Phoenix Preparation Hike to Blackstairs Mountains Carlow/Wexford

 

Saturday 26th July

5 scouts Conor, Paul, Cillian, Ruth and Sarah and 2 leaders Derek and Caroline

 

You can see the route card by clicking here


Bright and early start in the morning. Arrived at Busaras at 7am only to find that the bus was not heading until

9am. So some of us head off for a bit of brekkie in the form of a good old breakfast roll. Anywho, we did get on

the 9am bus and after 3 hours arrived in New Ross where we bought provisions and called the taxi to drop us the 10 miles

to the foot of the Southern Blackstairs mountains.

 

The taxi drove us some of the way up the track and then we bail out at the junction.

Paul and Cillian seemed to take charge in the map reading and after finding their position on the map, we continue on up the

track. We then locate a track that leaded up to a cross but did not seem to be on the map. As we had to get up to the ridge anyway

we follow it up to the cross. While relaxing at the cross, two very strange men drove up the track and got out to collect flowers...

We mosey down the ridge with loverly views to our left over Carlow.

 

The ridge slowly moved round before showing us the menacing Blackstairs mountain itself in front of us.

Conor decides to run on ahead to attack the mountain as the rest of the scouts slowly follow. The Blackstairs mountain is one of

those killjoy mountains where there are an endless stream of false peaks. Halfway up the mountain Caroline's bad knee gave in

and walking became really difficult for her. So we had to change the route.

We contour around the mountain and drop down to the valley below and set up camp. Now it was dark and pitching tents was fun

Conor managed to break Sean's tent (ah well it might have been a group effort). So Sarah and Ruth had to sleep in a half pitched

tent.

 

As we had to stop and set up site so quickly, we were miles away from water. So Derek and Conor went on an expedition to find

water. We locate the stream on the map and it seemed to be at the bottom of the valley. We trek out in the dark and have to stop

every so often to listen for the flow of water. After 1 hour we locate the stream and the feeling of euphoria was epic.

We walk one hour back to the tents occasionally ringing Sarah or Cillian to shine a torch so as to see where the tents are.

Conor cooks his dinner at 2am of noodles. End of a strange day...

 

Sunday 27th July

 

We all wake up about 9 and cook breakfast of noodles and pasta...

As Caroline's knee was still hurting, we had to change the Sunday Route so as to find the nearest track and walk to the nearest

town. On the map, the nearest track was about 3km away down the valley. Then the nearest town, Rathnure, was about 4km

away. The scouts navigate there way to the stream that myself and Conor had found last night and from their followed it around

and eventually found the track. We follow the track which lead by a house where the owner, Ivor, offered Caroline a lift to Rathnure.

So, thanks to this act of kindness, Caroline and Sarah took the lift to Rathnure with all our gear. We walk down the track to the road

and then on to Rathnure.

 

Got the taxi from there back to New Ross and got dinner in a Tea room there before catching the 5.45 bus back to Dublin.

All in all an eventful hike and camp...