On Saturday, 16 June 2018, a 13 strong team from Keating Connolly Sellors Solicitors climbed Ireland’s three highest mountains in one day in aid of Enable Ireland, Limerick. The Sellors Summit Challenge has raised over €15,000 to fund a state of the art multi-sensory room at Enable Ireland Limerick’s Adult Services Centre in Mungret, Co. Limerick.
In April 2018, the Sellors team gathered at Enable Ireland Limerick’s Adult Services Centre to launch our fundraising campaign. We met with the service users and staff and it provided a great opportunity to experience first-hand the incredible work that Enable Ireland do, what we were fundraising for, and learn of the many benefits that the sensory room would bring to service users.
In the weeks leading up to the climb, excitement grew throughout the office. Conversations filled the canteen at lunch breaks as the climbers laid bare their training and fitness plans and shared their concerns regarding the magnitude of what they faced. The team were completely out of their comfort zone as virtually everyone had never climbed a mountain before let alone 3 in one day!
As Summit Day approached, the weather forecast was not looking good. We were blessed with fine weather during our training and preparation in the weeks prior to the climb. The adverse weather forecast added to the growing anxiety amongst the climbing team.
Summit Day finally came and we assembled on the outskirts of Killarney at 8am. Spirits were high despite many travelling in the early hours from Galway, Roscommon, Clare and Limerick. Our trek guide informed us that the first 20 minutes of the climb would be extremely tough as he pointed towards the concrete path known as the “Hydro Road” – a very steep gradient – which welcomed us well and truly into the beautiful Kingdom.
A promising clear early morning quickly gave way to heavy clouds beneath us. The mist soon turned into rain which became heavy and the wind started to blow. We persevered and despite the bad weather conditions the first summit of Beenkeragh brought a welcome smile to us all. We took a short rest and took the obligatory summit photograph. We re-hydrated and filled up on energy bars as we knew the most difficult part of the climb approached…. THE BEENKERAGH RIDGE!
Our guide quickly told us to put on any extra clothing as the temperatures plunged. We were instructed to focus hard for the next 40 minutes as we were coming to the exposed and most dangerous part of the ridge. The visibility was now poor; it was raining hard with strong winds. The banter amongst the team was now quiet.
The weather was too bad to cross over the top of the ridge so we climbed via the western section along a steep but narrow shelf. In very careful single file, and led by our guide, we trekked along the steep ridge sharing words of encouragement and advice along the way. The notorious ridge led us to the summit of Carrauntoohil, and the big iron cross, representing the highest point in Ireland. There were great scenes of happiness as we took a seat and a much-earned rest on top of Carrauntoohil. We huddled together to shelter from the worst of the weather, devoured our soggy sandwiches, and prepared to navigate the last part of the challenge, Ireland’s third highest mountain – Caher.
The chat amongst the team was now back in full flow. Despite the atrocious weather, most of the hard work was now behind us. We just had one more obstacle to overcome before we could start our decent. The quick decent from Carrauntoohil and the gradual rise to Caher, seemed like a stroll in the park to what we had just overcome. The rain blew away and, as we started to gradually warm up, we powered through to the summit of Caher.
Everyone was safe and filled with pride that we had just completed the Coomloughra Horsehoe, encompassing the three highest peaks in Ireland. With tired and weary legs, we worked our way down through the clouds, the weather eventually clearing to reveal magical views of the Kingdom once again. The journey was now complete and everyone was filled with relief and a great sense of achievement.
We wish to thank everyone for supporting the Sellors Summit Challenge. The new sensory room will open in September and we hope Enable Ireland service users will benefit from the sensory room for many years to come.