Slieve Donard 850m mountain, Mourne Mountains Down Ireland at MountainViews.ie
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Slieve Donard Mountain Sliabh Dónairt A name in Irish
(Ir. Sliabh Dónairt [PNNI], 'mountain of (St.) Domhangart') County Highpoint of Down, in County Highpoint, Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam, Irish Highest Hundred Lists, Granite granophyre Bedrock

Height: 850m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 29 Grid Reference: J35796 27690
Place visited by 1242 members. Recently by: Killy18, Atlanticstar, Trigpoint100, jamesmforrest, joanfahern, therealcrow, PaulaMelvin, rollingwave, igorak, Jerpoint23, oboyle_n, chrismcc, NickDown, Paulmuldrew, Seamus-hills
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Longitude: -5.920976, Latitude: 54.180221 , Easting: 335796, Northing: 327690 Prominence: 822m,  Isolation: 1km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 735710 827693,   GPS IDs, 6 char: SlvDnr, 10 char: SlvDnrd
Bedrock type: Granite granophyre, (Mourne Mountains granite)

Slieve Donard is the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and in 9-county Ulster. St. Domhangart (modern form Dónart), a contemporary of St. Patrick, founded a monastery at Maghera north of Newcastle. According to tradition he was appointed by St. Patrick to guard the surrounding countryside from the summit of Slieve Donard. He is supposed not to have died, but to be a 'perpetual guardian' (see MacNeill, 84-96). In pagan times this mountain was known as Sliabh Slainge. Slainge, the son of Partholon, was the first physician in Ireland. According to the Annals of the Four Masters, he died in Anno Mundi 2533 (2533 years after the creation of the world according to Irish mythology) and was buried here in a cairn. On the top of Slieve Donard there are two cairns, one on the very summit and the other, called the 'Lesser Cairn', on the Ordnance Survey maps, some eight hundred feet to the north-east. Both of them have been much disturbed. The Summit Cairn has been tampered with by sappers and water commissioners: the Lesser cairn has small piles of stones about it, but it is difficult to say whether these are ancient structures or just re-arrangements by modern hands. Dr. Estyn Evans, who calls the Summit Cairn 'the oldest mark of man in the Mournes', says that it is a 'corbelled passage grave of the early Bronze Age.' The Lesser Cairn, he points out, is visible from the sandhills of the shore, although the Summit Cairn is not (MacNeill, 85).   Slieve Donard is the highest mountain in the Mourne Mountains area and the 19th highest in Ireland. Slieve Donard is the highest point in county Down.

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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Tumbling Brook on Glen River
 
jkerr on Slieve Donard, 2005
by jkerr  4 Oct 2005
Slieve Donard being the highest peak in the Mournes offers some fantastic views in reward for walking to the summit. Gaze south over the Carlingford Mountains and beyond Dundalk Bay towards the Wicklow Mountains shimmering seductively on southern horizon. The Isle of Man and a glimpse of Scotland attract the eye eastward with Belfast City easily visible to the north. Lough Neagh completes the cardinal tour to the west.

The Mourne Peaks and Tors dominate the immediate view from south to north laid out below as a 3 dimensional map, tempting further walking and exploration. Indeed, many a day I’ve spent walking here, choosing routes and peaks almost at random.

From the summit delight in the birds eyes view of the local drumlin countryside. Study the low lying land that melds into Dundrum Bay encircled with what looks like end moraine formations. Trace the tree lined rivers that tumble toward the sea. Are they remnants of once torrential glacial outflows? Try and picture in your minds eye the great glacial ice sheets spilling from the mountain valleys sculpting and moulding the terrain laid out below.

There are many and varied accent / descent routes available to the walker each one presenting it's own unique and pleasing characteristics. The tourist route, starting in Donard car park takes you up the Glen River path were it’s fascinating to examine the transition from Silurian bedrock to the younger granite. Follow the path which will lead you all the way to the Mourne wall. On the way stop and study the varied glacial features. The most notable is the Corrie that’s been carved out from the Northern face of Donard. Look out for this as you drive towards Newcastle from Castlewellan, it’s a most prominent feature toward evening. There’s also the glacial spur of Eagle Rock and the Pot of Pulgarve. I always find it awe inspiring to think of the energy required to gouge these formations from the mountains. Anyway, proceeding up the path stop just above the tree line and look left to the rippled surfaces of Thomas’s Mountain. You can still see the layering folds formed in the molten magma as it cooled after being injected into the long gone Silurian overcoat. When you reach the wall swing left and follow it to make your accent to the summit. There’s a stone path leading up the flank of the summit which follows the wall. It’s a bit dicey in places so watch your step if its wet. Just one other thing. For anyone who has regularly walked in the Mournes have you noticed a thin band of red subsoil that is exposed at the riverbanks. Its really noticeable up the Tracey track, does anyone know what this is. Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/19/comment/1984/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Misty Magnificence
Donard from Sliabh Muck
by kernowclimber  1 May 2016
A mixed bag of weather in the Mourne Mountains yesterday provided great opportunities for some creative photography. Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/19/comment/18513/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Tiernan on Slieve Donard
 
tony on Slieve Donard, 2008
by tony  21 Feb 2008
I just thought I would share an interesting story with you. My self and my son Tiernan are keen Hikers and have spent many happy weekends rambling the hills of the mournes. Every weekend Tiernan packs his backpack and checks his kit before we set off. For the last year and a half we have spent most of our time on the route to Slieve Donard from Donard car park. Every weekend Tiernan gets a little bit further than the last time before stopping for his lunch and heading back to the car. On Saturday the 16th February Tiernan made it for the first time to the summit of Slieve Donard. This story might not seem out of the ordinary except for the fact that Tiernan was born on the 17th May 2004 which makes him nearly four years old. Tiernans day was made when some hikers greeted him at the top by shacking his hand and congratulating him. This is a respectful achievement for people of all ages but for Tiernan it was nothing short of incredible. I always bring my camera so I can take loads of pictures and put them on the net for our friends and family. Naturally I have loads of pictures of this particular event which I would be delighted to share with you if you are interested. Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/19/comment/2972/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
GWPR on Slieve Donard, 2004
by GWPR  10 Feb 2004
Inspired by David Kirk’s excellent book “The Mountains of Mourne” and also by Comments in Mountain Views I decided to venture into The Mournes!

