I’m meant to be working right now, but I’m being a badass by detailing the events of Saturday’s hill walk.
So our story begins the day before and, in typical QUBMC fashion, very last minute with a modern telegram post using a new technology called the Facebook, a subsidy of something called the Internet. The message read the following:
Needless to say, I was super psyched to try out a few new 6a top ropes on Hen, but at this stage, I had already agreed to go on a longer walk at early o’clock (9:00am to the less informed) in the morning with a former CUHWC President. There was no way on this earth was I going to pass up the chance to go for a walk with such a celebrity!
The morning started with a message that went something like this: Coffee or tea? Milk? Sugar? Both parties were punctual as I met the President at Hen Car Park at 10 minutes to early o’clock with the requested coffee with milk, no sugar.
After a brief discussion of the route, and extremely fast preparation and donning of walking equipment (I expected nothing less of the former President), we set off at a blistering 6km/hr towards the top of the Hen track. Needless to say, much shite was chatted, but nothing of any consequence. However, there was some reminiscing of the fabled Cocktail Night Episode II: Attack of the Gobshites. A night that will forever go down in the history books as a night where no one has any full recollection of what happened, only terrifying flash backs.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank whoever it was that helped me from the House of Gobshite and into my sleeping bag and into my makeshift bed for the evening. Kind stranger, I tip my metaphorical hat to you.
Nevertheless, I digress, we return to the tale at the top of Hen track, where our intrepid adventurers have succeeded in reaching the wall beside saddle between Pigeon Rock Mountain and Slievemoughanmore. However, there was a slight hiccup as the President had a mild slip and got her left boot wet, but both were able to continue. They had a short rest, consumed water and stripped/donned more clothing to suit the very warm, sunny and still weather conditions.
We hand railed the wall and reached the plateau of Slievemoughanmore and the former President reminded me that one hasn’t truly summited a mountain in the Mournes unless one touches the cairn at the mountain’s true summit. Clearly this former President is a purist when it comes to her hill walking, but again, I would have expected nothing less from a former President of the renowned CUHWC. They headed towards the cairn and took a summit selfie.
So the pair (and yes, I realise I am speaking about myself in the 3rd person, but it really adds to the dramatic effect of the tale, so piss off and stop reading if it annoys) descended to the supposedly windy Windy Gap (windy as in lots of wind, not windy as in lots of turns). However, on this fateful day, at the Windy Gap, it would have been appropriate to rename it the Windless Gap, Unwindy-as-in-no-wind Gap, or other such renaming of the area.
Upon the confusion of where the pair were, as they were expecting to be buffeted by wind, they relocated and confirmed that they were in fact at the Windy Gap. They prepared for the ascent of Eagle Mountain. The ascent of which passed very quickly due to the amount of shite that was spouted from both of our adventurers in this tale. Again, they headed for the cairn and took a second summit selfie.
And of course, the former President of CUHWC, in her eagerness suggested summiting Shanlieve as it was “just over there.” Of course, who was I to argue with such a statement? I’ve never been in a position of fabled power or ever had a committee position… so simply put, I couldn’t argue. So again, the pair headed towards the summit of Shanlieve. And once again, another summit selfie was taken.
Shortly after the taking of the summit selfie, a messenger bird (Facebook Messenger) arrived. It read: Heading to Leitrim Lodge, plan to head to Rocky Mountain for around 12.
It was a message from the several members of the infamous QUBMC who were also planning to walk on this day, but they also intended to camp as they are a resilient and hardy breed of people. The pair opened a bar of Cadbury’s Oreo Dairy Milk Chocolate for a quick energy boost and planned their next move.
So in order for the pair to rendezvous with their colleagues, they crossed the wall to its northern side and made for Pierces Castle. The President, smelled the air and focused her elfin eagle eyes on the ground before us.
She deemed it safe to head directly for Pierces Castle.
As it turned out, the President’s mountain sense was correct and the ground was only mildly boggy in places. The pair navigated the bogs and unfortunately, the President had a second slip and her right boot was now wet. However, her left boot was now “warm and wet,” which one would have made a joke about, however I am much too mature for that, so I’ll let your imaginations run wild with the numerous jokes that ran through my head at the time.
The pair made it to Pierces Castle in very good time. They stopped here for lunch for 20 minutes and attempted to communicate with their colleagues to no avail.
Therefore, the pair made for Tornamrock post-haste. Figures emerged from the Tors, but they were not the party our intrepid adventurers were seeking.
The pair were able to make contact with QUBMC members at 12:30pm. They were caught up in traffic and were planning to rendezvous with our heroes midway towards the summit of Rocky Mountain. So our heroes descended from Tornamrock and made for the rendezvous point on Rocky.
The pair met up with three members of QUBMC, Lady Smith of Granny Smith Apples, Squire Pinkey no relation to Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain and Master McNamara of House McNamara. The party of five ascended to the summit where they took a summit selfie.
[l-r] The Author, the President, Lady Smith, Squire Pinkey, Master McNamara
It was at this point that the pair of myself and the President came to a horrible realisation.
[Insert hazy, wavy, day dream like thing and rewind to 30 minutes earlier]
However, at the summit of Tornamrock, the pair committed a most distasteful act that went against all previous actions by the pair. It was an act, or rather it was an inaction that ruined sullied the photography of the day. A selfie was not taken at the summit of Tornamrock.
[Insert hazy, wavy, dreamy doo-dah and fast forward to the present]
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” is the thought that went through both myself and the President’s minds, but we downplayed it massively due to our present company.
So in true hearted QUBMC fashion, “Fuck it, let’s carry on!” The party carried on down towards the bridge and at a minor stream junction, I realised, “Oh shit, it’s 3pm, I have to be at work soon.”
The President and I parted company with the QUBMC party and bid them adieu and safe travels. They made for Wee Moughanmore and the President and I headed towards Hen Track (see map below for details).
As we walked down towards Hen Track, we remembered details of a climbing party of QUBMC members who were rumoured to be testing new 6a top ropes. A few ghostly figures were spotted on the crag of Hen. Initially, I had intended to walk up to Hen to see who it was, but then I got lazy. We assumed they were the QUBMCers, but to confirm, I shouted, “QUBMC?”
Then I called the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Amazingly, he answered in his usual jolly voice, “I just pissed in your direction!” He was accompanied by the Human Orangutan and Kyle of House Stewart. They were climbing on Hen. I don’t know what happened, but I’m sure the Human Orangutan has written a report of his weekend by now.
Alas, our intrepid adventurous selfie taking hill walkers retreated to their vehicles at Hen Car Park. They chatted more shite and finished the energy giving Oreo Chocolate bar before parting ways.
In summary, or in the fashion of a magical and hilarious subsidiary of this Internet Reddit TLDR:
Hill walk with the President (14km). Lots of selfies. RV with QUBMC x3, walk some more. Phone the Mayor of London. More chocolate. Home. Lovely day.