How to get there
The Mournes are a small group of mountains, compact within an elliptical area of about 14 miles by 7 miles. There are 35 summits over 1500 feet high as well as a large number of interesting geological features such as corrie lakes, buttresses etc.
The route that you will be walking this weekend can be best described
as "The Inner Horseshoe" of the
The following route outline is the proposed route for the weekend. This map has a very large scale so distances can be deceiving. Each grid box is 1km X 1km in size. Also the distances in the Mournes can de very deceptive so the route may look much further than it is in reality.
However this route is very much subject to such things as weather conditions, staffing etc. Also you should remember that the number of daylight hours will be quite short, given the time of year. Therefore the route can change and this should be borne in mind by all participants.
Friday - Car park 345 219 to Base 1 (326 252)
Leave the carpark and head up along the small road for about .8km. Keep to the left as you pass through a gate. You will now be on a track which runs between along a large stone wall. Continue along the track and you will walk along a forest on your right for about 1 km. At the end of the forest cross the stream and follow the track to Blue Lough. The campsite for the night is just to the south of the lake at 325 252. Pitch your tent and have a cuppa and then go to bed!
Once you have been checked-out from base camp, head along the track in a north-westerly direction. Follow this trail for about 1km until it ends. Enjoy the view down into Ben Crom reservoir.
Track end to summit of Slievelamagan
Start to climb uphill in a north-easterly direction up the side of Slievelamagan. This is quite a steep climb - so take your time. Zig-zag up the slope and take short rests regularly. There are some fine views from this slope down into the
When you leave the summit keep on the shoulder of the ridge and head towards the rocky area at 331 263. From here descend towards the peat hags over some rocky ground to the col at 331 267. You should be able to see the cliffs on the side of
Travel up onto the shoulder of the ridge to 332 270 keeping well away from the crags on the side of
The climb is now less steep. From the summit, which is marked by a small cairn, there are excellent views down into the valley and over towards Slieve Donard.
Cove Mtn to
Descend from the summit in a north-westerly direction towards some sandy ground in the middle of the col at 335 275. You will have a fine view back onto Cove which will look very large and very far away.
Slieve Beg to Brandy Pad (342 278)
From Slieve Beg you can quickly descend onto the Brandy Pad track. There is a large stone cairn on the track and you should aim for this feature.
Brandy Pad to Mourne Wall (354 268)
Follow the track in an easterly direction, skirting around the base of Slieve Donard until you reach the Mourne Wall at 354 268. You will make good time along this section of the walk.
Extension - Donard
Should weather and time permit (staff will inform you if this extension should be used) – follow the Brandy pad to the stile at 350 279. From here follow the wall direct to the summit of Donard. Descend from Donard in a southerly direction to the stile at 354 268
Mourne Wall to Wall corner (352 256)
Follow the wall in a southerly direction from the Bog of Donard towards Rocky Mtn for about 1.2km until you reach the definite corner at 352 256. The wall is made of large granite slabs that were quarried locally from the mountain sides. The wall was built by Belfast Water Commissioners to define their catchment area. Work stared in 1910 and finished in 1922. The wall runs over the tops of 15 mountains and encloses around 9000 acres.
Wall corner to
From the wall corner, travel westwards towards the large rock formation that is called
Sunday - Hares Castle to wall corner (344 251)
Wall to River (341 252) & onto track (338 253)
Travelling in a westerly direction, descend to the river. Once you have crossed the river you can travel across peaty ground to the track at 338 253.
Track to Car park
Once on the track, follow it back to the forest edge that you passed on Friday. From here you can travel back along the track (in the opposite direction!) that you used on Friday all the way to the car park