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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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 Contract pics
Picture: Light show from our bivvy (Contract 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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User profile
Geo
Geo 16 hours ago.
October 2017, I am a walker with the Navan Trekkers club,we walk mostly in the Mournes, Cooley and Wicklow mountains on club walks as they are closest but I walk anywhere else I can! Living in suc...

  
Summit Comment
Lislorkan Top: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
Accessible via the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center and car park or via other locations on this coastal walk of your choosing. Best to enjoy the full length of this fantastic cliff walk.

  
Summit Comment
Knockardakin: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
Located adjacent to the world renowned Cliffs of Moher,and although this is the hill which the visitor center is built into, the summit is not located in a public area. Access is via a farm gate o...

Summit Comment
Stockeen Cliff Top: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
Located adjacent to the cliff walk accessible via the Cliffs of Moher Center. Best to enjoy the full walk rather than just summit bagging but for your added enjoyment the earlier in the morning yo...

  
Summit Comment
Corduff: My wee dander to the summit
Ulsterpooka 4 days ago.
I followed Muschi's and Paddyhilksbagger route. When going to the trig I moved on a few cows before I walked to the trig. After taking a few pics I seen the large brown bull in the field was block...

  
Track
Inishowen Slieve Snaght from the north.
simon3 6 days ago.
This linear walk route starts from the north and includes the two Arderins and one Vandeleur-Lynam in the area. It sta... walk, Len: 9.3km, Climb: 515m, Area: Slieve Snaght, Inishowen (Ireland) Sliev

Track
Cruach Eoghanach
Peter Walker a week ago.
Cruach Eoghanach is a handy outing on the days when you get out of the car, feel the force of the wind and rain, look... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 329m, Area: Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone (Ir

  
Summit Summary
Slieve Main: Inishowen's second mountain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 6 days ago.
Parking in a small quarry 3km to the east at point C444 372, cross the smaller top of Damph and then head north, curving around the valley until you cross a fence at C425 380 then begin to ascend ...

  
Track
Pics de Batoua
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 18.3km, Climb: 1672m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

Summit Comment
Castlemahon Mountain: My outing to Castlemahon summit.
Ulsterpooka a week ago.
I followed Peter Walkers route and asked permission to walk to the summit mast. The person was very friendly and accommodating. I parked at the last house in what is a four house dwelling lane. Th...

  
Forum: Suggestions
Clare Coastal Hills
simon3 4 days ago.
We have added 14 Coastal Hills for Clare today. Intriguing names like Stockeen Cliff Top, 185mJust to remind. A Coastal Hill is a hill of at least 50m with a drop from the top or prominence of 20m...

  
Track
Arona to Parador Hotel via Valle de Ucanca
GSheehy 4 days ago.
Sticking the boots in the bag, when the intention was to go and have a rest.Justifying a walk, that?s predominantly as walk, Len: 30.8km, Climb: 2274m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()


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