ULSTER MPC 2011 – The Mournes

 

This year's Ulster MPC is in the Mournes, Co. Down. The best way of getting here is to head to Dublin, then straight up the M1 as far as Newry. Once in Newry look for signs for the A25. You then take a right turn off which is signed for Mayobridge and Hilltown. The turn off is not far outside Newry City centre.  From Hilltown, continue on the A25 towards Spelga Dam and turn right at New Bridge (238 290)

 

Friday

 

J224 257 (Car park) Park the cars in Leitrim Lodge Carpark. Look out for the sign. It is a purpose built carpark with decent parking. As with all carparks in the mountains, be careful not to leave anything on the seats or visible in the car. Car vandalism is a big problem. Check in with MPC staff.

 

Leave the car park along the Mourne Way path heading in an easterly direction. Head up to the col between Rocky Mountain and Tormarock. Drop down into the Rocky River valley and cross the footbridge. This route is waymarked by markers for the Mourne Way. The campsite is on the river at J243 258

 

Saturday

 

J243 258 (Campsite) – Check out of the campsite and leave in a northerly direction towards Cock Mountain. This will be the first of five summits which you will reach today. The Mourne Way path continues out of the campsite. Leave the path at the next tributary and start gaining height to the summit at 505m. You will see from the map that Cock Mountain has two summits. The spot height is at J254 269. (Cock Mountain)

 

Leave the summit in a south easterly direction towards the summit of Pigeon Rock Mountain, 535m. Before you reach the summit you should aim to meet the Mourne Wall at J261 250. You could use this feature to practice navigation using the ‘aiming off’ technique. Follow the wall in a southerly direction to the summit of this mountain, at a bend in the Mourne Wall at J262 248 (Pigeon Rock Mountain).

Leave the summit and follow the Mourne Wall down to the col between Pigeon Rock Mountain and Slievemoughanmore. From the col gradually work your way up the path alongside the wall to the summit of Slievemoughanmore, 559m at J249 241. (Slievemoughanmore) The checkpoint will be at the actual summit.

 

Leave the summit and follow the Mourne Wall down to the col between Slievemoughanmore and Eagle Mountain. From the col follow the Mourne Wall up to the summit of Eagle Mountain, 628m at J244 230. Congratulations! You are now at the highest point on this MPC route!

 

Leave the summit of Eagle Mountain and follow the Mourne Wall down to the col between Eagle Mountain and Shanlieve. Head straight on up to Shanlieve, the final summit of the day at 626m J241 227. This is where you and the Mourne Wall part company.

 

Proceed out on to the broad spur between Shanlieve and Finlieve. Aim for spot height 476m at J227 217. From this spot height head down into high camp at the river junction at J227 223. Camping is limited here; you may need to just walk out along the river to find a good spot.

 

Sunday

 

Check out of the campsite at J227 223 and head west along the Yellow Water River towards the forestry. Cross a stile and pick up the track marked on your map. Follow this until the turn off at J211 225. This puts you back onto the Mourne Way.

 

Follow this track (it is badly eroded so stick to the middle of it to stop it spreading) all the way back in a northerly direction to the car park at Leitrim Lodge. Once there you will notice some notice boards with information about the Mournes which are of interest.

 

Congratulations, you have finished the 2011 Ulster MPC!