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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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kernowclimber
2013-07-14 18:26:42
"Lough Belshade and cloud inversion from Ardnageer" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: Lough Belshade and cloud inversion from Ardnageer (Contract pics)

A Bakerís Dozen in the Bluestack Mountains: 2
Thankful for the refreshing gift of a sound nightís sleep, I woke just after dawn to the smell of coffee. An ethereal mist had crept in from the sea swallowing views of Donegal Town, but the sky was clear, the sun already warm; it promised to be another scorcher. Breaking camp, we began the steep descent from Croaghbane involving mild scrambling over granite cliffs towards Ardnageer, a fin of rock reflected in a bog lough in the col below. Approaching the summit, we disturbed two grouse which took off protesting noisily. The summit gave views over Lough Belshade, indigo and mysterious in the morning light, while on the northern horizon the quartzite cone of Errigal rose majestically above the Derryveagh Mountains. We passed over Ardnageer SW Top close to a strange outcrop of gleaming quartz on its NW flank, behind which Lavagh More looked ominously high.

Before we scaled its heights, we had to surmount the highest point on the traverse: Croaghgorm. The route was incised with steep gullies of exposed granite with carpets of bog in their bottoms. In one, we found the wreckage of a RAF Sunderland DW110 which crashed in January 1944 claiming 7 lives. The highest point in the Bluestacks gained, we were over half way through the traverse. A gentler descent off Croaghgorm over heath and grass took us past Lough Cronagorma fringed with bog cotton nodding ragged white heads in the breeze and sporting a colony of stringy bogbean. Here I disturbed a fledgling meadow pipit which fluttered clumsily across the water and lay cowering amid a tangle of vegetation. I gently picked it up, a fragile little ball of warm fluff and feathers, its tiny heart pounding against the palm of my hand. Released from my grasp, it soon disappeared. Motionless, its plumage provided a perfect camouflage.

The pull up Lavagh More was punishing in the heat. Besides midges, we now had horseflies to contend with; I could feel their razor sharp mouth parts slicing into my skin. The summit gained, we had lunch before assailing Lavagh Beg, passing above several loughs in the boggy basin between Silver Hill and Binnasruell. The turbines of the wind farm near Carnaween still looked very far away. From Silver Hill to Cullaghacre, up to the foot of Carnaween, the route was mostly exposed peat hags and squelching bog. After halting at Mileyís Lough for a cuppa, we assailed the quartzite slopes of Carnaween, the final summit of our bakerís dozen. Following makeshift waymarks (Carnaween is climbed the 1st Sunday in June) we descended steadily over heath, heading for a picnic area at the end of an old boreen by an abandoned cottage where we were to be collected. We should have stuck to the waymarkers but took a short cut and unfortunately veered off into a stinking morass of boot sucking bog and waist high reeds. Thoughts of a cool beer, a hot shower and an escape from midge misery now crowded my mind. I was mightily relieved to see the taxi driver who welcomed us back to civilisation!
The heat from a gl.. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>
Track
Collon hill loop walk and summit.
simoburn less than an hour ago.
A nice loop walk of Collon Hill taking in the rocky summit which has a small cairn and trip pillar. For whatever reaso... walk, Len: 7.9km, Climb: 265m, Area: Collon Hill, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Co

  
Track
A bush-wackery experience to the trig point of Barranisky.
simoburn 4 hours ago.
A fun outing to the summit of Barranisky. For the best part forest tracks but the last 300 meters or so involve some b... walk, Len: 6.4km, Climb: 237m, Area: Barranisky, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Bar

  
Track
Oughtmore the lesser
Peter Walker 6 hours ago.
walk, Len: 1.6km, Climb: 117m, Area: Oughtmore, Sperrin Mountains (Ireland) Oug...

Track
Slieve Rushen
Peter Walker 6 hours ago.
walk, Len: 2.5km, Climb: 41m, Area: Slieve Rushen, Breifne (Ireland) Slieve Rus...

  
Track
Forest walk to the summit of Westaston Hill
simoburn 7 hours ago.
walk, Len: 3.9km, Climb: 109m, Area: Westaston Hill, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) W...

  
Track
Short walk even shorter! Killeagh Hill views & ring fort.
simoburn 22 hours ago.
walk, Len: 0.8km, Climb: 20m, Area: Killeagh, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Killeagh

Summit Comment
Belmore Mountain: A standing stone gathers all moss.
TommyV a week ago.
As mentioned by Harry Goodman, it's possible to drive along Belmore forest for almost two kilometers as far as a black forestry gate. There is also a standard gate here on the right giving access ...

  
Summit Comment
Bruse Hill: Bruse Summer 2017
TommyMc a week ago.
Since a big gorse fire in 2016, this hill is once more easily accessible to casual walkers and has been widely visited this summer. An easy approach is possible by taking the L6636 minor road off ...

  
Summit Comment
Brougher Mountain: A quick bag.
TommyV a week ago.
Nothing much to add to the comments already. Drove most of the way up from the North side of the hill to within 450 metres of the trig point. Nothing to recommend to anybody who is looking to get ...

Summit Comment
Croghan Hill: Broken Trig Pillar to be replaced
TommyMc a week ago.
The recent damage to the Croghan Hill trig pillar is covered in an article in this week's Offaly Independent. The good news is that Offaly County Council plans to replace the damaged pillar to its...

  
Summit Comment
Slievereagh: To drive or not to drive?
TommyV a week ago.
Geo's directions are spot on. At the aforementioned Coilte forest entrance there is a sign staing no unauthorized vehicles beyond this point as the gate may close at any point. However as the Lazy...

  
Track
Mullacor
JoHeaney 22 hours ago.
walk, Len: 9.1km, Climb: 537m, Area: Mullacor, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Mullaco...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>