Trekking NI made a return to their beloved Mourne Mountains on a fresh February morning. The group congregated at the serene Carrick Little. The menacing cold breeze could not distract from the amazing sea view that lay afar. We set off along the Blue Lough Trail where we were greeted with inspiring views of the surrounding mountain ranges and charming Analong Wood. The journey continued into the epic Analong Valley where we playfully navigated our way over and around the impressive rockery that decorated the valley. The glorious views of the majestic cliff faces, meandering river, and silver ocean on the horizon behind us were appreciated. We progressed through the valley to discover a circle of large rocks providing an ideal platform to enjoy a morning break in the blissful valley. After break we ventured through challenging terrain with the majestic Castles of Commedeagh serving as our beacon. A steep climb alongside the ascending river took us to the Brandy Pad Path from were followed the gentle slope of Slieve Beg. Upon the summit we glared in awe down the famed Devil’s Coachroad whilst feeling excited that we would be taking on that challenge later in the year. In the meantime some of us enjoyed a ludic descent of Slieve Beg giving our best impersonation of Himalayan Mountain Goats as we playfully hopped our way down the rugged slope. The climb of Cove Mountain had us working hard as we entered the cloud that crowned it. Just as we took a compass bearing at the peak, the clouds parted to reveal our path to Slievelamagan. We took our lunch on the downward slope alongside the granite rock formations that reminded us of the magmatic origins of the Mourne’s. Next up was a journey to the top of Slievelamagan into the clouds. A fine drizzle floated through the air with a touch so soft that we were only aware of it when our hair and clothes became damp. We drifted amongst the mist before we took a bearing. The compass pointed us back to our path as we took a fun trek along the steep slope overcoming rocky obstacles along the way. We took a moment to appreciate a view of the Blue Lough which took a navy appearance under the silver sky. Soon after Ben Crom was revealed and the magic of The Mourne’s was felt. We then took a relaxed stroll down the Blue Lough Trail enjoying conversation surrounded by the most spectacular scenery. This was a great hike that gave an optimal challenge and has provoked an appetite for further adventure in 2023.

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