Ascent of Slieve Donard on 2007-06-21

Climber: Paul Place

Others in Party:part of a group of 100 doing the four peaks challenge all getting timed seperately
Date:Thursday, June 21, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Slieve Donard
    Location:UK-Northern Ireland
    Elevation:2799 ft / 853 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started off on a cold & somewhat bleak day at the Bloody Bridge car park just outside of the coastal town of Newcastle in Northern Ireland.

I was with a group of approximately 100 doing the four peaks challenge this was the first peak.

After a group photo at approx 08.30am we set off up the bloody bridge main path, this followed along side the river for approximately 500 meters of steady but not to arduous incline.

At this point we traversed across the river using the strategically placed stones. (There was an accident here by one of the group due to a misplaced foot which ended the persons trip due to a sprained knee so care should be taken here.)

The path increased to a fairly exertive incline following the other side of the valley meandering along through various twists and turns. Unfortunately due to the low cloud there were no views as visibility was reduced to about 10 meters never the less we carried on up till we reached the edge of the disused quarry, after a bit of light scrambling and we were walking along the quarry ridge.

After about 30 minutes we reached the Quarry wall at this point we all took a well earned rest and a small snack break.

The next part of the climb was extremely steep I would say approx 60 degrees and the distance carried on for approximately 400 meters at that incline, the terrain was fairly boggy and a mixture of grass and rock outcrops, eventually the top leveled out and we had reached the summit.

As you can see from the photo the conditions were bad with no view however I was told from people who have climbed it during good weather that you can see the Isle of Man.

We then descended via the same route, it was quite hard on the knees due to the incline and slippery conditions however once you turned at the bottom of the wall it was a pleasant meander down. At approx half way down the weather lifted briefly and you could see some of the view and the main valley, I recon the view at the top would have been great, for those interested there is a nice site specifically for people climbing in Ireland that gives you details on routes and some pictures it is
Slieve Donard is in there with some interesting Blogs.

Finally we arrived at the bottom of the Bloody Bridge crossed the road and were back at the car park, it took me 4hrs 15mins to complete at a slow pace.We got on the coach for our three hour trip to Dublin to catch the ferry for are next mountain Snowdon

All in all the climb was interesting and not to strenuous and I would recommend the route. The final part was quite tough however and a good set of walking poles is a definite advantage on this part.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The mist-shrouded summit of Slieve Donard. Photo by Paul Place.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:8377 ft / 2553 m
    Total Elevation Loss:8377 ft / 2553 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Raining, Cold, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5588 ft / 1703 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2799 ft / 853 m; Extra: 2789 ft / 850m
    Loss on way in:2789 ft / 850 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Bloody Bridge Touriste Route
    Start Trailhead:Bloody Bridge Car Park  0 ft / 0 m
    Time:2 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5588 ft / 1703 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2799 ft / 853 m; Extra: 2789 ft / 850m
    Gain on way out:2789 ft / 850 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Bloody Bridge Tourist Route
    End Trailhead:Bloody Bridge Car Park  0 ft / 0 m
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes

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