It was the Sunday before a bank holiday Monday so I was able to travel down to the Mournes a little earlier than I usually would after work. I was headed for the peak beside Binnian’s North Tor so I set off from Carrick Little Car Park. The weather was forecast to be absolutely perfect; clear with very light wind and mild temperatures.
I set off along the Mourne Wall directly toward the summit with the intention of dropping down toward the North Tor. There was no wind at all on this side of the mountain and with mild temperatures I wasn’t long heating up on the ascent. Sweat was quickly dripping off my nose.
I was glad to finally reach the summit where there was a light breeze, enough to cool me a little. I stopped to enjoy the view briefly before heading north down to the North Tor.
Looking out over the Irish Sea from close to the summit.
Looking toward the North Tor from the summit.
Although it was a large grassy area on the peak beside the North Tor I did have difficulty finding a suitable spot for the tent due to rocks and uneven ground. The same problem I had on my previous camp on Cove Mountain. This was the first outing for the new end pole for the tent after I had accidently snapped it at the last camp. The new pole slotted together very easily. It has not yet had time to wear and get caked with dirt.
The evening was very pleasant. I had forgotten both my woolly hat and my down jacket but thankfully I didn’t need either as I found a nice rock to sit on while watching the sun go down to the west.
It was difficult to find a suitable spot for the tent.
The bags of stones dropped by helicopter for repairing the path.
The next morning I woke for sunrise. As my wife could confirm I am definitely not a morning person so I will only set an alarm for sunrise while camping in The Mournes if I expect it to be very good. The sun came up at 5.36 over the southern slopes of Slieve Donard and was very picturesque. I went back to sleep for a little while before packing up and descending down via the saddle between Binnian and Lamagan. There were a lot of bags of stones on the way down from the North Tor that had been dropped in by helicopter where there is fantastic work going on to maintain the paths.
Despite it being still quite early there was a large number of people on there way up the track from Carrick Little. It was the May Day public holiday. It was set to be a busy day in The Mournes. The traffic on the way toward Newcastle was madness but thankfully I was going the opposite direction.
Sunrise over the southern slopes of Donard at 5.36.
Check out my long term plan to camp on all of the Mourne 500’s here