A Brave Decision Rewarded (Tuesday, 7th March ’23)

 Mangerton Mountain does not surrender its summit without the sustained exertions of its climbing guests. Our leaders, Tadhg Harrington & Willie Fitzgerald, were faced with a tricky decision before we could get our boots on. Weather forecasts (that at their extreme might have caused the great Tom Crean to ponder) were considered and their call to “go” was, in the event, the best call. It led to a wonderful day, with Killarney providing a glorious background as we climbed. I suspect it will remain a happy memory for all 43 of us who headed upwards. The early going was muddy and wet, changing to stony paths and snow-flecked heather towards the top.

Just when the inner “Are we there yet?” attempted to surface, it was time for our picnic lunch. Renewed, and facing an immediate sharp climb, we were soon back in rhythm. The summit, at 539 metres, lacks drama, in the centre of a raised bog but the satisfaction was no less. Gravity assisted and with the wind to our backs we began our descent. Carefully watching where we placed our feet, it was possible to lose sight of climbing companions but good sense prevailed and we reached the cars after a very fulfilling adventure.

“The Mills” restaurant, as ever, was welcoming and the wide menu catered to every taste, the generous desserts every bit as challenging as our earlier foot-slogging! Having enjoyed the convenience of the new Macroom by-pass for the first time, we might suggest to Cork County Council to make access to “The Mills” a priority for future escapades!

Had we stayed in our beds, a very happy outdoor adventure would have been missed.

Well done, RTAI members! Yet again, we were blessed.

                                                            Seán O Callanáin