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Croaghgorm Mountain An Chruach Ghorm A name in Irish (Ir. An Chruach Ghorm [DUPN], 'the blue stack') Donegal County in Ulster Province, in Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam, Irish Best Hundred, Irish Highest Hundred Lists, Quartz & feldspar pebbles, green matrix Bedrock

Height: 674m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 11 Grid Reference: G94832 89584
Place visited by 185 members. Recently by: abeach, Wildcat, No1Grumbler, sofearghail, derekpkearney, marcel, markwallace, DSutherland, ilenia, Jimmy600leavey, Maire-Ni, paulbrown, wicklore, abcd, Grumbler
I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -8.081078, Latitude: 54.754162 , Easting: 194832, Northing: 389584 Prominence: 541m,  Isolation: 0.9km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 594780 889575,   GPS IDs, 6 char: Crghgr, 10 char: Croaghgorm
Bedrock type: Quartz & feldspar pebbles, green matrix, (Lough Mourne Formation)

Situated in the townland of Sruell. Marked as Bluestack on 1st series of 6 maps. Locally the range is simply known as na Cruacha or the Crows.   An Chruach Ghorm is the highest mountain in the Bluestack Mountains area and the 154th highest in Ireland. An Chruach Ghorm is the third highest point in county Donegal.

Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/
COMMENTS for Croaghgorm (An Chruach Ghorm) 1 2 Next page >>  
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Croaghgorm (<i>An Chruach Ghorm</i>) in area Bluestack Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Croaghgorm from Binnasruell
 
Updated Summary:
Isolated high point of the Bluestacks with spectacular views
Short Summary created by markmjcampion, Colin Murphy  3 May 2021
Croaghgorm is a remote, rocky mt. which is part a few loops. A new bulldozed track has opened it up for those pushed for time but for those eschewing this track be ready for a long, tough walk. Great views abound as a reward incl. the Sligo/Leitrim hills and much of S and mid Donegal.

NE. Park at G95937 94109 A, walk 50m east and then turn S on a lane not shown on the MV map. After approx. 200m take a left, cross the Reelan river and soon turn S either a) for the top of Glascarns Hill via its NW spur or b) to follow the river topping out at Croaghbane after a long, steep pull. Whatever you do, you will summit Croaghbane from where you head W for a rocky, undulating but pleasant walk to Ardnageer. Head SW to Ardnageer SW top. Croaghgorm lies 1.5km to the SW, with a relatively gentle ascent across a rock/grass mixture. Allow 3hrs+

SW. Park with permission at G92039 88718 B. Either a) follow the new bulldozed track up to G93950 90442 C and then swing steeply SE to reach Croaghgorm or b) head 1st for C Far SW top [it's a steep slog and it's less steep to start 1km SW of the farm]. It's a short down and up to the SW top and, from the next col, a steep pull up to C.

S. Park at G95353 86632 D having navigated a rough road for 2km. Head NNE up an obvious spur to G95648 88215 E and then over to G96278 88672 F from where it's a steep slog up to C E top. Go N for about 100m and then roughly W for 1.5km to reach C.

Notable tracks incl. track/3801, track/3177 and track/3106. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/comment/4910/
 
MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Croaghgorm (<i>An Chruach Ghorm</i>) in area Bluestack Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Memorial plaque on N slopes
Updated Comment:
From Ardnageer
by gerrym  3 May 2021
I have approached Croaghgorm from both E and W as part of routes over the central Bluestacks. It is a rugged mountain with fairly complex terrain approaching from neighbouring Ardnageer/Knockgorm on the eastern side (see here for previous part of a circuit). This ascent is south west from Ardnageer over firm but rough ground into a col. I kept close to the northern slopes, avoiding more complex ground running off south which could be difficult in poor visibility. The climb ahead arched around northwards with the summit hidden in mist. There is not a great height to be climbed going by the map but this is deceptive as have to climb in and out of a series of gullies.

I came across a 3x3 section of riveted aluminium, which i presume is part of the Sunderland aircraft which crashed here during the war (as described in Walk Guide West of Ireland by P. Simms & T. Whilde). This was in a gulley just before a perfectly formed little lough prior to the final climb to the summit area. If the gully is followed N it will reveal more parts of the aircraft, including two engine blocks, with further wreckage strewn over the hillside. There is also a poignant memorial on a rock further down the hill, including several rememberance wreaths placed over the years.
There is a cairn on climb to the summit - the true summit is about 5 minutes off to the N.W., past the end of a newly constructed fenceline, marked by the remains of a stone shelter. The mist was beginning to lift by this time and i got glimpses SW to Donegal Bay and NW to Lavagh More. Descend NW taking a bearing to point 597 on the map, skirting around this and the neighbouring loughs to descend steeply over grassy ground into Struell Gap.
The approach from the W was also from the Struell Gap, but in better weather and allowed me to fully appreciate the monster views from the hill, down into the deep Struell valley and further afield to the other high peaks of Donegal. Bathed in sunlight the hill and those surrounding it can take on a magical persona, rugged, rocky, wild, beuatiful, isolated and even warm (just about). Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/comment/1015/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Croaghgorm (<i>An Chruach Ghorm</i>) in area Bluestack Mountains, Ireland
 
