Complete the Dunkerron Mountains Vandeleur Lynams Challenge with Álaind Walking
In July 2023, I received an email from Bryan McCabe about coming on a walking holiday to Sneem. However, Bryan had a specific bespoke walking holiday in mind rather than one of my most popular packages.
What is a Vandaleur Lynam?
The Vandaleur Lynams is a list of all Irish mountains measuring 600 meters or more with a prominence of 15 meters. Currently, this list contains 275 peaks. Bryan set out many years ago to complete the challenge of reaching every peak in this list and standing on its highest point.
Bryan had nine peaks in the Dunkerron Mountains remaining to complete, and he wanted to do them all in one three day walking holiday. He contacted me to see if I could help him organise this challenge.
Planning the Challenge
I was familiar with most of the mountains on Bryan’s list, but I hadn’t necessarily combined them into manageable and enjoyable walks. I decided to split the challenge into three epic Ring of Kerry walks:
- Walk 1: An Ghuala Chorm (Coomcallee), Beann na Stiocairí and An Bheann Mhór; 14 KM; 5.5 Hrs and 650m ascent;
- Walk 2: Coomnacronia, An Corrán (Finneraragh), Coomura, An Cnoc Maol (Knockmoyle) and Cnoc na gCáinte; 21KM; 8Hrs and 1,060m ascent
- Walk 3: Broaghnabinnia, 6KM; 5 Hrs and 650m ascent.
Here’s How We Got On
Day 1 – An Ghuala Ghorm (Coomcallee), Beann na Stiocairí and An Bheann Mhór.
Day 2 – Coomnacronia, An Corán (Finneraragh), Com Úra (Coomura), An Cnoc Maol (Knockmoyle) and Cnoc ma gCainte (Knocknagantee)
Our route started initially on the Fermoyle Loop Trail. After following this for a while, we branched off to begin our ascent to the heights above Derrynagree.
The condition were changing continuously as you can tell from the photos with dense mist on the summit.
From here we head back southwards to our final peak of the day.
The final leg of our walk, follows Michael Murphy’s farm track to his yard at the bottom of the mountain.
Day 3 – Broaghnabinnia
Our final day involved summiting the single peak of Broaghnabinnia. Rising steeply 600m+ from the Bridia Valley floor, this Dunkerron Mountain is not for the fainthearted. Although our shortest walk of the three days, the pull to the top along the narrow spur is a sweat-inducing challenge.
For the guts of two hours, we picked our way along the fence line sometimes on all fours, until thankfully the incline eased as we neared the top.