Climbing Slieve Donard

(see our other walk from the weekend, Hares Gap, here)

The main reason (apart from my own photo reconnoissance) was to try and climb Slieve Donard. A few months earlier we had attempted to summit Errigal in Co.Donegal which resulted in having to turn back near the top.

The last time I was on the slopes of Donard was back in the mid 1990s when a group of us went bouldering at Bloody Bridge. Seems like only yesterday.

We parked the car in Donard Car Park (my Cambridge head still attached at times was amazed that the car parking was totally free) and started to make our way up the Glen River Track. After about an hour of climbing we broke through the forest and had our first glimpse at what lay ahead.

On approach to the Mourne Wall Nicola commented that the nerves that had stopped our ascent of Errigal had returned. We took a moment, slowed the pace and continued upwards. I was pleased that the wind, which had gotten up a tad, was mostly blocked by the wall as we made our final push for the summit.

Once again the good old Jetboil was on hand with super noodles and a coffee as we took in the 360 clear panoramic views from the Summit. Simply stunning. After a discussion with a few folks up top we decided to head back down via the Bloody Bridge track which, while for parts is less defined than the route we had come up on, would mean that we would see the mountain from both sides.

A pretty ‘interesting’ walk down via the wall until we reached the Bloody Bridge track. I must admit having considered in a future trip to ascent via this route I now know the easier way up would be via the Glen River. (or indeed to Hares Gap and along the Brandy Pad)

Back down to the Bloody Bridge car park, a 30 minute wait on bus and then onwards to a cold beer before back to camp. Looking back at these images I’m already planning my next trip back to the area. I’m just a little bit in love with the landscape down there.

All images on the X100T, jpeg with the classic Chrome film simulation.

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Walk through Tollymore Forest 
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Breaking the treeline 
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Heather filled landscape 
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The view back to Newcastle (our starting point) 
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Nicola with her ‘love this so much’ face 
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Higher still 
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The Mourne Wall (and our final push up) 
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Going up
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Almost there
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Mountain Runner
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Summit .. time for a coffee
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View from the top
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An interesting descent
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Nicola ‘aka Mountain Goa’ Cooke
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Can see the sea 
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Disused Quarry

 

 

 

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