13 Feb 2020: On Thursday Johnny, Dad and I decided to climb Knockmealdown. It was a beautiful night with lovely clear skies and no wind. There were also occasional patches of snow on the way up. From the top, the clear skies allowed us to see for miles and miles. This was our 6th Highpoint in the 25 High Point Challenge.
08 Feb 2020: Since there is no better way to start a day than by climbing a mountain, guess what Dad and I did at 6 O’ Clock this morning? We climbed a mountain! Galtymore, to be exact! We set off in the dark, dawn breaking soon after. It never really brightened up though because of the fog. It was a nice climb up with only one short shower of hail. There was a light dusting of snow and icicles near the top, which I thought was pretty cool (No pun intended). It was pretty windy at the top, and it caused my sign to be blown away . After quickly logging it on Peakhunter, we began to make our way down. One short shower of hail later, we were back in the car on our way home.
04 Feb 2020: Spring is here! and with it, comes the challenge of climbing our 4 local mountains. We decided to check Slievenamuck and Slievereagh off the list tonight. We had a very enjoyable walk and were home shortly before 10:30PM. This is our 3rd and 4th mountain in the 25 Peak Challenge.
26 Jan 2020: Since, according to Dad and I, there’s no better way to start a day than by climbing a mountain, we decided to start our day by climbing a mountain. Knocknaskagh, to be precise.
"There’s no better way to start a day than by climbing a mountain" -Dad and I
We have planned to try and do one round of our 4 local High Points every season this year, rather than doing 4 rounds of them in December for Highpointeer Of The Year. We did Seefin to celebrate new year’s, and we did Knocknaskagh today, so we only have Slievereagh and Slievenamuck left for this season.
I decided to bring the Lightsaber that Dad helped me to make, up the mountain with me. I think a few locals must have saw us and leaked us to the press, though.
Lucky for you though, I am giving you a close up of my Lightsaber and a picture of me, a Jedi, at the peak!!
I really enjoyed our climb up Knocknaskagh, and I already can’t wait for our next climb!
01 Jan 2020: To celebrate the New Year, Dad and I decided to climb Seefin. I wore lots of light-up sticks, although the camera didn’t really capture them. We had a great night and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds.
29 Dec 2019: On Sunday we repeated our round of High Points from the 22nd December without Mullaghcleevaun to gain a final 46 points towards Highpointeer of the year. We had a great day, joined by Johnny, with good weather leaving home at 5am again for another 500 KM round trip but this time we were home for 7:30pm.
Today was the day. The day that we would complete the Leinster High Points. You see, last night Dad came up with a masterplan that would allow us to climb all five of the remaining Leinster High Points in one day. Yes, you read that right, one day. Originally there was a loose plan to spread it out over three days, but days seem to have run out, so we had to compromise, and this was the result;
We began our journey from Kildorrery to Clogrennan Hill at 6am.
I enjoyed a nice sleep in the car on the way and woke to Dad putting on his boots just as the morning light appeared. After walking through two water logged small fields, we reached the trig point. One down, four to go!
Next, we headed over to Croghan Mountain. It was an enjoyable 4km walk to the top on a forestry road, with the final climb on open mountain. It was a bit windy at the top, but nothing that we couldn’t handle! A quick log and back to the car.
Little did we know then, the horrors that were to come on Barrinisky, the next mountain on our list…
We began walking up Barrinisky via a forestry road, looking for a ruin of a house marked on Dad’s GPS Device. It seemed a bit long to get to the house via road, so we tried a more direct path through the trees, which to sum it up in two words, was “extremely unenjoyable”. It sounded a bit like this; crack, crack, snap, crack , “ I think we should turn a bit to the right ”, crackle, “Are we nearly there yet ?” with the occasional “Ow!” thrown in. But that was nothing compared to what was to come next. We eventually found the house, and had a look at our instructions that we had found on Mountain Views; “Eventually you will see the ruin of an old house at .Turn right here up a small track between the trees (be warned – don’t take the larger green road before this track as you will regret it!)”. The problem was that these instructions were wrote in 2010, and the track that we were meant to follow through the forsest or the larger green road were now nowhere to be seen. We had no choice but to take the plunge and wade our own way through the thick trees and patchs of furze bushes. With the GPS in one hand and Peakhunter in the other, Dad led the way as we squat-walked (walking while squatting.) through the wilderness
After much suffering we were able to log the High Point on Peakhunter, but the trig was still nowhere to be seen. Luckily, we also had the exact GPS coordinates of the trig!! So, squat after squat, we managed to rummage our way to the trig. But as you can see from the strava route below, It wasn’t very straightforward. And as you can see from our pictures below, we looked pretty shook up after it. Thankfully, after a few final squat-walks, we were back on the forestry road and at the car in no time at all.