Updated Comment:
Waterfalls and great views
by tiktiktik3  3 May 2021
Bluestacks - Binmore-(Groaghgorm) 29/08/2005
Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map 11

We started out from Donegal Town direction Bluestacks/Letterkenny (N15). On the first signpost Bluestacks Way (mapgrid 79/95) turn left towards Harvey’s point (Lough Eske) (mapgrid82/96), continue on the road round the lough. When you come on the far point of the Lough (mapgrid 86/96) you wil see a small road going up the mountain. Follow it until you see a sign “private road” and a fence next to it where there’s a parking spot to leave your car. Now go on foot through the fence and follow the road until it peters out into a path. One point of interest : almost at its end you will see a little stream coming down the mountain - follow your ears and you’ll find a magnificent waterfall, the water falls down in a deep gully with a black pool at the bottom. If you follow the goats down (it's real easy) you'll be rewarded mid-stream with a beautiful spot on some big boulders in front of the fall for a rest or a picnic before the actual climb
Once your on the move again, a little further the track ends and you have to find your own way up. We chose to go by the first gully ahead and that route seemed ok - other ways are possible. Once on top we steered toward Binmore, through a valley of bog who takes up some time to work (find) your way through. Noted there are three little lakes (mapgrid 88/96). Once you reach Binmore things are easier again (no more bog). It’s a nice climb with nice views as more and more of the Bluestack range reveals itself, while behind you in good weather great views of Lough Esk and Ben Bulbin open up. As you get to the top of Binmore on your right you will see a giant’s footstep (mapgrid 89/97) - I think Finn Mac Cool who built the Giant Causeway made a stroll inland at one point. The moment I saw it I named it Lough Foot. Once on top you'll find a sheltering cairn big enough to put one or two small tents if you're prepared for it and plan to stay overnight. For me and my wife this was as high as we got Although we wanted to stay a few hours longer exploring and push on over the ridge to Croaghgorm, time was against us going way past over 19:00 so it was wise to head back down during the daylight that was left - all in all a more than recommended walk/climb.
Next time I will try not to linger that long by the waterfall… Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/comment/1956/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Croaghgorm (<i>An Chruach Ghorm</i>) in area Bluestack Mountains, Ireland
Picture: The track
The magic highway
by wicklore  29 Mar 2021
In days of yore there was an article about the Bluestacks in the now deceased Walking World Ireland magazine. It featured a photo of a wild landscape and included adjectives such as ‘lonely’, ‘remote’ & ‘rough.’ Many MV posts on the various Bluestack summits echo this language. It was not until very recently that I finally set foot in this rugged upland area.

My first walk was a tiring there-and-back route from Glashcarns to Croaghgorm East Top. When I reached the distinctive quartz mound west of Ardnageer SW Top I got a great view up to the col between Croaghgorm and Lavagh More. And there I spied a track that wasn’t shown on my old OSI map. It meandered over the col from the SW and along the northern slopes of Croaghgorm. As one who gets excited at new discoveries, I saw the possibility of this being an easy access route to Croaghgorm for my next day’s hiking.

The next morning I was able to park at G92092 88644 G after speaking to the lady at the farm. I went through two gates and along a muddy track that petered out into the fields after a few hundred meters. Further on at G92723 89483 H it suddenly re-emerged as a much more substantial stone track. The track continued along the valley and led up (very steeply at times) to the aforementioned col and beyond. A junction at G94148 90343 I led to the vicinity of the small lake near the summit area where the track ended. It took just over an hour to access these upper reaches. The track reappeared after the summit and meandered past the summit areas of both Croaghgorm South-West & Far South-West Tops before leading down to the farmhouse where I had parked earlier.

Finding this full-circuit ‘magic highway’ was a bittersweet feeling. It facilitated a much easier and quicker exploration of the Croaghgorms, which was a welcome respite after the exertions of the previous day. But it evoked memories of remote Slieve Carr in Mayo which was subjected to the scrutiny of those trying to find the quickest route using newly developed forest tracks. Encroaching tracks eroded the remoteness of Slieve Carr. While the Croaghgorm track gives similar easy access to a remote and rugged area, it also removes some of the thrill of remote hiking.

