A short walk of less than an hour to the summit, starting from the small carpark at the northern end of Easky Lough ( Easky L (G44905 23723)
). This is a stunning setting and it would be tempting to sit by the shores of the Lough without climbing the slopes reaching high above.
Take to the hillside past a small quarried area next to the carpark to reach a fence which finds the Sruffaungarve river. This provides a line of ascent on mostly easy grassy ground beside the river, negotiating between boulders on the way. Great views over Easky Lough soon appear and beyond shafts of light brought the slumbering giants of Mayo into view.
A group of large erratic boulders provide an immediate target on the way up to the plateau(A (G45419 13659)
). On reaching the plateau a further and more impressive group of erractics and small lough are reached (B (G45612 23531)
). This is a fantastic spot to clamber over the boulders trying to get good photos or just to explore.
Drop slightly passing two small pools of water (C (G45602 23280)
) before rising to the top of Sruffaungarve. The ground on the way up was damp even after a prolonged dry spell - at the top a small pile of stones marked the top (D (G45437 23008)
) at a height of 407m.
Views reach over Easky Lough SW to the bulk of Nephin, Nephin Beg, Slieve Carr and others and N to the cliffs of Slieve League. The high Ox plateau takes up most of the views to the E as it rises to over 500m.
An easy return back to the carpark would be by same route but my plan was to visit Knockalongy and Annatoran. This involved dropping down NE to pick up and follow the river appearing from the slopes just below summit of Knockalongy.
A great walk on its own giving much reward for not much effort with options to explore the higher plateau and highest hills of the Ox. As others have said these hills are best left for that long dry spell that we get now and again! Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/836/comment/6859/