I finally got to Slieve Beg in the Mournes with Dave Keogh last week, one that been on the to-do list for a while.
The crag is midway between Carrick Little and Newcastle, so either way you have a 2-hour approach which is probably what puts a lot of people off, not to mention the vagaries of the Irish summer which can be a challenge for those of a delicate disposition.
To get the value we packed the bivvy gear to give us two days of climbing.
We started from Newcastle, where the locals were frantically getting ready for the golf, and joined the bank holiday crowds on the Donard tourist track.
After a long pull up to the Mourne Wall we then dropped down to the Brandy Pad and countoured around under Slieve Commedagh and then dropped down to Slieve Beg itself. The first rock we came to was the Mourne Maggie area and this proved a most excellent appetiser, 50m of delicate and delightful slab climbing.
We then moved over to the Devils Coach Road area and did two fantastic 40m single pitchers, the corner of Sweetie Mice and then the superb jamming cracks of Parallel lines.
We then retired for the evening and finding a bivvy spot proved quite a challenge with flat/dry ground at a premium.
The next morning we started with Poetic Justice, 80m of fantastic rock…maybe the best VS in Ireland? Calvin Torrans gave his best-VS vote to Wabash Cannonball, so we had to try that as well to be sure and it was also superb (apart from the unpleasant gorsy approach)
5 routes and 15 stars, hard to beat. We’ll definitely be back for Cosmic Debris and Burden Of Dreams/Daybreak.
It’s not roadside cragging but its well worth the effort. You could easily spend a week in the Annalong Valley between Lower/Upper Cove, Slieve Beg/Lamagan, Annalong Buttress to name but a few.
|Rock Climbs in the Mourne Mountains
|OSNi Mourne Activity Map 1:25000
|Donard Car Park, Newcastle