Peter Walker: Track 4085 in area near Kings Mountain, Dartry Mountains (Ireland)
Benbulbin & Kings Mountain from the north
Length: 13.4km, Creator time taken: 2h51m, Ascent: 520m, Descent: 475m
Places:Start at G69757 47327, Kings Mountain, Benbulbin, Benbulbin South-East Top, end at G70118 46947 525m SE from Start Logged as completed by 1
An English blow-in decided that St Patrick's Day needed some form of acknowledgement, so off he went to the most iconic Irish mountain he could think of that isn't Croagh Patrick (because he's done that, it's a four hour drive and I thought it'd be heinously busy). Sunshine and blustery showers were forecast, and the latter was very much winning out over the former on the way out west. But by the time I squeezed my car onto what little parking space remained at Luke's Bridge things had brightened up a bit, so I was optimistic that while I might be cold and blown around, any moisture that attacked me would most likely be through the bog under my feet rather than via the sky over my head.
A steady climb up the road led to a junction with two tracks setting off south towards the mountain. I picked the left (east) one and soon had second thoughts, as the walking club who had set off ahead of me now seemed to be engaged on the ascent of the stream heading the valley on the other side of it to myself. A quick boggy flounder west 'fixed' this, or at least I thought it had before they all transferred over to my original side about halfway up. Regardless of such malarkey it's a sharp but pleasant climb, the funneling wind blowing the stream back up its descent gully at the lip of the plateau.
With the harder work done, it was time to go list ticking and bog hopping across the plateau. First up was Kings Mountain, a stark little top that soon appeared in the middle distance and (following a lot of ins and outs in peat hags) it yielded to a short clamber. The morning's rain seemed a long time ago as the light skittered around the fantastic view. Still bleeding windy, mind you.
Inevitably such meteorological smugness was short-lived, as a nasty little hailstorm enlivened the boggy wander over to Benbulbin itself. It was somewhat murky at the trig point, and I didn't linger given both that and the fact that Benbulbin is one of those mountains where the summit is the flattest and dullest bit. So the view has way too much foreground...
...so I wandered over to Trebauns, the top of the prow of Benbulbin that is so prominent from the west, a location that definitely doesn't suffer from that 'excess of foreground' issue. The weather had cheered up by the time I was standing on the lip and looking out over the coast...that Yeats bloke was clearly onto something. Then I wandered back up the track towards the top before contouring it to the south (with hindsight this probably doesn't save time or energy) and walking over the embryonic summit of Benbulbin SE Top.
Back down to the top of the gully, and this time I decided to stick to the true right side of the stream. This was steep (but ok) higher up, but nearer the bottom became something akin to a mudslide, with several clumsy middle-aged falls being taken. Mucky bit accomplished it became time for the squelchy bit, as some full-on bog had to be crossed to reach the end of the track...all good, character-building stuff.
And so back to the car. As I crossed the bridge a group of four late teens coming the other way said hello and asked me if I'd just been on the plateau. I said yes, whereupon the follow-up question was 'how long does it take?'. I glanced at their pristine trainers and tracksuits, and decided that these were folk who would benefit from a bit of Anglo-exaggeration-cum-deterrence. 'It's about an hour and a half to get up there...and it'll be properly nasty coming down'. 'Ah thanks!' came the reply, before they all set off anyway. Kids today, eh?
Uploaded on: Mon, 18 Mar 2019 (20:20:56) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4085/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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