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I had shortlisted the below hilltops. 

 

Unfortunately access was not possible due to adverse weather conditions (could not start or had to abandon attempt) or access was barred because it was on private land and/or fenced off.

 

 

EI/IW-017 Slievemore [An Sliabh Mór]

 

Region

Ireland West (Co. Mayo)

Height (m)

671

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO44xa

WAI grid

F60 Mayo


 

Credit to its name this is The Big Mountain of Achill Island, visible [on most days] from far afield.  Unfortunately the few days I was on the island, Atlantic depressions rolled in one after the other and obscured the view, furthermore high winds made it unsafe to go up its ragged edge.

 

I made a walk on the path at the base of Slievemore and visited the abandoned villages (cottage ruins).  The mountain looks mightily impressive from down there, the top another 650 metres up!

 

A really nice view of the mountain and neighbouring Doogort Hill is from Doogort strand a couple of km away.

 

 

That top is 650 metres higher up!

One of the abandoned villages at the base of Slievemore.

Cottage ruin.

Mighty view from Doogort strand.  Very rough foaming sea ...


 

 

EI/IW-020 Binn Mhor [Binn Mhór]

 

Region

Ireland West (Co. Galway)

Height (m)

661

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO53el

WAI grid

L 94 Galway


 

Off the N59 just before Recess take a narrow local road north to the Maumeen Pass.  There is a small car park provided as this is a well known walker's route, the Western Way. 

 

Go up the stoney path and through the gate higher up, continue on the path till reaching the crosses and stone altar at the Maumeen Pass (pt. 250). 

 

From that point you would have to go over a grassy/rocky slope first to the false top (pt. 596)  then over the plateau to the actual top, pt. 661.

 

On the day WX was poor so I was doubtful I could have made it, however, I investigated as far as Maumeen Pass, with pt. 596 towering a good 400 metres in front of me.  I could see low cloud closing in and high winds made the ascent on the slippery slope unsafe, so I descended.

 

One for a sunny summer's day in Connemara, hi!

 

 

The path leading up to the Maumeen Pass.

The crosses at the Maumeen Pass.

Point 596 is a good 400m vertical climb from here!


 

 

EI/IW-032 Corraun Hill East Top [Cnoc an Chorráin]

 

Region

Ireland West (Co. Mayo)

Height (m)

541

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO53bv

WAI grid

L79 Mayo


 

This hill is on the peninsula just before reaching Achill Island.  Corraun is odd shaped but the highest peak is to the west, facing the southern tip of Achill.

 

I did not investigate locally but one suggested route starts on a track not far from the Bunanioo Bridge, turning left at the T-junction at the end following the contour for a while, then going up a good 300m vertical over open terrain.

 

 

Viewed from the south of Achill Island near Cloghmore.


 

 

EI/IW-038 Owenduff Hill [Cnoc Leitreach]

 

Region

Ireland West (Co. Mayo)

Height (m)

452

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO53bw

WAI grid

F70 Mayo


 

This hill is on the north side of the Corraun peninsula, en route to Achill Island.  Its highest peak is due south of Tonregee village on the R319.

 

I did not investigate locally.

 

 

Viewed from the south of Achill Island near Cloghmore.


 

 

EI/IW-073 Glinsk [Glinsce]

 

Region

Ireland West (Co. Mayo)

Height (m)

304

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO54eh

WAI grid

F94 Mayo


 

From a local road out of Belderg (through Ballinapark - scattered houses) there is a parking for a few cars at a junction cum hardcore area at ... Glinsk.  An unsurfaced road runs north to some cottages, another runs south adjacent to a pine forest.  There is no obvious track or path to the hill, just plenty of (fenced off) bogland to cross. 

 

There was no-one around to ask, very remote area. 

 

One of two boggy SOTA hill tops awaiting completion in north Co. Mayo.

 

 

So close ...


 

 

EI/IN-015 Slieve Anierin [Sliabh an Iarainn]

 

Region

Ireland North (Co. Leitrim)

Height (m)

585

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO64ac

WAI grid

H01 Leitrim


 

The Mountain of the Iron is mightily impressive in the Co. Leitrim landscape. 

 

Getting to the top is a bit of a problem ...

 

I enquired about access at the Aghacashel post office.  Jackie Lee who runs the P.O. cum shop is an amicable chap and a source of information on local history and walking.  Do pop in and say hello!

 

Due to an "incident" the habitual and waymarked route from the SE is off limits to all walkers.  Jackie informed me that the "incident" related to sheep that were killed by a dog not kept on a leash by its owner.  How careless can one be!  Even a casual visitor like myself understands that sheep are roaming freely, this is quite common on all hills/mountains I visited. 

 

Unfortunately and perhaps understandable, the farmer who owns the land has barred ALL walkers from using that approach to Slieve Anierin (no trespassing signs, locked gate, CCTV). 

An alternative route, albeit very long and over difficult terrain, runs from the foot of Bencroy (parking for a couple of cars on hardcore area) along the flank of adjacent hills over pt. 521 up to the top of Anierin.  Waw, I did investigate and went along the flank of pt. 561 (almost cliff like) then walked up the top to pt. 561 to get my bearings.

 

Unfortunately the saddle to pt. 521 was very waterlogged, with eroded turf areas stretching the width of the saddle I could not see a way through.  I returned over Bencroy (not a SOTA) and descended via an old quarry (not on OSI map) which is actually "connected" to the old track near the car parking spot..

 

Jackie informed me that all is not lost:  the local community is talking to the farmer [about access] but this will take time.  A SOTA to return to once the situation has been resolved I hope.

 

By the way, Jackie told me that a memorial plaque has been erected [nearby] in rememberance of the many people who died on the mountain during the Famine.  There were so many that they could not be carried down to the village for individual burial so they got burried in a mass grave [on the hill].

 

 

The slope of Bencroy and an old quarry building (a kind of shute).

Anierin in the distance.

 A weighing platform I stumbled upon at the old quarry.


 

 

EI/IN-050 Largan Hill

 

Region

Ireland North (Co. Sligo)

Height (m)

413

Locator (Maidenhead)

IO54mc

WAI grid

G31 Sligo


 

I drove past this SOTA hill top, it is on the R294 west out of Tobercurry [to Ballina].  Beautiful panorama as you approach:  Lough Talt, the Windy Gap and the north Mayo mountains in the distance. 

 

Largan is on the Sligo side of WAI grid G31.  The hill has been partially deforestated so the top might be reached in a "straigh up" approach from a narrow road at The Gap.  There is a forest access track marked on the map so that would be a good starting point.

 

 

Largan Hill and The Gap viewed from the R294.


 

 


 


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