Mountain Pursuit Challenge - Leinster 2005

Lugnaquillia, Co. Wicklow



The Wicklow mountains, although not quite the highest mountains in Ireland, are the biggest expanse of mountain in the country, and the largest area of Granite anywhere in the British Isles. A single sweep of mountains starts in south County Dublin and continues well into the southern half of Wicklow. The main part of the Wicklow mountains run for about 40 Kms from north to south and about 25 Kms from East to West.


The route for this year’s Leinster MPC involves a circuit of the Ow Valley, starting and finishing at Aghavannagh. Because of its distance from Dublin, the route is less frequented by other hillwalkers but offers some great views over Southern Wicklow. Rolling granite hills, lonely valleys and thick coniferous forests create a classic “Wicklow” feeling. The map you have been sent does not show the forest tracks for Sunday’s walk properly. If you can, it’s worth picking up a copy of the “Glendalough Glenmalure Map” available in most camping shops in Dublin which is a lot more detailed.


Check-in will be open from 19:30 to 22:30. Please let us know if you’ll be late.

MPC contact Numbers for the Weekend        David Brogan         087 9785536

                                                                   Robert Denvir        087 7682324



The Check-in is at the Iron Bridge carpark at 073848 (just off your map). There will be a checkpoint at the small forest entrance in Aghavannagh at T 056 861 (2 kms away)


From Dublin, take your preferred route to Laragh. From here, take the military road/signposts for Glenmalure. Go straight through the crossroads at Grid Ref. 106908 and head along a winding stretch to Aghavannagh. At the T-Junction at 065 862 take the road heading south. When you come to a fork take the right-hand road. The carpark is a kilometre beyond this on the right-hand side.


If arriving from the South, take the N81 to Baltinglass, and then follow signs for Kiltegan. Once in Kiltegan follow signs for Rathdangan, (marked on your map at 978864). Follow the Easterly road from the Rathdangan crossroads to arrive at the checkpoint at 056861 where you will be directed to the Iron Bridge carpark.

Please drive carefully once you reach Aghavannagh as there will be teams walking along the road in the opposite direction!



Leave the Iron Bridge carpark and head north along the small road, (take care with oncoming cars,) to the junction at 065 862. From here head to a checkpoint at the small forest entrance at 056 861.
Follow the forest path in a northerly direction. After 700 m there is a path junction at 055868, continue on the left hand path. Follow the forest path for another 2 Kms. At 048885 follow flashers through the trees to a river crossing. Cross the river and check in.
Some of the ground along the river is quite boggy, however good camping sites can be found by following up or downstream.

Note: this route does not cross any streams along the way so make sure you are carrying enough to drink for the day before leaving Base Camp.

Base Camp (047886) to Aghavannagh Mountain (034888)

Rising up right beside the river is the first climb of the day. The total height gain to the top of Aghavannagh Mountain is 290m making it the biggest single climb of the day.
Aghavannagh Mountain has a long flat top. The top of the mountain is marked by a fence running in a north westerly direction. There is no Cairn marking the summit of Aghavannagh.

Aghavannagh Mountain (034888) to Slievemann 759m (018908)

Follow the fence along the top of Aghavannagh in a North Westerly direction, the fence stops shortly after the summit of Aghavannagh.
Follow the broad ridge firstly in a
North Westerly direction and then turning right to go in a Northerly direction to Lybagh 646m (025897). Like Aghavannagh, Lybagh is a broad summit without any Cairn marking the spot height.
From Lybagh the ridge continues in a
North Westerly direction rising up to the summit of Slievemann. Slievemann has a small Cairn marking the top.

Slievemann 759m (018908) to Lugnaquillia 925m (022919).

Make a short decent from Slievemann to the broad boggy col (021912).
Finally the steep slopes of Lugnaquillia lie above. It looks a long way up to the top but from the col the climb is about 220m. Less than the 290m climb out of base camp. If the summit of Lugnaquillia is shrouded in mist (as it often is) it can be quite difficult to locate the large cairn at the top, very accurate navigation will be necessary to find the summit cairn. The summit cairn of Lugnaquillia is a large square topped off with a triangulation point. A brass plate mounted on small pillar nearby allows you to identify features way off in the distance. Can you find a location in your home county?

Lugnaquillia is the highest mountain in Wicklow and the highest mountain in Ireland outside of Kerry. So well done!

Lugnaquillia 925m (022919) to Corrigasleggaun 794m (048911)

In misty conditions this will be the most difficult part of the route. It is quite important to find the correct point along the ridge leading down from Lugnaquillia to turn right to go across to Corrigasleggaun.

From the summit of Lugnaquillia decend in a north easterly direction. Keep the steep ground above the south prison on your right. Walk along this edge until it turns to the right after 300m. After the steep ground turn to the right in a easterly direction for 1 Km to 044918.
From here decend a 70m drop to the col at 047915.
Ascend the relatively easy slops of Corrigasleggaun to find a small cairn marking the top.

Corrigasleggaun 794m (048911) to Kelly's Lough (061908)

From the summit of Corrigasleggaun walk in a south easterly direction. Keep the steep ground on your left as you descend. Continue along this ridge for 1.5 Km until the ridge meets the fence at 062904. Turn left at the fence and follow it down hill. This is the steepest section of decent on Saturday and it comes at the end of the day when everybody is tired. Take great care on this last steep section. When the fence reaches level ground the lake is on your left. Our high camp is a little beyond the lake at 055911.


Please take special care to bury your excrement, and well away from the streams (bring a small trowel per patrol) at High Camp. This area (and indeed anywhere in Wicklow) is very popular with hillwalkers and we do not want to destroy it by scattering our dirt everywhere.

Also, if you are using the stream to wash pots or yourself, please do so DOWNSTREAM so it will not dirty the water for anyone who may be using it for drinking.

SUNDAY 8th May
Pack your gear and leave base Camp when your site has been inspected. Remember that all litter (including food scattered on the ground) must be taken away.


Reverse the last section of the route from yesterday to the crest of the hill at 062904.
Descend from here to spot height 630m (052898). There is no obvious top to be found. This is really a broad flat area of ground.
Cross a fence shortly after the spot height and continue in a South Easterly direction keeping between the forest with trees on the left and right.
Reach the corner of the forestry at 061088. From this point you can see that is possible to continue walking along the ridge. There is a fence leading away from you at a magnetic bearing of 100 degrees.
Walk along the fence keeping the fence on your left and the forestry on the right. Continue in this direction for 300 m to 063886. On your right at 064886 you will see a forest break about 10-15 m wide descending in a
South Westerly direction. There is a long thin gap in the forestry running along a stream from 062882 to 064886. (If you can get a copy of the “Glendalough Glenmalure” Map it would be helpful here.)
Descend along the forest break for about 500m. The forest break will cross a very obvious forest track at 063881. Turn right along the forest track.
After 300m the track forks, take the lower track by keeping to the left. Continue for another 600m to the track junction at 054881. Turn left along the down hill track.
After another 1 Km reach the track junction at 061874, turn right.
Continue along this track back to the forest entrance at 056861.

We will try to shuttle leaders from here back to their cars at the Iron Bridge.

We hope you enjoyed your MPC adventure!

You can buy an MPC T-Shirt or polo top if you wish.

Hope to see you all on the Connacht MPC in September.