On the RTE news on a Monday night in 2009, then minister Eamon O Cuiv and Sligo landowner Andy McSharry announced that the long running access dispute in the Gleniff area had been resolved, at least as far as Mr McSharry was concerned. Minister O'Cuiv was keen to state, lest any precedant be set, that no money was paid out to facilitate this agreement. Mr McSharry countered that Colite was to build an access road which would be of value to him. Winners all round perhaps and faces saved.
This was the 21st of September. I'd been fixated on visiting this iconic mountain since first seeing a photo of it, probably a year previously. Six days later a small group of us met up in Drumcliff Churchyard, (of course visiting the poet's grave) and then did the car drop as it was to be a linear route.
There's a lot of forestry to the east of Benwisken, so I'd planned the access route mainly from aerial photos which give a much clearer view of the blocks of trees, forest tracks and firebreaks etc.
On the RTE clip, there was a shot of either the said gentlemen, or perhaps the reporter, can't remember exactly, standing at a galvanized gate at the start of a gravelled track. Fortunately when we got to my intended starting point, the gate was the one shown on the news bulletin. In fact it's a very distinctive fullsize gate plus a half one. This is the starting point in the 'approved' route detailed by Captain vertigo in his summit comment for this mountain. We didn't quite go up this way, being unaware of any agreed route, but used a more direct way through the forest.
Benwisken itself was the highlight of the route, followed closely by a descent of the King's Gully. There is a track descending slightly above the gully and to the east of it, but we missed it and went down the giant steps of the gully itself. Wonderful views unfold as you go down.
Curiously, just before Slievemore at G72682 46371, there is an extremely sharp and narrow crevasse which would be fatal if stumbled into. This is completely different to and distinct from the rounded, bowl shaped depressions encountered between Benwisken and Slievemore, though they may all be caused by fractures in the underlying rock.