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“Amazing experience even though I didn't make the top!!”
Review of Carrantoohil

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Ring of Kerry Rail Trip from Dublin
Ranked #14 of 106 things to do in Killarney
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ireland's highest peak.
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
84 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Amazing experience even though I didn't make the top!!”
Reviewed 24 August 2014

A group of us attempted Carrauntoohil yesterday to raise money for cancer research,, Unfortunately I didn't make the top..I was the only one of the group of 30 of us that didn't make it but all the same it was amazing, we were guided up O'Shea's Gully and taken down the Zig Zags.. some of our group went up the Devil's ladder and down the zig zags and others when up and down the Devil's ladder.. it took the majoriy of the group nearly 8 hours to go up and down, some alot less.
Nearly all of us were inexperienced climbers but reasonably fit, we had two guides who were amazing (they were part of our group who know the mountain very well), nearly everyone found it terrifying but were so glad that they did it! What an achievement. In saying that I was glad I turned around, if I had gone any furthur I would have had big problems, all about knowing your limits. I was terrified and really panicked!! I have an issue with Heights, I climbed Croagh Patrick a few weeks back and I had it in my head that it was going to be similar but longer.. how wrong was I.. no comparison..I wouldn't even attempt it without a guide!!
Still deserves a five star rating...it's just amazing, so proud of all our group that made it up and down the youngest of which was only 14!!

Visited August 2014
Thank Eileen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Galway, Ireland
Level Contributor
88 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great walk!”
Reviewed 13 August 2014

We climbed Carrantoohil with our friends last weekend - It was a great adventure - and the Devils Ladder was quite challenging after previous day spent on bicycles...

I really enjoyed the views - even though it was cloudy for most of the time.

I would recommend this mountain to everyone who has good condition and is not scared of heights.

I hope I will visit this place again!

Visited August 2014
Thank tymoniasty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Incredible day out”
Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

We climbed Carrantoohil on what had to have been the most beautiful day of the summer so far. The surrounding landscape was absolutely stunning and the views from the top were simply breathtaking. None of us were really that experienced when it came to hiking but because we were all relatively fit, paced ourselves and brought plenty of food and water to keep us going we managed the climb with no trouble at all. We stopped to have lunch at one of the lakes at the foot of the mountain and enjoyed a quick dip in the cool water. Completely worth the drive from west cork, can't believe we didn't do it sooner!

Thank MuireannElizabeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
61 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Climbed Carraantoohil last Friday on a soft Kerry day. Great experience but it can get a bit tricky up the route known as the Devils ladder particularly in the rain.. Need proper boots. Got to the top but unfortunately the clouds came down which meant that we had climbed into a ball of cotton wool. Got down eventually where I enjoyed a cup of Tea and a scone from the tea shop in cronin's yard. Great experience and worth the effort.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank NSHNaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
84 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Incredible Hike! Find time to do this!”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Some quick background, we are pretty avid hikers and runners who wanted to attempt this while in Ireland. Based on research online and a book about the area, we were a bit unsure of how hard it would be and which routes were best. Much of the information online is incomplete and conflicting. One common thing you may read is that Devil's Ladder is terribly unsafe and eroded away. In reality, rocks are loose and there is erosion (especially at the top), but if you leave space between people, use common sense, and take your time, it really isn't a big deal.
We were also concerned about the weather and transportation since we didn't have access to a car in Ireland.

Here are the important things we learned that we believe will help anyone considering this hike:

1. Be honest of your own ability. If you have experience using a map, GPS, and compass, and you are very fit, you can do this without a guide as long as you stick to the obvious/touristy routes. Do research on the routes ahead of time. If you have any doubts about your ability to navigate, deal with low visibility, or you are not able to climb for at least 5 hours straight, you need a guide.

2. Come prepared. It's at least 10 degrees C colder at the summit, and the ground up and down is incredibly uneven and wet even in the summer. Your phone will work, so know (just in case) how to call mountain rescue. We honestly felt fine doing the entire climb, didn't feel tired, and never felt at risk for major injury. We were very well prepared with proper hiking boots (not tennis shoes!) and layers of clothing to adapt for the elevation. It's easy to see the potential for serious injury if you are unprepared and/or not realizing that you are in a pretty harsh area.

3. Our experience with a guide was positive. We chose to have a guide since it was about the same cost as a taxi. He led us up Devil's Ladder and showed us the Heavenly Gates route down, which was absolutely incredible and better than the summit. We definitely would not and could not have done Heavenly Gates route without a guide for a few reasons. First, we knew basically where the route deviated from the main path, but it was not marked and there was no clear path at first. Second, he explained that you only go this way if the weather forecast is good. We totally understand why due to the steep and narrow nature of the path - you need good visibility. Last, the path is not well maintained or way marked with blazes or cairns, so local knowledge and experience on the trail was very helpful.

The only negative of hiring a guide is finding one that matches your fitness level and desired pace. The hike did not really tire us and we unfortunately hired a guide who required many more breaks than we would have taken if we didn't hire him. Even with that in mind, it was a good choice considering the routes we did.

On a side note, if you're looking for a good hike, our guide told us about many other hikes and summits in Ireland besides Carrantoohil. While they may not be the highest, he said they are far more scenic. If we had more time, we would have looked into this further. It's something to consider researching before you go if you're looking for a nice walk and not necessarily this mountain.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank ScottFamily814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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