I wanted to see if I could make a route up to Beann SW top from Cloon Lough and follow the ridge to Finnararagh, descending NE from there. I first tried to climb to the saddle between Beann and Beann SW top but met a particularly steep section of rock and grass that would need 2 people and a safety rope for comfort. I then contoured along to ascend Beann SW top from the NW and found it steep with some crags but all passable.
The ridge along to Finnararagh is very pleasant though the going is tougher as you get closer to its top. After a long break on the summit, admiring the extensive views and doing some peak spotting, I began the descent. I went down just right of the obvious ridge that runs from the summit for approx 10 - 15 mins then contoured around in a wide descending arc to reach better ground, finally, on the valley floor. The going is tough, with many rocks and boulders, pot holes and a series of rock ribs with difficult descents. I would not recommend this as a usual descent route but if you absolutely, positively have to get down to this valley, then in dry, clear conditions, its worth a try. Im glad I did it, happier still that I had no mishaps! The weather was ideal for walking and I saw not one person till I got back to my car. As an aside, I brought a small radio and headphones with me and listened to Lyric fm on the climb up to Beann SW top!