Munster MPC - Commeragh Mountains
2nd – 4th April 2004
Map OS Map Sheet 75 (1:50000)
Start The start is the Mahon Falls Car Park (314 081). This is located where the track from the falls meets the road.
Traveling from Clonmel or Carrick-on-Suir on the R676, take the second right turn at Mahon Bridge, and then almost immediately turn right again Raleigh’s Cross Roads (341 059). Approx. 2km’s further on take the next right turn (large signpost for Mahon Falls) and continue to the car park.
Traveling from Cork on the N25, take a left at Lemybrien onto the R676. Take the first left at Mahon Bridge and immediately straight through Raleigh’s Cross Roads (341 059). Approx. 2km’s further on take the next right turn (large signpost Mahon Falls) and continue to the car park.
Traveling from Waterford on the N25, take a right turn at 341 028 before Lemybrien, and right again at the next crossroads onto the R676. Take the first left at Mahon Bridge and immediately straight through Raleigh’s Cross Roads (341 059). Approx. 2km’s further on take the next right turn (large signpost Mahon Falls) and continue to the car park.
Friday The Friday night campsite is easily reached along a forest track that continues onto the open hillside and ends at a ruined cottage. Low camp is located in the area around the cottage on the far side of a stream.
Saturday Saturday’s route follows a spur onto the Commeragh plateau, before visiting the cliffs overlooking a number of the Commeragh’s corries. These are separated by stretches of featureless bog that can be very wet underfoot and in poor visibility will require careful navigation. The highest point in the Commeraghs is finally reached before a short descent is made down to the upper River Mahon. High camp is situated at the head of the Mahon Falls.
Sunday Sunday’s route is relatively short. A short climb is made out of the upper river valley which leads to good views of the falls themselves, before a descent is made along a spur back to the finish point.
Car Park (314 081) to Forest Car Park (309 071)
Leaving the car park, turn left and walk along the road. Stay on the road as it first climbs uphill and then descends until it reaches a forest car park. This car park is not shown on the map.
Forest Car Park (309 071) to Forest Track (308 070)
Enter the forest car park and continue downhill through the trees, following the boundary of the forest to the forest track.
Forest Track (308 070) to Forest Edge (301 075)
Turn right and follow the forest track. Continue straight on at the junction of tracks at 304 073. Shortly after this you will come to the forest edge.
Forest Edge (301 075) to Low Camp (296 075)
At the forest edge continue straight ahead on the track. Ignore a track not shown on the map which heads uphill on the right. Shortly after leaving the forest you will meet a gate. Pass through and leave the gate as you find it. Eventually the track meets a stream. Cross the stream and after checking in with a member of staff, pitch your tents in the area around the ruined cottage (not shown on the map).
Saturday Route Outline
Low Camp (296 075) to Spur End (292 071)
Check out of low camp at the cottage and contour across the hillside to the base of the spur at about 300m.
Spur End (292 071) to Spur Top (286 081)
Climb up onto the spur and continue uphill. You will meet a fence on the crest of the spur running uphill for a short section. The spur rises in a series of steps. Take your time - this will be the toughest climb of the day! Eventually the slope eases off and you will have gained the plateau.
Spur Top (286 081) to Gully Top, Coumtay (286 088)
Continue in a northerly direction, following the cliff line of Coumtay. The cliff line bends to the right, after which you will come to the top of a gully as the cliff line swings more directly eastwards.
Gully Top, Coumtay (286 088) to Coumfea Cliffs (287 091)
Continue along the cliff line for about 100m’s and then head directly across the bog to the cliffs overlooking Coumfea.
Coumfea Cliffs (287 091) to Spot 744 (295 098)
Turn right and follow the cliff line. At the top of the gully at 293 095 leave the cliff line and make your way up to spot 744.
Spot 744 (295 098) to Spot 730 (296 107)
Continue on down a gentle slope and back up a short rise to spot 730.
Spot 730 (296 107) to Spot 751 (306 112)
Descend from spot 730 and cross a broad col before climbing back up to spot 751. As you cross this section keep an eye out on your left for where the small stream drops down into the upper Sgilloge Lough. If there is a strong wind blowing in the right direction, a plume of spray can be blown back up over the cliff, known as ‘Sean Bhean ag caitheamh tobac’.
Spot 751 (306 112) to Gully Top, Coum Iarthar (314 118)
From spot 751 make your way around the top of Coumlara and continue on towards the cliffs overlooking the Coum Iarthar Loughs, reaching the gully top.
Gully Top, Coum Iarthar (314 118) to Gully Top, Coumshingaun (320 112)
From the gully top head towards the cliffs overlooking Coumshingaun. After a gentle descent you will cross the Iske Sullas, and then a short pull uphill gives you a spectacular view (weather permitting) down into Coumshingaun.
Gully Top, Coumshingaun (320 112) to Spot 792 (317 105)
Follow the cliff line to the head of the large gully at 322 105. From here head off across the bog to spot 792.
Spot 792 (317 105) to High Camp (306 096)
From spot 792 head in the direction of Knockaunapeebra (313 097). At the col before Knockaunapeebra descend in a westerly direction towards the stream junction at 307 102. Cross the streams before the junction so that you are on the west side of the River Mahon, and follow it down to high camp. Check in with a member of staff and find a place to pitch your tents.
Sunday Route Outline
High Camp (306 096) Spur Top (308 084)
Check out at high camp and head uphill. Be careful not to get too close to the cliff edge. You may pick one of a number of faint paths that lead to the spur. As the slope levels off a good track follows the cliff line and leads directly to the spur top.
Spur Top (308 084) to Car Park (314 081)
Descend the spur keeping on the west side of a wire fence initially. The slope is steep, so take your time. About half way down cross the fence using a stile and continue downhill until you meet a large boulder. Turn left and make your way down to the car park.
Don’t forget to check in at the car park, and well done!
Bad Weather Alternatives
In the event of poor weather, parts of the route may be changed. Your team should take the time to study the map before the event, so as to be familiar with the terrain in the general area of the route.