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fingalscave
2012-09-26 23:02:22
Six Derryveagh peaks (part two)
I'm not sure if the crack was a ledge or a hairline crack, but the vegetation gave enough hold to hand and foot to see me up. Relief on the top of the slab as there was a ledge of sorts to give me a chance to put on those vital crampons. Some mixed pitches up to the top of the gully, the final exit being extremely steep and slimy with little vegetation to hold onto but by lying into the slope and systematically working the crampons up, I was out into the sun! A short easy ascent over heathery sections interspersed with sections of granite (I think) pavement led to the top. On the summit, I realised my fleece was soaking. A quick change, something to eat, taking some pictures and I was ready for the rest of the day. Before I reached the col though, there was one further bit of drama.

Descending directly towards the col, there are some steep drops requiring detours. I headed to the right of these, in the direction I had come up. While descending a steep slope I came across a narrow crevasse some metres deep - the top of gully B. This could catch out the unwary, perhaps in snow or in poor visibility.

Standing on the col, at the top of gully A, it looked like it would have been a much easier ascent. Not having gone up this way however, I can't recommend it.

The rest of the route whilst absolutely wonderful, was fairly easy. One thing worth mentioning though, when descending from Slieve Snaght towards Crocfadda, the terrain is very steep with sloping rocky slabs and would be dangerous in wet weather. A much easier and safer descent can be made by finding the green gully which can be seen on the OS map as a linear ripple heading SW starting from around B92171 14375. This is the gully mentioned by Jackill while ascending up to Slieve Snaght, and from below it is indeed very visible. Not so while descending though it's worth the trouble to find it. Standing at Slieve Snaght summit, follow a bearing of about 210 degrees mag for 450 or 460m.

Descent from Crocfadda NE top was by the Devlin river, partly in darkness.
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