Last Sunday’s two boot walk tackled Blackstairs Mountain from the Carlow side, starting from the back road at Knock, which was both very muddy (not the way it looks on Google’s street view!) and very busy, with a gang of children heading off into the hills for the day.
Our route took us past the ruins of a nineteenth-century RIC barracks (a discovery for most of us), up the “Wexford Road” to the Meetings, then on to the extremely cold summit of Blackstairs Mountain via Caher Roe’s den. From there we headed down to Slievebaun (and some shelter from the wind), and then, after negotiating the brambles and undergrowth in the gully at its foot, it was back towards the Meetings and on down to the cars.
Thanks to Pat’s local knowledge, though, the day turned out to be a lot more than just following a pre-planned route. As well as visiting and chatting a bit about the ruined barracks, we spent some time at the site of the WW2 German bomber crash, and managed to locate the remains of two old hideouts dating back to the war of independence on the rocky slopes below Caher Roe’s den.
Thanks to Joe for the photos and to Pat for the history!