Slieve Muck (11th June 2022)

Parking at the Gamekeepers Lodge, we set off along Banns Road heading towards Slieve Muck. We left the path to trek along grassy and somewhat boggy terrain also enjoying a river crossing. Already we were removing layers due to the heat despite the increasing wind speed and the looming rain clouds. We then took an adventurous near vertical climb of Slieve Muck. The climb was great fun and we all applied our own methods of ascension. As we ascended the wind intensified and became more ferocious at the top even attempting to knock us off our feet. We battled through the piercing rain to take shelter at the slope facing Pigeon Rock Mountain. Carefully, we descended the steep wet grassy slope of Slieve Muck heading towards the foot of Pigeon Rock Mountain. This is where we had our morning break with curious horses peering over the gate beside us. After break we trekked along the charming White Water River navigating our way through the adjacent marsh. Once Spelga Damn was in sight, we marched up Slieve Muck again. During our ascent, we endured a cocktail of variable weather. At the top, we took shelter from the wind at the Mourne Wall where we met our other group and had lunch together. After lunch, we then followed the wall to the summit of Carn Mountain then down again to Banns Road where we enjoyed a sunny and windy saunter back to the car park. Our hike of Slieve Muck was a creative and fun challenge with potential for a variety of hiking routes that we hope to take on someday.

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