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Truskmore Co. Sligo – second visit

July 3, 2010

I revisited Truskmore a couple of days ago, as my previous walk up this mountain saw me forgetting to take in the cairn that marks the highest point in Leitrim.

This time around the weather was a little better than before, with the clouds only scraping the tops of the transmission masts rather than descending lower down the hillside.

The Gleniff Valley continued to radiate its unwelcoming vibe, this time in the guise of a beat up old Ford Escort that I approached from behind shortly after entering the road which loops through the valley floor. The driver of the car slowed down to about 15 kmph, effectively slowing my progress as the road is too narrow for overtaking. He also seemed to anticipate my hillwalking intentions by stopping at the gates to the access road, pulling in just past the only good spot to park.

And then we just sat in our cars fifteen feet apart. Neither of us moving. After a couple of minutes I decided that the old man was going to sit on me ’till I left so I got out of the car and made like a tourist by taking pictures of the valley before driving on past him and out of sight.

I stopped again at an obvious place to take photos and waited for a few minutes before doing a u-turn, hoping that Old Man Escort would be gone. No such luck, I met him coming towards me on the narrow road. He did pull in to allow me pass, but turned his head away from my acknowledgement as I squeezed by.

After that little episode I closed the windows in case a volley of harmless arrows started hitting the car from the surrounding forest – a la Apocalypse Now- but I reached the parking spot unharmed and decided, once again, that I wasn’t going to hang about for too long.

Having stripped my bag of all but the minimum gear I climbed the gate and started jogging / fast walking up the road. It’s a steep, steady climb and the rain joined forces with a decent breeze to prod me up the hill towards the clouds.

Despite the forbidding gate that guards the access road the folks who work on the Truskmore masts seem to be a friendly bunch who either give a nod or offer a lift when they pass. I refused the lift (I promise) and reached the top after about 35 – 40 minutes, finding the trig point behind the main mast among the support stays.  Views towards the other side of the valley from here suggest that a full trek around the horseshoe would be a spectacular undertaking – not reflected in my photos I’m afraid.

Looking across the Gleniff Horseshoe from Truskmore

Across Gleniff from Truskmore

From here a further five minutes or so brought me to the South East Cairn of the mountain where I took ownership of the highest point in Leitrim and enjoyed the views towards Tievebaun and the lower reaches of Truskmore before they sharply drop into the Glenade Valley.

The South East cairn on Truskmore, Dartry Mountains

The South East cairn on Truskmore

Having eaten my lunch while walking up the hill – with the rain and little shelter there was no point in stopping – I now turned for home. I soon figured out that it took a lesser toll on my legs to run down the steep road than walk, so run I did. It was great as the breeze was now in my face and helped me keep my speed under control. After 20 minutes or so I was on the home stretch by the time the muscles in my legs were replaced with jelly. I reached the car and eased my way into the seat before carrying on for Seltannasaggart in the Arigna Mountains.

As Gordon Ramsey would say: Sligo and Leitrim, done.

One Comment leave one →
  1. stephen gibson permalink
    August 18, 2013 8:56 pm

    I came up from waterfall side which was a hard slog. I dropped down into the valley for the next peak then contoured back round to the start. I was using OS map but found a huge sinkhole on the SE side which was a sight. Some stunning views towards the cliffs and coast. A nice climb just pity about all the technology at the top. Saying that not often you get such a good mobile signal at such a height…

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