Due to work and other commitments I realised that if I was to try and camp on all the summits before the end of the winter I would have to use every opportunity available to me. That included ascending after work in the dark. For my Commedagh Summit camp this is exactly what I did. Another reason for my eagerness to get gamping again was that I had just bought a new 65 litre pack to better fit all my camping gear and I wanted to test it.
I drove straight to Newcastle after work and started my ascent from Donard Park around 7pm. It was a fantastic, clear, frosty evening. Not a breath of wind. The higher I ascended the further I could see the streetlights of the country below spread out far into the distance.
When I reached the summit of Commedagh the weather was remained totally clear and still. The ground was frozen solid and the grass crunched underfoot. Upon stopping to unpack the tent I began to feel how cold it was but thankfully it was very quick and easy to pitch my Banshee 200. I was still impressed that it was totally unmarked after the beating it took the previous night on Donard.
The night was very uneventful from that point. I read a little and then settled down for a good sleep.

My new 65 litre pack. Lots more space for camping trips.

It was a perfect frosty, clear, still night when I pitched the tent close to the stone summit shelter.

The next morning was so cloudy I couldn’t get the camera to focus for a good shot.
 It was beginning to feel like routine when I was again rudely awakened by the wind. This time, however, it was at a more reasonable hour, around 7.30. I didn’t have long to wait until it was fully daylight. Upon climbing out of the tent I could see that what was frozen ground the night before had been turned into sodden wet grass as the temperature had risen through the night, and there had also been a large amount of rain.
I tried to light the small gas stove to prepare some breakfast but, unfortunately, the wind had other ideas. I was eventually forced to descend on an empty stomach.

Another typical windy morning.
Check out my long term plan to camp on all of the Mourne 500’s here