20 Feb

OSI, 1/50000, A section of the Nephin Beg range.

“Hiking is not for everyone. Notice the wilderness is mostly empty.” 

Sonja Yoerg

Snow being blown off the mountain during the strong winds of Storm Eunice.

At some point this year, I intend to attempt the Glendahurk horseshoe, which will include an overnight walk to Glenamong. I'm expecting to get some good astrophotos, especially of the Milky Way as it arcs out over the Wild Nephin Wilderness. I visited that area last weekend because I felt it would be a worthwhile exercise to do a quick reconnaissance of a section of the mountains as part of the planning process for this trip.The Glendahurk Horseshoe is a well-known loop hike about 6 kilometers north of Newport, heading towards Achill. It includes Bengorm Mountain and the Corranabinnas, which rise to 714 meters. Glennamong is about three kilometers north of here and a little more difficult to get to.

Croagh Patrick camouflaged in the background with Clew Bay in the middle distance 

The last of the evening colours begin to fade over the Bengorm, Corranabinna ridge line.

A road leads up into the foothills, making access to the region reasonably easy. There is a small car park nearby that can accommodate about 5 or 6 cars and is accessible by crossing the Glendahurk River Bridge and remembering to close the gate behind you as you go through. This is to ensure that the sheep stay inside.

My plan for this short trip is to climb to spot height 258 for an excellent view of the surrounding countryside, then descend into the forest to return to the car park along the river's meandering route.

Clare Island in the distance out in Clew Bay.

The visit coincided with the arrival of three storms: Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin. These storms were followed by strong gusts and wet weather, as well as snow and sleet dropping on the high ground, making the visit all the more interesting because it required hiking through some snow just above the snow line. 

The walk from the parking lot to spot 258 was easy to a certain extent. Following torrential rains the previous few days, the ground was very wet but, surprisingly, very solid. I would have liked to have gone higher, but unfortunately time was against me, and I also wasn't wearing the necessary gear to do that. It was also very wet from spot height (258 m down into the forest), with water flowing off the side of the mountain in small streams, making the going very slippery. Once into the trees, the ground improved somewhat until I reached the Glendahurk River.

Glendahurk River makes its way slowly to the sea.

The Glendahurk river rises in the mountains and flows south into the Owengarve river. It then passes under the main Mulranny–Newport road before it enters the sea at Newfield. The upper part of the river is a very picturesque area, especially when there is snow on the mountains. Tracks are present on both sides of the river, allowing anyone to follow its meandering course as it descends to the sea.

Glendahurk River.

A very remote feeling heading back across the bog.

Overall, the day was extremely pleasant. The weather held out reasonably well, and the high ground and the river valley offered some stunning views.

Carpe Diem

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