Starting at Donard Park, we take the forest track which meanders along the Glen River
before emerging onto the open mountain. We soon find ourselves at the historic Ice
House, high above Newcastle with the mountains all around us. Following the stone
track, we cross the Glen River and climb steeply towards The Saddle, the col which sits
below Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh.
After pausing briefly in the shelter of the Mourne Wall, we resume our steep climb to
the summit of Slieve Donard (850m), the highest mountain in Northern Ireland.
Enjoying our achievement, and hopefully clear views across the Mournes and the
Irish Sea, we return to The Saddle before continuing our climb to the summit of
Slieve Commedagh (765m), the second highest mountain in NI.
As we continue further into the mountains, we will pass the granite monoliths high
above the Pot of Legawherry ("The Hollow of the Cauldron") with its steep drops into
the valley below. Once at the summit of Slievenaglogh (586m) we then descend to Hare's Gap, with the majestic Slieve Bearnagh in the distance.
Turning onto the Brandy Pad (an old smugglers' route), we travel through the heart of the Mournes with the stunning Silent Valley below us, before returning to The Saddle and back to Donard Park.
The total return distance is 17km, with 1320 metres of ascent and descent. Most people will complete this challenge in 7-9 hours.
Your guides will take care of all route-finding for the group, however, if you are interested in the full route description then please click the above map.
Mourne Madness Level 2 - Intermediate
Climb the Two Highest Mountains
in Northern Ireland!