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We take it all bac.. by BleckCra   (Show all posts)
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kernowclimber
2013-07-14 18:25:02
"Light show from our bivvy" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Light show from our bivvy (Expand pics)
A Baker’s Dozen in the Bluestack Mountains: 1
The heat from a glassy sun engulfed us as we left the taxi from Glenties that dropped us by a track at the side of the Barnsmore Gap Road, starting point for a 2-day 34 km traverse of the Bluestacks. Our kit (sleeping bags, mats, pillows, bivvy sacks, stove, gas, pans, food for 2 days, sundries and water) packed into Osprey Alpine packs, felt heavy as we slogged across blanket bog to Brown’s Hill. It became apparent that progress would be slow in the sapping humidity of the hottest day of the year. There was barely a breeze and the stifling air, heavy with the smell of freshly cut peat, was thick with swarming midges not deterred by deet.

Atop the hard won Brown’s Hill, the sinuous granite spine of the Bluestacks receded in the shimmering haze, each summit marked by a pimple-like cairn. These mountains feel truly remote, no well-worn tracks traverse their peaks; we saw barely a boot print. It is impossible to move quickly over the terrain of exposed slabs of granite, wiry heather, tussocks, through eroded peat hags and across sly patches of bog. The humidity was relentless and atop Croghnageer our water bladders were empty. Fortunately, numerous loughs enabled us to treat water with a UV pen to replenish supplies along the route.

On past tiny pools scattering the sun’s light like disco balls, through thick patches of dazzling white bog cotton barely moving in the almost still air, and down steep slopes over granite outcrops relentlessly reflecting the heat, dripping with perspiration we arrived at Illanicrooney Lough where we stopped for lunch. Off came the boots and socks. Refreshing my feet, which had started to resemble two steamed puddings, in the water was delectable. There was no sound save the hiss of our gas stove and the occasional whoosh of feathers as swifts flew low over the lough catching insects on the wing. We might have been all alone in the world.

Struggling in the humidity, we gained Croaghanirwore, followed by a steep descent and a lung bursting climb up to Croaghbarnes. Lough Belshade looking as if it had swallowed the entire sky, it was such a deep shade of blue, provided a brief distraction from the midges, by now pestilential. Reaching the summit of Croaghbane to be greeted by a cooling breeze which banished these vile insects was heaven! Finding a flat grassy area just below the summit cairn with a lough 100m away, we set up camp.

A Golden plover eyed us from nearby, its plaintive cries sailing through the warm evening air. We watched the sun, which had tormented us relentlessly all day, sink low in the western sky, its fierce heat now dimmed to a pleasant warmth, its glassy glare now a golden glow. There followed a fabulous light display as it became a throbbing vermillion orb which exploded over the Atlantic enflaming the entire sky. With the setting sun, the breeze receded and an army of midges quietly rose from the bog, so we retired to our bivvy sacks for the night.


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Track
Exploration of Wicklow Head from the north.
simon3 20 hours ago.
As you will immediately see from the track this was an exploration of what is possible thoroughly exploring various d... walk, Len: 6.6km, Climb: 126m, Area: Brides Hill, Wicklow Coastal Hill (Irelan

  
Summit Comment
Ballyguile Hill: Viewed from the south. Hope you like masts.
simon3 a day ago.
Ballyguile Hill can also be seen well from the south. Here's a view taken from near Brides Hill (a coastal hill near Wicklow Head)

  
Summit Comment
The Eagles Rock: A short but sweet scramble
IainT 2 days ago.
One of the few Irish summits that needs the use of hands by the easiest route. Those happy with exposure can get a good airy scramble (grade 2, pushing 3 maybe), by slanting left up an obvious ram...

Summit Comment
Slieve Foye: Irish Gabbro!
IainT 2 days ago.
Gabbro is one of the roughest and most frictiony rocks around and is superb for scrambling on, as all visitors to the Skye Cuiilin across the water know. I never realised until yesterday that Slie...

  
Track
Pic du Canigou
David-Guenot 2 days ago.
Ascending Catalogna's sacred mountain from the hamlet of Los Masos de Vallmanya, on well-marked trails, with two breaks walk, Len: 24.8km, Climb: 1853m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Comment
Clermont Carn: Easy but a great view.
IainT 2 days ago.
If you drive up the road this has to be a contender for the easiest summit in Ireland, but it's well worth doing for the superb view. Wicklow to Donegal, with the Meath lowlands spread out like a ...

Track
Ramble on Ireland's Eye
wicklore 3 days ago.
A short walk on Ireland's Eye in September 2015. Original plan to visit earlier in the summer was thwarted by a huge f... walk, Len: 2.6km, Climb: 80m, Area: Ireland's Eye, Dublin Islands (Ireland) I

  
Summit Comment
Seanadh Bhéara: Access
sandman 3 days ago.
To answer the query raised by TommyV for at the time to facilitate parking on a narrow road and not wishing to park on the N59 i parked beside the farm yard with a view to access the hill via the ...

  
Forum: General
Windphone project destroyed
wicklore 3 days ago.
The Wind Phone art project in the Dublin Mountains has been destroyed http://jrnl.ie/3547797 . It appears to be a strong statement by those against the idea

Summit Comment
Ireland's Eye: Screams were heard, getting fainter and fainter…
wicklore 4 days ago.
Ireland's Eye is situated about 1.5kms north of Howth Harbour. In Celtic times it was called Eria’s Island and then Erin’s Island. The Norse called it Erin’s Ey and this became Ireland’s Eye. (Ey ...

  
Track
Pic de Cagire Loop
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
A great loop walk in one of my favourite areas in the Pyrenees, which should have hardly taken more than 4h30 hadn't I m walk, Len: 11.8km, Climb: 892m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Summary
Carhoo Hill: Dingle Eask Tower
Collaborative entry Last edit by: aidand 4 days ago.
This is a modest climb, but with wonderful views. Take the road out of Dingle towards Ventry. After about a mile turn left at a sign marked 'Hanlon's handbags'. There is a parking area with a hut ...


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