PMG Walk 8 – A dash to the hills between storms!
On Sunday the 2nd of February walk number 8 happened. Friday and Saturday saw some “unsettled” weather, and the forecast for Monday and Tuesday was not very desirable! So on Sunday I had a “dash to the hills between storms”! For those of us that took to the hills in the Glendalough area on Sunday, we were blessed with rather good weather!! The clouds were there but visibility was still good and bar a passing snow shower or two it stayed dry. The wind was very strong and bitter cold at times, however there was definitely a break in the stormy weather, and I for one took full advantage of it!
I had “intended” on an extra early started but i found the snooze button on my phone too many times! What should have been an 8am start turned into a 9.30am start (see I’m human after all)! I started from the lower Glendalough car park. The famous round tower of Glendalough looked impressive as usual and this alone puts Glendalough on the map for a visit! However for me, I was there for summit searching! The first peak of the day was Derrybawn Mountain at 474m. It doesn’t fall under the Arderin or Vandeleur-Lynam categories but worth the hike for the views alone! It was an easy track to the top and the view was great! From the summit you can see Glendalough lake and its steep valley! I was rather lucky as I was able to snap a photo of all this with a hint of a rainbow! It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, right? Note to self: Get a better camera Simon!!!
From Derrybawn Mountain I took the ridge to Mullacor at 657m (Peak #28/453 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam), then to Lugduff SE Top at 637m (Peak #29/453 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam) and Lugduff summit at 652m (Peak #30/453 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam). There’s not a whole lot to say about these mountains, you just follow the obvious ridge line from summit to summit. The wind was blowing hard and cold and I could see Lugnaquilla with snow and cloud cover across the Glenmalure valley to my left! The walking was good and the view equally so! My fifth summit of the day was Conavalla at 734m. There was some snow left on the summit but not as much as I thought there might have been. On the summit there are a few different Cairns but there is one that stands above the rest; It is found on top of a peat hag, and so, Conavalla at 734m was done, (Peak #31/453 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam).
From the summit of Conavalla to Lough Firrib was “peat hag hell”! A network of peak hags half covered in melting snow, ice and water! Cross country skis or snow shoes may have saved my a lot of zigzagging around and over the peat hags but hey all in the name of adventure! I arrived at Lough Firrib to see a build up of ice of the lake, so it was worth the trip through the peat hag hell! From here I went through, over, around, in and out of a few more peat hags which brought me too the summit of Tomaneena (Turlough Hill) at 681m (Peak #32/453 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam). The summit is flat with boulders scattered around it. There is no summit marker here but on top of one of the boulders I felt was the highest spot!
After Tomaneena one must skirt around the power plant (really attractive build on the mountain, hard to miss) and in this case take the track to Camaderry Mountain 698m (Peak #33/453 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam). The summit gives some lovely views. From here it was all tracks back to the car, I merely had to walk it! With my final summit done, sore feet and a body screaming “stop already” I headed down the spur of Camaderry Mountain towards the car! The cloud was slowly sinking down, covering the mountain tops meter by meter. With the summits behind me I enjoyed the view and took my time. All in all it was a great and enjoyable walk; maybe with the gap in the bad weather it made it that bit more enjoyable! It was like sneaking off to a mini adventure before the next spate of bad weather hit us! Oh how I cannot wait for spring to come!