After eating our lunch in the car and the long spin, we began the short steep climb across a few fields to get toCroghan Hill, our second last High Point in Leinster. We got to see views across the midlands, plenty of turf cut land as far as the eye could see. After logging it, we descended quickly, excited to finish the Leinster High Points onKnockastia, which was up next.
It was a steep and short climb up Knockastia, but we reached the trig, hence completing the Leinster High Points list. Whopee!!! That’s two provinces completed in the one year, which I think is pretty cool. We gradually made our way back down through the fields, and following a long drive we were back in Kildorrery at 8:30pm.
With over 500km driven in 12 and a half hours, 17.6km Walked and 675m gained in height as well as 17 points gained for Highpointeer of the year, I would say that we had a pretty successful highpointeering day.
22 Dec 2019: It’s kind of a tradition to mark the solstices by climbing mountains for us now, so with our goal of maximising points for the Highpointeer of the year challenge and finishing the Leinster High Points in mind, we set off up the country at 5 O’clock (in the morning, not the evening!) with our eyes set on 5 High Points; Cupidstown Hill, Kippure, Mullaghcleevaun, Lugnaquilla and finally Mount Leinster (which is surprisingly not actually the highest point of Leinster. That title belongs to Lugnaquilla). We picked up Josephine in Cahir on our way.
First up, Cupidstown Hill, which stands (not so) tall at 379m. This mountain, sorry, hill, is a very easy 5 minute dash to the summit. So easy in fact that one year I did it in crocs!!! We had to use lights as it was pitch black though!
After our short warm up, we headed over to Kippure, the highest point of Dublin, where my Aunt, Catherine, joined us for the climb. The fog was down, so there was no visibility at all. Luckily, it was a tarmac road to the top, so the fog didn’t bother us too much. I was very surprised to see a patch of snow at the top, and enjoyed jumping around in it. Unfortunately no sunrise for the winter solstice for us this year.
After we said goodbye to Catherine when we were back at the cars, we headed over to one of the High Points still remaining on The Leinster High Points list, Mullaghcleevaun. It was a fairly steep walk through heather and bog to the top. Thanks to a new app that Dad found called Irish Walking Routes, it was a breeze to find our way to the east and main summit. Although in reality, near the top the wind felt like a gale, not a breeze!!
Next up, Lugnaquilla! We set off from Glenmalure Hostel. I thought the waterfall on the way up was really cool, and I loved looking at it as we climbed beside it. After a tough climb, we arrived at the summit just before 4 O'clock and logged it on Peakhunter and took pictures. We descended down the same route, with brightness with us until we were almost down off the waterfall and arrived back at the car safely using our lights.
Last but not least, Mount Leinster!! We followed the 3km tarred road to the top, parking at The 9 Stones Car Park, and a quick selfie due to the roaring winds and driving rain. We had to run down the mountain because of the heavy rain, and changed into our spare clothes when we got down.
After 19 hours, we had gained 47 points, walked 37.76km and gained a height of 1,469m. So overall, I would say that we had a very successful day. We now only have five High Points remaining in Leinster now.
05 – 07 Dec 2019: We kicked off another great weekend on Thursday when Dad and I went to check out Cork City's New High Point, Rathmacullig. The High Point of Cork City is now Rathmacullig because the City's border has changed. So, bye bye Knocknaheeny!! Thanks Kieron Gribbon of High Point Ireland for letting us know about this change.
