Knockastakeen and Lough Muskry B
Slieve Bloom B
Coum Mahon and Coum Tay A
Glasha Gorge C
Nire Valley Horseshoe A
Coumalochas and Coumfea B
Corbally Wood C
Knockanaffrin Ridge A
Comeragh East Wall A
Kilsheelan Woods C
Brandon Hill B
Caher and Carrauntoohil A
Croney Hill and Lough Mohra C
Glenpatrick Bridge C
Scafell Pike A
Crinkle Crags A
Rothay Loop B
Glounreagh and Attychrann Valleys C
Lyracappul and Carrigabinnia A
Kockastakeen and Galtybeg A
Mahon Valley C
Ridge of Capard boardwalk on Slieve Blooms
Some Rambler Walks 2016-17
Croughaun after Christmas
Barrow Way C Lough Curra B Long Hill and Lachtnafrankee B Kilsheelan Woods C Coumalochas Horseshoe B Slievenamon B Coumknockaun and Coumtay Horseshoe A Crotty`s Lake and Rock B Croughaun B Ahenny and Knockroe C Brandon Hill B 792 and Knockaunapeebra A Ned Curran`s and Coumtay B Vee Woods C Knockshanahullion B Milk Hill B Glenshelane C Boolas B Knockmealdown Ridge A Kilcash Woods C Slievecushabinnia-Farbréaga Horseshoe A Knockanaffrin from Moanyarha B Lough Mohra C Croagh Patrick B Keenagh Loop and Knockaffertagh B Mweelrea A Glounreagh Horseshoe A Farbréaga Comeraghs B Dolomites Walks
Descending Ben Lugmore on Mweelrea walk
Some Rambler Walks 2015-16
On the Spink
Farbréaga in Knockmealdowns B Knockshanahullion B Sturrakeen B Coumalocha and Coumfea Horseshoe A Tipperary Heritage Trail C Comeragh East Wall A Ned Curran`s C Knockanaffrin Ridge A Mt. Leinster B Kilcash Woods C Knocksheegowna B Lachtnafrankee B Mahon Valley C Farbréaga Comeraghs B Crotty`s Rock B Castlemorris Woods C Boolas B Knockaunapeebra and 792 A Galtymore from Black Road A Farbréaga and Slievecushabinnia Horseshoe A Brandon Hill B An Bearna Breac Windgap C Knocknagnav and Crohaun Horseshoe A Knockmealdown in the snow A Cummeengeera Horseshoe A Coomarkane Valley B Old Kenmare Road C Carrigavantry Reservoir C Templehill A Glenpatrick Bridge C Derrybawn Ridge and the Spink B Austrian Tirol Walks
Above Seebensee in Tirol
Some Rambler Walks 2014-15
Ballyhouras B Knockanask and Knocknasculloge B Dunhill Castle and Annestown Beach C
Borheen Lough to Lough Curra B Milk Hill B Knockanaffrin Ridge A Kilcooley Abbey C Coumshingaun and Crotty`s Rock B Coumduala-Gap-Boolas A Crotty`s Lake B Seefin B Galtymore A Glenshelane C
Lough Muskry Loop A (above) Coumtay and Knockaunapeebra A Slievenamon from the north A Raven`s Rock C Coumlara and Sgilloges B Knocknafallia and Knocknagnav B Kilcash Woods C
Knockmealdown Ridge A Lyreacappul A Long Hill and Lachtnafrankee B Copper Coast C Lough Mohra BBQ Walk C Errigal A
Slieve League A (above) Mangerton A
Some Rambler Walks 2013-2014
Araglin River Valley B
South Leinster Way C Crotty`s Rock B Glenary Valley C Slievenamon B Coumknockaun and Seefin B Knocksheegowna B Coum Éag Loop B Lachtnafrankee B Galtees Horseshoe A Farbréaga B Galtybeg and Grenane A Dunmore East C Passage East C Mount Leinster B 792 and Mahon Falls A Nire Lakes B Ned Curran`s C Glenshelane C Glenmoylan and Knockmoylan B Knocknalougha B Glenpatrick Bridge C Glencorbet Horseshoe A (above) Western Way C Diamond Hill C Ben Nevis A Buachaill Etive Mór A (above) West Highland Way B Carrauntoohil A Binnians Ridge A Slieve Donard A Some Rambler Walks 2012-2013 Lough Muskry A Coumlara B
Slievenamon B Coumshingaun B Comeragh Plateau A Glenstookaun A Comtay and Leacatsimlay B Lachtnafrankee B 792 via Mahon Falls A Knockshanhullion B Mount Brandon A (below) Carrauntoohil A Boolas-Gap Horseshoe A Lough Curra B Luggala B Barrow Way C (above) Munster Way - 5 legs C Galtymore A Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn B Snowdon A The Glyders A Lough Mohra and Knocksheegowna B Farbréaga B Knockmealdown A Knocknagnauv and Knocknafallia A Lough Anscaul B SomeRambler Walks 2011-2012
Glenpatrick Bridge C
Knockanaffrin Ridge A
Nire Horseshoe A
