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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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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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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 21 Next page >>
Forum: General
A New Hazard!
Aidy 15 hours ago.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45231987Never heard of this happening before.

  
Summit Comment
Crocknafarragh: The High Route around Glentornan Lough
jsramsey1491 16 hours ago.
Last Thursday (16/08/2018) a few friends and I decided to do a recce of a walk around Glentornan Lough. We started close to the Gaelic pitch on the southwestern shore of Lough Nacung Upper, passed...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: Benwee Head Loop.
sandman a day ago.
As already stated Benwee Head has some of the most dramatic costal scenery in Ireland and with this in mind i decided to enjoy on a clear sunny day the joys of walking the 12.4km of the Benwee Hea...

Track
Meelin Hill, Brackloon and Knockafeehane
Bunsen7 a day ago.
A grand and simple waymarked trail for a day of low lying cloud.Park up at the post office beside the Tom Crean mini-p... walk, Len: 7.2km, Climb: 343m, Area: Knockafeehane, Slieve Mish (Ireland) Kno

  
Track
Eagles Hill, Mullaghbeg, Beenrour
bogtrotter a day ago.
There?s plenty of room for parking at the cemetery at the top of Coad Road, near Castle Cove. From here we headed SW ... walk, Len: 21.6km, Climb: 825m, Area: Eagles Hill, Dunkerron Mountains (Irelan

  
Summit Comment
Knocknanacree: Storm Beach and Cliffs at lower western reaches
Bunsen7 a day ago.
A view of "Acres" from Minard Beach. This is apparently a geologically interesting spot in itself as it is a storm beach comprised of large sandstone boulders. The castle is on private land and no...

Track
Erris Head Loop
simon3 2 days ago.
Simple walk to Erris Head. On the occasion we did it, there were dark clouds and big showers. walk, Len: 4.7km, Climb: 98m, Area: Erris Head Hill, Mayo Coastal Hill (Ireland...

  
Summit Comment
Knockafeehane: From the horse's mouth
Bunsen7 a day ago.
This is the trail description post at Q59652 00497. It summarises the route if taken from east to west, as per track 3881.Vastly superior to my own garbled efforts!Annascaul obviously is a very we...

  
Summit Comment
Knockafeehane: Easily Accessible and not overly demanding
Bunsen7 a day ago.
There is a waymarked trail to the summit which loops over the ridge leading west from this hill. See track 3881.The quickest route to the top would see you park in Annascaul village and walk up th...

Summit Comment
Cashloura: An enjoyable walk for all ages
CaminoPat 3 days ago.
Park at W20849 49704 at Coillte forest entrance just off the R586 Regional Road between Dunmanway and Drimoleague. Parking available for 6-8 cars. Follow forest road which is along line of disused...

  
Forum: General
An Sli
Slier159 2 days ago.
Hello all,I am currently trying to organize a longs distance walk from Killarney to Derry city, using the existing National Waymarked Trails along the West coast. A 1,000km of Trail already exist ...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: Benwee Loop walk towards Portacloy.
ucampbell 4 days ago.
The Loop walks here are well signposted, it's a great idea to go out onto each headland.


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 21 Next page >>