The Twelve Bens are situated in
The key to this activity is to travel light, however safety is paramount so do not skimp on the essentials. The 2 litre of coke is not necessary, the hair gel is only necessary when you get back to the car. The change of clothes for going home should be left in the car and not carried on the back. Try and carry large day-sacks instead of huge rucksacks, share the non-essential items of equipment instead of having one each. Please refer to the MPC handbook for the gear lists. These mountains are dangerous if not treated with respect. In order to ensure team safety please only have your lunch stop at one of the checkpoints and not between them.
Important Note! The valley and campsite can be riddled with midges if we are lucky(?) and there is no wind so in best scout tradition – Be Prepared!
Start to Base Camp (L 766 527)
The route for Friday night takes us along the forestry track till it reaches the ford on the river at (L 775 519). You need to climb up onto the bank on the left-hand side and follow along between the forest edge and the river. Continue along the riverbank towards base camp. You need to cross a number of streams along the way. The points will be marked with Flags / Flashers. The best points to cross are very close to the main river where the streams are wide and shallow. You may also be able to jump a number of the narrower streams, but remember the extra weight of your rucksack. The base camp is situated close to a number of old buildings towards the top of the valley. Check in with the staff, and find a good spot to pitch the tent. Have a brew and hit the sack.
The Saturday hike is designed as a day hike returning to the same camp. Teams will set off in alternate directions so all teams should familiarise themselves with the map and routes and prepare two routecards. The anti-clockwise route is described here and the alternate is merely the same route done clockwise.
Base Camp to Stream
We intend to get the first teams away at about . Get up and have Breakfast. A decision on the route for your team will be made at check out. Follow the river up - stream. Be careful crossing the feeding streams, as you do not wish to get wet this early.
Keep following the stream up hill. Take plenty of rests, as it is a gruelling trod. Your last chance to get water is just before the crest on the col.
Benbaun means the
to Benfree (L 778 544)
Benfree is an anglicised version of binn fhraoigh, which means the mountain of heather. A ridge of rock and scree descending from Benbaun becomes grassy as it leads down to the coll. A short walk up hill leads to the summit of Benfree.
Benfree to Muckanaght (L 768 541)
Muckanaght means the place of lumps and ridges. A steep, grassy slope lead downs from Benfree to a peaty col. Another steep and grassy slope then lead uphill from the
to Bencullagh (L 756 537)
Bencullagh means the mountain of the old woman. A gentler slope leads down from the summit to the
Bencullagh to Contour 300m (L 752 532)
From Bencullagh you descend first into a narrow col. Running along this Col is a fence which rails off a steep gully running down to the valley below. Follow down beside the fence taking great care to reach the checkpoint at the 300m contour.
Contour 300m to Base Camp (L 766 527)
From the checkpoint take a direct bearing to the Camp descending across the sometimes marshy ground back to the High Camp. Don’t forget to check in when you get back to the camp!
Make sure you tidy up your campsite and take away any rubbish you may find. Once your site has been inspected by staff, check out and simply reverse the Friday night route back to the car park at (L744 513).
Well done and hopefully we’ll see you in Ulster.