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david kirk
2007-06-29 16:44:44
Bleck Cra's blowhole
I thought I was too old to go humping up Binnian for the millionth time but for someone with an involvement in Irish geology and a concern for the conservation of the Mournes Bleck Cra's picture of the 'explosive vandalism' of the North Tor last month was too intriguing. Vandalism it certainly is but not the mindless type which is the speciality of 'our wee province' - this is vandalism with intent, ie the pursuit of filthy lucre. The hole in the centre of the damaged area opens into a drusy cavity, a gas-filled 'bubble' in the still fluid granite which allowed crystals of quartz etc to grow to their full beauty as the molten rock solidified 60 million years ago. Erosion since the ice-age had opened it up. Professional mineral collectors, with an eye to the gem-stone market, know what to look for and some are are pretty unscrupulous as to how they get at it. In this case if you look carefully you can see the ring of holes drilled into the rock face to take the explosive charges which caused the damage. Fortunately, they didn't get much, their efforts only blew the skin off the rock face. As drusy cavities go this is a cracker, more than a metre deep with the treasures beyond their avaricious reach, and the crystals can be seen, although dulled by countless millenia of being used by sheltering animals and birds.
To extend the topic - this is a shameful piece of vandalism - the sort of thing that the enhanced environmental protection that a national park for Mourne, which Bleck Cra seems to have problems with, could help prevent. Opposition to a Park is being led by, and orchestrated by, people with commercial interests no more worthy than this - people who want to build wind-farms in Mourne, who build multi-storey apartment blocks of Rostrevor seafront and Southfork excecrences in the foothills and who are winding the local farmers up to hysteria with fears for their autonomy. The farmers of Mourne have nothing to lose and everything to gain, by the opportunities offered by a National Park


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Track
Look out for easy path to summit from forest track.
Bunsen7 an hour ago.
Largely replicating track 1291, but showing the trail now going eastwward from the summit to T23444 94039.Views were ... walk, Len: 6.4km, Climb: 304m, Area: Carrick Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland

  
Summit Comment
Carrick Mountain: If I got there quicker than you it's because I was...
Bunsen7 2 hours ago.
Visited on a beautiful, mild sunny day in Dec 2017. Parked at the forest entrance at Ballylusk as suggested by Track 1291, which I followed. Also had the benefit of the East-West Mapping East Wick...

  
Summit Comment
Ben of Howth: Here's to Howth!
Bunsen7 a day ago.
Having made my first proper visit there this afternoon and doing the Purple "Bog of Frogs" waymarked route (anti-clockwise with the detour to the Ben early in the walk), I found myself marvelling ...

Track
'Off-Grid' in Arctic Sweden: Trekking the Dag Hammarskj÷ldleden
mcrtchly a day ago.
We first visited Arctic Sweden in September 2016 and walked the middle section of the Kungsleden trail (MV track 3332). walk, Len: 110.7km, Climb: 1726m, Area: Sweden, Norrbotten ()

  
Summit Comment
Spinans Hill SE Top: Brissels or Brussels
Bunsen7 2 days ago.
Climbed both hills on 16/12/17, following the main route described by others here on MV.The forestry between the tops has thinned out a little (or so it seems by reference to previous comments) an...

  
Track
Glen o' the Downs Wood
jgfitz a day ago.
This woodland track can be accessed directly from N11 heading South. After Exit 9, there is a road sign for Glen o' the walk, Len: 5.9km, Climb: 183m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Cloghnagaune: There must be an easier way!
Bunsen7 2 days ago.
This is a rather painful hill to summit from the obvious parking spot at the forest entrance to the south east. Following where others have gone I found myself wading through head high gorse to at...

  
Track
Cloghnagaune Summit and Stone Circle
Bunsen7 2 days ago.
This is a rather painful hill to summit from the obvious parking spot at the forest entrance to the south east. Follow... walk, Len: 4.0km, Climb: 144m, Area: Cloghnagaune, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) C

  
User profile
IainMiller
IainMiller 3 days ago.
A rock climber, hillwalker and guidebook author living, working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal. http://uniqueascent.ie/sea_sta...

Summit Comment
Roaninish: Roan Inish
IainMiller 3 days ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day7
mlmoroneybb a week ago.
On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O?Keefe Booning Castl walk, Len: 27.7km, Climb: 362m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Inishbarnog: Roan Inish
IainMiller 3 days ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...


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