SPELLACK TO MEELBEG 06 OCTOBER 18
Six ramblers gathered at Meelmore Lodge on a fine autumn day. The first leg of the walk took us from the Lodge, across to the foot of Spellack. Having found one of a number of indistinct routes, we paused to regroup and admire the view from Spellack across to Bearnagh, before heading onward to the summit of Meelmore. The climb from Spellack to Meelmore provided wonderful views across the Mournes and conditions underfoot made for good progress to the top and a well earned banana break! The route followed the wall to the foot of Meelmore, before ascending to the top of Meelbeg and another brief stop to enjoy the autumn sunshine. We continued to follow the wall to the summit of Meelbeg and then on to the saddle between Meelbeg and Slieve Loughshannagh. From the saddle our route took us back along the path to the saddle between Meelmore and Bearnagh. The consensus was that Bearnagh was a mountain too much, so lunch was had before descending through Pollaphuca. The path back took us parallel to the Trassey Track, around the foot of Spellack and back to the Lodge. A shorter walk than planned but one which provided a challenge and enjoyment in equal measure! Thanks to all who attended, a grand day out!(thanks to Cowan for photos and text)
BEN CROM 08 SEPTEMBER 18
Thanks to Cowan for the text and photos, the walk description is on the Photos page.
CARRICK LITTLE TO MEELMORE 18 AUG 18
A low turn out for the planned two level walk from Carrick Little to Meelmore Lodge resulted in the merger of the two groups. Following transfer by taxi from Meelmore Lodge to Carrick Little, the high level walkers followed the wall towards the summit of Binnian before traversing around the mountain, joining the low level group who had taken the more traditional route following their taxi transfer, from the carpark to the saddle. Having agreed on a revised route, Ivan led the small band down to the reservoir where lunch was taken. The route took the group on a beautiful walk along the edge of Ben Crom towards the Shelter stone, in perfect walking weather. The route back to Meelmore Lodge was by the high path around the foot of Bearnagh, joining the Trassey Track and across country to pick up the lane to Meelmore Lodge. Our thanks to Ivan for leading and providing an opportunity for some of us to explore new routes! (thanks to Cowan for the photos and text)
BEARNAGH 21 JULY 18
Twelve ramblers assembled at Meelmore Lodge and headed for Pollaphuca in perfect walking conditions. Ably lead by Helen Magill, the group climbed to the summit of Meelmore and then onward to Meelbeg before descending to the saddle between Meelbeg and Slieve Loughshannagh. Following lunch, we split into two groups, with one group heading on to Doan before returning to Meelmore Lodge via Pollaphuca. The second group returned to climb Bearnagh, returning to the Lodge by way of the Hares Gap. Well earned refreshments were had by all at the Lodge before heading home. Thanks to Helen for leading a great walk on a fine day.(thanks to Cowan for the photos and text)
SPELGA SKYLINE 7 JULY 18
Nine members met at the car park at Spelga Dam and took the track leading around Slievenamuck and on to Butter. The group descended from Butter, crossing the Slievenaman Road and taking the Ott track towards Ott and Cairn. Following a brief "banana" break, we followed the wall to the summit of Muck. The group descended Muck, crossing the Kilkeel Road and ascending Pigeon. Following lunch on Pigeon the group headed across to Cock Mountain. At this point we divided into two groups with one group scaling the summits of Cock and Slievenamiskin and the others traversing around towards the dam wall. The general concensus was that those taking the summit route had the easier path whilst the others battled through waist high reeds. A fine walk was completed by crossing at the foot of the dam wall and returning to the car park where a welcome ice cream awaited.(thanks to Cowan for the photos and text)
DINGLE WAY 10-
PIGEON AND EAGLE 19 MAY 18
Fifteen ramblers gathered at the Pigeon Rock car park on a fine spring day with the option of two alternative routes ahead. The first leg of the ramble took us from the car park to the wall, close to the summit of Pigeon Rock Mountain and then to Slievemoughanmore. At this point the group split with 7 continuing on to Eagle Mountain, across to Slievemageogh and back to the car park via Pigeon Rock. The remaining eight ramblers descended to the Windy Gap and followed the quarry track down the valley before crossing to Slievemageogh and following the path from the summit back to the car park via Pigeon Rock.
