James Forrest: Two Months, 273 Irish Mountains

James makes it to his final summit, Knocknadobar, to complete his challenge. Photo: James Forrest

After 10 years in a dead-end job, James Forrest left to pursue a career as a full-time explorer. He has since become the UK’s “Mountain Man”. Last year, he climbed all 446 mountains in England and Wales in just six months. And he has just completed a record-breaking climb of Ireland’s 273 mountains, also known as the Vandeleur Lynams, traversing 1,000km in two months.

The Vandeleur Lynams individually draw thousands of hikers and long-distance walkers throughout the year, but few try to run the table. A mere nine people have completed the list, but no one has previously attempted a “round of the mountains” in one go.

Atop the mountains of Ireland. Photo: James Forrest

James Forrest has now become the tenth person to complete this route, but as with his England and Wales project, he has done so in the fastest time. A collection of smaller challenges is not uncommon in these parts, Forrest points out. Many others have completed similar lists of Irish mountains before the Vandeleur Lynams were collated.

Exploring the MacGillyCuddy Reeks. Photo: James Forrest

He wrote a book called Mountain Man about his 2017 journey that is due out in 2019. You can follow his further adventures on Twitter @jamesmforrest, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jamesmichaelforrest/and Instagram @jamesmichaelforrest.

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About the Author

Kristine De Abreu

Kristine De Abreu

Kristine De Abreu is a writer (and occasional photographer) based in sunny Trinidad and Tobago.

Since graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA in English and History, she has pursued a full-time writing career, exploring multiple niches before settling on travel and exploration. While studying for an additional diploma in travel journalism with the British College of Journalism, she began writing for ExWeb.

Currently, she works at a travel magazine in Trinidad as an editorial assistant and is also ExWeb's Weird Wonder Woman, reporting on the world's natural oddities as well as general stories from the world of exploration.

Although she isn't a climber (yet!), she hikes in the bush, has been known to make friends with iguanas and quote the Lord of the Rings trilogy from start to finish.

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