The Four Peak Challenge is an endurance hike to climb the peaks of Ireland in 48 hours. Beginning at sunrise in County Kerry, you walk into the embrace of Carrauntoohill and ascend the Devil’s Ladder to the highest point in Ireland. And it’s not even breakfast.
The next peak is the Head of the Bald King in Mayo, Cnoc Maol Reidh. Considered the most dangerous mountain in Ireland, its eastern route is an 8-hour journey into the Hall of the King, with some narrow passes and steep drops. The western approach, however, is considerably quicker and less treacherous. Beginning from Silver Strand Beach, the setting sun will guide you up the King’s Cloak and back.
Cool your toes with a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, watch the sunset into the West and get some rest. Tomorrow you rise with the sun again and travel north to the lands of the Cúige Uladh. The journey up Slieve Donard is a relaxing meander through wood by stream into the Mourne Mountains. Atop Antrim, you’ll find Ulster crowned by a cairn.
The road south takes you to the final peak in Wicklow, Lughnaquilla. Beginning from the Glen of Imaal, walk the ridges and follow the stream up atop Leinster. The final peak is a platform, this is the highest point in Ireland, outside Kerry of course.
The Gaelic Woodland Project has already taken the peaks, and are doing so again. This is a considerable physical and mental challenge, but it is an Irish Oddessy and worth every step.
All participants must be healthy and prepared. We’ve created an itinerary to help you attempt the Four Peaks for Ireland. There is time to train, get out hiking and experience the heights of Ireland, whether this year or next, take the challenge.
Some important information:
- Do not go by yourself. Invite people to join you.
- Coaches will not fit along some roads: max 14 person minibus.
- If you’re driving yourself, have at least 2-drivers so the other can rest: bring eye masks and earplugs. Each driver should have a co-pilot to help with navigation and banter.
- Training is necessary: Prepare for a total of 74,000 steps and 520 flights of stairs.
- The ‘Devil’s Ladder’ on Carrauntoohil is a near-vertical ascent that requires good mobility.
- Keep plenty of nutritious snacks and water in the vehicle(s).
- A shop in rural Mayo, late at night, is hard to come by. Visit Westport for restaurants or bring dinner with you.
- Spare socks, hiking poles, head torches, electrolytes, and a good attitude are required.
- Always check the weather.
Consider fundraising for the Gaelic Woodland Project. We’re raising funds to create a nature reserve. All donations are going to be used to purchase land which will be subsequently planted with native trees and rewilded. We will be happy to support you in this: #fourpeaksforireland
We’re a Registered Charity run by volunteers.
We can not take responsibility for any damages that occur during the Four Peak Challenge.
We wish you the greatest success.
Starting in Kerry:
Spend the night in Kerry; leave your accommodation in the early morning: Time Depending on Distance.
Travel to Cronin’s Yard, Co.Kerry (<28km drive)
Climb Carrauntoohil (time: 4.5 hours)
- Start 6:45 am
- Summit by 9 am
- Finish by 10:15 am
Drive from Cronin’s Yard to Adare, Co.Limerick, for lunch (165km drive).
Adare to Silver Strand Beach, Co.Mayo (373km drive).
Passengers climb Cnoc Maol Reidh (time: 3 hours)
- Start 5:25 pm
- Summit 6:40 pm
- Finish 9:30 pm
Jump in the Atlantic Ocean to cool the calf.
Check into Mayo Accommodation.
Travel to Greenhill YMCA, Co.Antrim (374km drive).
Climb Slieve Donard (time: 3 hours).
- Start 11:15 am
- Summit 1:00 pm
- Finish 2:45 pm
Drive to Glen of Immal, Co.Wicklow (205km drive).
Climb Lugnaquilla (time: 2.5 hours).
- Start 5:25 pm
- Summit 7:15 pm
- Finish 8:10 pm
Finish in Dublin.
Choose the most spacious car available to your group, or rent a car. Select at-least two designated drivers for the trip. Bring an eye mask and earplugs so drivers are given the chance to rest between drive times.
The first night, KERRY:
- Kingston Townhouse, Killorglin: www.kingstonstownhouse.com
- Loch Lein Country House Killarney: https://lochlein.com/
- Cronin’s Yard (pods & camping), Carrauntoohil: https://croninsyard.com/
- The Bianconi Inn, Killorglin: https://bianconi.ie/
The second night, MAYO:
- Silver Strand House: up to 19 people @ €1,000 per night. https://silverstrandhouse.com/
- Westport Woods Spa and Hotel: https://www.westportwoodshotel.com/
FUNDRAISING FOR THE PROJECT:
Contact us for a Four Peaks Poster (social media) by email or Instagram: email@example.com
Use this link to donate: https://gaelicwoodlandproject.com/donate/