Croaghnageer from the west, in the high valley between it and Croaghanirwore.
Following on from Part 1, I’d finally made it to the summit of Croaghanirwore, and although I’d had mixed weather on the way in, there were blue skies and bright sunshine as I began to retrace my steps back to my starting point in Barnes Gap. The walk would take me down into the little valley below Croaghanirwore, up the steep side of Croaghnageer, over Browns Hill, and down to the N15 as it entered Barnes Gap at its northeastern end. A fairly long walk,with some steep descents over difficult ground, but most of the ascending had been done on the inward leg, apart from the short, steep climb up to Croaghnageer. First, I had to make my way down off Croaghanirwore, taking the long ridge sloping southwards into the valley that separated it from Croaghnageer. I had good views on the way down over to the steep face of Croaghnageer, and out over Lough Eske and Donegal Bay, as far as Benbulbin in Co. Sligo.
Still some views west too, to Lough Belshade and the central ridge of the Bluestacks.
Still some small patches of snow up here in shady hollows.
Cuilcagh, on the Cavan/Fermanagh border can just be seen, small in the frame, on left hand side on the horizon.
Croaghnageer didn’t present a very high face on this side, but it was very steep, and I’d had a long walk, so I wasn’t looking forward to the strain the ascent would put on my tired legs.
Back down in the valley between Croaghanirwore and Croaghnageer. There would be a few boggy patches, and a small lough to negotiate round before climbing back out on the other side, up Croaghnageer.
I was sheltered from the wind down here, and it was pleasant in the bright sunshine.
Looking back at Croaghanirwore.
Beginning to move up out of the valley on Croaghnageer’s slopes. The sun was reflecting blindingly off the sea in the distance, reminding me that I’d recently read a great term to describe this – “sunscald”.
The Derryveagh Mountains on the horizon, emerging from behind Croaghanirwore’s rugged northern slope.
Almost at the top of the slope now, looking down from Croaghnageer back into the little valley.
That was the first stage of the walk out done – I was back near the top of Croaghnageer. On the way in I had skirted the subsidiary tops on Croaghnageer, only visiting the main summit. On the way out, I would do the opposite, skirting south of the main summit, and taking in the two subsidiary peaks instead, before going over Browns Hill. Part 3 on the way.