A winter walk over Mullaghmore, one of my favourite hills in the Sperrins for its accessibility, views and great walking. Captured on video and at Youtube link above.
Starting point was at the foot of the mountain at Moydamlaght Forest, with easy parking for a number of cars.
A wonderful place to walk in any season, through mature beech and then pine. Grey skies laden with snow and 15cm on the ground confirmed that winter was indeed a good time. The dark trunks of the beech tried their best to stand out against the relentless whiteness, succeeding better than the pine which were swamped with the weight and quantity of snow.
Good forest tracks reach high through the forest, passing numerous blue barrels with seed hoppers at the bottom, which were a welcome place for birds today. A fenced off area in the forest, just of the track contains various structures and almost looks like some survivalist camp.
An area of clearfell was entered and this gave views to trees higher up the hillside and glimpses of other hills before they entered into the low cloud. The going was pretty good as high winds had swept lying snow off the forest tracks into drifts.
The end of the forest was reached and a stile crossed at the cliffs of Craig-na-Shoke. These rose up into the mist and were plastered in snow and in the lee of the cliffs it was strangely still, with snow falling quietly and steadily. Big snow drifts abounded and a lone rabbit tried to get at the greenness below, standing out a mile against the snow.
There were fantastic opportunities to walk up the steep ground to the side of the cliffs, were gullies had been levelled off with snow 2-3ft deep. Great fun kicking and plodding through this to the top of the cliffs. Mist and wind made thier presence felt up here and it was a walk of over a kilometre to the summit. Deep snow drifts abounded and all was froze solid.
Near the summit heavily iced powerlines appeared, with one pole looking like it had lost the battle to stand against the elements. These looked really impressive but the snow falling and spindrift blowing meant getting the camera out was not a good idea :( At the comms station the smell of diesel confirmed that the generator was going and the power was down. The icing of the chainlink fence created a solid barrier behind which i tried to get some shelter from the blowing snow, unsuccessfully. The comms mast looked amazingly impressive with several inches of ice coating every surface.
Heading down was by way of the summit access road, which was just distinguishable from the snow filled ditches at either side.This was a lovely walk through untrodden snow to the high pass and road below. The road was snow covered, though previous ploughing kept the depth down. A walk of some 3 km along this road brought the starting point.