Rocky Bivi

Couple of weeks ago I took advantage of the fair weather and went for an overnight in the Mournes. I’ll put a wee kit list at the end for those interested.

I decided to walk from Newcastle to Longstone to tick off a few peaks I hadn’t been up yet. I set off from Donard car park around 4pm and followed the Glen River and then up the black Stairs. From here I went up Millstone mountain. The views were great of Newcastle.

View Mournes
View From Millstone
I then contoured round to Crossone and dropped down to the Quarry track alongside the Bloody Bridge river for a bite to eat. I learnt a valuable lesson here, Dolmio pasta pouches are tiny and could have done with two. Not to worry, onwards and upwards fuelled by extra Haribo!

Next stop was at Carrs face. The walk up was pretty cool following the old cart track. Would have loved to have seen this place in full flow. Amazing to think the rocks quarried here would have been used to build London and Liverpool. Some of the old pulleys and winches are still in place and look like they could still do a job. Well worth a walk up if you haven’t seen it.  This has to be one of the most impressive sights in the Mournes for me, maybe that’s the engineer in me coming out though.

Newcastle,
Old Winch, Carr’s Face
Next stop was Chimney Rock Mountain and then across Blaeberry Mountain to Spences Mountain. From here it was back down towards the Mourne wall to try to find a spot to camp. The ground here was a bit uneven so an old shelter on the side of Rocky Mountain turned out to be perfect. A wee drop of hot chocolate finished off a great day on the hill.

Bivi tarp camping
Guard Dog
The alarm sounded around 7. I would probably have slept til 10 if it hadn’t. Porridge and a cup of tea got me on the way. The handy thing with a tarp and a bivi is it takes very little time to take down.

Perfect Skeleton
Perfect Skeleton
From Rocky Mountain I made my way cross country towards Carrick Little Lane and dandered back to my brothers in Longstone for a lift back to the car. A good wee walk and could have easily done it in less time but its hard to beat an overnight when the weathers good.

Kit List

  • Tarp: Some light one from backpackinglight.co.uk
  • Bivi Bag: Outdoor Designs assault bivi. I cut the bug net out as I never used it to save some weight. Its a Gore Tex Bivi, but from some googling it appears to be rebranded Event.
  • Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardwear Lamina 35
  • Mat: Thermarest Neo Air
  • Rucksack: Deuter Guide 35+
  • Cookware: MSR micro Rocket, Tibetan Ti 1litre pot, Alp Kit my ti cup.

This makes for quite a light setup.  Some people get hung up on weight, but I’m not too concerned as long as things work and keep me comfortable. Most of the kit was bought second hand or in sales so hasn’t cost me a fortune. I find the tarp is easily pitched with plenty of tie in points. The sleeping bag works well down to about 5c or so. Any lower I need a liner and clothes on.

Some may read this and think what the hells he doing with a dog in the mountains, but don’t worry he isn’t even bothered by animals as his backyard is full of sheep. Had him on the lead anyway!

Short Rope Practice
Short Rope Practice
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