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Author Topic: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth  (Read 10318 times)

Chuck

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Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« on: July 15, 2010 »

Crappy fortnight at work, started thinking about doing something different over the long weekend to take my mind of it, more than just the usual walk.

Settled on the Seven Sevens: climb the seven Mourne mountains over 700m.

After a bit of reading. I settled on the Glen River -> Donard -> Commedagh -> Bearnagh -> Meelmore -> Meelbeg -> Down the Bencrom River -> Ben Crom Dam -> Binnian -> Lanagan -> Glen River route. An easy enough route to follow, with the exception of Bencrom Rover, I've not done it before and the map didn't show a path.

Forecast for the Monday was to be cloudy start, rain then overcast for the rest of the day.

Decided to take the walk seriously so only a short walk on the Sunday, no coffee or alcohol the whole weekend.

I packed light (for me): 35l rucksack,  2l bladder of watered down fruit juice (with a dissoluble multivitamin table thrown in for good measure), 3x 500ml bottles of Lucosade sport and a 500ml hip flask of diluteable juice. Spare long sleeve base layer, lightweight fleece, spare socks, lightweight cheapy trekmates jacket, loads of energy bars, dried fruit, jelly babies (no food as such for lunch, plan was just to keep moving), first aid kit, map, GPS tracker, (but no sun blocker - mistake)

Up at 6am, big breakfast,  

07.30 arrive at Newcastle grey and overcast, Donard covered in cloud. Slapped some sudo-cream on my feet to help protect from blisters (a top tip from a hill runner, can't tell if it did help but if the runners do it, why not).

09.03 - Top of Donard. 1h30m so much for taking it easy. One down six to go.

09.46 - Summit carn on Commedagh. Never been up that before, nice wee sheltered bivvy spot room for one or two.



Also ‘found’ the well reported water pipe coming out of the hillside.

Started off in the direction of Hare’s gap/Bearnagh. Looked miles away..began to wish it was foggy..



10.32 Reach Hare’s Gap

11.07 Bearnagh Summit. Path up wasn’t all that obvious to start with, just very steep. Spent 45 mins in the sun letting my base layer & socks dry out, boots off..aaahhh! (so much for keeping moving....but it was too nice up there..may just spend the rest of the afternoon there)

11.57 Start off down the side of Bearnagh, didn’t know there was no actual path up/down, just a rock field.



12.22 Meelmore Summit for the third time this summer.

12.50 Melbeg Summit, ditto.

13.28 Down to the Bencrom River. Passed by a couple of runners going the other-way. Excellent wee river, couple of nice bivvy spots beside it. I’ll be back here for sure.



14.04 Hang a left looking for the Ben Crom Dam, didn’t want to lose too much height .. so ended up batting through bracken, much to the amusement of the old folks waiting for the Silent Valley bus :)



14.30 Ben Crom Dam...arrived exactly at the ‘official’ cut off time. During the official race you have to get to the Dam by 1430 otherwise you get retired.

Phew what a scorcher!



2l bladder now empty, filled it up with the Lucozade, put on fresh socks. Rested in the shade.

15.11 Arrive at the shoulder between Lamagan and Binnian. Place is full of afternoon walkers, I swear I can smell a BBQ! Smells goooood.
Looks at Lamagan..(shudder)...you can see the path go right to the top...looks hateful.
Looks at Binnian, looks better (even though I know there is a couple of miles of it hidden from view). Thinks about going down to the Blue Lough for a swim and getting a taxi back to Donard...sooo tempting.

15.21 Ahh sod it..Binnian it is then.



(get overtaken by families with small children and a couple of top heavy lovelies on the way up...making me feel old and feeble)

16.26 Binnian summit. Pass loads of rock climbers. Sit down for a rest. Ahh balls to this, let’s go home. Call to the wife, arrange pick up at Carrik Little car park, start down off the side of Binnian, shooting dirty looks at Lamagan on the way down. Next time...probably not tho.

