Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

There are three defibrillators along the route...

Not much in the way of sunshine yesterday, but we still got out for another big uphill climb without getting too wet!

When we had climbed Diamond Hill the day before, we had been talking to a local lady who said we should also climb Clough Patrick... Ireland's Holy Mountain. Nora, whose driveway we stayed in had also mentioned this hike to us so we thought we had better include it too providing the weather was good.

But the skies weren't looking great, so we figured we would drive to the parking area and have a look at what the weather was doing before making a decision on the climb.

We took the scenic route through Doolough Valley...

We woke up and I opened the blind to see some sheep sleeping beside us!

Heading towards Doolough Valley.

Scenery along the way.

10:30am and still not much traffic.

Still have to watch for obstacles on the road though!

Another Wild Atlantic Way viewpoint sign.

The view looking back the way we came.

Our first view of Crough Patrick.

If you click this photo to zoom in, you can just barely make out the chapel at the top.

Opposite the parking area is a Famine Memorial.

The skies didn't look great, but we had some lunch and decided to go for it. We were well prepared with our raincoats and umbrellas.

I didn't know much about Crough Patrick when we started doing the hike. I did know that it's 3.6 kms (2.2 miles) one way to the top with an elevation gain of 732 meters (2,400'). So this is not what you would call an "easy" hike.

In fact, I found out later that it's listed as one of the five most difficult hikes in Ireland. So I was surprised to see so many people attempting it.

Religious monument near the base, and looking up at the peak.

So it turns out this is a religious pilgrimage site. Many people climb the mountain for this reason only, including those who aren't regular hikers. We could tell by the number of people who were obviously not well prepared for this type of a hike, including the many with improper footwear.

There are three defibrillators along the route... obviously for those out of shape people who somehow thought that this is a good idea!

There are also signs warning you to to please consider turning around if you're not feeling well.

I found out later that the local mountain rescue squad had it's busiest six months ever in the first part of 2022 where they had to perform 27 different rescue missions. “There is a lack of understanding by many users of the mountain of the level of difficulty it poses."

looking down, there was actually some blue sky.

Looking up doesn't look quite so good though.

It was cool and windy, and we did have a quick rainshower.

Zoomed in on what lies ahead!

Starting the tough part of the climb.

Due to the number of people hiking, they have begun building steps into the rock face.
There are four guys working full time, and they figure they might finish this part in October.

The work crew are on their lunch break.

Work in progress.

I took a short video for you...

Made it to the top!

No, we did not perform the religious exercises.

We did enjoy the views though!


View looking inland.

Apparently there has been some kind of chapel up here since the 5th century.

Coming back down.

Yes, we were glad to have the right clothing.

Another great view coming back down.

We were an hour and forty five minutes getting to the top, we spent about twenty minutes up there, and then an hour and twenty minutes coming back down. Three and a half hours total.

We hopped in Max and drove about a half an hour north to an abbey ruins parking lot to spend the night.

Looks like more drizzle and showers today. Now this is the Irish weather we expected!


And in Canada...


  1. That does look like a tough hike! Steep and with all those rocks; those are definitely challenging. Good on you both; you didn't even have to stop and be defibrillated! I would love to ride my bike on those quiet roads. Just beautiful! The company that runs Bike Vermont (if they are still in business) used to also offer a bike tour in Ireland. I thought that would be fantastic.

    1. When we did the Carrauntoohil Mountain hike a couple of weeks ago it definitely a harder hike. This hike was really only hard on that very last uphill section with all the rock but as long as you take your time and watch your footing it wasn't too bad just tiring. Lol, no we didn't need the defibrillators!

      Some of the back roads are quiet but not all of them. There are times when we see cyclists on the road and we think how happy we are that we aren't them. There's a few times where we think you need to have a lot of nerve to be biking along and yet other times we envy them. There are quite a few companies out there that offer cycling tours of Ireland, you really should look into it, we think you would both like it.


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