PMG Walk 10 – Wild, Wild, Wicklow!
On Monday the 10th of February I walked my longest walk yet of PMG. 33.9kms in 8hrs 12mins, and probably, in the worst weather so far too! Wicklow was wild and stormy! Funny that I was sick the day before when I had planned to do this walk, and, you guess it, the weather was a lot nicer on Sunday as well! However, such is life!
I drove down to Laragh with blue skies on the coastline and clouds coming in over the mountains! Now keep in mind that I did check the weather and the forecast was the same as the day before. So I figured it would be ok walking weather. Ha, I was wrong! I started on the Wicklow way from a parking area beside the Glenmacnass river. I hear from my bother Philip that the river is a fast and wild river to kayak! I took the foot bridge over the river and had fast and easy access through the forest to my first summit of the day: Brockagh Mountain SE Top at 470m. It didn't count as an Arderin or Vandeleur-Lynam as it is too small! However it still has a pleasant summit with good views…or at least I would assume good views on a sunny day! 🙂
At this point the cloud was sinking, and fast! Sleet and hail were coming down and by the time I reached Brockagh Mountain at 557m the weather had already closed in on me! (Summit #38/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin) From here on in I was heading into the unknown and it would be hours before I would come down out of the cloud. While up in the cloud I pondered: "Was I lucky that it was snowing and freezing making it easier to cross the bogs" or "was I unlucky in being sick the day before and thus missing the sunshine, but possibly making the bogs harder to cross due to the fact that they were not forzen"! I decided I was lucky! Sure, I would love to see the great views from the summits, but how often do you get snow frozen to your face and easy crossable bogs! 😉 Well maybe on a sunny summer’s day, but hey it was an adventure!
So after Brockagh Mountain at 557m I continued along my way using the spot points T106998 (548m) and O099004 (546m) to help me in my navigating. Tonelagee NE Top 668m (Summit #39/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam), Tonelagee 817m (Summit #40/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam) and Stoney Top 714m (Summit #41/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam) were all easy enough walking. The spot point "Barnacullian" O074049 – 714m I used to help me on my way to Mullaghcleevaun 849m (Summit #42/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam). By this stage I was getting tired from the strong wind, snow and hail. At times the visibility was only 50 meters! Taking photos was very hard with the gusts of wind and the camera was constantly getting wet and on the summit of Mullaghcleevaun East Top 795m (Summit #43/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam) I took my gloves off to clean the lens… Well let me tell you, that was not a good idea! I had my gloves off for 1 minute and my hands froze and felt on fire! Ah fun times! However luck was on my side right 😉 I was now on the way to lower summits and I arrived at Carrigshouk at 571m (Summit #44/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin) way faster than I thought I would…I guess the cold and wind were good motivators: P
On the way to Scarr I stopped off at Kanturk/Bown Mtn 523m which is not a part of PMG. Next my route took me to Scarr at 641m (Summit #44/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam). As I stood on the summit of Scarr I felt tired…but happy. The route was big, with 9 summits 8 of which count towards PGM! It was a rewarding day! I had worked hard for those summits! All that was left was to follow the track back down to the car. While on the way back to the car the sun made an appearance! The clouds were dark but blue skies were appearing fast. Yet another storm was coming to an end. They say we have now had 5 big storms in the last 4 weeks. However the blue skies gave me hope that someday soon I would have better walking weather! I left the wild wild Wicklow Mountains behind and drove home. Safe, sound and thinking of the walks that lay ahead!