July 29, 2013

The Reek - 2013 Climb

The Reek Just Before Sunrise 2013 TMP_2512

These past few years, my son and I have taken to climbing Croagh Patrick on 'Reek Sunday'. To add some spice to this very Irish traditional event, we decided this year to climb it at night. We set off from the car park at 2am when most of ye were fast asleep in your beds. Surprisingly, the numbers seem to have fallen off doing the night-climb despite the fact that this year the weather was perfect, moon-lite, balmy and no wind. There was just a scattering of individuals beginning the ascent with us. This made a very welcome change from the madness that usually takes place during the day when they climb in their thousands, accidents and discomfort as much the result of numbers as the terrain. We progressed at a comfortable easy pace reaching the top just after 4am. With sunrise not due until about 5.45am, we sat and admired the beauty of the surrounding landscape from this great height, chatted to the few that gathered about the church, had a bite to eat and rested. Must say though, it got a bit chilly after an hour up there and we eventually decided to 'greet' the sunrise on the way down. The above shot was taken just before the sun came up (5.30am) when it was still quite dark. This time around, I took very few photos even though the views were spectacular. I felt I couldn't do justice to the atmosphere and light so was content to just look and admire. At this stage I guess I'm more interested in the human aspect of this tradition. I'm fascinated by the diversity of reasons that people have for 'doing The Reek' and more interested in recording this with images. This time round though, I saw very little that was new to me so the camera stayed in the bag most of the time. My son is already thinking about next year's climb ... maybe we'll go bare-foot. I'll be putting a few more photos with this below in the days ahead. If you've never done The Reek, then it should definitely be on your bucket list!

More shots from The Reek in THIS SET.