Dillon’s amazing climb: 80,281 steps, 16 hours, up five highest peaks

A 12 year old Cork boy climbed more than 80,000 steps between sunrise and sunset, up the five highest points of all the counties in Munsters for charity
Dillon’s amazing climb: 80,281 steps, 16 hours, up five highest peaks

READY FOR THE CHALLENGE: Dillon Lynch on a practice walk for his Sunrise to Sunset Challenge, in the Galtee Mountains

A 12 year old Cork boy climbed more than 80,000 steps between sunrise and sunset, up the five highest points of all the counties in Munsters for charity

Ayoung boy from Kildorrery, in COunty Cork climbed the highest point of all the counties of Munster in one day, between sunrise and sunset, on June 21.

Dillon Lynch, who goes into sixth class at Killdorrery NS this September undertook the challenge to climb Carrauntoohil (Kerry) before sunrise, then onto Knockboy (Cork), then Moylussa (Clare), before climbing Knockmealdown (Waterford) and finally Galtymore (Tipperary and Limerick) for sunset, all in aid of Barretstown — that’s just shy of 4,000 m in one day, almost 50km. All funds go to Barretstown.

Joining Dillon on his hike was dad Pat, the boy’s aunt, Josephine and uncle Johnny. The climb took place as part of Ireland High Points Week. Here Dillon recalls his ‘Sunrise to Sunset Challenge in aid of Barretstown.’

HERE DILLON TELLS US ABOUT HIS LATEST CLIMBING ADVENTURE

I WAS lying in bed at 6pm (on June 21), trying my best to fall asleep, but my body was having none of it, meanwhile, next door dad was snoring his head off. It may seem unusual that we were sleeping (well, trying to!) at this time, but it was to prepare for an unusual event after all, the “Munster County High Points, Sunrise to Sunset Challenge” for Barretstown.

CLIMBING IN DARKNESS: Dillon Lynch, at the start of his Sunrise to Sunset challenge, climbing Carrauntoohil, between 2am and 5.19am.
CLIMBING IN DARKNESS: Dillon Lynch, at the start of his Sunrise to Sunset challenge, climbing Carrauntoohil, between 2am and 5.19am.

Earlier that day we had collected a car for the challenge, kindly sponsored by Europcar and had been getting ready for the event over the previous few days, clothes, food, routes, boots and more.

Dad thought of this challenge last year, while we were on another high point dash around Kilkenny. The idea was that we would climb to the highest point of every county in Munster, starting at the peak of Carrauntoohil for sunrise and ending on Galtymore for sunset. Dad instantly thought of June 21 as an ideal day, the longest day, and the mid-point of Ireland High Points week. We checked, it was a Friday, ideal. So back to tonight, Johnny and Josephine had arrived, and after a quick cup of tea, we were ready for road.

Dillon Lynch at the start of the Devil's Ladder descent.
Dillon Lynch at the start of the Devil's Ladder descent.

CARRAUNTOOHIL

We set off for Cronin’s Yard in Kerry, and arrived just before 2am. Making sure we had everything we needed, we faced for Carrauntoohil, aiming to be at the top for sunrise at 5:19am. We walked up slowly as we had loads of time and it was dark after all!

It was a beautiful night, and we got great views of the lakes and outlines of the mountains around us, with thanks to the moonlight. When we reached the Devils Ladder, it was already starting to brighten up as dawn was close. It was a steep walk up the ladder, but we managed it never the less and arrived at the cross of Carrauntoohil just after 5am. We tucked into breakfast, which I was really looking forward to as I walked up, my highest breakfast EVER!

There was no sign of Mr. Sun but then suddenly he broke through the clouds brightening up the morning sky, giving us a chance to take a few amazing pictures.

Just before we left, we logged Carrauntoohil on Peakhunter and the challenge had begun. We descended at a brisk pace, but still not too fast as to save our legs for the other four mountains. Fexco were the sponsors for Kerry and thanks for their donation to Barretstown.

Dillon Lynch at Leap
Dillon Lynch at Leap

NEXT UP KNOCKBOY!

