On Saturday, I left Castlebar at 7.20 am, to begin a climb of Nephin Beg at 8.20, from its eastern side. I parked the car on The Western Way and took to the hills from the little bridge over the second stream after the Coillte hut.
Nephin Beg summit; Slieve Carr in background.
As I gained ground, I was quite surprised that the terrain was not much wetter than was the case and I made steady enough progress. I made the summit from the southeast ridge, looking across the corrie towards pt 311 m, which forms part of the Letterkeen Loop.
Of course, once I reached the top, I was no longer sheltered and became subjected to fierce wind and some snow coming in from the west. The views were wonderful in all directions, from Blacksod Bay, The Mullet, Duvillaun and Iniskea Islands to the west and northwest, all the way around to Nephin Mór in the east and Corraun and Achill in the west and southwest.
Scardaun Loughs in the shadow of Nephin Beg; Slieve Carr beyond.
From the summit, I descended northwards and headed for the northern side of the Scardaun Loughs, passing them to the west. I saw seven geese (too far away to positively identify, but presumably White-Fronted, which over-winter here).
Having passed the twin lakes on my right, I then began to circumnavigate them to the north, underneath Slieve Carr. Swinging, around to the southeast on the far side, I began my descent to The Western Way. This section was by far the wettest on the hike, but was nonetheless easily manageable.
To come around Nephin Beg, I followed the tree line, with long, clear views north across the huge plantation forests to the wind turbines and disused power station at Bellacorrick. East of the Loughs, five additional geese came flying overhead from the NE and did not land on the lakes, rather continuing out to the pond-studded Scardaun bog beyond.
Passing Lough Namroon below me, I dropped down into the valley of its draining stream to rejoin The Western Way after 5 hrs 40 minutes in varying sunshine, snow and heavy rain towards the end.
Filed under: ecotourism, Mayo, Walking in the West of Ireland | Tagged: carr, Castlebar, hiking, Mayo, Nephin, scardaun, Walking, Western Way | Leave a comment »