Approaching the rocky tor on Slieve Binnian’s summit.
In Part 1 of this post, I described the walk up from the car park at Carrick Little, across the northern flank of Slieve Binnian East Top, following the Mourne Wall until I ended the post having almost reached the summit of Slieve Binnian. In Part 2 I’ll continue to the summit and explore the magnificent tor on top of Slieve Binnian. The route I took approaches the summit tor from the east, and I made for a gap in the rocks, which would provide access to the top.
Just before the top, I paused to take in the views already visible.
Looking south over the Mourne Wall.
Northeast to Slieve Donard.
Looking down on Slieve Binnian East Top and beyond to the Irish Sea.
Another view of Slieve Donard.
The gap in Slieve Binnian’s tor.
Passing through the gap in the summit tor, views now opened up to the west, where immediately below were striking views down on the Silent Valley Reservoir, and northwest towards Doan mountain and the nearby Lough Shanna. After taking a moment to admire the amazing views, I began to wander around the tors themselves. They are laid out in a north south line, split by the gap in the middle, and I first explored the southern end, which is slightly higher, and contains the actual summit. A bit of scrambling and use of hands was needed to get on top of the tor, and while climbing up, and then exploring the top, care is needed as there are some steep sides and long drops.
Looking across the Silent Valley Reservoir.
The northern end of the tor.
Here, you can see the dam at the southern end of the reservoir.
Silent Valley, and at a higher altitude, partially hidden by the tor in the foreground, Lough Shanna.
The rocky top of Binnian.
On top of the summit tor where there are potentially dangerous drops.
At the high point. Little Binnian visible below next to the reservoir.
The summit tor is twisted into magnificent shapes here at the southern end.
The ancient “Kingdom of Mourne” laid out below.
Looking north over the summit. Just in front of the high Lough Shanna, is conical Doan, with Slieve Loughshannagh and Slieve Meelbeg behind.
A shot taken to give some idea of the character of the rocky summit tor.
Back down from the tor , and looking up at it from below. You can see how a fall from up there would be dangerous.
Another view looking south along part of the length of the tor from below, the Mourne Wall restarting on the western side.
The northern end of Silent Valley Reservoir.
Having explored the tor on the southern side of the gap, I now had a wander around and on top of the northern end.
Looking back at the southern side of the tor.
Standing on top of the northern side of the tor, looking towards Slieve Donard.
On top of the norhern side of the tor, even more new views opened up to the north. I could now see the northern slope of Slieve Binnian itself, dropping gradually, and including more impressive tors a little lower down. Beyond that I could now see Slieve Binnian North Top, and Slieve Binnian North Tor, close together, with more Mourne mountains beyond, including the magnificent Slieve Bearnagh, with its own tor.
Lit up by sinlight are more tors on Binnians nothern slope. Beyond that, in shade are the rounded Slieve Binnian North Top, and just to its right, Slieve Binnian North Tor. Further again, are some of the northern Mournes, including Slieve Bearnagh.
The Silent Valley Reservoir and beyond, Lough Shanna, form the northern end of the tor.
A look along the length of the tor.
A view towards the next part of the walk, along Binnian’s northern sdie past the lower tors, to Slieve Binnian North Tor, and on the left, the rounded top of Slieve Binnian North Top.
I spent about an hour wandering round and exploring the tor on top of Binnian, fascinated by the tor itself, and mesmerised by the views beyond. Eventually, it was time to move on however. I still wanted to go to Slieve Binnian North Top and North Tor, and if possible, take in Slieve Binnian East Top on the way back to Carrick Little. I’ll continue the walk in Part 3.
Starting to make my way down the north side of Slieve Binnian.