would normally get. After a quick celebratory mars bar, they returned by the same route in a somewhat quicker time.
After a cup of tea at the Cronin's Yard café, they returned to their base at Killarney for their afternoon nap followed by a well earned pint of the black stuff.
For Richard, Paul and Graham, this concluded climbing the highest peaks in all four parts of the UK and now also Ireland.