A challenging walk in the Mournes

A challenging walk in the Mournes

Saturday the 7th of September, dry and cloudy at first, then sunny and breezy, saw an unusually small group of half a dozen St Columbanus Walkers head off on the first walk in the group’s newly published 12 month schedule. Talk as we gathered was of a probably challenging outing to the Mournes, and so it proved!

We arrived at our starting point on the Rocky River around 10.30 and were soon underway heading up part of what is known as the Hen Trail, climbing gradually, and enjoying great views of Hen and Cock mountains. At the point where the Hen Trail becomes less obvious we swung off west across country following our own route for the day climbing towards the col between Slievemoughanmore and Wee Slievemoughan. That’s where things started to become challenging.

Conditions on the hillside were difficult. A constant steep slope with areas of long grass, heather and large rocks were punctuated by soggy ground and knee deep holes which tested fitness to the limit. We got to the top slowly and steadily but quickly decided a shorter route than planned originally would be needed if we were to get back to base at a sensible time.

Our return route remained challenging involving a very steep descent down the valley of the Rocky Water with poor underfoot conditions and a couple of river crossings. We were relieved when we eventually regained the Hen Trail for our final couple of kilometres before getting back to our starting point and a much later than planned lunch. Our first walk of the new season was undoubtedly strenuous, but we managed it! The remainder of the programmed walks are somewhat less demanding!

Leslie

Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Thursday 12th September 2019

Category: Walkers

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