6th May to 8th May
Glenmacnass Waterfall to Kyowck Lodge
This MPC involves climbing the second and third highest mountains in Wicklow - Mullaghcleevaun (847m/2,788ft) and Tonelagee (817m/2,686ft). The hike route is in the heart of the Wicklow mountains and the route offers many fine views. In poor visibility navigation in this area requires constant attention and concentration. The two mountains are linked by a broad undulating ridge - The Barnacullian ridge which, never drops below 600 metres or 2,000ft. The surrounding area and particularly looking down on to the steep corrie of heart shaped Lough Ouler is magnificent. Lough Ouler is one of the many corries formed during the Ice Age which are to be found in Wicklow. Keep an watch for other glaciated features which are visible along the hike route.
Car Park At Glenmacnass Waterfall (O 114030) to River Junction (O 103035)
Having checked out from the car park head up stream. Follow the river until you meet the first junction where there will be a manned river crossing. DO NOT cross the river except at the manned crossing.
River Junction (O 103035) to Lough Ouler, Base Camp (O 094024)
Pick up the stream coming from Lough Ouler. Follow the stream until you meet the lake. Check in and make camp.
Have a good breakfast and strike camp. You will have been allocated a checkout time and you should try and be ready by that time (not before!). Your campsite will be checked by staff after which you will complete a navigation base. You will then be checked out onto the hike route.
Lough Ouler (O094024) to Col (O092017)
Head south to the Col over gentle ground which will quite suddenly become steep. Having gained the Col, rest for a few minutes before taking on the task of reaching the summit of Tonelagee.
Col (O 092017) to Tonelagee (O 085016)
Continue to walk up the steep ridge paying attention to the summit which is on your left. Zig-zag as much as possible trying to keep a steady pace. This is a good point for feature recognition - weather permitting. Down below you on the left you can see evidence of the worked out lead mines where a thriving population worked and lived in the late 18th and early 19th century. Above that the man made reservoir on Turlough Hill which was built by the ESB as the country's first and only electricity "storage station". Having gained the ridge, you will have left most of the hard work behind you. Turn south again until you have reached Tonelagee.
Tonelagee (O085016) to Stoney Top (O083026)
Tonelagee comes from the Gaelic - Toin Le Gaoith which literally means backside to the wind. If the weather is bad you'll understand how it got the name! It is an impressive view point commanding better views than the somewhat higher Mullaghcleevaun. The waters of Turlough Hill are visible to the south with the entire Lugnaquilla (the highest mountain in Wicklow) massif to its right. Scarr and the other mountains around Lough Dan dominate the east with a bumpy skyline. Head in a northerly direction down hill along the narrow ridge. This takes you to Stoney Top - a small rounded peak. Take care not to go across the cliff above Lough Ouler. The prevailing wind is a westerly one.
Stoney Top (O083026) to Col (O083037)
Continue down the ridge in the same direction. You must pay particular attention to your map and look at the ground surrounding you.
Col (O083037) towards Barnacullian (O085044)
Barnacullian is quite a featureless boggy area. Head across a flat area, gain the high ground in front of you but DO NOT go all the way to Barnacullian contour on the 700 metre line with the cliff on your right. This area is some of the of the highest "raised" bogland in Ireland. You will meet and cross a fence just before the river at O077058.
Continue up along the river to a check point. This is a good spot to stop for lunch.
Barncullian (O085044) to Mullaghcleevaun (O068071)
Head up hill again. You can pick up what looks like an old river bed with a boggy bottom which will leave you on the summit. A long stretch, take care to follow and pay attention to your bearing. Keep left so as to avoid the cliffs. Be careful of the boggy ground, it can be deceptive.
Mullaghcleevaun (O068071) to Lough Cleevaun, High Camp (O072073)
Head still in a northerly direction down the steep ridge to High Camp. Pay attention to the instructions given to you and take care in the descent to Lough Cleevaun, not to steer too close to the cliffs above the Lough. Check in and pitch camp.
Depending on weather conditions and other factors we may include this extension to the hike. Teams will leave base camp with day packs and follow the route outlined below. This is a good circuit for testing map reading and compass skills and does not entail large height gains. Alternatively, we may run this part of the route as a night navigation exercise - so please work out a route card for this part of the route.
High Camp (O 072073) to Re-entry (O 084075)
Contour carefully around from High Camp across boggy and broken ground. Try not to loose any height. Ensure that you follow your progress on the map.
Re-entry (O 084075) to Duff Hill (O 094082)
Take a straight bearing. Take care.
Duff Hill (O 094082) to Spot Height (O 083071)
Again a straight bearing paying attention to the ground and how it lies.
Spot Height (O083071) to High Camp (O072073)
The walk into High Camp is steep but to prevent too much loss of ground it is best to contour around until you can see the Lough and drop down CAREFULLY.
High Camp (O 072073) to Mullaghcleevaun East Top (O 082067)
Following check-out contour away from the Lough in an easterly direction until you meet the river at 079 073. From here turn south and climb up toward the col below Mullaghcleevaun East Top. Watch the ground as you climb. On reaching the col turn east towards the summit.
Mullaghcleevaun East Top (O 082067) towards Carrigshouk (O 097052) to Kyowck Lodge (0 101051)
From East top descend along a broad ridge towards a forest edge at 095 063. The ridge is peat covered near East top and gradually becomes covered more in heather. If the weather is fine, you should have good views of Lough Dan in front of you. On reaching the forest edge follow it down along the edge of Carrigshouk. Try to contour along this mountain as the track along the forest edge is very wet. Do not go to the summit of Carrigshouk as there are very steep rock faces off the summit. Carry on down to the road. Kyowck Lodge is a ruin in the small forest plantation on the opposite side of the road. We will try to arrange some cars to shuttle leaders back to Glenmacnass to pick up their cars.
You've made it - Well Done!