On Sunday, a group from the Galway Hillwalking Club climbed Shannavara (Seanadh Bhéara). It took us all day despite the fact it is only 358 metres tall. To be honest, most of us could not have found the hill on a map unless it was pointed out to us. The reason we were there was because of a challenge. The Mountain Views website has a facility where one can enter your home location, and it will produce a list of the 100 closest peaks. The challenge is to climb them all. On Sunday, one of our group had climbed 99 so he was going to finish the year by climbing the last one. Last Sunday, there was a scheduled flat walk (the club alternates between flat and hill walks ever other week) and there is a very bitter friendly rivalry between flat and hill walkers – particularly over the speed of the walks. As it happened, we had to pass the flat walkers on our way out to the start of the Shannavara walk. Because it was the last Sunday of the [walking] year, there was mulled wine and mince pies waiting for returning walkers in Kelehan’s pub back in Galway. And who came back first ?
The flat walkers had been and gone an hour before we arrived back, though they had left a few pies for us. We had been so casual that we could have walked half the Maumturks in the time it took us to walk what was essentially a natural rockery. And to add insult to injury, Shanavarra used to be a flat walk route.
Though it isn’t very high, it does have an unrivaled panoramic view of every single mountain in Connemara [click here to view picture]