Left luggage at Rocky Mountain! The Walkers in the Mournes
The March outing of the St Columbanus walkers was delayed a week because of bad weather. When ten of us eventually set off, neither of our leaders, Betty and Leslie, could join us. We travelled to Rourke’s Park, near Annalong, where Hill had kindly agreed to show us a corner of his beloved Mournes.
We set off in low cloud which obscured the view. The terrain called for waterproof boots and, ideally, gaiters. It was busy on the Mournes that day. We met or saw several other groups enjoying the great outdoors.
We made our way uphill to the quarry at Round Seefin. Hill told us that the granite from this quarry was regarded as being of the highest quality and had been used for producing granite sets. At the top of the quarry we followed the Mourne Wall over Long Seefin. By the time we reached a stile at the foot of Rocky Mountain for our lunch stop, the cloud had lifted and we were able to enjoy the views down the Spence’s River valley towards the sea.
After lunch, two of our number offered to provide a “left luggage” service for our backpacks while the other nine tackled the ascent of the aptly–named Rocky Mountain. Even unencumbered by backpacks, some of us found the sharp ascent quite challenging. However, at the top we we rewarded with a wonderful 360 degree panorama of the Mourne Mountains. The descent of Rocky Mountain – on what turned out to be its wet side – proved tricky and number of us arrived back at the “left luggage” point with damp patches on our clothing from involuntary contact with the wet ground. Thankfully, all of these landings were soft!
The descent from there was gentle, but, again, wet and muddy. We returned to the cars and changed into dry footwear. We then headed to our usual cafe in Newcastle for well earned refreshments after a good day out in the Mournes.
Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Sunday 12th March 2017