Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Night climb Up The West Pap

On Saturday 23 June the annual Club nighttime climb took place. Our destination was the West Pap.

As the last of the night owls were heading to their beds we left town at 01.00 heading for Clonkeen.
We passed through the sleeping towns and villages eventually arriving at the parking spot at the start of the climb.
Initially, there was great interest in the climb, but people dropped out one by one, until there were only four left all male. We were amply rewarded for our efforts.
At the car park, we geared up and fitted our head torches.
The night was balmy as we made our way upwards. As we gained altitude the twinkling lights of Killarney came into view. We proceeded at a steady pace as conditions underfoot were excellent and the route was gradual.
Time on our side we decided to rest up in the lee of a rocky outcrop and had some refreshments.We didn’t want to summit too early.
We had the mountain to ourselves save for a few startled sheep, whose eyes glowed in our headlights.
The lights of different towns and villages sparkled down below us. We tried to identify them. The brooding bulk of Crohane was to our left as well as the Reeks.
The eastern sky was an artists palette of subtle orange, pinks, blues and reds..
Refreshed we continued up the final climb to the summit. The darkness had abated and the dawn twilight had made our torches obsolete.
We reached the trig point and the cairn.  We waited...............then at precisely 05.17 at 48 degrees north east the miracle that has happened for thousands of years on this day at this time...happened right before our eyes. The fiery rim of the sun emerged slowly from the eastern horizon. The sky was a kaleidoscope of colour.
It’s easy to see how our ancestors worshipped the sun.... Whatever one believes in it’s hard not to imagine there is some form of higher Power or Energy keeping this whole universe together. Despite mans best efforts to destroy it.
Photos taken, and well and truly in awe of what we had witnessed, we made our way down.
Behind us the sun had climbed higher and was now a fiery ball in the sky. Casting shadows on Crohane and spreading it’s warming glow westwards.
Reaching the car we changed. The midge was there to greet us so we didn’t dally.
We made our way to O Riordan's Kanturk where we had a well-deserved breakfast.
A fantastic night out without the hangover.

“ In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks “........ John Muir

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