How Would you like to find yourself on steep ground? On a Saturday in April we brought a group of eager hikers up a steep route to Summit Camaderry Mountain. This group up for the challenge, are well accustomed to hiking and have been out with us before. We meet up in Glendalough Car Park and chat about what everyone wants from the day – do we have any nervous height fearing hikers today? –we’ll soon find out! We walk towards the Miners Village in the Glenealo Valley but stop short of the buildings themselves. We take a sharp right turn and we find ourselves in amongst old mines, old tracks and rebels hideouts, the group are loving it. Then we hit the steep stuff.
It’s on all four points of contact as we move through boulders, gullies and dried up river beds. We make great progress as we ascend this terrain which seems to welcome us with good feet placement and lots to hold on to. Its bone dry and the sun comes out as we get to the top of this rocky gully. The group are all looking exhilarated and relieved at the same time! We move on to the Southern Summit of Camaderry for a spot of lunch. After our refreshments we move on the summit itself at 698 meters we have fine views of Glendalough, Wicklow Gap and Tonelagee Mountain. We make our way downwards now towards the Glenealo river and on to the Miners Village, The Spink and Boardwalks are busy today with pedestrian traffic as the group reflect on taking a much more adventurous route up a classic Wicklow Mountain.
We are off up steep things again this time, no group, just a bit of practice in the South Prison of Lugnaquilla. We start at Ballinfoyle then journey on to Ballineddan and Slievemaan before dropping down to the base of the South Prison itself. It’s a great walk in offering splendid views of Lugnaquilla and Camarahill. We take a break on the large boulders which surround the base of this route, before heading up. It’s a nice dry day so no problems expected. Last year a couple of climbers got stuck here in snowy conditions and needed rescuing. We journey up with one or two confidence building moves and the route becomes very enjoyable. As we near the top of the gully that is the South Prison we take a moment to take in the views of Corrigasleggaun and the Ow River Valley. We proceed upwards and arrive on to the wide plateau that is Lugnaquillia’s summit. Then its over to Percy’s Table, a cairn and trig point, which marks Ireland’s highest Summit outside of Kerry. Walking in from the Prison always attracts attention from other hikes who have arrived there via one of Lugnaquillia’s more traditional routes.
We descend by what is known as the Safe Route off the east side of the mountain and on towards Camarahill but stop short of the 480 meter spot height and drop down to the Little Slaney River and back over Ballineddan to the car and back to Fentons for some local refreshments.
All the steep ground hiking and climbing we have done over the last few years encouraged us to give the GR 20 in Corsica a go. We have a blog about that coming soon. And what a trip that was 180 Km of hiking and scrambling, with 14 nights camping at mountain huts. Pictured above is the Cirque de la Solitude a classic scramble on day 4.
Steep ground hill walking is best done with a group not only is it more fun but much safer! We can provide a mountain leader for your group or corporate event, please contact us for further details.