“Let’s take pleasure in this and experience,” considered one of our eight starters said earlier than the walk. The forecast becomes properly: it might be exceptionally sunny and mild, dry and nearly calm.
Still, our annual submit-wintry weather incentive to get severely returned into form turned into in no way presupposed to be “loved”; on the contrary, and it becomes intended to be long and hard, challenging, painful, and depressing. And within the past, it had extra than delivered in this promise of dire desperation – swollen river crossings, rain, snow and sleet, gales, mist, clinging black dust, and darkish finishes.
That stated this linear walk takes in six of the maximum fantastically situated hills in Wicklow (Scarr, Kanturk Mountain, Knocknacloghoge, Luggala, Djouce, and Maulin) and four of the county’s most lovable valleys. It’s approximately 23km in duration and 1,800m of mountaineering and takes about 9 hours. As we did on this lovable spring day, the winding course typically demands we do it south to north.
The pull-up Scarr from the beginning at Oldbridge is a smooth hour’s hike. Its summit view, over surely all the Wicklow Mountains, worked its magic on us, gently easing us from trepidation to leisure – a form of “don’t fear, I’ll be the type to you nowadays!”
The second mountain is Kanturk or Brown Mountain. Situated in puzzling, glacially overrun topography of low heathery outcrops and dramatically perched boulders, it overlooks the textbook meanders of the Inchavore river and the white sandy seaside where it enters the lake. Trusting to boots and gaiters, a fast fording of the shallow shingled driver delivered us to a sunny lunch prevent at the northern riverbank, sheltered at the back of a large tumbled granite boulder. With the solar on our backs, we worked our manner up thru the dry crackling bracken and heather of our subsequent mountain.
We didn’t pause on Knocknacloghoge, taking place to ford the wild Cloghoge Brook at its base easily. From shapely Luggala, we took in lovely Lough Tay and our subsequent goal, Djouce, with the deep Cloghoge Valley in between.
The group adjusted to individual pacing on the non-public tune-up to the Pier Gates, gathering for a final food prevent at Ballinastoe CP. Then got here the Djouce get admission to the boardwalk, and the memorial to JB Malone, the doyen of Wicklow hill-strolling. This terrific piece of mountain infrastructure allowed for a quickening of pace and delivered us in Indian document to the top, in precise order and shape.
Usually, the view of distant and darkening Maulin – our sixth mountain – dismays and dampens moods. But climate and splendor and right progress to date labored to take us there through the Dargle footbridge fairly painlessly. Headtorches have only been needed inside the woods near the finish at Crone CP, in which a chum mused on a high-quality day, however, delivered darkly: “No doubt subsequent 12 months will see commercial enterprise as traditional resuming!”
The ‘Six Mountains’ Walk, Co Wicklow
Map: Discovery Series No 56
Start: Oldbridge, about 5km from Roundwood
Finish: Crone CP, approximately 7km from Enniskerry
Effort: 23km and 1800m of mountain climbing
Suitability: excessive level of fitness and persistence, navigation abilties critical; area of Luggala Mountain is personal however get entry to via the Estate’s work tracks to Pier Gates is permitted.