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Guided ascents of Ireland’s highest mountain

Corrán Tuathail ( Carrauntoohil ) provides the finest mountain walking, scrambling and climbing  in Ireland, high, rugged outings on a spectacular peak flanked by deep and steep corries and airy ridges. 

Our interaction with this sacred place is shared with individuals and small groups only.

We offer regular guided ascents by various routes on Ireland’s highest peak throughout the year. These ascents provide a rare insight into the rich nature and culture of of the region and offer an intimate experience over walking, scrambling or climbing routes.


Small intimate groups with guide, Con Moriarty or associates

- Every Saturday and Wednesday and privately at any time, including regular Full Moon and Dawn ascents. Exhilarating hiking and climbing amidst our wildest and loftiest nature – with a rare insight into the region’s rich history and archaeology, place names, folklore and myth.

All types of Walking, Scrambling and Climbing routes available on Corrán Tuathail ( Carrauntoohil ) and surrounds….

Classic options include:

Walking/Easy Scrambling:

Corrán Tuathail; a traverse from An Com Cailí/The Hag’s Glen via a selection of routes, usually tasking in the spectacular hanging valleys around Loch Choimín Uachtarach, Ireland highest lake. A range of ascent and descent routes present to suit most abilities – though nothing one would call easy! Note worthy among  them, ascending via Coimín Úachtarach and Brother O’Sheas’ Gully to the Binn Chaorach Ridge and summit before descending via the old mass track, Bothar na Gíge.

Com Lothair Horseshoe (aka. Coomloughra);  regarded by many as the finest mountain circuit of it’s kind in the land, the magnificent valley known as Com Lothair (the valley of the western lakes) is located at the north western corner of the Reeks. It’s circumnavigation takes hikers  over the three highest peaks in Ireland; Cathair na Féinne (1001m), Corrán Tuathail ( Carrauntoohil ) (1039m) and Binn Chaorach (1010m). The outing is a classic ridge mountain walk and easy scrambling high over our deepest corries with views throughout the south west.

Ridge of the Reeks; the classic east-west traverse of the main ridge of the McGillycuddy Reeks is one of Ireland’s great mountain expeditions, this outing takes in several of our highest peaks. A challenging day along the tops, sometimes negotiating exposed edges, on a fine day, the views are without equal; mountain, plain and ocean.  In winter, the traverse provides the finest piece of mountaineering of it’s kind in Ireland.

(One of our favourite things to do is to tie in this traverse with one of the classic ridge climbs on Corrán Tuathail; Howling RidgePipet Ridge or Primroses). 

The Hag’s Tooth and other Classic Scrambles including; An Fiacail Mhór (The Hag’s Tooth), Stumpa an t-Saimh and the East Ridge of Binn Chaorach, The North East Face of Cathair na Féinne, The North East Ridge of Cnoc an Chuillinn, The Big Gun and the rocks of remote corrie of Loch gCuach, are just some of our favourite parts of the Reeks where easy movement of hand and foot leads quickly to high exposure.  

Share a rope with Con and link up a series of favourite scrambles on the shattered sandstone rocks of the Reeks.

Howling Ridge and other Classic Climbs; including notable ridges on Corrán Tuathail in the company of their first ascentionist; The North East Ridge (Primroses), Howling RidgePipit Ridge.


Hallmarks of walking and climbing with us:

• Small, intimate occasions (no large groups!)
• A unique insight into the nature and culture of Ireland’s wildest and most spectacular landscapes
• Quiet, off-the-beaten track routes
• Dedicated professional attention to safety
• An experience for body and soul that’s sure to resonate long after
• No payment asked for – unless thoroughly satisfied!

Three Classic Routes of Corrán Tuathail ( Carrauntoohil )

- from the north east, Com Caill (Hag’s Glen)

Howling Ridge

“In February 1987, I led a climb up snow and ice covered slabs and short towers that tapered as it went into a defined ridge paralleling Collins’ Gully on the East Face of Corrán Tuathail. It was virgin territory for climbers and the splendid winter route that emerged, I named Howling Ridge.

On that first ascent which I shared with a teenager named John Cronin (from Cronin’s Yard ), I climbed the most aesthetic line in front of me, climbing a series of steps and prows straight-on that involved a handful short but technical moves, some overhanging before reaching An Túr (the tower) and An Mhéar (the finger) pitches near the top.

