On Slieve Binnian North Top.
This is the final part of a series on my walk up Slieve Binnian and its sister peaks, Slieve Binnian East Top, Slieve Binnian North Top and Slieve Binnian North Tor, in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down. In the last post, I’d left it after exploring Slieve Binnian North Tor, having already covered the walk in from Carrick Little via Slieve Binnian itself, continuing along its northern side from the summit, past several rocky tors. I had now reached the furthrest point on this walk, and it was time to turn back along roughly the same route. On the way back however I would take a couple of slight diversions to take in Slieve Binnian East Top and Slieve Binnian North Top.
Slieve Binnian North Top is probably the least interesting of the summits I visited, being a rounded top lacking the fascinating rocky tors of the other summits. However, it was such a short distance and climb from the North Tor, that it was as easy to take it in as not. The views were still excellent from its summit, but nothing really that couldn’t be seen from the other tops.
It did perhaps give a slightly new perspective on the views to the west and southwest over the Silent Valley Reservoir and towards Carlingford Lough. The evening light also added to the feeling of a new view.
Knockchree hill’s conical shape on the left, with Carlingford Lough behind.
Silent Valley Reservoir.
It was a short drop down from the North Top back on to the path which would take me up to Slieve Binnian again.
Heading back up towards the lower tors on Slieve Binnian.
Looking back to the North Tor and the slopes of North Top which I had just left.
On the return leg I took the time to climb up on some of Slieve Binnian’s lower tors.
Climbing up on and wandering around these tors provided good views down on Silent Valley.
Slieve Binnian summit on the right, with another of the lower tors in the foreground.
On the way back I didn’t go quite to the summit of Slieve Binnian having been there on the way in. Instead I skirted around the eastern side, just below the top, on my way to Slieve Binnian East Top.
Rounding Slieve Binnian and looking down on my next and last summit, Slieve Binnian East Top.
Looking past Binnian to the east coast.
Slieve Binnian East Top has its own minature version of the larger, more impressive tors on the the other summits. They provided great foreground interest, whether looking over the rolling countryside of southeast Co. Down, or the wild Mournes.
Almost at the top of East Top and its own minature tors, with dramatic clouds over south Down.
On the summit.
Binnian silhouetted against the evening sky.
After a good wander around the summit of East Top, I began to drop down its east slope, back towards the Mourne Wall, and beyond that, the track I had followed on the way in.
The walk had one last surprise still left however. Making my way down, I entered an area on East Top’s slopes covered in huge heaps of stones and half ruined stone structures. From what i can tell, these were the remains of old mining operations.
One of the little stone structures on East Top’s slopes.
Inside the walls.
Heaps of stone covered this area.
Each little section of this walk seemed to hold endless fascination or great views, requiring exploration or pauses and slowing my progress! As the light began to fade however, I did start to drop back down again off the mountains, with a few backward glances at the Mournes catching the last of the sun.
Soon I was back on the gravel track making its way between stone walls to Carrick Little and the car.
Another look back.
Ahead lay the car and a chance to rest weary feet, before the long drive home.
A brilliant day in the Mournes, and the views up there had planted the seeds for several future walks I think.