Monday, 3rd January 2011
Staring and Finishing Point: Bloody Bridge Car Park
Classification: Dillon, Hewitt Height:
Dillon Count: 44
Slieve Beg(Minor summit) Height: 590 metres
Classification: Dillon, Hewitt Height: 655 metres
Dillon Count: 45
Total Distance Covered: 17.10km
Elevation Gain: 1000 metres
A superb walk on an amazing winters day provided the ideal way to complete all the Mourne 2,000 footers. These were the last 2 mountains in the Mournes and after some time studying various route options, I decided to tackle them from Bloody Bridge taking the rather uninspiring route up as far as Carr's Face before leaving the beaten track. A fire on the slopes of Chimney Rock had shorn most of the heather from it's lower slopes and this with a combination of a heavy overnight frost left the ground very firm.
Chimney Rock is a pretty drab summit but it does offer great views along the coast as well as across to the Higher Mournes. I followed an obvious track back to the crossing at the Bog of Donard before following the Brandy Pad as the clouds cleared to reveal strong winter sunshine. The walk along the Brandy Pad was some of the best walking I have had in a long time, the combination of the sun shining on the remnants of the recent snow combined with the fresh winter air brought about that euphoric feeling that the hills can provide on occassions.
I left the Brandy Pad at the large cairn below Slieve Beg. It's only a short walk to the top of Beg and a view of the impressive and slightly frightening Devils Coachroad. From Beg, it's only half a kilometre over to the summit of Cove but it's over some very steep ground, ground which hadn't been exposed to the sun leaving some rocks covered in ice. It was a relief to reach the summit cairn of Cove and to finally complete all the Mournes. At the summit carin, you really get a feeling of being right in the middle of the Mournes.
Dawn on Chimney Rock
View from Chimney Rock
Binnian, Lamagan and Cove
From Cove to Bearnagh