I had heard horror stories from fellow enthusiasts about camping on the summit of Slieve Meelbeg, due to the very rocky ground making it difficult to pitch a tent. It had been a while since I had hiked up there so I couldn’t remember for myself, exactly what the ground was like. It is a short walk via Happy Valley so I decided to give it a try. The ground at the summit was indeed very rocky but between the rocks and the sheep droppings I was able to find a space just big enough to fit my small Vango Banshee 200. The ground underneath the tent was not totally free of rocks but my Thermarest was mostly able to iron out the remaining bumps.
Finding a suitable spot between the rocks was difficult.
The locals appeared to be curious about their guest for the night.
 Once I had the tent pitched I got settled into my now usual routine of just enjoying the surroundings until darkness fell. This was of course the longest day of 2016 so I had lots of time to enjoy the views. Although there was cloud, the air was unusually clear and I was able to see as far Fermanagh and Tyrone to the west.
The clear air allowed for views far to the west.
 Thanks to being above 50 degrees north on the longest day, even long after sunset I still had no need to use a headlamp. When the full moon came out it could almost have been mistaken for the sun because it was so bright, reflecting on the water just off the coast by Annalong.
The next morning was a return to a more familiar setting in the Mournes. I woke up surrounded by cloud and the usual strong wind. Although by the time I hiked back down below the saddle into Happy Valley it was already becoming a more pleasant day.
The night was exceptionally bright and short with a full moon and the sun never far away.
I dropped out of the cloud into Happy Valley to find a reasonably pleasant day.
Check out my long term plan to camp on all of the Mourne 500’s here