PMG – Summit Searching – Walk 1, 2 & 3!
And so it all began on the night of Friday the 10th of January 2014! The project of climbing all 453 summits in the Vandeleur-Lynam and Arderin mountain categories in 1 year! Walk one was to an all-time favourite summit of mine that i often hike up after work, or when looking for a quiet moment with great views. The Great Sugar Loaf, standing at 501m it just makes it into the Arderins category. I decided to do this at night as i was busy during the day and there would be a 3/4 moon with clear skies. Plus my sister Megan and her friend Zeb had never been up a mountain in the dark. So we had to remedy that, right? My broheim Philip would join in also. After all this was the first mountain of the project and one of many more to go.
The route, as you will be able to see in the map, was a loop walk of 5.3kms and would in the end take us 2hrs and 4mins to complete (we went clockwise along the route). The moon was so bright that we hardly needed to use the head torches, which of course was lovely! The weather was prefect, bar the fact that it was dark 😉 On reaching the summit the view of the lights of Dublin and the surrounding area was an amazing sight. Once we were safe and sound back at the car, summit 1/453 was done…and i started to realise the enormity of this project! :/
Walk 2 of PMG was on Saturday the 11/01/2014. On this route i was going solo, just me and the mountains, yeah baby! This route would be 22.9kms and take me 5hrs 6mins to complete. The mountains in order would be Prince William’s Seat 555m, Knocknagun 555m, Glendoo Mountain 586m, Tibradden Mountain 467m (doesn’t count as a Vandeleur-Lynam or Arderin) and Two Rock Mountain 536m. See the map for the route!
The day itself was as good as it gets for this time of year; Sun, light winds and a little cold but not too cold. The first summit of the day was Prince William’s Seat at 555m (2/453). I got to watch the sun rise up behind the Great Sugar Loaf that i had climbed the night before. Spectacular! From here i headed on to Knocknagun at 555m (3/453) and Glendoo Mountain at 586m (4/453). There is nothing really to “write home about” here, except, the view! However as i walked i came to realise two things. One; 453 summits are a lot of summits. And two; I’m going to be alone for a lot of these walks. I mean alone, disconnected, isolated from friends and family, and that made me think “why on gods earth am i doing this”…answers to be found i guess, or maybe i just love a challenge!
As the day went on i reached the summits of Tibradden Mountain at 467m (doesn’t count as a Vandeleur-Lynam or Arderin as it is too small. It felt big enough while i was climbing it I’ll have you know :p) and Two Rock Mountain at 536m (5/453). What stood out the most here to me was the monument on the summit of Tibradden Mountain. It was an “open cairn with pseudo-passage leading to the centre.” Inside this was a “Stone with spiral patterns.” (Thanks Wikipedia) Afterwards, at Two Rock Mountain i got to see the view of Dublin, which was kind of special in its own way! The long hike back to the car parked at the base of the Prince William’s Seat took what felt like an age. I followed the Wicklow Way with my switched off brain, store feet, but with 4 more summits off the list! 🙂
Walk 3 of PMG was today, Wednesday the 15/01/2014. Again i was alone, solo, braving the elements. The route was 16.7kms which would take me 3hrs 45mins to complete. It took the summits (in order) of Maulin 570m, Tonduff 642m, War Hill 686m & Djouce Mountain 725m. The weather….hmmm, the weather was positively Irish. That is probably the best way of describing it without the use of the words; wet, mist, rain, very wet, wall of water… I’m sure you get the point. Visibility was also rather poor but not quite “bad”!
As you can see in the map, this was another loop walk starting at Djouce woods. I took the track to Djouce, followed by the Wicklow way up towards Maulin (6/453). A walking track continued to the summit of Maulin and as i reached the summit the rain finally caught up with me. The cloud covered Tonduff (7/453); South and North Summits were found with horizontal rain and strong gusts of wind. The flat summit of Tonduff appears to have 3 different sets of cairns that mark the summit. However one did in my humble option stand above the rest. Of course i popped up to all three to have a look.
After horizontal rain at Tonduff i headed towards War Hill, which in spite of its name is no hill but a mountain of 686m. The bog between these two peaks was wet and boggy. Did i mention it was a little wet and boggy? 😉 As i crossed the bog i had this image in my mind that i would disappear in to some watery boggy hole and not be found for 1000 years. My mummified body would surely be a great find in the future though, right?!?! War Hill (8/453), tick, done, nothing else to say. Couldn’t see much with the cloud anyways! The next and last summit of the day was Djouce Mountain at 725m, which was the highest summit i have been atop of since i started PMG. On the summit the wind was so strong it kept knocking me off my Elven like balance (that’s for you Megan & Tara). And so summit (9/453) was completed and i marched promptly back to the car!
As an after note: After i got home, showered and got myself nice and dry again, i look out the window….and the bloody sun was shining its bright sunny arse off! Ah yes, Murphy’s Law! Until the next outing folks…go climb a mountain or a cliff or something! Slán! :p