I chose Slieve Donard at my starting point despite differing views expressed in Mountain Views.
I’m glad I read ct_armstrong’s comment of 18/05/03 – “Slieve Donard must not be dismissed!” How right he is!

I started at Newcastle and went through Donard Wood, a beautiful place with the Glen River tumbling down cascades to green pools of water. Following the Glen River I eventually arrived at a magnificent glen with Slieve Commedagh on my right and Slieve Donard on my left. What a fabulous setting! A granite causeway leads up to the Mourne Wall at a col between Sl. Donard and Sl. Commedagh.

Some of the granite steps were iced over and care was needed here.
When I arrived at this point the views disappeared in a heavy snow shower.
I looked over the Mourne Wall into a whiteout! Had I come this far to see nothing?
I followed the great Mourne wall to the summit of Slieve Donard and arrived at the
Stone tower and trig point _- the top of the Mournes! All I saw was the Mourne Wall
disappear into the white. I met a hardy soul who advised me to wait a few minutes – “It might clear briefly”, he said. Sure enough it did and what views!
The Mourne Wall snaked down Slieve Donard and crept up Slieve Commedagh. This great wall is probably the only snake left in Ireland!

I peeped over the Mourne Wall again and now the Mournes were revealed in all their glory! Looking across the Annalong Valley were snow covered Binnian, Lamagan, and Cove.
The Devil’s Coachroad looked treacherously iced up while Bearnagh and Slievenagloch seemed to invite me on – another day! (Photo).
I followed the Mourne Wall and ascended Slieve Commedagh, hurrying now as the snow started again. No views this time as the snow clouds closed in and did not clear.
Grateful for its navigational security I followed the wall back to the col and descended carefully to the upper Glen River track.
What views, though some were only glimpsed briefly, I will be back!
mhughes 23/12/02 recommends Slieve Bearnagh and Slieve Binnian - next on my list! Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/19/comment/843/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
 
Bleck Cra on Slieve Donard, 2005
by Bleck Cra  9 Jan 2005
Sunday, I took myself, non-detoxed grey face and distended Christmas stomach up the Glen River. It was a hummer, still, better than listening to Eamonn McCann and some unfortunate prelates explore God’s (or is he?), role (or are they?) in natural disasters (or is it?). As always, when you think only you could be fool enough to go out in a day like this, you find the whole world is out before you - or at least, strangely, all the beautiful world: not a gap tooth or a bad complexion among them. I believe there’s no snow in Chamonix yet - which explains it. Ma Nature of the North was doing her bit for destruction, by trying to wipe County Down off the planet. Great oaks reduced to kindling, ancient hollies (he ain’t heavy, but he’s jaggy) shaved clean and power-dressed pine, sliced in half. Very wet, very windy and ultimately fairly pointless and very brief - sad wuss who but a decade ago did the whole Carn Mairg Group in an afternoon, minus 15 and complete white-out. Few highlights included the bullet-proof gate at the ice house, ripped from its moorings; the Glen River becoming one; and in parts, a carpet of crimson berries. Incidentally, if you haven’t already got one of these new waterproof hats with the wire brim and ear muffs, get one now: they’re in the same class as widgets! Tiso’s have one at “only £30” - ONLY?! ….. and Millets and Marks’s do stonkers for a lot less. They do turn a handsome track rat into Benny Hill, though. A stroll on to Donard and a brisk trot off ……. into a deranged Springer (what other kind is there?) and its mad outdoorsman owner. “Desperate day,” I said, dully. “Rough ….” said one of them. Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/19/comment/1413/
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MountainViews.ie Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
David Kirk on Slieve Donard, 2005
by David Kirk  19 Feb 2005
David Kirk (19.02.05) By accident (embarassingly because of an ego-tripping Yahoo search on my own name) I have discovered the wonderful world of Mountainviews through the generous comment by GWPR (10.02.04) on a book on the Mournes I had published a couple of years ago.It is absolutely brilliant (Mountainviews, I mean). As regards 'decent, kindly' Slieve Donard (H.V. Morton) you don't have to follow the 'tourist trail' which some commentators seem to find so mundane. Try going up by the Black Stairs for instance (cross the river at the Ice House and up by left of the waterfall gully.) This will give you a bit of hairy scrambling, and exposure, especially when wet. It's a cracker, but take care if you're not experienced. From there the ascent up the north slopes is exhiliarating if you lift your face out of the bog and boulder-fields and turn round frequently to look at the views of County Down as they unfold beneath.(The Black Stairs are just behind the swan on the right in the pic below) A great walk. Another cracker is again to cross at the Ice House, contour round to the base of Eagle Rock, slope up round it to a grassy gully. Scramble up (no problems). It brings you out to the top of the cliffs and you can romp up to the North Cairn, again enjoying big, big views. Trackback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/19/comment/1488/
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