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Monday, July 28, 2008

Inishowen Ridge walking

The Urris Hills give a fine ridge walk, with extensive views towards the Derryveagh mountains and of the Atlantic Coast of Donegal. The ridge runs from Raghtin Beg to The Urris Hills, after which you can descend to Crummies Bay, with its fine sandy beach.

Croaghcarragh & the Urris Hills

We had traversed the first section from Raghtin Beg to Crockmain, several weeks ago, only to abandon the walk in an increasing storm. Being on the Atlantic Coast, these hills are exposed to the full force of any storm rolling in from the sea.

Mamore Hill

We return last Saturday to complete the ridge, this time with a much more favorable weather forecast. From the carpark on the Mamore Gap road we climbed back up onto the ridge below Mamore Hill, making the final short ascent from the col in bright sunshine, as the last of the morning mist was burnt off.

Croaghcarragh summit

The views along to Croaghcarragh and the Urris Hills, with the Derryveagh hills in the distance were fine indeed. The descent to the Mamore Gap , with its shrine, followed next, and from the gap there is an old track which eases the ascent up the far side to just below the first tops of Croaghcarragh.

Lenan Bay from the ridge

From the first top a path, sometimes faint, takes you to the summit of Croaghcarragh, via a short sharp slope. The path then continues along the ridge to the cairned summit of Urris Hills, which is another fine view point.

Choices, if you were traversing the full ridge, a descent to Crummie's Bay with its sandy beach and the option of a paddle in the sea is hard to resist. The 12-13 km back to your starting point, may help to focus the mind on ensuring a second car is left at the finish. However, it is not an unreasonable distance to do in summer, given that most would be on tracks & a minor road.

We continued to a ring contour on the ridge before descending (avoiding steep ground) to Lough Fad, a wonderfully dark lochan with a rocky ridge behind it. From there, we followed the river down to a lane, which took us down to the road and a short walk along tarmac back to our car.

Urris Hills from Mamore Hill

All photos by Fiona



Blogger Alan Sloman said...

This Ireland place - tell me, is it near East Angular?

Nice walk Michaal. That's a might large rucsac for a daywalk!

Nice pictures, Fiona.

July 30, 2008 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger michael gray said...

Hi Alan,

Fiona is in training for the ALTA VIA2, hence the large rucksacks, while I'm in training for the Italian food and beer!

July 30, 2008 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Situation Normal, then...

August 1, 2008 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks like a wonderful walk, Michael. There's so little about ireland in the mags. More, please!!

August 2, 2008 at 8:19 PM  

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