Treks

Hen and Cock Mountains

By Paddy Higgins

At 354m, Hen Mountain is one of the less challenging climbs in the Mournes but still provides stunning panoramic views and large rocky tors to explore at the summit. With my thermos filled with a large latte from the nearest service station I parked up at the car park on Sandbank Rd (5 Minute drive from Hilltown) and set off to hopefully catch the sunset from the top of Hen Mountain.

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READ: A record-breaking ascent of Slieve Donard

The path starts directly across the road from the car park and continues past Hen & Cock Mountains and up to the saddle between Pigeon Rock Mountain and Slievemoughanmore.

The first gate on the path is at the foot of Hen Mountain and most people make a direct line for the summit from here. On this occasion however I wanted to get to the two cairns at the summit of Cock Mountain first, and then make my way back down to Hen Mountain for the sunset.

I made my way up Hen Mountain until I got to the base of the rocky summit tors. From there I made my way south-east, heading for the saddle between the two mountains and then walked up to the top of Cock Mountain and took in the amazing panoramic views of the Mournes from the summit cairns.

From the car park to the summit took just over 1 hour, including a few stops for pics with the new phone camera (Huawei P30pro).

Forgetting the time I hastily made my way back down to the saddle and then up the steepish south-east face of Hen Mountain for the sunset. I waited around for a while after sunset and then made my way back to the car via a different, slightly more direct, route.

The paths leading to, and around, the mountains in this area offer plenty of variation for people of all fitness levels. You can head for the summits if you want to get the heart pumping or stick to the main path if you prefer a less strenuous day in the Mournes. Either way, you will not be disappointed with the views/experience.

 

I’ve attached a map with a rough idea of the route I took on the day. I’ve also highlighted where I took the pictures from and in what direction I was facing when I took them. I’ve also numbered the pictures to try and avoid any confusion.

You can follow Paddy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Related articles:

snapshot trek: slieve bearnagh
bearnagh: chased the sunset, caught the rain
SLieve bearnagh via hare’s gap

 

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2 comments on “Hen and Cock Mountains

  1. This looks like a great route. I’ve climbed Hen mountain before however last time I went dogs were not permitted, is this still the case? Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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