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mcrtchly: Track 2238 in area near Brown's Hill, Bluestack Mountains (Ireland)
A traverse of the Bluestacks
Length: 30.6km, Creator time taken: 34h43m, Ascent: 1714m,
Descent: 1661m

Places: Start at H04261 87471, Brown's Hill, Croaghnageer, Croaghanirwore, Cruach an Bhearnais, Croaghbane, Ardnageer, Ardnageer SW Top, Croaghgorm, Lavagh More, Lavagh Beg, Silver Hill, Cullaghacro, Carnaween, end at G85129 88830 19km W from Start
Logged as completed by 1
The Bluestacks Mountains in Donegal present a tough challenge to those who wish to try a traverse across the entire range. This 34km east to west walk over 2 days took in 13 of the main summits and included an overnight bivvy on Croaghbane. We did this route on probably the hottest day of the year so far. The heat and very high humidity sapped our energy and progress was slow at times. Fortunately the many lakes on the route gave a valuable supply of drinking water; so long as you sterilise it first.

The route starts from the Barnsmore Gap road where we were dropped off by a taxi which we had hired in Glenties. We arranged for the same taxi to collect us from the finish point in the Owenroe valley at the end of the second day. Our last summit on the traverse was Carnaween but it would be possible to extend the traverse to include 3 further summits to the west if time permits. The descent from Carnaween is marked by a series of wooden posts painted white and red. We followed these down the western slope of Carnaween to a stream crossing just below Carn Lough. From here we descended into the Owenroe valley. In hindsight this was not a good choice as the valley bottom is very wet and boggy. A better choice would be to continue to follow the marker posts west across Cloghmeen Hill and then NW to the finishing point.

There is little foot fall on these mountains and we found almost no visible tracks to follow. Peat hags in the valley bottoms and fault bound gullys in the uplands often required detours which slow down your speed. The eastern half of the range is composed of granite (the Barnsmore Pluton) dated to about 400 million years. The central part is a mixture of older metamorphosed sediments (schists) whilst late Precambrian (600 million years) quartzite forms Carnaween. Several major SW-NE faults cut across the terrain resulting in narrow elongated valleys.

Uploaded on: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 (22:54:46)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2238/  
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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 8h 59m + 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.

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British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence)
"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here