PMG Walk 9 – Fun on Lug; A trip to Prison!
On Thursday the 6th of February I headed down to Lugnaquilla! I wanted to try the main gully on the South Prison! I had never been up that way so I was very excited! I figured with all the rain that we had had the snow would all be gone and the stream in the gully would be full on! I took the forest track and joined up with the trail that follows the river Ow. I know there is another way through the forest that brings you out closer to the South Prison but after all the rain I wanted to follow the river Ow and see what it was like! Following the river took a little longer than I thought but I ended up at the gully on the South Prison as planned. The gully itself was steep, wet and of course loads of fun. About mid-way up the gully there was a 1.5m section of waterfall/stream that you have to climb up. Obviously in dry weather this would be easier. After that section it got easier and I topped out of the gully on the left side. Kicking steps up the steep snow was great fun…sadly only for about 2 to 3 meters. I reached the summit of Lugnaquilla at 925m in great spirits (Summit #34/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam).
I then continued around to Corrigasleggaun at 794m (Summit #35/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam). From here I had great views of the South Prison of Lugnaquilla and the gully I had climbed up. After a snack I backtracked a little and then went on to Cloghernagh at 800m (Summit #36/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam). On the map the summit is about 100m west of the Cairn that is found on top of Cloghernagh. There is no real summit marker here but most just take the Cairn to be the summit. I know I have read that other people have noted on this on MountainViews.ie too.
Kelly’s Lough was my next port of call and finally Slieve Maan. Slieve Maan has a North and South summit that are nearly the same height. The higher summit is the South summit. I followed the forest tracks as much as I could but like most adventures, I had to leave the tracks behind and find my own way through thick forest and boggy underfoot conditions to the North summit. The North summit is in a forest clearing and for the best part you remain in a forest clearing all the way to the South summit. The small summit marker on Slieve Maan at 547.8m was found with a little bit of difficulty I must admit! (Summit #37/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin). From the summit I followed some forest tracks and self-made short cuts through the forest to join up with the last forest track that would take me back to my car! Over all it was a lovely day out in the hills with rather good weather….underfoot conditions were not as pleasant and crossing the mountain streams were at times “interesting” 😉 With another 4 summits done this brought me up to a total of 37!!! The walk length was average at 23.9kms in 6hrs and 5mins.
Just as an after note guys: There is an artillery range on the North-West side of Lugnaquilla so be aware of where you are and where you are planning to go! Better safe than sorry!