Sunday, 29 October 2017

Cardiac Steps & Torc Mountain summit

On Sat 28/10 the club outing was to Killarney where we planned to ascend the famous Cardiac Steps and continue on to the summit of Torc mountain. ( 535mtr.) Leaving town at 08.30 we set off for the car park on the right past the Jarveys Rest out the Muckross road. There was no coffee stop, so we changed into our gear and started straight away. This was a bit of a shock to those who had left home without a proper breakfast. Onwards and upwards we went until we reached the Cardiac Steps.
Suffice to say they are exactly what they say on the tin. Up and up they go, no hiding place here. The only excuse to get a break is to stop and admire the beautiful views.
Towards the top there is a roped section which is welcome. After many “ we are almost there “ false alarms  the path finally leveled out. At the top of the Steps is a beehive hut. Our designated step counter gave up after 1000 Steps.

We traversed the slopes of the mountain and descended through forest to the old Kenmare Road. This is in the valley between Torc and Mangerton We turned right and followed the road to a sign post pointing the way to Torc on our right.This path meandered through rugged marshy landscape. As we got higher it got misty and foggy
. However as the path is sleepered most of the way there is no way one could get lost. Like the Cardiac Steps there are many phantom summits to this mountain. Finally towards the top the sleeper path gave way to boggy ground crossing this we reached the summit. From here on a clear day The Magillicuddy Reeks, Mangerton, The Paps and of course the Lakes can be seen. For us alas it was cold and foggy so we found some shelter and had a welcome food stop.

We then retraced our steps and made our way down. As we got lower the mist cleared and the rugged slopes were stretched out before us. Down we went and the lead group almost walked into a stag, this magnificent animal complete with antlers blended so well into the landscape that it was hard to see him. This being the rutting season these animals can be quite dangerous as they are very territorial. Only those of a certain vintage who can remember the third or second last dance in the Hi Land or Majestic would realize the danger of coming between a stag and his mate.
We continued down until we reached the old Kenmare Road we turned left and passed down by the scenic Torc Waterfall to the car park.Some had to leave for home early while some called to the Jarveys Rest for welcome refreshments. All in all it was a great walk with a lot of variety. Well worth the trip.