Comeragh East Wall A
Coum Éag B
St. Declan`s Way and Knocknagnav B
Black Head in the Burren B
Scafell Pike A (at Stockley Bridge, above)
Some Rambler Walks 2010-2011
Ned Curran`s C Kilmacoliver Hill C Knockshanahullion B Lough Mohra C The Gap and Boolas B Colligan Valley A Carrigcam C Lachtnafrankee and Long Hill B Farbréaga from Kilrossanty B Sgilloges B Coumshingaun C Portlaw Woods C Comeragh East Wall A Mahon Óg and 792 A Moanyarha B Newtown Woods C Slievenamon B Brandon Hill B Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe A Knockmealdown and Glengalla Wood A Curraheen C Nire Horseshoe A Raven`s Rock C Croney Hill C Lough Muskry B O`Loughlin`s Castle B The Gap B
Carrauntoohil A (above)
Some Rambler Walks 2009-2010
Knocknaclugga in Knockmealdowns - Grade B Borheen Lough-Galtymore A Coolishal and Portlaw Woods - both C The Gap and Boolas B Comeragh Plateau A Coum Knockaun B Boolabrien Ridge A Russellstown Wood C Milk Hill B Crotty`s Rock and Lake B Coumshingaun B Kilclooney Wood and Ashtown C Coumduala and Knockanaffrin Ridge B Carrigsheegowna and Shauneenbréaga B Slievenamon B
Glasha Gorge and Croney Hill - both C
Nire Lakes B
Long Hill and Lachtnafrankee A
Newtown Woods C
Suir Towpath C
Melleray and Knocknafallia B
Galtymore-Cush Horseshoe A
Liam Lynch Monument-Crohán B
Camaderry Ridge and Glendalough A (above)
Blackstairs and Mt.Leinster B
Walk 1 Glenpatrick Bridge Loop Grade C 9 km 2 hrs.
Start: Glenpatrick Bridge Picnic Area - S293195. Follow the Glasha stream west through Coolishal Woods to Harney`s Cross, return along the Old Military Road with good views of Knockanaffrin Ridge.
Walk 2 Coumshingaun Loop Grade B 6 km 2.5 hrs.
Start: Kilclooney Wood - S341102. Go west then south through Kilclooney Wood before exiting the trees and turning north, passing the entrance to Fáscoum corrie, finally climbing into Ireland`s largest and best known glacial hollow.
Walk 3 Cruachán Déiseach Loop Grade C 6.5 km 2 hrs.
Start: Mauma Road S278019. Cruachán means rocky hill. There are two Cruacháns in Waterford. This one is located just south of the Monavullagh Ridge and gives great views over Dungarvan Bay.
Walk 4 Carey`s Castle Loop Grade B 14 km 4 hrs.
Start: Old Bridge Clonmel S202220. Follow the East Munster Way to the Holy Cross over Clonmel. From there do an anti clockwise loop via Carey`s Castle and the valley of Glenary, returning to the cross and back to the Old Bridge.
Walk 5 Coumtay Loop Grade B 10 km 3.5 hrs.
Start: Mahon Falls car park S314078. Coumtay is the coum just west of Coum Mahon. Follow the road south for a short while before picking up a path west into Coumtay. Visit the atmospheric ruin of Ned Curran`s on the way.
Walk 6 Coumalocha and Coumfea Loop Grade B 10 km 4 hrs.
Start: Nire car park S277128. A clockwise loop through some of the Nire coums occupied by some sizeable lakes.
Walk 7 Monavullagh Ridge Linear Grade A 12 km 5 hrs.
Start: Mauma Road S278019. This linear walk was one of the highlights of the year`s walking. Follow the southern ridge of the Comeraghs (knowns as the Monavullaghs) from south to north, passing Coum Éag, Coumaraglin, Coum Knockaun, Coumalocha, Coumtay and descending Comeragh Mountain to the finish at Mahon Falls car park.
Walk 8 Raven`s Rock Loop Grade C 10 km 2.5 hrs.
Start: Harney`s Cross S261204. Follow the East Munster Way west through Coolishal Wood for about four kilometres before turning back west along other forest paths north of Burnt Rock to the vantage point of Raven`s Rock, which overlooks Clonmel.
Walk 9 Cruachán Paorach Grade B 14 km 4hrs.
Start: Kilclooney Wood S341002. The other “rocky hill” in Waterford. This one is named after the Anglo Irish Power dynasty. Cross the main road and follow a mix of woodland paths and back roads to climb this hill situated east of Coumshingaun and overlooking Clonea.
