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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Climbing Errigal Mountain

Here is a guest blog from Bren Whelan who decided to take a look at a classic and iconic Donegal landmark..Errigal Mountain. 

Standing at 751 meters (2,464 feet) above sea level, the distinctive cloud piercing summit and shoulders of Mount Errigal casts an alternative view across the Donegal skyline. The mountain has a diverse and varied shape depending on what direction you view it from. In 2009 the loveable Donegal landmark mountain was voted ‘Ireland’s Most Iconic Mountain’ by Walking & Hiking in Ireland, as an endorsement of it's distinctive beauty.
Whereas most of the surrounding rocky peaks of the Derryveagh Mountains are granite, Errigal’s form is somewhat different, it’s a quartzite peak. Quartzite is a sedimentary rock which has metamorphosed (changed from sandstone) under high pressure and heat into a dense hard quartzite rock type.
Errigal (possibly meaning ‘oratory’) is the 76th highest mountain in Ireland and the highest in a chain known as ‘The Seven Sisters’, which includes Muckish, Crocknalaragagh, Aghla Beg, Ardloughnabrackbaddy, Aghla More, Mackoght (Wee Errigal). This chain forms one of the great Irish mountain challenge walks, the ‘Glover Highlander’, a strenuous mountain walk which is around 23Km long and involves around 2000 meters of height gain!




Generally speaking most people will climb the mountain by starting from the car park off the R251 road. Initially the route crosses heavily eroded and boggy land that leads towards a visible track through the scree.
There is a steady climb upwards towards the summit, with excellent views in all directions towards Tory Island, the Poison Glen, Gola, Arranmore, the Blue Stacks to name but a few, for those who don’t quite have a head for heights, be warned steep and intimidating ground abounds. This culminates with a final exposed walk along the airy ridge of the ‘one man’s pass’ which allows both summits to be gained as a reward for the steep uphill journey.
Lastly, if you plan to stay locally, the 5 star Errigal Youth Hostel, with its super friendly staff and luxury accommodation is the perfect base!

For more information on Bren Whelan contact: 
www.wildatlanticwayclimbing.ie