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06-01-2010, 17:18   #1
coldpaw
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Cycling the Connor Pass

hey,

Myself and a couple of mates are trying to decide which on somewhere to go on a cycling holiday for Easter. i am mad keen to do Dingle peninsula. Is the Connor Pass a hard climb, approaching from Tralee.

There will be some people who do not cycle all that often and may not be on great bikes.

Cheers
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06-01-2010, 18:10   #2
CheGuedara
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Hi Coldpaw,

My club hosts the Conor Pass challenge and it's our primary hill for climb training.

To put it simply, it's not the steepest hill in the country but it is LONG (~4.5km of real climbing, gaining 360m height all in all) - it is Irelands highest mountain pass you must remember. It does require a level of fitness to cover it but there are one or two good spots to pause on the ascent and on top there is a large viewing area suitable for a breather or regrouping.

Both the Conor Pass climb and the Slea Head circuit are spectacular on a fine day but in inclement weather the challenge is made twice as hard so it's wise to consider that also.You can do the lot in one go (we'll be hosting that sportive route too) but if you're dealing with novices and individuals with poor fitness you may want to break it into 3 -4 days too (maybe Tralee - Castlegregory, Castlegregory - Dingle, Dingle - Slea Head, Dingle - Tralee).

Also on the descent into Dingle from the Pass please exercise caution/common sense - it is possible to reach speeds upto and past 80kph and if you hit a catseye or get the corners wrong it's a long ambo drive back to Tralee general!!

Last edited by CheGuedara; 06-01-2010 at 18:16.
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06-01-2010, 22:30   #3
blorg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheGuedara View Post
To put it simply, it's not the steepest hill in the country but it is LONG (~4.5km of real climbing, gaining 360m height all in all) - it is Irelands highest mountain pass you must remember.
It's a bit of a local myth that it is the highest, it is nowhere near. It's not even the highest in Kerry!

That is not to say, of course, that it is not difficult.
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06-01-2010, 22:45   #4
CheGuedara
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It's a bit of a local myth that it is the highest, it is nowhere near. It's not even the highest in Kerry!
Well don't leave me wander in the wilderness of my ignorance too long!
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06-01-2010, 22:52   #5
Home:Ballyhoura
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4.5km of real climbing, gaining 360m height
That puts it at an average of 8% gradient using those figures? Does this sound correct to ye, pretty decent climb in all fairness if that is so !
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06-01-2010, 22:58   #6
blorg
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Well don't leave me wander in the wilderness of my ignorance too long!
I'm going on the Climb by Bike account which puts the Conor Pass at 410m, so correct me if that is wrong.

Several passes in Wicklow are higher, Sally Gap is 500m (the road towards Dublin actually rises to 520m and I believe is the highest public road in Ireland) and the Wicklow Gap is 480m. That is just to take two. There are plenty of others at similar altitudes but not all would be passes.

The Priest's Leap between Kerry and Cork is 462m by my Garmin and on the Cork side at least it goes right down to 16m being very much one continual climb. The Kerry side is far steeper and more difficult but arguably only really gets going around 58m.

This is of course not to question that the Conor Pass is a difficult climb, it is starting basically at sea level while Sally and Wicklow Gaps for example "start" at some altitude already. I haven't done it in many years, I _think_ I went over it around 10 years ago though.
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06-01-2010, 23:53   #7
CheGuedara
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@ home:ballyhoura - 8% sounds about right for an average I suspect, though it does have sections and kickers up and around the 10% region as well. Also my figures are a little ways onto the hill (the soft bottom part doesn't count)

@ blorg - 410 sounds about right also. Must be an awful lot of misinformed people out there. For what would appear to be a staggering difference in heights it's amazing that the Sally Gap isn't widely noted for being the highest pass. Is there a distinction or definition of 'mountain pass' that it falls short on? This needs to be settled or I'm going to have to phone Ray Darcy on Friday morning....

And as often as I've gone over it I'm afraid it never seems to get easier - it's probably just as you remember the Conor Pass from a decade ago
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07-01-2010, 00:27   #8
lescol
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I climbed the Conor Pass for the first time last year on the Conor Pass Challenge. It's in Kerry, land of the best scenery, worst roads and highest climbs. It's nice, long and steady no brutal bits like Ballaghasheen or Coomanaspig. The descent into Dingle produces an ear to ear grin, loved its sweeping bends.

I'd love to do the Conor Pass-Slea Head sportive, post up the date.
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07-01-2010, 02:05   #9
Run_to_da_hills
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I did the Conor Pass on a 10 Speed racer as a teen a few times , watch out for sheep running out in front of you.

Found it easier climbing on the Dingle side, I think the gradient is less steep.
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07-01-2010, 08:52   #10
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i did slea head when i was 14 was on a **** rental bike and i got on just fine,would love to try the conor pass someday
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07-01-2010, 09:34   #11
TinyExplosions
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheGuedara View Post
@ blorg - 410 sounds about right also. Must be an awful lot of misinformed people out there. For what would appear to be a staggering difference in heights it's amazing that the Sally Gap isn't widely noted for being the highest pass. Is there a distinction or definition of 'mountain pass' that it falls short on? This needs to be settled or I'm going to have to phone Ray Darcy on Friday morning....
I thought it was widely noted as being the highest public road in the country -the kerrymen are just in on the plot
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07-01-2010, 10:02   #12
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Went up it from Dingle side - nice steady climb. When i got to the top though it was raining sideways and a gale force wind... the descent on the other side was interesting to say the least... water flowing across the road, sheep....overtook 2 cars full of tourists... . Memorable tho.
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07-01-2010, 10:06   #13
lukester
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Connor Pass is a nice climb- but anyone here done the climb from Camp across towards Inch? Haven't cycled it myself, but there's an almost vertical section near the top.
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07-01-2010, 10:06   #14
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It may bd because Sally aint a pass per se. It is plateau. Wicklow gap, conor pass etc are all classical mountain passes. Just my tuppence worth.
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07-01-2010, 10:17   #15
thebouldwhacker
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Perhaps its the longest, sea level to top?

Besides that measuring in at 410... could The Conor Pass be the forums mascot climb???
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