The UK's top walking publication - Trail Magazine - came to Kerry last Autumn to write about our 14 munro's. Travel writer Phoebe Smith and Photographer Neil S. Price headed out with Pat Falvey to get accustomed with the top three: Carrauntoohil, Beenkeragh and Caher.
Here is a sample of the article:
Tangerine light casts a spell over the Irish mountains. Bathed in the glow of a fiery dawn the carpet of grass glows almost phosphorescent green, the dark grit of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks frothing above it like sparkling dark soda. The reassuring muffled trickle of the Gaddagh River provides the perfect soundtrack to this flawless mountainscape, seemingly readjusting its volume as the colours deepen in the intensifying sunlight. All at once the stillness is shattered as the distant cry of a bird echoes discordantly down the valley, reverberating off the flanks of Carrauntoohil and Beenkeragh, ringing down Hag’s Glen and finally resonating in Cronin’s Yard – a farm run by five generations of the same family – which marks the start of many an ascent of this saw-toothed mountain ridge. Almost immediately a door creaks open and the farmer emerges, sending the livestock into an excited frenzy, breaking the sublime tranquillity with an escalating cacophony.
Unperturbed by this abrupt transformation is Pat Falvey – adventurer, high-altitude mountaineer, entrepreneur and legend – who readjusts his rucksack straps and walking pole as naturally and effortlessly as a man tying his shoelaces. his appearance and demeanour is that of a confident but otherwise ordinary hill-walker, but his mountain Cv reads like an unachievable wish list: first Irish man to summit everest from both the nepalese and tibetan sides, only person in the world to have completed the seven summits twice; leader of the first ever Irish expedition to the south Pole; member of kerry mountain rescue team for nine years; and – perhaps one of his proudest achievements – the guide who led Ireland’s President mary mcaleese to the top of the country’s highest peak – Carrauntoohil – our destination for the day. though Pat recently returned from a training trip to Nepal, being back at the foot of the reeks has already bewitched him. “You know, I travel for over seven months of the year and I still get excited about coming home to these hills,” he says as he pauses to take a contemplative inhalation of fresh Irish air, a wistful look in his eyes. “I’ve climbed Carrauntoohil over 2,000 times but never get tired of it", he says as he leads the way over the first of two bridges....
The May edition of Trail magazine which is full of outdoor news, articles and gear reviews for walkers and trekkers is now available in all good newsagents or visit their website 'Live for the outdoors'