From the carpark at the northern end of Easky Lough there is a stunning drive along its shoreline heading south. A couple of isolated dwellings are passed and then drop downhill to find the little layby at C (E (G445 200))
. This is an excellent point from which to tackle the steep hillside of Clonnacool.
Drop from the roadside and cross high tussocky grass, easy going and unusually dry. Head straight for the crags and boulders and a steep climb through them. This is great fun with no great difficulty. A natural shelter which could be used for a couple of people to bivy stands at D (G44879 20246)
. Nice views reach up north to Easky Lough as climb.
Above the crags and boulders there is a somewhat more ordinary and level area before another couple of rises to the summit area. This took a measly half hour. A fox quickly disappeared through the peat hags as i approached the summit. A good dander about brought a few spots where the height was 448m.
Sharper air than the previous day allowed views to extend out over the plateau and i was able to spy three of the numerous loughs around Clonnacool - they certainly look to be worth exploring further. Views cast out over the Atlantic through all the big hills of Mayo to Croagh Patrick, the high line of the Sheefrys with the plunge to Doo Lough. Slievemore was impressively visible in the col between Slieve Carr and Nephin Beg. To the N the top of Truskmore rose above the Oxen
Return was a drop down on very steep grassy slopes to the south of the ascent. Hard going to keep the brakes on and would be a nightmare in wet weather, but was good today. Great perspective on the valley cutting through the Ox and the change in nature as it drops height and levels off. Easily contour across the hillside to the starting point.
Around an hour of movement with some more time for lunch and the views west and south, 300 m ascent, so easy to fit in with other exploration of the area or perhaps a more strenuous approach along the plateau from the north which would take in the loughs? Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/658/comment/14692/