17.45 Arrive Carrick Little car park. Boots off....aaaahhhhh!

Time: 10hrs 15mins (less an hour for breaks)
Distance: 16 miles
Assent: 2,100m

Not sure I’d do anything different, the route going down the Bencrom River would be easier than going up it, the path is soo patchy it would be hard to stick to it (esp. in wet weather) Respect to the runners who do it in less than four hours. Two day later my knees are still compaining going up the steps at Lisburn train station :)

So if you want to give it a go, keep the 7th August free. (the CDO in me wonders why they don't do it on the 7th July...that would mean doing the seven sevens on the seventh day of the seventh month..ahem  ;))

More pics/route map here.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010 by Chuck »
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Paul72

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010 »

Well done Chuck, wish I had that sort of stamina!  Great photos too!
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MG1

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010 »

Good man Chuck sounds like it was tough going.
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LennyJ1

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010 »

Sounds like something I would like to do.
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fatty-arbuckle

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010 »

Good report

Good pics

Well done
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surfnscenic

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010 »

Well done, especially when it appaers this was taken on with a short lead-in time. 

Enjoyed your report and pictures.

How did your kit perform?  What state were your feet in with the Sod 'em cream?
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Chuck

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010 »

Thanks guys.

Sounds like something I would like to do.
Just pick a good day...start early....and see how far you can get, there are plenty of escape routes along the route I did.

How did your kit perform?  What state were your feet in with the Sod 'em cream?
Kit was all good, it's been well proven over the years, having a spare base layer to allow the other (sweaty) one to dry out during breaks which was nice...the spare pair of socks (mostly in case I got my first pair wet going down the Bencrom River) was a nice luxury. Was going to try it in walking shoes but I stuck with my old faithful Scarpa boots for the ankle support.

Feet are still swollen :) the front pads where very hot for the latter half of the walk but I've never got blisters walking, so I don't know if the sudocrem did help...but it can't do any harm, I know it's good stuff...just never thought of slapping it on my feet.

suspectmonkey

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010 »

Nice write up Chuck.  Great photos as well, you should really do them even more justice with a proper camera ;) :P
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RedLeader

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010 »

Fantastic try chum. Looks like you got great weather too!
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Chuck

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010 »

Great photos as well, you should really do them even more justice with a proper camera ;) :P
;) Tried to find something to replace my camera phone, but failed.

The camera phone is just too handy, cost effective, always on, slips into my pocket and now that I've (cough)obtained(/cough) a portable copy of CS3, I take a load of single pics and let it stitch them together to something more high resolution (and the auto-fix option in flickr removes the slight green tint that appears on all my pics....just need to Enhance them a bit  :D )...for me it satisfices.

It does worry me that one day I'm going to drop my one emergency communication device in a river taking a pic.  ;D
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010 by Chuck »
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chris

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010 »

Nice write up chuck although I don't care what wikipedia says "Satisficing" is not a word! :D
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Chuck

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010 »

Now now Chris, don't be obstcationous ;)

(possible googlewhack in 5 4 3...)...hmm..perhaps not...googlewhack is two dictionary words ..ahh well...will have to settle for a Googlewhackblatt
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010 by Chuck »
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fatty-arbuckle

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2010 »

Just re-read the post, its seems you didnt finish it............

As per the rules and regulations I have to retract the "well done" at the end of my post. It will be replaced with "could do better next time"
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Chuck

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2010 »

....replaced with "could do better next time"

Next time...probably not tho.
Naw, was one off attempt. Not a fan one these one day slogs :)

suspectmonkey

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Re: Seven Sevens on the Twelfth
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010 »

The camera phone is just too handy, cost effective, always on, slips into my pocket and now that I've (cough)obtained(/cough) a portable copy of CS3, I take a load of single pics and let it stitch them together to something more high resolution (and the auto-fix option in flickr removes the slight green tint that appears on all my pics)...for me it satisfices.

The photos look great having been through Photoshop considering they are taken with a mobile.  To be honest I rarely take my camera into the hills because I can never be bothered lugging the extra weight and always worry about looking after my gear.  Will probably get decent compact or four-thirds shooter at some stage though to cut down on the bulk!
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