Peter Walker: Track 4575 in area near Slieve Donard, Mourne Mountains (Ireland)
Donard and Commedagh from Newcastle
Length: 13.7km, Creator time taken: 4h29m, Ascent: 1070m, Descent: 1073m
Places:Start at J37320 30471, Slieve Donard, end at Start Logged as completed by 1
Some Sundays you don't have the mental energy to be wildly creative with your route choices, and such days in the Mournes can often lead you to the fleshpots of the Donard Park car park in Newcastle. And so it was that The Team (get well soon Cra) assembled on a brisk but clear November morning, a couple of our number on the comeback trail, and the nominal leader on the day somewhat sore from a lot of running in the week. We didn't want things too hard, but we didn't want them too easy either, so we were going for a straightforward traverse of the range's two highest summits. One thing that does need some energy is the ascent of Donard up the Glen River path, probably the longest continuous climb in Ireland. The built path means that the ground can get eaten up on the right sort of day, but today (while glorious in visibility terms) was beset by pockets of strong wind. So progress up the Glen was a bit staccato, but on attaining the Saddle at its head and discovering that the wind wasn't tearing over the far side of the Mourne Wall, we relaxed into the sharp pull up to the summit. It did get a bit blowier higher up, but fortunately it was directly behind up and a quick nip around the corner at the top saw us into calmer air. Down to the Bog of Donard: we were trying to avoid retracing ground wherever possible. A quick lunch stop then over the stile and along the Brandy Pad along the flanks of Donard. The wind was picking up as we kept going past the track rising back to the Saddle; that's the easiest way up Commedagh, but our modus operandi on this occasion kept us going to the col under Slieve Beg. From here it's a steady steepening pathless plod up to the Wall over Commedagh; excellent for building power endurance, especially now the wind had picked up to a destablising level. A lot of stumbles and swearing later we were all taking the unusual step of hiding from the gale in the tower on the top. (This is normally Northern Ireland's highest public toilet, so entering is a last resort). The original notion had been to descend over Shanslieve, but with that being a very open route we decided to go down the Wall to the Saddle instead. The buffeting diminished with the altitude, and it was an uneventful shlep back down the Glen to the start.
Uploaded on: Mon, 8 Nov 2021 (22:11:29) Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4575/ To download GPS tracks you must be enrolled and logged in. See "Login or enrol", top right - quick and easy.
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