Time flies and it is two months since James and myself had our couple of days away in Dingle so it was past time to get him out again. We decided to have a day out and Mangerton was the mountain of choice today. We have been having a lovely stretch of weather for the past while and cold dry clear days with the thermometer reaching around six or seven degrees have been followed by frosty nights so I was keen to see if anything like proper winter conditions might be forming high up. We reached the start of the route and set off up in good spirits as only sporadic clouds were about and wonderful views were also promised. It was surprising to see how little snow remained since last Sunday and it was only to be found well above the 700mtr contour. An occasionally stiff breeze was decidedly bracing but we were nice and warm as we climbed up the slope.
Even up at the punchbowl most of the snow gone
Always spectacular..The Horses Glen
Once we reached the level section that traverses around the mountain we were afforded wonderful views across the wild rugged ground that eventually reached the Black Valley and the majestic Reeks soared skyward above a temperature inversion. When we reached the Devils Punchbowl we turned left and went as far as the ridge that rises to the summit plateau of Mangerton. I had been fairly sure that this north facing bowl would have some reasonable snow but even here things had been mostly stripped back. We enjoyed a bite to eat just below the plateau and then climbed the steepish final bit. The plateau did have a more wintry look and feel and we decided to walk across the mostly frozen bog to the true summit several hundred yards away. It had been a long time since I bothered to go there but it was beautiful today and I really enjoyed the expansive views that included the entirety of both the Beara and Everagh peninsulas, The Reeks and all the way to Brandon near Dingle. We returned to the plateau rim and descended the long track back to our car. Just three hours thirty minutes had passed and the banter and chat never stopped.