Slieve Binnian – Silent Valley – Mourne Mountains

Slieve Binnian - Silent Valley - Mourne Mountains - Tina climbing Slieve Binnian

Slieve Binnian – Silent Valley – Mourne Mountains

So earlier this year, I climbed my very first mountain and managed to get to the Saddle in the Mournes, which is just shy of its tallest peak, Slieve Donard. Not bad going as I did the climb in my docs and jeans. I definitely don’t recommend doing this if you are new to climbing.

As I didn’t get to the top, I decided that a revisit was definitely on the agenda, so the planning began.

The plan was to travel up the Friday afternoon, have a leisurely climb up to the peak on Saturday and then travel back home on Sunday. Climbing accessories and gear were purchased. This time I was prepared – or so I thought.

Best/Worst weekend ever…

Friday started out normal. We finished work, packed the car and started the four-and-a-half-hour drive across the country from Galway to Annalong in the rain. The rain was no surprise but the double back tyre puncture twenty minutes from our Airbnb accommodation was.

Many, and I mean many phone calls later, very wet, we were saved from being stranded just outside Kilkeel Golf course by a lovely man who arrived with a recovery lorry to take our car to the garage and us, wet and a little bit deflated as well to our beds.

Day one plan didn’t go too well, only to discover we weren’t going to get our car back until at least one the following day.

So day two wasn’t working out great either. Luckily we had booked our Airbnb very close to the bottom of the third highest peak in the Mournes, Slieve Binnian, and we could walk to it.

Slieve Binnian is a circular walking route following the Mourne Wall to the summit of Slieve Binnian (747m), crossing between the South and North Tors before coming back down past the Blue Lough Annalong Forest and back to the car park.

At 9.30 Saturday morning, we set off, deciding to take the trail up alongside the wall to the top of the mountain. And yes, it was wet, muddy, and up a path less defined, but it was well worth it even if we didn’t really get to see much due to the rain and the mist.

Four and a half hours later, we were back down the mountain, just in time to collect our car. Yeah, reinvigorated, we decided to have a change of plans and climb Slieve Donard on Sunday morning and travel back to Galway in the afternoon.

But our second car mishap was just sitting on the horizon. Early Sunday morning, while packing the car, the back door slammed closed locking our only set of car keys in the car!!!

I mean really, WTF? One wire clothes hanger, two knives and another call out to fix the car eventually meant that we were able to get into the car at about twelve o clock!!!

And you guessed it, no climbing Slieve Donard, as it would have been too late to get back home.

Well, the best-laid plans, blah, blah, blah 🙂

With limited time on our hands, we visited Silent Valley and did one of the walking trails there, where the sun shone on our heads for the entire walk.

Alan’s GoPro Hero video footage of our trip, word of warning lots of mist and rain 🙂

Silent Valley shot on iPhone SE with a Gimbal

So after two car emergency call-outs, a walk up Slieve Binnian and a visit to Silent Valley, Slieve Donard had eluded me. But not for long as my next trip has already been planned.

For detailed information on Slieve Binnian click on the link below.

To download a pdf map of the walking trails in Silent Valley click on the link below.

Note there is a £4.50 charge for a car into Silent Valley.


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