Northern Ireland Outdoors Forum - Hiking, camping and more

Outdoor Activities => Northern Ireland Hiking, Walking, Running, Orienteering and Geocaching => Topic started by: cfarrell on November 18, 2018

Title: Mourne Wall Challenge-Water Sources
Post by: cfarrell on November 18, 2018
I'm planning on doing the Mourne Wall Challenge with a friend over the Christmas break. We plan to do it over two days, camping somewhere along the way.

I'm aware that there is water from a pipe on Slieve Commedagh, and obviously at the Silent Valley reservoir. But I'm wondering about other sources?

Could someone who is familiar with the area tell me if there are many streams along the route? I have a good water purifier, so don't mind sourcing from streams. But given that the route goes over peaks and saddles, rather than down into the valleys, and that that route follows the wall (and unlikely to be streams running through the wall!) I'm guessing that there might not be a lot of such streams along the route?

I'm just trying to figure out how much water we need to carry up those slopes for drinking/cooking/cleaning! It would be far better if we could gather it and filter it when we need it, rather than having to carry it all up!

Nothing decided yet (and probably won't be decided until the day) but initially thinking about camping after climbing Slieve Muck, or possibly one of the next few peeks (clockwise).

Title: Re: Mourne Wall Challenge-Water Sources
Post by: seanbranagh on November 19, 2018
Hey Colm,

I am sure other guys will know of other spots but I guess it depends on how far you want to venture away from the wall. Most of the valleys will have a stream not too far from the top big enough to get some water. Definitely between Meelmore and Bearnagh heading down a bit toward Trassey Track. Just below the saddle between Donard and Commedagh in the Glen river valley etc. Between Loughshannagh and Meelbeg, well, its a bit of a way around the path going around Meelbeg actually but there is always a good stream there. I use it on the way to Doan. You will hear it before you see it. I have also been told about "Pete's Pipe" half way up Meelmore from Meelbeg direction but I have never seen it myself or even looked for it to be honest.

I done exactly what you are doing, back in May. Where are you starting?
We started from Carrick Little, clockwise, Binnian first. Slieve Muck would be very early to camp if you were starting where we did. We camped on the summit of Meelmore.
In total I went through about 6 litres of water (and half a bottle of wine ;D for the camp), carrying 3 litres at a time.
I think Slieve Muck was the worst bit of the entire thing. It is a long tough slog up there from Banns Road and very boggy toward the bottom.
Good luck with it, especially in December. If you face any snow or ice on the slopes it will make it a lot more difficult and daylight will already be in very short supply. 
Title: Re: Mourne Wall Challenge-Water Sources
Post by: whoRya on November 19, 2018
Good info from Sean there.  I'd agree about Muck being very early on.  I did the Mourne Wall in June (in one day) and it is a long walk.  Many people mention about Muck being tough but I'll tell you what, there is a heck of a lot of walking and climbing to do after that.  I really started to tire on Commedagh and Donard, something I hadn't thought too much about was how hard the downhills would become.  My thighs were on fire going down and I began to dread going down.  I'd imagine the legs will be tired with a large pack.

Anything that turns into a river on the map will quite often have some water that can be collected a little higher up.  Even the saddle which you wouldn't associate with water has some very close without descending far, on the Commedagh side of the valley as it descends.   

This doesn't help with water, but if it works gives you a little idea of the walk.
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Title: Re: Mourne Wall Challenge-Water Sources
Post by: cfarrell on November 20, 2018
Thanks guys for the advice.

I done exactly what you are doing, back in May. Where are you starting?
The plan is to start from Carrick Little, just like you did.

Interesting that both of you think Muck is early. I'd read that it represented more than half of the climbing, so was thinking somewhere after that was a good mid-point. In any case, we will probably continue as far as we can until we start to run the risk of losing daylight (sunset around 4pm over the Christmas break). So probably stop around 3:30 to get a chance to set up tents etc before darkness.

WhoRya....thanks for the video, but it's private, so I can't watch it unfortunately.

Thanks for the advice guys. Good to know that we don't need to carry two days worth of water all the way up :)
Title: Re: Mourne Wall Challenge-Water Sources
Post by: whoRya on November 20, 2018
Hi video is public now.