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Bunsen7: Track 3929 in area near Benlettery, Twelve Bens (Ireland)
Upper Glencoaghan Valley's swollen streams pose potential hazard
Length: 12.8km, Creator time taken: 6h30m, Ascent: 1154m,
Descent: 1102m

Places: Start at L77698 48264, Benlettery, Binn Gabhar, Binn Bhraoin, Binn Bhraoin Central Top, Binn Bhraoin North Top, end at L80576 48969 3km E from Start
Logged as completed by 2
The weather was forecast as changeable. We started the horseshoe in a clockwise direction from Ben Lettery in relatively good conditions, but they took a turn for the worse by the time we made it down to Glengower. Still, we pressed on over Benbreen, overcoming the challenge of finding the correct northerly line of descent to Maumina in whiteout conditions (as one could easily be drawn to the east of Benbreen North Top if not paying attention).
The decision to escape into Glencoaghan via Maumina col was taken after meeting another group intending to do exactly that en route to Benncollaghduff, after having considered it initially at the col but pushed upwards due to a fear of Glencoaghan being very inhospitable, and so it proved.
To say that the conditions were difficult at this point would be an understatement. Still, Glencoaghan couldn't do us too much damage - we hoped.
Alas, stream after stream tumbled down in spate cutting deep into the boggy hillsides, cascading at fierce pace and roaring into the river to the east. The extent of this drainage system is not clear at the scale of the OS map. Google and satellite images will give a better idea.
Fording each stream was an increasingly big challenge, so we thought a slightly higher line on the western side of the glen might allow us to cross more easily than where these tributaries joined the river. The east side of the river is rather steep in the upper section of the valley. With hindsight, the line we took was a mistake. Disaster struck at the umpteenth stream crossing, a misjudged jump over the cascading stream causing the far bank to give way and a facial cut for one of our party. Thankfully, nothing that would prevent us continuing to make our way out of the valley. But a big shock.
By the end in the lower course we were linking arms to walk through the stream and river as water was already running out of our boots.
Having parked a second car in the glen beneath Derryclare allowed for a quicker escape (this car journey to Ben Lettery is also captured by the gps track unfortunately) but a word to the wise - be very careful and consider your line of descent carefully in the upper part of this glen if you do find yourself there - despite it appearing like a typical wild and boggy valley your escape is by no means complete until you've cleared the river and its many tributary streams!
Glencoaghan's horseshoe of peaks from the Recess to Clifden roadside
Looking back up Bengower's north face partway down the descent, before the rain started

Uploaded on: Tue, 11 Sep 2018 (12:05:36)
Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/3929/  
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Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 4h 29m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

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Some mapping:
Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence)
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