Leinster MPC Wicklow Mountains 7-9th May 2004.
OS Map Sheet 56
The start point is the car park at o044108, located where the track meets the road. From Blessington town take the regional road which heads towards Blessington Bridge and follow sign posts to Lacken o012020. Take turn left at Y junction which leads uphill along a narrow road to the carpark located at the viewpoint marked at o044108.
Friday night campsite is located at the forest edge at o050087. The forest no longer exists at this point but is marked by a fence corner. Although there is a river marked at this point, due to the seasonal nature of this river it is essential that teams carry enough water for Friday evening and Saturday.
Saturday’s route follows the wide ridge to Mullghcleevaun. Fantastic views of Blessington and the plains of Kildare to the West, Dublin Mountains to the North, Wicklow Mountains as far as Lugnaquilla to the South and the Irish Sea to the East can be seen on a clear day. The route stretches on over Mullaghcleevaun- East Top, Duff Hill and may be extended to Gravale for faster teams. High Camp is located in Lavarney, Brook Valley at the forest corner where there is a good chance of spotting large herds of deer and other wildlife.
Sunday route is relatively short much of which is along forest tracks and road.
N.B. Teams who arrive at the carpark on Friday night after 10.30pm should contact Shane Satell on his mobile at 0861013169.
Carpark o044108 to summit Black Hill o042090.
Follow the well-marked track towards the summit of Black Hill. Where the track becomes boggy and fades away follow bearing of 191 degrees to the summit which is marked by a small stone cairn.
Summit of Black Hill o042090 to Low Camp o050087.
From Summit of Black Hill follow bearing to the forest edge o050087 which is in fact a fence corner and not a forest. Be careful not to follow a well-marked path which leads to the col at o045085. NB As the river marked at the forest junction is seasonal, it is important that all teams carry enough water for Friday night and Saturday with them.
After checking out of low Camp climb to the col at about the 550m point.
Spur o047083 to Mullaghcleevaun o068071.
Follow this wide spur which follows a series of steps to the peak of Mullaghcleevaun. Take your time as the final 200m will be the toughest climb of the day.
Mullaghcleevaun o068071 to col o078068.
From the summit of Mullaghcleevaun, follow the East spur to the col. Care must be taken as the col falls very sharply to Cleevaun Lough on its North side.
Col o078086 to Mullaghcleevaun- East top o083067.
From the col climb towards Mullaghcleevaun East top towards its rocky peak.
Mullaghcleevaun- East Top o083067 to col o089079.
Descend spur across sometimes rough boggy ground to the col.
Climb from col to peak of Duff Hill, marked by cairn.
From Duff Hill descend to col o0100085
Follow the Lavarney Brook Valley towards the forest corner. Keep to the left bank of the river where the ground is easier on the foot. Keep on the lookout for wildlife as we saw badgers and deer during our planning hike.
Follow the forest edge to point o076106 where you will find the start of the forest track. This is easily recognised by a white sign in the Tree Line.
Follow the forest track to the junction at o062125.
Forest Junction to Forest Edge o062123.
Taking the left turn at the junction follow track this for about 250m to the forest edge on the opposite bank of the river.
From the Forest Edge cross the river and climb the hill along a wall to the road. Care must be taken crossing the river, which is deep in places. You may well have to get your feet wet!
Return to the carpark along the road.