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Cnoc na hUilleann
Knocknahillion and Letterbreckaun.jpg
Knocknahillion, viewed from Binn idir an dá Log; behind is the summit of Letterbreckaun
Highest point
Elevation 607 m (1,991 ft)
Prominence 152 m (499 ft)
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Arderin, Simm, Vandeleur-Lynam
English translation peak of the west elbow
Language of name Irish
Location County Galway, Republic of Ireland
Parent range Maumturks
OSI/OSNI grid L8703653756
Topo map OSi Discovery 37
Type of rock Pale quartzites, grits, graphitic top bedrock
Easiest route Via pass of Maumahoge

Knocknahillion (Irish: Cnoc na hUilleann, meaning peak of the west elbow) at 607 metres (1,991 ft), is the 210th–highest peak in Ireland on the Arderin scale, and the 256th–highest peak on the Vandeleur-Lynam scale. Knocknahillion is situated in the middle sector of the long north-west to south-east cental spine of the Maumturks mountain range in the Connemara National Park in County Galway, Ireland. The summit is offset to the west of the rocky central ridge of the Maumturks, and its western facing slopes have a distinctive "diagonal" rock stratification when viewed from the Inagh Valley.


Irish academic Paul Tempan records that Knocknahillion derives its name from Irish: Cnoc na hUilleann Thair, which is the name of a nearby townland, that translates as "peak of the west elbow"; however the translation is apt given the positioning of the peak, which is to the west of the central spine of the Maumturks range at point at which the range turns to a more south-easterly direction (e.g. an elbow).


Knocknahillion is in the middle sector of the long north-west to south-east central spine of the Maumturks range in the Connemara National Park.

To the north, Knocknahillion is connected to Letterbreckaun, the 2nd highest peak in the range at 667 metres (2,188 ft), by a high winding rocky ridge that includes the subsidiary peak of Knocknahillion North Top at 541 metres (1,775 ft), whose prominence of 38 metres (125 ft) qualifies it as an Arderin. Further along this ridge lies the minor peak of Barrlugrevagh at 558 metres (1,831 ft), whose prominence of 17 metres (56 ft) qualifies it as an Arderin Beg.

To the southeast of Knocknahillion is the col of Maumahoge (Irish: Mhám Ochóige), which then rises up again to the corrie lake of Lough Maumahoge (Irish: Loch Mhám Ochóige), and eventually to Binn idir an dá Log, the highest mountain in the range at 702 metres (2,303 ft).

Hill walking

The easiest way summit Knocknahillion is a 5-kilometre 2-3-hour route via the pass of Maumahoge; however, because of its positioning on the high rocky central spine of the central Maumturk range, it is also summited in a longer 14-kilometre 5-6 hour loop-route starting at the col of Maumahoge in the south, climbing Knocknahillion and then along a winding 2-kilometre rocky ridge to the top of Letterbreckaun, before descending via the sharp "v-shaped" col of Maam Turk (Irish: Mám Tuirc, meaning "pass of the boar"), from which the entire range bears its name.

Knocknahillion is also climbed as part of the Maamturks Challenge, a 25-kilometre 10–12 hour walk over the full Maumturks range (from Maam Cross to Leenaun), which is considered one of the "great classic ridge-walks of Ireland", but of "extreme grade" due to the circa 7,600 feet of total ascent; however, because the peak of Knocknahillon is offset to the west of the core winding rocky ridge, it is not always summited during the challenge.

Rock climbing

While the Maumturks range is not particularly known for rock climbing routes (unlike Bencorr and its Carrot Ridge spur, across the Inagh Valley), some have been developed at a crag just below and west of Lough Maumahoge (L876 532), with routes of 90 to 190 metres at climbing grades of S to HVS.


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