Summit cairn on Croaghbarnes, looking over to Croaghbane.
In Part 1 I’d got as far as Lough Belshade on my walk into the Bluestack Mountains. From there, I was able to see my next destination – Croaghbarnes, as its steep western slopes dropped down to the lough. I followed the Corraber River southeast a little to where the slopes were a bit less steep, and began to ascend the southwest side of the mountain. It was a pleasant climb up the boulder strewn mountainside, with increasingly good views over Lough Belshade to the higher Bluestacks ridge in the west, south to Lough Eske, and beyond to Donegal Bay and the Dartry Mountains, and southeast to Croaghagranagh, Croaghanirwore and Croaghnageer.
Lough Belshade, which I had walked up to in Part 1.
Looking towards Croaghnageer.
Looking uphill on the way up Croaghbarnes. The real summit was beyond this false summit.
The steep eastern side of Croaghgorm and the Ardnageer summits.
A look back at the way I had come up, from Lough Eske, along the Corraber River valley.
Lough Belshade and Croaghgorm receding as I continued upwards.
Lough Eske, with the Dartry Mountains on the horizon.
Reaching the false summit, I entered a flatter area, with several small lakes. The real summit and a few other little rises, stood to the northeast. I began to pick a route around the loughs towards the summit.
Croaghbane peeping up from behind a little rise.
Almost at the top, and there were now good views of a dramatic looking Croaghbane.
Just past the loughs I arrived at the summit marked by a small cairn. A new vista opened up now too, across to a forbidding looking Croaghbane, as its eastern flank dropped steeply down to the bleak, but beautiful Owendoo River valley.
The summit cairn.
Looking north to Gaugin Mountain, and the line of the Derryveagh Mountains in the distance.
I found Croaghbane to be an impressive sight from this angle, and took several shots.
Looking down into the Owendoo valley.
Looking northeast, where I would be heading next, for Meenanea and Cronamuck.
After a good pause at the summit, I began to drop down from Croaghbarnes, moving northeast towards my final destination, the neighbouring peaks of Meenanea and Cronamuck.
A look back at the summit of Croaghbarnes on the left, and Croaghbane on the right.
In Part 3, I’ll continue the walk to Meenanea and Cronamuck.