Thanks to excellent walk reports by MountainViews contributors, in particular Harry Goodman’s, a very enjoyable round of 6 of the Castlegal Hills was completed on 31st July 2020. It had rained heavily overnight and the following morning but the forecast was for the rain the clear. We sat in the car at G762 403 gloomily eating lunch while we looked out on grey skies and driving drizzle, not very confident that the forecaster’s prediction would come true. Our patience was rewarded though and the hills gradually came into view as the clouds slowly lifted while the rain eased and eventually stopped.
We followed Harry Goodman’s directions down the gravel lane from G762 403 and crossed a bridge over the swollen Doonally Stream at G768 399 and passed by a re-roofed old house / shed. We crossed some very wet fields and then, to avoid disturbing flocks of sheep, we abandoned Harry’s directions and headed straight up toward the summit of Keelogyboy. Some steep ground and high heather but no real difficulties. Some great views to Sligo city (Sligo has a mayor), Sligo Bay, Knocknarea and Crockauns from the summit.Crockauns from Keelogyboy, the shiney metal on the re-roofed shed in the left centre
Keelogyboy SW top was next on the agenda. More steep ground and high heather but again, no real difficulties provided you were patient. Better views of Lough Gill too. We spotted the grassy gully mentioned by Harry in his walk report for Keelogyboy SW, with top at G77097 38634. This is a delightful feature and provided a pleasant route towards Keelogyboy NE Top.Harry’s Gully framing Keelogyboy SW
Harry’s round then took him to Hangman’s Hill, Crockauns and Copes Mountain, We decided to omit Cope’s Mountain and include Keelogyboy Far NE top instead. The ascent of Keelogyboy Far NE top was steep but grassy and we had excellent views from the summit as the skies had cleared well by then.View East towards Leean from Keelogyboy Far NE top
Hangman’s Hill was next and part of our route had to be retraced to retrieve map and map case left behind on the hillside while photographing Keelogyboy Far NE top.Keelogyboy Far NE top from Hangman's Hill ascent
It was getting on in the evening by the time Hangman's Hill summit was reached so the northern spur was omitted and after descending it was straight across flat, grassy but very wet ground to Crockauns. Great views back to Hangman’s Hill which was well lit with evening sunshine.Hangman’s Hill from the west
The summit of Crockaun gave fine views back to the Keelogyboys and north towards Glencar, Truskmore and beyond. The waterfall at Glencar could be discerned because of the heavy overnight and morning rain. We then followed a fence down some very steep grassy ground to our parking spot, G762 403.