CLIMBING CROAGH PATRICK is considered a pilgrimage for many – with many of those seeking to reach its summit making the ceremonial journey without shoes.
While Matt Loughrey hasn’t been taking the journey barefoot, he has gone through six pairs of boots on the way – because he’s been climbing the mountain every day for the last year.
This lunchtime he finished his year-long efforts, all of which have been a bid to raise funds for the Society of St Vincent de Paul – a journey that saw him climb a total of 278,860 metres, or almost a million feet (not including the daily descent).
“Some people come here for spiritual and religious reasons, others are just attracted by the spectacular scenery, and then more climb the mountain for the physical challenge. For me all these reasons are good ones,” Loughrey told today’s Irish Times.
A native Englishman, Loughrey, 32, has lived in Westport for seven years – and has even managed to work his charity climbing around his career as a businessman, having honed his routine so finely that he can make the round trip to the top and back in 72 minutes.
“It just shows you, you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it,” the Irish Independent quotes Matt – who has also lost two stone during his year of climbing – as saying.
More information on Matt’s trek – and a stunning selection of the photographs he has taken on the way - can be found at his Facebook page.