PMG Walk 7 – A long walk…
As the name would suggest, it was rather; a “long walk”! Walk number 7 felt like it would never happen. It was 7 days since the last walk and I was well rested and ready to go! The weather was not playing ball for me, walk number 7 should have happened days ago! With one weather warning after another I simply don’t appear to be getting a break from the winter storms. Frustration was settling in, the pent-up energy and excitement was getting to me! However, on Thursday the 30/01/2014 walk 7 was a go go go!!! With Philip joining me on this walk it was a welcomed change from the solitude of my previous walks. There were 5 summits, 4 of which would count towards the project. The route in the end would be 32.2kms and 7hrs 53mins. We would be, at the end of the day, safely back in the car sipping hot juice and wolfing down on small snacks! But first….the walking had to be done!
It’s Ireland right?!?! So why would i expect sun, or even nice conditions this time of year? Instead, cloud, mist, and possible rain showers were forecasted for the day…ah, “so a nice dry balmy Irish day” i thought to myself 😉 The mist rising from the surrounding forests set an amazing scene as we started the walk on the mountain road towards our first summit. Ballinacor Mountain at 531m (24/453) was our first summit of the day. It was easy walking and with the company of Philip the walking flew by! After reaching the summit we continued along the track to Croaghanamoira at 664m (25/453) (how in the name of god do i pronounce that?) our second summit of the day! It was so cold on the summit the “possible showers” forecasted came down as hail…which was a damn sight better than rain in my opinion! After Croaghanamoira we hauled ass over to the North West spot point of Croaghanamoira before heading into the “charming” forest/deforested section of the route to Carrickasane Mountain.
Carrickashane Mountain was fun; it was only fun because we were in the mood for it! The “small” summit Cairn can be found in a “small” opening in the forest. The forest is…dense! The trees are small enough in places. The trees are close enough in places…the trees are not your friends here!!! However squeezing through the trees with GPS in hand was actually great fun! It truly was a “search for summits” moment. With map and compass (which we had too) this would also be possible but i got to test out the Garmin eTrek 20 and it is impressive! Carrickashane Mountain at 508m (26/453) was our third summit and certainly the most fun summit of the day! On another note; the amount of trees blown over from the Christmas and New Year’s storms are shocking. Navigating through the forest from Croaghanamoira to Carrickashane Mountain was fun and if you were to follow my GPS track you would see why 🙂
From Carrickashane Mountain “short cuts” through the forest were taken for better and at times for worse :/ We followed forest tracks, walking trails, the Wicklow way and mountain roads to bring us over the valley and river of Ow. The next summit Ballyteige 447m was a summit of deforestation and looked like a bomb had hit it! The summit is not an Arderin or Vandeleur-Lynam; it was just a summit on our route! The finally summit of the day was Ballycurragh Hill at 536m (27/453). Reaching this summit was not a lot of fun! I was tired, and sick of forest tracks that didn’t link up or that took you all around the mountain in zigzags! We took a few “short cuts” and finally reached the summit of Ballycurragh Hill, our last summit of the day!
The walk back to the car was…”character building”…it was in fact “a long walk”! 😉 We checked out the river Ow on the way back! I thought that maybe we would be able to cross it. We could not, but it looked like a fun river to kayak down someday, so we will be going back to check that out! Thanks for reading guys! Look out for walk 8, coming soon! Until then, i will be in my back garden doing naked sun dances…I hear it helps!