Walk 10 Coumduala Linear Grade B 11km 3 hrs.
Start: Glenpatrick Cross S283187. A walk on forest tracks along the edge of Knockanaffrin Ridge with a short hop across the open mountain to Lake Coumduala, birthplace of the Clodiagh river.
Walk 11 Slievenamon Grade B 9 km 3.5 hrs.
Start: Kilcash S315281. Tipp`s iconic mountain. Follow the path to the top. Return the same way or head south and pick up the path above Kilcash Wood back to the start.
Walk 12 Knockmealdown and Sugarloaf Loop Grade A 10 km 4.5 hrs.
Start: The Vee S030100. Climb the steep slope to Sugarloaf, then follow the county boundary wall between Waterford and Tipperary to Waterford`s highest point, Knockmealdown at 794 metres. Head south west and pick up the R 669 back to the Vee.
Walk 13 Galtymore Linear Grade A 10.5 km 4 hrs.
Start: Parking area on minor road near Skeheenarinky R893204. Follow the Black Road (old turf road) to the top of Ireland`s highest inland mountain at 919 metres. Return via Galtybeg.
Walk 14 Cnocán an Phíobaire and 792 Loop Grade A 9.5 km 4.5 hrs.
Start: Mahon Falls car park S314078. An alternative walk this to the intended plateau loop. Went up by the fence to the west of Coum Mahon, veered east at the top of the falls and climbed Cnocán an Phíobaire on the way to 792. Descended in the fog along the Mahon Óg.
Now that`s a good question! Some people say 13, some say 14. In a recent book “Corries, Caves and Coast” by geologists Matthew Parks, Robert Meehan and Sophie Prétesteille, the authors claim there are 18 or 19. There`s a big difference between 13 and 18. So which is it?
It all comes down to definition, I suppose. How do we define a coum? Many geography textbooks tell us that a coum is an armchair shaped hollow with steep back and side walls gouged into the mountainside by a glacier. It is in essence the birth place of a mountain glacier. The defining characteristics of a bona fide, fully fledged, card carrying coum are:
Vertical Cliff Walls: These are found at the back and sides and are created by plucking of the rocks by the ice as gravity encourages it to move downslope.
Marshy Hollow sometimes occupied by a lake: Nivation or snow/ice patch erosion in sitú deepens the hollow over time as the sheer weight of ice and the constant freezing and thawing shatters the underlying bedrock. Whether a lake (which the Vikings called a “tarn”) develops or not depends on factors such as nature of the bedrock, level of the water table, underground springs.
Lip Moraine: This is an impounding or enclosing ridge of boulders and clay running across the mouth of the coum. It is the “open” wall of the coum and is created by the ice moving out of its birth hollow because of gravity and the creation of more ice higher up. As it leaves its mountain home the glacier drops many imbedded boulders at the mouth. The lip moraine is the “doorway” to the coum for us hill walkers.
Huge Boulders termed Erratics and Boulder Ridges termed Moraines: Geologists accept that ice is the only natural sculpting agent which has the necessary power to transport huge boulders long distances. Thus, individual boulders or ridges of boulders, be they lateral (parallel to the valley) or recessional (across the valley), are important defining characteristics of a coum.
So what coums pass the “defining characteristics” test? Lough Mohra and Coumduala on the eastern flank of Knockanaffrin Ridge definitely do, Coumlara, the Sgilloges, Coumalochas and Coumfea in the Nire ditto. Coumiarthar (or the Boolas), Crotty`s, Coumshingaun, Fáscoum, Coummahon and Coumtay on the south eastern and southern edges of the Comeragh Plateau also pass the test, as do Coumknockaun and Couméag on the eastern flanks of the Monavullaghs. How many is that then? 14!
So why do some people argue for 18/19? Well, Coumnagcapall, Coumdwane and Coumaraglin in the upper Colligan on the western slopes of the Monavullaghs have the “handle” coum and possess long valleys that may have been occupied by ice. However, they don`t have sheer cliffs on their back or side walls nor do they have many huge boulders nor much evidence of moraines. None of them possess the classic nivation hollow or impounding lip moraine. Another interesting “possible” coum is Faill an Phriosúin to the south of Fáscoum. The cliffs here are impressive enough and there are plenty erratics strewn about. There is even a lip moraine, however small. There is little evidence of a nivation hollow however and the feature has no depth with virtually no side walls. So, occupation by ice – yes, but this is at best an “immature” coum. There wasn`t enough ice nor did it stay long enough to develop a fully fledged coum. Another interesting study is that of Coumknockaun. This is a complex cut on the eastern flank of Seefin Mountain. There are a number of significant walls and humps and hollows, so an argument could be made for two coums here, I suppose.
So, after all that, how many coums do you think there are on the Comeraghs?