I have a few days down in Kenmare next week and I'll have the bike with me, aside from Molls Gap, are there any other climbs are worth a look at?
ChallengBIG shows Ballaghbeama, Ballaghasheen and Mullaghanish nearby but any local recommendations or pointers to classic climbs that feature in the Ras, or ToI would be ideal.
Within 25km of Kenmare in either direction there are hosts of tough climbs.
(1) Molls Gap direction: Gap of Dunloe is good (200m over 3k). Also from Killarney Nat Park the Ladies View climb from the tunnel is good.
(2) Ballaghbeama is short but very steep on appalling road. Ballaghisheen has great roads and is pretty tough.
(3) from Kilgarvan (11km from Kenmare) the Borlin Valley is a nice drag - 400m over 10k. Then descend to Coomhola Bridge and go back to Kenmare via Priest Leap or Glengariff.
(4) Priests Leap. No tougher climb in Ireland except Mt Leinster possibly. 465m in about 5km. Mid 3km averages 15% with max of 28%. This climb is hell. I habe vomited, fainted and wheelied the bike on this climb. I hate it so much.
(5) Glengariff direction. Caha Pass tunnels. 300km with most climbing in 6km.
(6) Healy pass: 25km from Kenmare in Lauragh direction. Lovely climb. 5km at 5%. Stunning views.
Strawberry cottage for pancakes (3km from Molls Gap.
Packies for fish. Purple Heather or Truffle Pig for lunch.
Salvados for tapas.
Crowley for pints.
Enjoy your holiday.
Healy Pass ain't too far away. Very nice spot.
Mullaghanish - well worth it. 40km from Kenmare via Top of Room climb and down into Coolea into Ballyvourney.
The climb to the rte mast is on a private road halfway up the climb. Climbs to 640m over 7km. Last 3km avg 11%.
Watch the sheep. Hundreds of them.
Now I just have to give that one a try. I'll also try the fish and tapas
Can you point of the priests Leap on the map please
@Glenamaddy if you were in Kenmare this w/e you could think about Iveragh 200.
@Poncherello. The Leap is easier from Cork side as the larger gradient is sustained for longer from Kerryside.
However it is by no means at all an easy climb from Cork side, it is still IMO tougher than ever other climb that I have done in Ireland.
The descent on both sides is not to be messed with. Large patches of gravel mixed with sheep and a -15% gradient calls for caution.
Don't bring your good wheels.
If your doing the Leap I would climb from the Cork side as the road on the Kerry side is in much better condition so decending is much easier, watch out for sheep jumping out of no where!
Something like this would give you a test while taking in some truly amazing views, if you want longer there are PLENTY of other hills you could put in on top of this.
I'm just home from a wee trip to the West and Kerry. On Tuesday evening after dinner I drove from Killarney to to Kenmare, it was pissing down but Moll's Gap was spectacular and upon arrival in Kenmare I thought I was suddenly in heaven. What a beautiful place; I envy anyone who is lucky enough to live there - ROK ON would you fancy a life sawp???
As I have a month off in August I plan to head back down for a week's cycling, taking in the Ring and all the climbs. If anyone is up for that let me know!
TBH I'd give the Ring Of Kerry a skip, plenty of other routes that are much better if you're staying in Kenmare or Killarney, I reckon ROK ON probably has most of them done so he'll no doubt enlighten you.
Dingle Peninsula and Beara Peninsula are way more stunning than the ring of Kerry, and the Healy Pass is definitely a must do.
Let us know when you might be down, there are enough of us here on Boards living in Kerry to make a half decent group.
There are 2 sportives taking in the Conor Pass, one in Aug :
And the other in Sept :
Yes, I would fully endorse that.
Yes, that's an excellent route.
Mulcahy's also v good for seafood - had absolutely awesome lobster there May Bank Holiday weekend. Similar feel to Packies. ROK_ON has the local knowledge though!
Mulcahys is an excellent restaurant and in many ways the menu is more interesting than Packies.
If I spent less time in Kenmares restaurants I would undoubtedly find all of the aforementioned climbs significantly easier.
Jam has just opened a new shop about 500 yards away from my house. That makes me very happy and very sad!