I had no idea coming off the hill that day that Howling Ridge would gain the popularity it has. A weakness or otherwise of the climb is of course that many of the more difficult steps encountered can be avoided. These are usually turned on the right-hand (northern) side, options clearly taken by the majority of people undertaking the climb.

In my mind, Howling Ridge is still a fabulous but rather serious outing under winter snow and ice. Without, it is an easy, exposed rock climb over shattered rocks and short walls – with the overhanging Prow providing a short VS pitch (4b or so) before the lovely V. Diff pinnacles above. Avoiding these little gems, especially low down on the route is the choice taken by the many people for whom ‘ doin’ Howlin’ sems to be an important tick off their list. On my guided ascents, the integrity of the original climb is honoured.”


About your guide – Con Moriarty

2013 marks the 34th year of guiding on Corrán Tuathail and the Reeks for Con Moriarty. Having grown up in the nearby Gap of Dunloe, childhood excursions on these hills began with maternal granduncles who shepherded on the Reeks from their home at Cúil Rua.  Spell bound from the earliest acquaintance,  intense exploration followed and at the age of 16, Con followed in the footsteps of his father’s father, Con Moriarty (1875-1947) a guide for over forty years and began sharing his passion for these heights with individuals and very small groups.

The natural and cultural history of these mountains and of the surrounding land and seascapes has been the subject of lifelong study, research and collection for Con Moriarty that includes particular passions for local folklore, history and place-names. 

This inspiration, experience and wealth of knowledge is what lies at the heart of our invitation for you to to walk, scramble or climb on the peaks of the McGillycuddy Reeks with Con Moriarty!

As a mountaineer, Con Moriarty has travelled and climbed extensively throughout most of the world’s great ranges. However, he has never strayed too far from his spiritual home – the mountains of the Reeks and Gap of Dunloe. His climbing here has included the opening of several new routes on Corrán Tuathail, including many classic scrambles, rock and winter snow and ice climbs (among them, first ascents of the ridges known as; Pipet RidgeHowling Ridge, The North East Ridge (Primroses) and more. In addition, he has participated in and led some of the region’s – and Ireland’s most notable search and rescue missions as well as conceptualising and directing a range of national and international adventure events in the region.

Practical Information

Gear Required

Con Moriarty can fully kit out a limited number of participants with clothing and footwear for any ascent. Clothing, Equipment and Footwear for mountaineering on the McGillycuddy Reeks vary with climatic conditions on the mountains. On a warm summer’s day, light hiking gear will suffice while in full blown winter conditions, serious winterised kit will be required (similar to what one would wear skiing). The following is a guide for consideration:

Optional extra kit

Trivia or not….

The name Corrán Tuathail and it’s many mis-representations!

More than a dozen different attempts have been made to bastardise the name of this great peak; phonetic/anglicised attempts on the gaelic pronouncement that include several used in guides, road-signs and maps.

These bizarre deviations used over the years include an assortment used, seemingly ad-lib by statutory/official agencies, among them; Bórd Failte/Fáilte IrelandOrdnance Survey of Ireland and Kerry County Council that have over the past fifty years of so, most commonly offered; Carrauntoohil, Carrauntoohill, Carrauntuohill, Carntual, Carrauntuel and Carrauntual.

A selection of other versions of the name used over the years include…(their publications / references in brackets);

- (F.H.A. Aalen, K. Whelan & M. Stout. Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape – 1997)
- (Robery Lloyd Praeger. The Way That I Went – 1937)
Carran Tuohill
- (H.C. Hart/W.P. Haskett Smith. Climbing in the British Isles – 1895)
- (OPW. Archaeological Survey – 1894)
- (M.F. Cusack. The History of the Kingdom of Kerry – 1871)
Garran Tual
- (Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Ireland – 1837?)
- (William Wordsworth. Letter to family – 1829)
- (Isaac Weld. Illustrations of the Scenery of Killarney -1800)

“Quite simply, there is no better way to experience the Reeks than with Con Moriarty”

- Sir Chris Bonington

Read more testimonials >>

Reeks Ridge

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