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Belshade CLOSED

Date: Dec 30 2010
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney

PJ and I wanted to burn of some off the Christmas calories so decided a long walk in the Bluestacks was in order. We geared up with some shiny new stuff that Santa left under the tree and set off down the track into Belshade only to be greeted by a badly painted "No Walkers" sign!

The farmer was there to greet us (I suspect he'd spied us loading up) and he explained that some woman had claimed her dog had died after eating poison during a walk in Belshade. The lawyers had suggested he then close the land to everyone. While it's easy to believe the farmer's story and blame some daft bint for spoiling the fun for everyone, there are 2 sides to every story. It was only after we hoofed back to the car that it dawned on us that we should have gotten his name and number for a bit of MI mediation possibly.

Anyway we went round to Eglish and did a bit of map and compass to heights 395m, 499m and 674m on the ridge leading up from the boggy track off the main road. We were greeted by a magnificent sunset on top, the hills below us all glowing firy red. Of course this suggested a head-torch walk out so we forgot about navigation and quickly scampered down the nearest stream filled gully and plundered on into the boggy depths below. 45 minutes of that was quite enough and we scrambled back up to our first 395m point to navigate more easily back to the track just as it got properly dark.

A bit of zig-zagging along our bearing got the track eventually and we were soon muckily ensconced in the bar of the 5-star Harvey's Point Hotel, amid other diners who were dressed a little more finely. The maitre d' (is there a female version of that?) snootily passed us a few times, much to my equal chagrin and delight but our €5 a pint was a good as anyone else's and we stayed for a second quaff just to annoy her more. Ever the rebel.

04 Jan 2011

You should have added a badly painted 'Tayto Crisps Only'.

06 Jan 2011

Moves are afoot apparently involving Bluestack Ramblers and MI to mediate. Was it not in the last log to avoid the area?

06 Jan 2011
Peter Cooper

There's nudging 60years of access by climbers at this spot and no previous problems of note. It would be the greatest of shames if this were not resolved - and soon. Be really good if Barnesmore can be resolved this year; too. Good luck, may common sense prevail.

Photo of Route