(by Dave Madden, August 2010)
A weekend of scrambling on the Brandon ridges.
I was in Kerry last week enjoying a family break but managed to slip off unnoticed (well nearly) for a bit of a wander around Brandon.
View from Brandon Peak East Ridge
First up was Brandon Peak East Ridge which was a bit of a find to be honest. Miles away from the tourist hordes. Lots of nice scrambling on lovely sandstone and ridge walking with amazing scenery. I can highly recommend this as a day out.
View towards the Paternoster lakes
Two days later I trotted along the Faha ridge to Brandon enjoying very non-Brandon like conditions. Not a cloud in sight, dry under foot and only a light wind. The scenery was stunning looking down to the Paternoster lakes with a view of Mystic Ridge on the far side. One for another day perhaps.
Mystic Ridge as seen from high on the Faha ridge
I ambled along the exposed slab to see if a direct descent into the col was on. The downclimb was green, grassy, greasy, steep and manky – much more authentic Kerry conditions.
An old rusty peg with a piece of forty year old tat completed the scene. I pressed the button on my head and re-assumed hillwalker mode, moved back to the safety of the path which skirted down on the right. A bit of scrambling on the ridge above and I was soon on the summit of Brandon with the rest of the tour bus.
A lot of walking still to do
With my faded red mountain boots I was welcomed on the summit with grins like some sort of hillwalking equivalant to Ronaldo. Actually I should have been the one having a laugh – I have never seen a greater collection of flip flops (not runners), t-shirts, jeans etc. How the Kerry Mountain rescue are not busier is beyond me. To add insult to injury some fella’s dog started poking in my bag, helping himself to my Jaffa cakes. You never mess with anybody’s Jaffa cakes.