I started this walk from the scenic viewpoint and carpark (
) at the head of the Glengesh Pass, a fantastic drive up through a steep sided valley along hairpin bends to gain height. At the hairpin bend just below the carpark there is a gate and rough track heading onto the hillside. This is accompanied by a sign saying 'private no entry', joining a plethora of other such signs up through the valley. I politely ignored the sign, dropping down, crossing a stream and started climbing the open hillside. The views along the valley soon open out to include the magnificent coastline of the area, including Slievetooey. Cross an easy area of peat hags and pick up the remains of an old wall heading uphill. A broad top is reached in 30 mins, with views stretching across Donegal Bay to the clear line of the Sligo Hills and the Ox mtns stretching westwards. A further 15 mins NE brings the summit of eroded peat and some stone, with a small cairn and 'OS pillar', or concrete filled plastic pipe as it is more commonly known as in these parts. A much more satisfying route is visible from here, taking in the natural horeshoe of steep slopes to the N & E. The views from the summit take in the remainder of Donegals hills - the Bluestacks and the Derryveaghs. To the S I could see the boats in the fishing port of Killybegs.
I returned SW and trhen S along the broad top on good ground, picking up a fenceline. Where the fence turns to avoid an outcrop of rock, cross and head down towards the col at point 384m (
). The ground looks terrible from here but is not too bad to cross. Pick up a newly constructed fence and follow as it turns and heads uphill, but veer off S for the top of Crocknapeast (497m), reached 45 mins after Common. Pass some pools of water at the top and then drop and rise as follow around the rim of the valley containing the Crow river. A line of old rotting fence posts show the way, with great views to the top of Crownard to the S. Reach the top of Mulnanaff (475m) and contour around another river valley dropping down from this line of hills. Head downhill now towards a stand of conifers and pick up a waymarked way (
). This is very wet and could better be characterised as a streaam in many places. A stream is crossed, with the help of a guide rope (
), and a lane provides easier passage. This joins the road heading back to Glengesh and 45 mins of walking does the job. A walk over a good part of the Glengesh hills, good views, no other people, not the best weather, enjoyable day. Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/453/comment/2560/