Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Hill-Run on The Comeragh Mountains

Yesterday myself and Kevin went for a run on the Monavellagh Mountains which abut the southwestern side of the Comeraghs. Us being us we decided to extend the run we had done earlier in the year so we parked at the start of a forestry road at Bleantasour and opted to head for Milk Hill. This allowed for a lengthy run over Tooreen Mountain before reaching the upper plateau and finally reaching Seefin at 726mtrs. The run up Milk Mountain was reasonable over rough surprisingly stony ground but with mercifully short heather. As we got higher the ground got worse so by the time we reached the plateau we had to walk the flat ground as it was a blanket of long tussocky grass and rutted ground. Wow, walking was even difficult and we were delighted to reach the summit and have a rest in the large shelter.

Initially when we started off there was a stiff chill breeze and the tops were blanketed in cloud. Just before we reached Seefin all the cloud disappeared and we were able to enjoy the expansive views that encompassed the entire southeast to the sea. After a few energy bars and a chat with a few walkers who took shelter from the wind as well we set off for Farbreaga. Now the fun began. We were familiar with this ground and we revelled in the good track that went along the broad spur. A sudden steepening ensured the interest was maintained and a few "almost falls" that turned to "sliding recoveries" ensured we had big grins on our faces when we rested briefly at the standing stone at the col before Coumaraglinmountain. This was what we had come for and was enjoyed all the more after the rough ground of the first section of the outing. The trail continued more wetly to the next summit and from there we went to the cairn at the slightly lower Farbreaga. We rested briefly again and studied our options on the map.

We set off in a westerly direction for a kilometer before turning south over Treenearla Commons to the road. This section was super fun over good ground with really closely cropped heather and later on on a good track until we reached the road. It was liberating and exhilarating. Because we could we had decided to extend the run to Crohaun. This added a few kilometers to the day and an extra 150mtrs but the lovely views and excellent sunken shelter allowed us the enjoy a brief rest and chat and hatch plans for a possible bivvy in the future. From here we ran easily back to the road. Now we had an unavoidable 10K return road run to the car. Neither of us was looking forward to this but we were delighted to discover that the first few kilometers was along a lovely road that went gently down through open bog which offered lovely views towards the Knockmealdown Mountains and to our right we were able to see the entire length of our day so far. This lovely road served to ease the difficulty of our return to the car and the warming sun made everything look great. Eventually all good things end and when we reached the low point of the run at Scart Bridge and I must say the last three kilometers up hill were a bit of a trudge. But the end was in sight and it kept us going.
We arrived back at the car in 3hours 51 having covered almost 28kilometers and 900mtrs of climbing.Kevin it must be said is super fit and left to his own devices would be much quicker to do the run. Still we were both well happy with our day out and we are both really looking forward to the next time. We must take a camera next time.
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