The Story Behind The Photo: The Final Ascent of Galtymore

This entry is part 11 of 19 in the series The Story Behind The Photo

There is something very captivating about a photo of mist on the mountains. Add in a group of hill walkers disappearing into the mist and you have some great elements from which to compose a stunning mountain photograph. The latest photo in our series ‘The Story Behind The Photo’ fits certainly ticks all of these boxes.

The shot comes courtesy of Paul Dunne of Irish Dew Photography.The photo was taken during the Glen of Aherlow Winter Walking Festival on the final approach to the summit of Galtymore, the county top of Tipperary and Limerick. Paul gives us the background to the picture. If you have a few spare minutes, we recommend you take some time to browse through Paul’s portfolio of images on Facebook, it contains some beautiful shots of the mountains of Ireland as well as a number of other stunning images.

Hill Walkers on Galtymore Summit

I consider myself more of a hill walker than a mountaineer. I do most of my hill walking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, a beautiful and gentle range of mountains in the centre of Ireland, greatly overlooked by most people in their rush to the coastal ranges. However, I spend a good few weekends every year travelling to walking festivals throughout the country.

Probably my favourite are the summer and winter festivals hosted by the Glen of Aherlow (Walking Club & Tourism Society). I like the warmth of the local people and their character, none better than Michael Moroney! And I like to be challenged! I’ve climbed Galtymore eight times now during the festivals, and it seems to be getting harder each year. It must be an age thing.

This photo was taken during the Winter Walking Festival in January 2011. You will remember that it was one of the coldest winters on record. By the end of January there was no snow left on Galtymore, so the whiteness on the grounds is caused by a build up of icicles on every blade of grass and every little stem of heather.

At this point the hardest part of the climb is over. We are now high above the corrie lake, Lough Curra, and the summit is in sight. Well it should be, and can be glimpsed occasionally through the mist. For me, this picture summarises the challenge Galtymore poses for me, and adds to the satisfaction I feel when I finally reach the summit.

I first took up hill walking seven years ago, and didn’t even possess a camera at the time. Within weeks of starting I had purchased a camera. Now, while not exactly making a fulltime living from landscape photography, I have found a great passion in life and a way to supplement my ever decreasing income! All thanks to hill walking.

Thanks again to Paul for this beautiful image. You can see more of Paul’s stunning images on his Facebook Page or on his website which is currently undergoing a rebuild.