Walk 4 – Knocklayde Mountain

Date: Sunday 8th January 2006
Duration: 0.5 day

Cold January morning about 08:40 we set off from Ballycastle Forest Glenshesk car park on the North side on the mountain. I had packed some veggie soup in a flask and waterproofs as it was about 1C when we set off – the sun had not yet risen.
We went straight up the tarmac road, a very steep initial climb, then turned left onto a dirt track which we followed for about 500m before it turned right facing directly up the mountain. At the end off the track was a gate and the forest edge and the end off our shelter from the cold.

We thought we had taken the what looked like the gentle option as it’s been a while since we climbed a mountain, but we where wrong. I had to stop every 100m to have a break and then I realised that if you zigzag it’s an awful lot easier. Well anyway we reached the summit at about 10:00 and the sun was just about over the clouds. The ground was frozen solid with a crisp patchy layer of snow/ice which was good as otherwise it would have been quite muddy and wet.

We stood up and watched the sun rays light up wee Ballycastle below, had the required cup of soup, then sat down for 10 minutes for a rest in the shelter of what I can only describe as a mini peat bog. It must have been about -2C or so with the wind-chill so we didn’t take out gloves off for too long.

We set off down the way we had come up, north, after all Sunday dinner was awaiting! Took us about 30 minutes to get back to the car. It was certainly a refreshing walk and worth it to see the views that we did, and believe it or not we saw a few birds flying about their business. I’d like to do it again in the summer. Now where’s me steak?

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