Friday, 11 April 2014

Doughill Mountain, climb a well-defined track for beautiful summit views over West Cork / Kerry

The start-point for the Doughill mountain climb is at the top of this beautiful pass

  • Start-point 20km inland from Bantry on Ballingeary road R584
  • Approx. 72 km / 45 miles and just over 1 hour's drive west of Cork City
  • Good access, with parking available, and no long run-in before climb begins
  • Well-defined track leads almost to the summit, with final gentle climb
  • Magnificent summit views, from Cork City (east) to Kerry mountains (west)
  • Quite a steep climb in places, good fitness needed

Doughill / Diuchoill Mountain can be reached by road from either the Bantry or Ballingeary/Cork direction, and lies just to the west of the Pass of Keimeneigh road. It's very reachable by bike too from either the Bantry or Macroom areas.

The start-point is just to the south of the summit of the Pass of Keimeneigh (between Bantry and Ballingeary). Coming from the Ballingeary direction, as you descend south from the highest point of the Pass, you'll see a lane turning off to the left. There's parking on the left at the junction for one car, or you can drive on about 100 metres and there's room for several more cars on the left.

From the lane's junction with the main road, just walk down the lane a very small way (20m) and you'll see a three-bar gate on your left. Climbing over this gate (or if you open it, please close it!), you strike up the very steep track until it takes a sharp turn top the left. At this point, look over to your right to a stone wall boundary with some wire fencing. Find a dry place to cross the slightly boggy ground and stream towards this wall, and carefully cross the wall and fence. Now just climb straight up the hill, and you come upon a track, and turn left up this track and keep following it. Look out for unusual wild flowers at the side of the track, as this wild hill land is untroubled by fertilisers whichg damage plant life.

In its higher sections, the track becomes steep again, and finally ends at a wire fence. Cross the fence, and walk on keeping the steep ground to your left. As you round the corner to the right, climb up the first gently sloping sheep track you see on your right, and 10 minutes climbing brings you to the summit, and beautiful views all over West Cork and into Kerry. The summit is at 471m, just under 1600 feet in old money. Because the mountain stands alone, you have a complete panoramic view all around, so choose a day with clear weather and good visibility to climb Diuchoill.

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