I subsequently discovered Peter Walker had already described this ‘manky great new bulldozed track’ in walk number 3106. So while I had stumbled upon the track through my own rambling, I was actually following in the footsteps of giants!

The upshot of all of this is that there is, for better or worse, an easy way to reach the col between the two Bluestack giants of Lavagh More and Croaghgorm. This will suit those who are tight for time or who are too tired or unable for a tougher route. It also illustrates the value in reading not just summit comments but also articles that accompany gps tracks that have been posted on MV. But do this research before you travel, and not in a car miles from the nearest cell tower! Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/comment/20646/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Croaghgorm (<i>An Chruach Ghorm</i>) in area Bluestack Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Looking towards the Derryveagh range from Croaghgorm summit
 
eflanaga on Croaghgorm, 2006
by eflanaga  11 Jun 2006
From Binnasruell summit (See fro previous part of circuit) I took a bearing of 93E to take me in direction of the saddle above Sruell Gap passed earlier in the day prior to climbing Croaghbane. The terrain was not as difficult on this side of the valley as it had been when crossing from Lavagh Beg to ‘Sruell. I decided to veer slightly of course so as to come around the southern end of Spot Height 465m IG 92524 90443 J. This took me along the heights above Sruell Gap with wonderful views up and down the valley and across to Croaghgorm. Aided by sheep tracks managed to maintain reasonable height. Decided to drop down to floor of gap short of the saddle as I could see what appeared to be relatively straightforward route up SW slope of the hill. Grassy slopes for tmost part, eventually reaching height before drop into gully then steep climb up rockier ground to wonderfully broad summit IG 94834 89585 K. Fantastic views in every direction. This is really a beautiful mountain. Stopped for a while hunkered down in the shade of the small stone shelter with what appears to be a ‘water hydrant metal lid’ in it! What’s that about? While there heard the noise of an engine. Looking over rim of shelter I saw a tractor with man and child on lower slopes below. My wave was returned in a friendly manner and the man got on with his business, while I got on with mine, which was to take the easiest route possible over roughly 5k back to camp site on Croaghbarnes IG 99067 90066 L. Decided to take a bearing of 76NE and make for Binmore above Lough Belshade and then drop on to the saddle between Croaghbarnes and Croaghbane, On the way passed some of the wreckage of aircraft mentioned by gerrym. Initial part of descent was over exposed slab and boulder & was relatively easy. However, once I passed below Binmore I realised that things were not going to work out as easy as I thought. Was faced with a series of very deep gullys, which spilled their contents into the beautiful Belshade lough below. While the exposed rock made for steady footing I was faced with ‘cliff like’ drops in places necessitating a degree of ‘switchback’ in order to reach slopes of Croaghbarnes. Making the saddle was not an option so had to drop to within 100m of lough & struggle over deep tussock grass and gorse before I could eventually begin final ascent of the day up to camp site. Once I had decamped and removed all trace of my presence I had the long slog with heavy pack on tired legs over 3K over difficult terrain following course of Corabber river to start of Edergole track IG97840 88071 and the car a further 2K beyond. Despite difficulties encountered in latter part of Croaghgorm to Croaghbarnes stage (not recommended), entire route, was extremely challenging but enjoyable. Summiting Croaghgorm was a cause for celebration in itself as it marked my 100th summit over 500m since I started on July 4th last year with Errigal. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/comment/2393/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Croaghgorm (<i>An Chruach Ghorm</i>) in area Bluestack Mountains, Ireland
Picture: The Reelan Valley from the eastern slope.
Extensive Mountain Not Fully Explored Yet.
by Aidy  19 Aug 2014
I have had a lot of pleasure walking in the Bluestacks, and Croaghgorm, the highest in the range had long been on my list. I had previously climbed Croaghbane, but hadn't been able to continue along the rest of the ridge due to the weather, so I set off on the same route again, on this occasion just missing Croagbane's summit, and approaching Croaghgorm on a great walk via Ardnageer and Ardnageer SW Top. The top is marked by a stone shelter cairn, which I was grateful for as the weather had turned windy and cold by the time I got there, and I was able to rest the legs in relative comfort.

Croaghgorm is a broad lump of a mountain, and I would have loved to take the time to to explore the extensive ground to the southeast and east towards Lough Belshade, and to the south west. However, I had a long walk already done, and still wanted to visit Lavagh More and Lavagh Beg, before another long walk back to the car in the Reelan Valley. I think I will come back another day, maybe taking a more direct route to Croaghgorm by itself to do it justice. Due to the lack of time, I also couldn't find any trace of the World War 2 plane wreckage, and I would like more time to find that too. For now though, it was on to Lavagh More. The photo was taken on the way up the east side. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/150/comment/17627/
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