25 Apr

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

John Muir

Sunrise on the great Nephin Begs,  L/R Corranabinnia south west top, Corranabinnia, Glennamong, Slieve Carr, and Nephin Beg as viewed from Bengorm.

OSI Sheet 30

The Route

Bengorm -  An Bhinn Ghorm - The Blue Peak.

After recently completing some reconnaissance trips in the Nephin Beg area outside of Newport, County Mayo with the intention of doing the Glendahurk horseshoe, I've decided that in doing so I would divide my visit into three parts and maybe three outings to allow enough time to concentrate on the photographic aspect of the journey and as well as spending adequate time to fully appreciate the raw natural beauty these mountains have to offer. The first adventure takes place over the weekend, and I spend the night on Bengorm, where I am rewarded with beautiful weather and some excellent photographic opportunities.

  The Cairn on the summit.

      Tent pitched near the top commanding a magnificent view Of Clew Bay and Irelands Holy Mountain Croagh Patrick.

Bengorm (Blue Mountain) is sometimes dismissed as only a stopover on the way to Corranabinnia, but that would be doing a disservice to it since it is a lovely peak in its own right, shapely and with substantial approaches from both north and south. The Corranabinnia ridge is visible from the summit and the ascent itself, while Clew Bay opens up to the south with the ever present Croagh Patrick very visible, dominating the skyline as you ascend.

After parking the car in the car park, which has ample space for several cars, I walked back approximately 400 meters on the main road until I came to a stile in the fence on the left hand side. After passing through this stile, I continued up the bog road until I reached a spot where I turned to climb up Bengorm.

Slieve Carr  and surrounding landscape in the distance with  its outstanding shapes and colours.

The three-and-a-half-kilometer hike to the summit takes me through a combination of bog and stoney terrain, with a moderate elevation climb. The beautiful views to the south, as well as the pleasant weather, added to the enjoyment of this section of the hike. At this time of year, the terrain is dry and the going was excellent. Soon I was at the summit.

Clew Bay

The amazing vista of the Nephin Begs stretching out in front of me as I approached the summit of Bengorm was breath-taking to say the least. In fact, all round, the views were spectacular, and they only got better as I got closer to the cairn.

Looking out northwards from where I stood, the two Corranabinnias were in front of me, with Glennamong to the right. Beside it sat the great remote mountain of Slieve Carr, which I had the pleasure of visiting two years ago. Then there is Nephin Beg, further to the right, nestled beside Carr, situated deep in the heart of the Nephin Beg wilderness. In front of me lay the intimidating, rollercoaster-type hills that I would have to cross to get to the Corranabinnia ridge if I intended to be heading that way today. But not today, Corranabinnia and Glennamong will have to wait for another day to fully complete the Glendahurk horseshoe.

The following images were taken at various times throughout the evening sunset, a clear starry night and into the morning dawn.


     The sun breaks through the clouds and gently creeps across the land, illuminating the Glennamong river and its environs.


Great scene just after Sunset


The Moon makes an appearance.

 Lights of Castlebar, Westport and Newport light up the night sky under the Milky Way.

The arch of the Milky Way stretches all across the sky from North to south with a hint of colour from the Aurora in the North.

Millions of Stars !



 Waiting in Anticipation for the early morning Sun to make an appearance.

Clouds whip up over the hills bringing a chill to the early morning air. 

Looking north through the morning haze.

The Glennamong river flowing into Lough Feeagh.

I chose to exit the mountain by going down the fairly steep north side, heading for a spot height of 357 mts. On reaching there, it was then to head west down into the Glendahurk river valley, where I picked up the loggers' route and headed out back to the start line. It didn't take long to get back to the car, and when I got home and looked through the photos, I was really pleased with the outcome. I can't wait to visit Corranabinnia and Glennamong, which will complete the next stages of the Glendahurk horseshoe.

Carpe Diem

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