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Quark Sunday

Date: 24/03/13
Submitted by: maeve mckeever
My ice axes have had three outings, all in the Mournes. On sunday a hastily cobbled group of six met at Tollymore car park having abandoned attempts to reach Meelmore Lodge, and had a long walk over towards the Hare’s Gap, making fresh footprints in glorious powder . Mike Hasson broke trail having zero gear with him, Mike Gibson was at the back having all the gear. Fairs fair! We thought of heading up to Bearnagh Slabs, but it was so windy we opted for the gulleys up to the right of Hares Gap where it seemed to be sheltered. Mike and Guio then wisely headed off for a dander as they had no crampons. We donned the gear and headed up the nearest gulley, hard going in deep powder. We wondered if we should be thinking of avalanche awareness, and were told later that there had been an avalanche on Bearnagh somewhere. New snow over old snow.The toil up to Bearnagh Tors in the deep snow was cruel but worth it as we messed about on the gulleys until the freezing wind got the better of us, goggles would have been great. We then helped two people down who had realised it’s easier to go up without crampons than it is to come down. The north side of Bearnagh was almost one big ice field. The snow was almost up to the top of the stile at Hare’s Gap and the walk off was the easiest ever, straight down through powder. The sun came out as we meandered back taking in the gorgeous scenery, and landed back at 6pm at Tollymore. We were the only people there – and looks like more next weekend!

29 Mar 2013

Nice one Maeve. Avalanches in the Mournes reported in yesterdays paper! What an honour to be the first person ever to die in an avalanche on Bearnagh?

29 Mar 2013
Alfie Conn

Read "A chance in a million" by Bob Barton. Probably the best book about avalanche awareness in the British Isles. I find avalanche books heavy going but its worth the slog.

Photo of Route