I went to sleep that night (it took a while) with excitement for the recording for a documentary about me by Little Road Productions planned for the next morning on Mount Eagle, my final Mainland Munster High Point. The next day, we met up with the film crew at Dingle Harbour Lodge; Sarah, the producer, who we had previously met when walking with team GFY during the summer, and the rest of her team, Sharon, Joy, Luke and finally, Cillian from Irish Droneworks joining us from Cork today to help with the filming.
The weather was great with only one short shower and we got great views of “Mount Eagle Lough” and the Dingle peninsula.
It was a bit boggy underfoot for parts, but it was nothing that we couldn’t handle! Following a short climb after passing the lake we were on the flattish top of Mount Eagle.
A couple of hundred metres later and we were at the trig pillar and logged our final Mainland Munster High Point on Peakhunter. YIPEE!!!
After a quick descent, we headed back to the Karate Club in Kildorrery for even more recording!
We had a great Karate session with plenty action for filming and by the end I had two red rosy cheeks.
A quick shower and off to bed early to prepare for the busy Saturday ahead.
With more filming planned we met up with the crew at Coderdojo the next day and everyone in the class were delighted with the cameras while we learned loads thanks to Gerry and John.
We wrapped up the day, recording on our local mountain, Kilcruig. It was a bit foggy but enjoyable never the less.
Huge thanks to Sarah and Little Road Productions for this amazing opportunity. I’m really looking forward to the next stage of the documentary early next year.
29 Nov 2019: 2019 has been another action packed Highpointeering year. From our mere local High Point, Seefin on the 23rd of January onto the Munster County Highpoints, Sunrise to Sunset Challenge for the Summer Solstice and to our most recent logged High Point, Knocknaheeny last Saturday and all the High Points in between, I think we’ve had a pretty jam-packed year. I don’t think we could fit anything more in even if we tried. Well, were going to have to, because on the 6th of December, we plan to climb Mount Eagle, our final mainland Munster High Point, and to top all that off, the climb is going to be recorded by Little Road Productions for an RTE Jr Documentary.
So what did we set off to achieve in 2019?
During the year we have made numerous trips to Kerry and West Cork, gradually bagging the remaining High Points on the Munster High Points list. Out of the four Province High Point lists, Munster has the most Island High Points, 13 to be exact. Some of these are inaccessible, due to ownership, protection and in some extreme cases, wild vegetation. This, along with the fact that they would add extra expense and time; we decided to lock our sights on the mainland High Points of Munster instead. As we said above, Mount Eagle will complete our list.
We had a great adventure on the Munster County Highpoints, Sunrise to Sunset Challenge, read the details in my blog.
We recently reached our 25th unique High Point on Slievereagh on the 1st of November and are currently on 27, but will most likely go over 30 by the end of the year.
As it stands, we are at 27,659m, so have almost trebled the 10,000m target. Wohoo!
Each Munster High Point earns us points for the Highpointeer Of The Year competition, but to maximize on points, we made sure we had four visits to Galtymore and Knockmealdown, which we just happened to have done throughout the year anyway and 4 visits to our local High Points Seefin, Slievereagh, Knocknaskagh and Slievenamuck which we managed between the 1st and 22nd of November. At the moment, I have 304 points.
We started off the year with a target in mind of raising €2000 for Barretstown, and were recently delighted when Barretstown told us that we had actually managed to reach a staggering €3,572.20, obliterating our original target. A huge thanks to everybody for donating throughout the year, and for anyone that still wants to donate, click here and enter “Dillon’s Adventures” as reason for giving.
Apart from High Points we have done lots of other walks and hikes including The Rhododendron Walking Festival, Galtee and Knockmealdown crossing, The Long Way Round, and many trips to our local favourite, Kilcruig to name just a few.
For further information on any of the above, browse through my blog and let’s see what the rest of the year holds for us, we have a bit of an idea for the Winter Solstice and have just discovered that we only have 6 High Points remaining of the Leinster High Points list, not hinting at anything there, but watch this space!