David-Guenot: Track 3240 in area near Cnoc na hUilleann, Maamturks (Ireland)
A great route... and a new MV summit !!
Length: 15.7km, Creator time taken: 6h31m, Ascent: 853m, Descent: 856m
Places:Start at L85933 53380, Cnoc na hUilleann, Cnoc na hUilleann North Top, Barr Log Riabhach, Binn Bhriocáin, Binn Bhriocáin NE Top, end at Start Logged as completed by 2
Maumturks part III: Cnoc na hUilleann - Binn Bhriocain. Following Onzy's instructions I started from the townland of Illion, where there is room for two or three cars along the curve where the Western Way leaves the tarmac, followed the track to the NW and left it just before reaching the second bridge. Timing was perfect as the few clouds hanging over the ridge lifted as I started ascending. No time to warm up for this one though, as the ground levels soon, quite a steep ascent, but really enjoyable, with the views opening over the Twelve Bens behind me, and some beautiful waterfalls to admire on the way up along the stream. What struck me from the beginning of the walk was the big bulk that was proudly standing between Cnoc na hUilleann and Binn Bhriocain, an unnamed and unlisted summit which prominence did not seem to fit the criteria, but a quite distinct and remarkable mountain nevertheless, at least seen from this side. Keeping that in mind -and in sight- I veered due S as I reached the coum for the final pull up Cnoc na hUilleann and enjoyed a snack with tremendous views over Mam Ochoige and Binn Idir an Da Log to the SE (the descent I had done the previous day down to Mam Ochoige looked really impressive from up there !!), and the amazing Twelve Bens and beautiful Lough Inagh to the W.
It was then an easy stroll down to the col and up Cnoc na hUilleann N Top, where the views were also worth a few photos, especially to the E, where I was rather impressed by Culog's steep NW slopes. I then climbed on top of pt. 558m, and, also having a closer look at the map, realised the "unnamed-but-remarkable mountain" I had noticed on my way up was actually just the southern shoulder of this minor summit. But as I started descending, it seemed it was slightly more prominent than expected, and I stopped at the low point at the col with Binn Bhriocain, as to ponder on the question: could it be an Arderin Beg ?? The GPS suggested so, but I have a doubt about its true accuracy, though just looking up at where I had come down from was enough to confirm the prominence was probably over 15m. This would definitely need to be submitted to MV !! Anyway the weather was beautiful and I was plainly enjoying the walk, enjoying every last bit of the ascent up mighty Binn Bhriocain, which bulk I had been admiring on a few occasions while driving along Lough Inagh, and it was a great feeling to be up there at last to enjoy the amazing 360° vista.
A bit of a snack and I started my descent to the NE. Some clouds had been gathering for a while to the E, but the weather had remained pretty clear and sunny over the ridge, until I reached the col with the NE Top, where the wind was blowing harder than anywhere else on the ridge, to the point I was gasping my breath trying to take a photo of the green valley to the E !! From the col, it was a quick ascent up Binn Bhriocain NE Top. I could easily figure out the next day's walk over Leenaun Hill and co. from there. I then started the long descent along the ridge, a rather pleasant one first, with Doughruagh and the Garraun-Benchoona massif still clearly visible in the distance; but I had intended to add Binn Bhan to the journey, so instead of enjoying what would have been a gentle descent NW, I veered NE to the col, but soon realised time was running out, as I still had a bit of walking to do and wanted to be on time to check in at the hostel near Leenaun. As I was approaching the col, the steep, grassy ground combined with a few drops of rain and a bit of fatigue convinced me it would be wiser to head back to the car. After the steep portion above and below the col, the descent became rather gentle and the rain stopped. I tried to pick up the path shown on Harvey's map, but it was actually not really obvious and kept disappearing and reappearing. Anyway, it is just a matter of sticking to the right side of the stream. As I was reaching the low ground, I could not find the track leading S to the Western Way, so went too far to the SW, contouring some fences over marshy ground, before reaching the Western Way at last. Probably a better look at the map at this stage would have been a good idea. I guess it would probably be advisable to try and cross the stream a bit earlier, especially after heavy rain.
It was then a pleasant stroll back to the car along the Western Way, with fine views over the Twelve Bens and the impressive SW slopes of Binn Bhriocain. And I arrived early enough to check in at the hostel, where a big storm suddenly came from nowhere, and I got soaked in a few seconds while getting my stuff out of the car !! Dark clouds, thunder, lightning and heavy rain, which lasted for a good 20/30 minutes, I was glad I had not been up in the mountains any longer !! Bad news was I could not bag Binn Bhan, but the good news is, I finally did climb five summits on that one walk, as Barr Log Riabhach -or Barrlugrevagh- (pt 558m) has just been added as a new Arderin Beg !!
Uploaded on: Thu, 19 May 2016 (09:46:26) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/3240/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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