Liam O’Connell from the 7th De La Salle Scout Troop gives us his account of the Ulster MPC 2011 which took place in the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. It was another tough weekend!
Friday 14/10/2011 – Sunday 16/10/2011
Another Google Maps Marathon and we only got lost once.
We were meant to meet up at the school at 4:00pm but Seán and Oisín were late tut tut. We left at about five and we went down to Centra on the Quay to get food and then we went to a garage in Ferrybank to get petrol, after that we set off. Once you leave Waterford, it’s motorway the whole way up. It took us about 4 hours to get there and it’s over 300 miles or kilometres, I’m not really sure! We got there at about nine, then we checked in and head off. We followed a path until the first marker. Matt decided to stay following the path, which was wrong, but at the time we didn’t know. We followed it for about 200 metres, then some staff told us to re-check our bearing. Matt checked it and realised his mistake so we headed back down to the marker and found the route we were supposed to take, so we followed it. It was very dark and there were lots of holes you couldn’t see. We fell a lot on the way but we got there. We pitched out tents, had something to eat and went to bed to get a good nights sleep because we had a long day ahead of us.
Taking a break half way up Cock Mountain
We got up early, lit the trangia and left the water to boil as we started to take down our tents. You weren’t allowed check out until nine and after a team left another team go ten minutes later, we left at about 9:40 and headed off. The route was to get to the peak of the mountain, go down in to the col below and there were four mountains we had to climb. Cock Mountain, Pigeon Rock Mountain, Slievemoughanmore, and Eagle Mountain.
Poor vis following the Mourne Wall.
On Pigeon Rock mountain was the Mourne wall, we had to follow it to the peak and to a col and to the peak of Eagle Mountain where we left it. It was a long day with poor weather conditions. Along the way to the peak of Eagle Mountain, Oisín was struggling and slowing us down so Seán decided to go to the peak and wait for him there. After waiting about a half hour, one of the staff told us the would bring him down with them so we headed off, still following the wall, we got to a check point and we were given a bearing of 225 I think and we were told to follow it until we got to three tributaries and follow them down and we would find base camp which we did find unlike some people 😉 fail wink fail. Also heading in to a col, Matt fell waist deep in to a bog LOL.
Never bring more than the bear minimum on a full pack weekend.
High camp, early on Sunday morning.
We woke up kind of late, myself and Adam had a poor nights sleep. We took down myself and Adam’s tent and headed over to the Scout’s Own. After the Scout’s own, we took down Jack and Matt’s tent and we checked out and headed off on our last hike up the Mournes, it was a 6k hike, 4k through forest track and 2k on a road. It felt really long because we were all so tired. After we got back we headed off to Friar Tucks for some chips!
The weather clearing to the North on Sunday morning.
Quick march back to the car park.
Obligatory chin holding pose.