I was approaching picking my next peak with military precision. I considered geographical location, accessibility, gradient, height and terrain. I factored in stamina and skill set. I studied the map and did precise calculations, then I closed my eyes, waved my finger about wildly and plonked it down. ‘My next peak is Slieve Commedagh,’ I […]
‘When am I going to be an expert mountaineer?’ I asked Lionel while picking my next peak. ‘You’re not a mountaineer, you are a hillwalker.’ ‘May I point out they are called the Mourne mountains, not the Mourne hills. A person who climbs a mountain is called a mountaineer. And I’ve climbed six of them; […]
‘What mountain shall I climb next?’ I pondered the delightful array of monumental masses on the map in front of me. Having conquered Slieve Loughshannagh and eleven twelfths of Doan the week before, I was eager to get back to the Mournes. My Polaroid was on charge, the Prosecco was in the fridge, all I […]
I was so happy to get back to the Mournes after a long lockdown. There had been no peaks due to the pandemic but now, thanks to a hugely successful vaccine rollout, restrictions had eased and mountaineering was back on the menu! In order to pick my next peak, I decided to consult the oracle […]
I had one last opportunity pre-Christmas and pre-Covid lockdown to climb Slieve Meelmore because if at first you don’t succeed, you have got to put your walking boots on and try again! Conditions were perfect in the Mournes; there was no rain, no wind, visibility was good and I was confident that, this time, I […]
I had picked my next peak, Slieve Bearnagh. Standing at 739m, it was the third highest mountain in the Mournes. I’d only climbed Hen Mountain and Cock Mountain before but even though they were two of the smallest peaks, added together they were about the same size as Bearnagh, so basically, this would be no […]
At last, we were on our way back to the Mournes and I couldn’t wait to climb my second peak, Cock Mountain, which was a heady 505m high! Unlike the last time, I was suited and booted in appropriate mountaineering regalia. I was windproof and waterproof from head to toe. Well, more or less, I […]
In the Mourne Mountains there is a walk known as the three birds, that take in the peaks of Hen Mountain (354m), Cock Mountain (505m) and Pigeon Rock (534m). I had already climbed Hen Mountain and my next challenge was to climb Cock Mountain but that would have to wait… I decided it was time […]
I was quite enthusiastic about doing my next peak, but time and circumstances meant that a trip to the Mournes would have to wait a little longer. Instead, I decided to walk up Cave Hill, which was closer to home, and while it wasn’t a mountain, it was still a steep climb. Our destination was […]
My birthday had been compromised by the Covid situation. Pampering and partying were no longer an option, so I had to come up with a plan B. For some strange reason I came up with the idea to climb my first ever mountain. Replacing pleasure with pain and celebrating with a challenge seemed like a […]
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