Peter Walker: Track 4478 in area near Shanlieve, Mourne Mountains (Ireland)
Shanlieve & Eagle Mountain from Leitrim Lodge
Length: 13.7km, Creator time taken: 3h49m, Ascent: 704m, Descent: 704m
Places:Start at J22419 25574, Shanlieve, Eagle Mountain, Rocky Mountain, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
The Western Mournes are generally quieter than their High(er) cousins to the east, and the ending of the more rigorous lockdown restrictions has made both quieter still, certainly in comparison to the last year or so. Thus it was that 'The Team' (as the Cra has chosen to re-christen us) decided on this as the venue for our regular Sunday shlep. Well, Gerard decided and the rest of us didn't object.
Leaving the Leitrim Lodge car park we strolled up the track to the Mourne Way, and followed it southwards, with woodlands above and below, and the odd mountain biker for variety. Reaching the Yellow Water river we worked our way upwards on the network of paths and tracks before emerging into the tussocky badlands to the east of Tievedockeragh and south of Pierce's Castle (where a large walking group was already in-situ relatively early in the morning).
Now, some fun. The map suggests the obvious line up Shanlieve goes up Batts Wall from Shanlough; the on-the-ground reality is somewhat different, as wicklore's ominous comment on the Tievedockeragh page on this site bears out. So we kept well north of the fence crossing the gap where Shanlough should be, through more benign areas of Castle Bog, and rejoined the wall for the sharp pull (rough path) up Shanlieve. This took us into the clouds on a day where showers were forecast, but for now the rain held off.
A short descent and a slightly longer (still short, mind) climb brought Eagle Mountain underfoot, a fine rufty tufty hill with an impressive line of cliffs on its east side. But with visibility limited we stayed on the non-summit side of the wall for lunch. A steep descent by the wall brought Windy Gap underfoot, and we eschewed the summits of Slievemoughanmore and Wee Slievemoughan to take a cross-country course down to Rocky Water. Another little pull up the vapours of a path took us to the ridgeline north of Pierce's Castle, and we yomped onwards over Tornamrock to the col under Rocky Mountain.
Across the Mourne Way and up the popular diversion to Rocky Mountain. We were well out of the cloud by now, but a look down the valley southwest towards Rostrevor and Carlingford Lough suggested that the promised showers were mustering themselves over the border. Thus a hasty retreat was made down Rocky's western shoulder back to the track adjacent to the car park.
Uploaded on: Mon, 17 May 2021 (18:47:15) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4478/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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