Slievemore: On The Way Up


Starting out on an ascent of Slievemore from the deserted village.


Spending a week on Achill Island, the scenery in general had been stunning, and wherever we were on the island, the eye always seemed to drawn to its mountains.  The two largest are Croaghaun and Slievemore, and I negotiated one day to slip off and climb both.  I started with the 671 meter high Slievemore.  We were staying in an apartment right at its southern foot, and it was visible from our balcony and windows, meaning I spent a lot of time gazing at it in all its moods.  Earlier in the week we had visited the deserted village, also on the southern side of the mountain, a bit further west, and I had decided that day that it would be a good starting point for an ascent.


As I was also planning to ascend Croaghaun later, it was an early start, which had the added advantage of warm, low light on the landscape below as I gained altitude.  It was another day of dramatic weather, with stormy clouds and golden light breaking through in patches, adding to the spectacle.  As I went up the southern slopes, I got breathtaking views south over Keel Lough, Keel Beach and beyond to Minaun.  Further still were Clare Island and the rest of the western isles.  To the east were views of across Achill to the Corraun Peninsula.  And to the west, my destination for later, Croaghaun mountain dominated.



Views over the deserted village towards Keel.



With a little height, Keel Lough became more visible.



Constantly changing light as clouds raced past.



Views to the east opening up, across Achill over a narrow strip of sea to the Corraun Peninsula.



To the south, beyond Minaun on the left, several islands were visible.



Croaghaun mountain, to the west, under dramatic skies.



A wider view west towards Croaghaun.



The weather was doing its best to make it a memorable walk, with a rainbow out at sea near Croaghaun.



A closer view of the rainbow and passing showers over the Atlantic.



Looking east.



Couldn’t resist another shot of a similar view when I found this quartz rock to use as foreground.



Zoomed in a little on the view towards Corraun in the east.



My attention drawn to the west and Croaghuan again by those skies.



A loftier view of Keel Lough, beach and village, and Minaun with cloud sweeping past, now below me.



I could now see the summit not far ahead.  Once I reached the top of the shoulder above, I would turn east for the short climb to the top.



On the shoulder, where I would swing east, but here taking another look west to Croaghaun before heading for the summit.


I was thinking of this walk as being in two stages.  The first, longer stage would take me on on to the western shoulder, and reaching it would open up new, previously hidden views northwards.  I would now turn east for the second, shorter stage, up the shoulder to the top.  Slievemore was turning out to be one the best mountains I’d been on, and I’ll continue the walk in my next post.



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