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mcrtchly: Track 2050 in area near Chimney Rock Mountain, Mourne Mountains (Ireland)
Inclined to climb? Chimney Rock Mountain via Carr's face incline
Length: 11.2km, Creator time taken: 5h26m, Ascent: 730m, Descent: 665m
Places:Start at J38881 27098, end at Start Logged as completed by 2
In many parts of the Moune Mountains there is evidence of quarrying of the granite bedrock. Some of this must have been done to provide blocks for building the Mourne wall but the vast majority was quarried for building stone. Little is known about the history of these quarries or those who worked in them.
There are several prominent abandoned quarries on the east side of the Mournes and the Bloody River Valley has some of the most spectacular. This walk explores these quarries. Start by parking at the Bloody Bridge and follow the path on the right hand side of the river. Cross the river at the stepping stones, over a stile and then walk up the old quarry road on the left hand side of the river. Take the second path on your left about 1.5km after the stepping stones. This path follows the line of an old inclined mineral tramway which carried excavated granite blocks down from Carr's face quarry high on the side of Chimney Rock Mountain. It is the only narrow gauge mineral tramway that we know of in existence in Ireland that has its rail and other features largely intact. The railway was 3 ft gauge working on the three-rail principle. Descending wagons laden with granite blocks provided the force to haul the empty wagons up the steep incline. A centre rail was common to both and at half way the rails opened out to form two independent passing loops, each with their own rails. The tramway 'driver' in the drumhouse at the top of the incline operated a hand brake on the drum to control the speed of descent of the wagons. Near to the bottom of the incline can be seen the lower unloading station and the remains of a wooden crane. From here the incline steepens (be careful of slippery rocks and the wooden sleepers). After an ascent of about 200m the top of the incline and Carr's face quarry are reached. The building on the right at the top of the incline is the drum housing (the drum is still in situ). Other features to note are the loading platform and a large crane which may have been used to haul blocks of granite of the quarry. The stepped nature of the quarry face is the result of the quarrying. Pulley wheels along the top of the quarry face may have been used in conjunction with chains or wire ropes to assist the quarrymen in reaching the rock face. From the top of the incline walk SE to the far side of the quarry and a short scramble up rocks leads via an indistinct path to the summit of Chimney Rock Mountain.
From the Summit walk NW until the Moune Wall is met at the Col between Chimney Rock Mnt. and Slieve Donard. Descend the Bloody River Valley on the Brandy Pad track. About 700m further on more quarries are encountered. These have some interesting buildings including what looks like a cutting shed (for trimming blocks of granite) and grading chutes for sizing granite aggregate. From here the Brandy Pad can be descended for another 3km back to the car park.
WARNING - is this not advisable to do this route in reverse as the descent from Chimney Rock Mountain to the top of the incline is difficult to follow and a slip might result in a fall over the edge of the quarry face. Also the incline might be more treacherous on descent than ascent.
Uploaded on: Sun, 13 Jan 2013 (09:03:10) Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2050/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 3h 27m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.