Next up, Knockboy! We parked at The Priest’s Leap and wasted no time setting off for the High Point of Cork. It was a boggy climb to the top, but we got there so fast the bog didn’t even have a chance to wet us! Picture time again, with a donation to Barretstown, this time from Sanmina Fermoy, the Cork sponsor. In total, it took us just 1 hour 45 minutes to go up and down Knockboy so we weren’t even 2 hours at The Priest’s Leap.

Now, we had a long spin to Killaloe, but not without a hot dinner served up by mam, our new driver for the rest of the adventure! Mam met us in Charleville, and we lost no time eating the dinner in the car as Mam drove us to Killaloe.

MOYLUSSA

The Clare sponsor, Rob from ATEK Training was waiting for us at Ballycuggaran Forest Park, just outside Killaloe. We arrived just as we planned at two o’clock and within minutes were on route to Moylussa. Rob’s dog, Gunner, loved the freedom and bog and definitely enjoyed the walk.

We surprised ourselves by getting to the top in less than an hour, and with Rob’s help, we lost no time with the pictures, and quite quickly, we were back at the car again. After thanking Rob for joining us and for the Barretstown sponsorship, we headed off towards the second last mountain, Knockmealdown.

Dillon Lynch heading for Knockmealdown
Dillon Lynch heading for Knockmealdown

KNOCKMEALDOWN

We arrived at 6pm, bang on schedule at the start of Knockmealdown. Six minutes later, we were zooming up the mountain like bolts of lightning and dad and I even shocked Josephine with a sly shortcut that helped us keep up to the “Mountains Hares” A.K.A Johnny and Josephine, who were still on top form at this stage. Just one hour to the trig point of Knockmealdown, a few quick pictures and a shout out to Tom Hyland, Hyland Bros. LTD. the Waterford sponsor for Barretstown, we were hastily descending towards the car for the final leg of the challenge.

GALTYMORE

After gaining ten minutes on Knockmealdown we were feeling positive for Galtymore. Thanks to Willie Smith for bringing us some homemade bread and cake before we set off from the Black Road for Limerick and Tipperary’s Highest Point.

We were passed by a runner about half ways up and just at the col we met a group from The Galtee Walking Club all in great spirits and also hoping to see the sun set of the Sumner Solstice.

Within 20 minutes we were at the trig, and logged it on Peakhunter at 9:45 pm, FOURTÉEN MINUTES ahead of schedule!!! We did it!!! We had logged all the Munster County High Points between sunrise and sunset. We had two sponsors to promote here, Ballyhoura Apple Farm for Limerick and The Old Convent for Tipperary. Thanks to both of them for their donations to Barretstown.

We spent a while in the shelter of the cross, chatting with the Galtee Walking Club and we drank some Ballyhoura Apple Farm drinks to celebrate.

We set off for the car at 10:30pm and arrived at the car park at 11:45pm ready for home and more importantly, bed!

A big thank you to each county sponsor for their donation to Barretstown and also to individuals that donated. Finally thanks for the generosity from Europcar, The Booley House, INEC and Chia Bia that helped us greatly in the challenge.

See https://dillonsadventures.weebly.com


HOW YOU CAN HELP

People can still donate online at www.barretstown.org/home/press-play-logo-rgb/ just enter “Dillon’s Adventures” when asked for the “Reason for giving”.

A map of the Sunrise to Sunset challenge.
A map of the Sunrise to Sunset challenge.

THE CHALLENGE IN NUMBERS

Total Height Gain: 2564m

Total Distance Walked: 45.37 KM

Total Steps (Dillon’s Fitbit): 80,281

Official Duration: 16 Hours and 17 minutes (Carrauntoohil to Galtymore)

Total Driving: 613 KM

Overall Duration (Home to Home): 24 Hours

Amount Raised: €2,000 but still rising

High Point Log times: Carrauntoohil 5:28 am; Knockboy 10:07 am; Moylussa 3:11pm; Knockmealdown 7:03 pm; Galtymore 9:45 pm.

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