Glenlosh Valley

A short video of the hike around Glenlosh Valley today.
Saturday was a perfect day for hiking in Connemara – blue skies and a frosting of snow and ice on the tops of the mountains. Today – not so much. A band of heavy rain and strong winds accompanied our group of hikers most of the day. There was still some snow drifts, but it was mostly wet, and we were all drenched long before the walk was over. Still, no-one makes us do it. It was a busy day in Connemara – we spotted another small group while up on the hills, and when we had met up at Keane’s pub at Maam Bridge at 9.15 this morning, a group from the Maamturk walking club were already piling onto a bus there (there is a bit of overlap of members between the clubs, so there were some familiar faces).
Despite the weather conditions, it isn’t the most unpleasant time I’ve covered some of this trail. Part of the Glenlosh Valley circuit also forms the last part of the Maamturk Challenge – a full hike across the entire Maamturk mountain range followed by an ascent and descent of the Leenane mountains. I did the Challenge a decade ago – once. The bit that overlaps includes Leenane Hill but also the Coll of Despondency and Heartbreak Ridge. On the Challenge, the Coll comes near the end (when you are already really tired), and you have to lose all your hard-gained height only to climb it again on the ridge.
The day ended better than it began – the rain only began to teem down in earnest when we were nearly back at the cars at the end. Unfortunately, on the way out to the starting point in the morning, we encountered a motorist who had just hit a deer that had jumped out in front of him. The car was immobilized, the deer was killed but the driver was uninjured. Later, we saw another deer trying to ford the Glenlosh River as we drove to the starting point of the hike. The original plan for the hike was to end it by fording the stream, but looking at how difficult it was for the deer, it didn’t fill us with much enthusiasm to do the same (we opted for a bridge in the end).

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