Climbing Howling Ridge, Carrauntoohill

Climbing Howling Ridge

Climbing Howling Ridge

Last Wednesday I climbed Howling Ridge again. I’ve been very lucky with weather on the occasions I’ve climbed it before and this was no different. While there were some very short downpours of rain and the occasional bit of mist, we spent a lot of the day in the sun. As always we were treated to amazing vistas and absorbing climbing.

howling ridge 2

Howling Ridge is a multi pitch climbing route on Irelands highest mountain, Carrauntoohill. Its a classic Irish mountaineering day out and while its graded at v. diff and full of adventure and exposure, the real test of nerve on this climb is trusting your hands and feet on less than solid rock. A lot of the hand holds and foot holds are loose and friable and a good sense of judgement is needed.

Climbing alongside my friend and regular climbing partner Vicki, we parked at Lisleibane car park and made the considerable hike in to the Heavenly gates in good time. From there we roped up and Vicki led off on the first of the pitches.

With over 400 metres of pitches to climb and even with us both moving fast through them, time can seem to evaporate on Howling Ridge. But who’s in a hurry. With views like this and good weather, where would you rather be?


howling ridge


The pitches finish with a beautiful airy traverse on a knife-edge section of the ridge. After that if you are comfortable and experienced on steep mountainous ground, you can dispense with the ropes and harnesses and ascend to the summit. I find this final 15 minutes or so strangely relaxing, as you pump the legs for a final hard section before the summit.

Obligatory touching of the cross ticked. Two hours or so back to the car from here. More great memories banked. The epitome of why I do all this: Adventure with friends in the outdoors. I would’nt change if for the world.


Climbing Howling Ridge mountain training logo leave no trace ireland Climbing Howling Ridge