May 6th, 2017
The standard way to climb Ben Donich is from the Rest and be Thankful. This has the advantage of a path (and takes about 300m off the ascent) – but the distinct disadvantage from our point of view that it means having to get the car out (or a very long walk in) to climb a mountain which is quite literally in our back garden. A couple of years back, R and I did climb it straight from home by walking up towards the top end of the new hydro station and ascending past the Rock of the Britons, but this was very hard going due to the forestry operations there having the ground in a disgracefully impassible state. So I have been trying to find another way up – with the obvious route being off the Tam A’Ceulig path which runs parallel to our back garden.
The only trouble is that the area is pathless, boggy in winter, and waist high with bracken in summer. I had a go at it last year in August but the bracken defeated me.
So on Friday I gave it another go. It was a wonderful day and has been dry for weeks – so if I was ever going to do it this was the time.
Actually it turned out to be really easy, more or less turn through the gate and straight up until when there is no more mountain you are at the top. It was also one of my nicest climbs ever, clear skies, not too hot and incredibly peaceful. There were wild flowers (celandine, primrose, violets, bluebells) coming out everywhere.
When I got to the top, the views were just superb, but it was a bit windy, so I sat a bit away from the actual summit, ate dried apricots and once I realized that I had a 4G signal – played with my new iPhone. Heaven.