Letterbreckaun

Letterbreckaun (Irish: Binn Bhriocáin, meaning "Brecan's peak")[2] at 677 metres (2,221 ft), is the 129th–highest peak in Ireland on the Arderin scale,[3] and the 159th–highest peak on the Vandeleur-Lynam scale.[4][5] Letterbreckaun is situated is situated in the middle sector of the long north-west to south-east cental spine of the Maumturks mountain range in the Connemara National Park in Galway, Ireland. Letterbreckaun is the 2nd-tallest mountain in the range.[5][6]

Letterbreckaun
Binn Bhriocáin
Letterbreckaun From Inagh Valley.jpg
West face of Letterbreckaun, Inagh Valley
Highest point
Elevation667 m (2,188 ft) [1]
Prominence322 m (1,056 ft) [1]
Listing100 Highest Irish Mountains, Marilyn, Hewitt, Arderin, Simm, Vandeleur-Lynam
Coordinates53°32′00″N 9°43′31″W / 53.533367°N 9.725249°W / 53.533367; -9.725249Coordinates: 53°32′00″N 9°43′31″W / 53.533367°N 9.725249°W / 53.533367; -9.725249[1]
Naming
English translationBrecan's peak
Language of nameIrish
Geography
Letterbreckaun is located in island of Ireland
Letterbreckaun
Letterbreckaun
Location in Ireland
LocationGalway, Ireland
Parent rangeMaumturks
OSI/OSNI gridL8565255093
Topo mapOSi Discovery 37
Geology
Type of rockPale quartzites, grits, graphitic top bedrock[1]
Climbing
Easiest routeVia pass of Maumahoge or the pass of Maam Turk

NamingEdit

The anglicised name of "Letterbreckaun" comes from Irish: Leitir Bhriocáin, meaning "Brecan’s wet hillside", and is also the name of a townland on the slope of the hill.[2] Saint Brecan is a saint associated with Galway county, and is said to be the successor to Saint Enda of Aran.[2]

GeographyEdit

Letterbreckaun lies at the northern end of the central sector, of the long north-west to south-east central spine of the Maumturks range, in the Connemara National Park; when viewed from the west, the peak has a distinctive "pyramidal" shape, in contrast to the rounded shapes of the neighbouring peaks.[6]

To the south, Letterbreckaun is connected by a long winding quartzite rocky ridge to Knocknahillion at 607 metres (1,991 ft); the ridge itself includes the two minor peaks of Barrlugrevagh 558 metres (1,831 ft) and Knocknahillion North Top 541 metres (1,775 ft), and after Knocknahillion, descends to the col of Maumahoge (Irish: Mhám Ochóige).[5][6]

To the north of Letterbreckaun is the subsidiary summit of Letterbreckaun NE Top 603 metres (1,978 ft), whose prominence of 28 metres (92 ft) qualifies it as an Arderin Beg.[5] Further north, the slopes of Letterbreckaun drop into the sharp and steep "v-shaped" col of Maam Turk (Irish: Mám Tuirc, meaning "pass of the boar"), from which the entire range bears its name.[6][7][8] Paul Tempan notes that the "holy well" marked on the OS maps at Maam Turk was noted by Irish historian Ruaidhrí Ó Flaithbheartaigh in 1684, saying: "There is a well in memorie of St. Fechin at Mam-tuirk".[2] Further north from the col of Maam Turk is the minor peak of Maumturkmore, which then crosses the "Col of Despondency" to the grassy sandstone and siltstone massif of Leenaun Hill.[6]

Letterbreckaun's prominence of 322 metres (1,056 ft) qualifies it as a Marilyn, and it also ranks it as the 82nd-highest mountain in Ireland on the MountainViews Online Database, 100 Highest Irish Mountains, where the minimum prominence threshold is 100 metres.[5][9]

Hill walkingEdit

The easiest way summit Letterbreckaun is a 6-kilometre 2-3-hour route via the pass of Maam Turk; however, because of its positioning on the high rocky central spine of the central Maumturk range, it is also summited in a longer 14-kilometre 5–6 hour loop-route starting at the col of Maumahoge in the south, climbing Knocknahillion and then along a winding 2-kilometre rocky ridge to the top of Letterbreckaun, before descending via the "v-shaped" col of Maam Turk.[6][7][8]

Letterbreckaun is also climbed as part of the Maamturks Challenge, a 25-kilometre 10–12 hour walk over the full Maumturks range (from Maam Cross to Leenaun), which is considered one of the "great classic ridge-walks of Ireland",[7] but of "extreme grade" due to the circa 7,600 feet of total ascent.[8]

Since 1975, the University College Galway Mountaineering Club, has run the annual "Maamturks Challenge Walk" (MCW),[10] and man a checkpoint on the summit of Letterbreckaun.[11][12]

GalleryEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Ireland's Best Walks: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892118.
  • MountainViews Online Database (Simon Stewart) (2013). A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins. Collins Books. ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7.
  • Paul Phelan (2011). Connemara & Mayo - A Walking Guide: Mountain, Coastal & Island Walks. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848891029.
  • Dillion, Paddy (2001). Connemara: Collins Rambler's guide. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0002201216.
  • Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Letterbreckaun". MountainViews Online Database. Retrieved 1 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Paul Tempan (February 2012). "Irish Hill and Mountain Names" (PDF). MountainViews.ie.
  3. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Arderins: Irish mountains of 500+m with a prominence of 30m". MountainViews Online Database.
  4. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Vandeleur-Lynams: Irish mountains of 600+m with a prominence of 15m". MountainViews Online Database.
  5. ^ a b c d e Mountainviews, (September 2013), "A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins", Collins Books, Cork, ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7
  6. ^ a b c d e f Dillion, Paddy (2001). Connemara: Collins Rambler's guide. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0002201216. Walk 15 Binn Bhriocáin and Mám Tuirc
  7. ^ a b c Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Ireland's Best Walks: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892118. Retrieved 1 August 2019. Route 35: The Central Maumturks – North CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b c Paul Phelan (2011). Connemara & Mayo - A Walking Guide: Mountain, Coastal & Island Walks. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848891029. Route 19: Letterbreckaun
  9. ^ "Irish Highest 100: The highest 100 Irish mountains with a prominence of +100m". MountainViews Online Database. September 2018.
  10. ^ "The Maumturks Challenge". University College Galway Mountaineering Club (UCGMC). Retrieved 1 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Simon Stewart. "Maumturks Challenge Section 3: Maumahoge to Maumturkmore". MountainViews Online Database. Retrieved 2 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Maaumturks Challenge: The Route". University College Galway Mountaineering Club (UCGMC). Retrieved 2 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit