Bluestack Walk: Croaghgorm Part 1

IMG_5316donesmall

Looking north as I made my way up Croaghgorm.

 

 

The next stage in my walk along the central ridge of the Bluestacks was Croaghgorm, having already walked from the Reelan Valley over Ardnageer and Ardnageer SW Top.  I was still feeling good as I dropped down from Ardnageer SW Top on to the col between it and Croaghgorm, and the rise ahead didn’t look too daunting.  The weather was still holding up too, although the skies were maybe becoming a bit more “dramatic” in some directions.  The ascent was a little higher than in moving from Ardnageer to Ardnageer SW Top, so I took plenty of stops to both catch my breath and take in the views.  To the north was Croaghanard Lough, east more of the Bluestacks, south and southwest was Lough Eske with Donegal Bay beyond.  The views to the west were still blocked by the massive bulk of Croaghgorm itself.

Croaghgorm is 674m high, the highest peak in the Bluestacks.  Its name in Irish is An Chruach Ghorm, which means The Blue Stack, and gives the range its name.  It is a big broad mountain with a large summit area, with many little gullies and minor summits on its mass.

 

 

IMG_5295donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5306donesmall

The white quartz mound on Ardnageer SW Top’s slopes in the background.

 

 

IMG_5309donesmall

Lavagh More sweeping down, with the Reelan Valley hidden behind.  I would have a fairly long walk along that valley to do after Lavagh More to get back to the starting/finishing point.

 

 

IMG_5322donesmall

Ardnageer and Croaghbane in the background.

 

 

IMG_5330doneMV

 

 

 

IMG_5337donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5340donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5348donesmall

 

 

As I was still making my way up Croaghgorm’s slopes, the sky in some parts was becoming very dark and threatening, and it looked like the good weather I had enjoyed so far could come to an end.

 

 

IMG_5350donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5352donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5357donesmall

Looking south.

 

 

IMG_5361donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5364donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5373donesmall

Lough Eske.

 

 

IMG_5375donexsmall

Donegal Bay.

 

 

IMG_5382donesmall

 

 

As I stepped up on to the broad summit area, all the patches of blue sky now seemed to be distant and shrinking.  For the first time too, after this most recent ascent, my legs began to feel the strain, particularly my knees – always the most treacherous part.  It was getting late in the day too, and I wondered if I would end up making my way across the bog to the road the car was parked on, in darkness.  That part of the walk would be a bit of a slog at the best of times, as I would certainly be tired with aching knees, and darkness would make the difficult terrain harder.  it had been my intention, after Croaghgorm to continue to Lavagh More and Lavagh Beg.  Now, with what looked like bad weather and darkness closing in, I began to doubt if this would be possible for the first time.  For now however, I was just happy to be reaching the top of Croaghgorm.

 

 

IMG_5384donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5388donesmall

 

 

 

IMG_5398donesmall

 

 

Despite the feeling that time was becoming a bit of an issue, and increasing weariness, Croaghgorm was a big mountain, and I now took a bit of time to wander around the summit, so much so that I’ll continue the walk around the top in my next post – Bluestack Walk: Croaghgorm Part 2.

 

4 thoughts on “Bluestack Walk: Croaghgorm Part 1

  1. What a landscape! I can imagine that it would be a very special feeling to be up that high and surrounded by such beauty. I can understand how tempted you would be to keep stopping to set up the tripod and take photos. How long did this walk take you, Adrian?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s