Our thanks to Norman for leading the high level walk and to Colin for leading the group which took the "low level” route. A challenging low level is probably a more accurate description! (thanks to Cowan for photos and text)
BLOODY BRIDGE TO NEWCASTLE(HL/LL) 21 APRIL 18
Thirteen club members gathered at Donard Park in beautiful sunny weather where the group car-
HAPPY VALLEY, SLIEVELOUGHSHANNAGH 7 APRIL 18
Ten ramblers met at the Happy Valley carpark in fine walking weather. Under the leadership of Colin and Orlagh, the group headed up on to the Mourne Way, in the direction of Fofanny Dam. We took the high path around Meelmore and Meelbeg and then on to the summit of Slieve Loughshannagh. Following a short “banana” break, the ramblers descended to the saddle and then on to Meelmore and Meelbeg, where lunch was called for. The return journey took us down to the saddle between Meelmore and Bearnagh and then on to the path leading back to the stile at Slieve Loughshannagh. From there, it was back along the track to Happy Valley carpark. Low cloud and mist masked the scenery and whilst the weather gods were kind, it was decidedly damp underfoot. Our thanks to Colin and Orlagh for organising and leading the walk.(thanks to Cowan for photos and text)
KILBRONEY, SLIEVE MARTIN 24 MARCH 18
Another Saturday, and another walk in the Mournes, this time in the little-
SEEFINS 10 MARCH 18
On a very wet and windy Saturday, eight intrepid walkers set off from Dinnywater gates. Guided by the redoubtable Denis Hamill, we first easily ascended Round and Long Seefin before heading through the granite workings of Rocky Mountain-
Before setting off, we handed over a cheque for £150, raised at our AGM, to Ronan McBride from the Mourne Rescue team. Ronan commented that the team was most grateful for the donation.
BRANDY PAD 17 FEBRUARY 18
15 walkers met on a glorious morning at Meelmore Lodge and were transferred to Bloody Bridge car park by hired minibus (thanks to Sinead and the Club for organising). Our route followed the Brandy Pad to the quarry below the Mourne Wall at Donard. At this point we split into three groups.
The A group pushed on along the Brandy pad towards the Hares Gap and from there to Bearnagh and Meelmore before returning to Meelmore Lodge via Spellagh. The B group followed closely in their footsteps, taking in Bearnagh before returning to Meelmore Lodge via Pollaphuca and the Trassey Track. The C group took a leisurely walk along the Brandy Pad to the Hares Gap and from there back to the Lodge via the Trassey Track.
A day of unbroken sunshine accompanied by splendid views of the helicopter as it continued its work aiding the restoration of the Mourne Wall. Those in the A and B group had a closer encounter with the machine and crew on Bearnagh. Those in the C group had to be content with a friendly circle overhead! A grand day out!(thanks to Cowan for photos and text)
DOAN, CAIRN, OTT 3 FEBRUARY 18
Ten Ramblers gathered at the carpark at the foot of Butter Mountain for the walk led by Colin and Orlagh. The route followed the Ott Track to the saddle between Slieve Loughshannagh and Cairn Mountain and from there followed a somewhat indistinct path across wet bog land and heather to Doan. The group contoured around Doan before climbing to the summit from the Silent Valley side – a tough but interesting ascent. Poor visibility spoiled the views and it was decided that given the poor weather conditions, crossing to Ben Crom would be avoided. Under Colin and Orlaghs expert map reading, we headed for Cairn Mountain and from there to Ott Mountain before descending once again to the Ott track and back to the carpark. A fine walk with some challenging conditions under foot but mercifully the rain stayed away until we were all safely back in our cars! Thanks to Colin and Orlagh for organizing and their fine leadership. (thanks to Cowan for photos and text)
LUKES MOUNTAIN 20 JANUARY 18
Thanks to Orlagh and Cowan for the photos and Cowan for the text on the Photos page.
AGM 19 JANUARY 18
The NICS Ramblers AGM was held at the Stormont Pavilion, commencing with the necessary business matters which saw Imelda(Secretary) and Helen(Treasurer) step down and be replaced by Sinead McCartan and Norman McElhinney respectively. A welcome meal followed accompanied by a slideshow of the 2017 walks and holidays. After the meal Den conducted a raffle which raised the excellent sum of £140(rounded up by the club to £150) for the worthy cause of Mourne Mountain Rescue. The evening concluded with musical entertainment provided by Victor. Thanks to the members who attended, contributed raffle prizes and helped make the evening a success.