The icy cold air and the menacing winter weather makes the mountains irresistible.  I must admit that I expected more snow than what was found high up, but the mountains made up for this with their winter beauty.

The original idea was to go up Donard via the black stairs.  However, once we got the the edge of the forest line we saw that what should have been a large waterfall was a solid water fall.  So, we didn’t even go near it for fear of having to walk all the way back disappointment.

We went up to the col via the non boring path, i.e. the central gully.  This meant we got to play with our ice axes.  After all that we worked up an appetite.  So, in a very professional mountaineering manner, we broke out the trangia’s and cooked bacon sandwiches and real coffee.  Best bacon sandwich ever.

Faced with the choice of Donard (the  highest in Northern Ireland) and Commedagh; Commedagh is always a winner as for me it gives more interesting options for descent.  It also gave some amazing views from near the summit.

Slieve Binnian and the winter solstice sun.

Slieve Bernagh and hoar frost.

The Hare’s Gap (or Mare’s Gap) is down there in the middle.

The view from the stone hut on Commedagh

Winter sun from Commedagh summit.

Slieve Commedagh summit cairn.