Ascent of Slieve Donard on 2015-09-04

Climber: Michael Vecchiarelli

Date:Friday, September 4, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Slieve Donard
    Location:UK-Northern Ireland
    Elevation:2799 ft / 853 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started the day at our hotel in Newcastle, with a monumental breakfast. If you hike this peak, consider staying at the Donard Hotel. It is in the center of town, within walking distance of pubs, food and the grocery store. It is reasonably priced and the traditional Irish breakfast will get your day started right.

We made the 3 minute drive from the hotel to the trail and started our hike. There is free parking and public bathrooms at the Donard Park car park in Newcastle. After a quick pack check we were on our way.

The hike itself is not very challenging. The views at the top were nonexistent because of the clouds but the views going up are great. You can really see the coast and neighboring mountains. The Mournes are a very uniquely beautiful range. You can even see part of the city.

The wind really picks up near the summit. Along the Mourne Wall, after the saddle, the wind was very high. It was pushing me around slightly and I weigh well over 200 lbs. The summit has a giant cairn on it with some plaques commemorating the lives of (I assume) locals. There is also a step ladder that goes over the wall and leads to a small shelter. It was too small/wet/cold for me to want to eat lunch but I did go in to get out of the wind for a minute. A few snapshots later, we headed back down to the saddle where we ate lunch.

We returned by the same route. There were some colorful local characters we met along the way. All-in-all a great hike despite the cloudy summit.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
No visibility at the Top (2015-09-03). Photo by Michael Vecchiarelli.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2766 ft / 843 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Route:Glen River to Mourne Wall
    Trailhead:Donard Park  33 ft / 10 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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