Leinster 1999 - Wicklow


May 7th to 9th, 1999

Venue: The Wicklow Mountains

Map: Glendalough and Glenmalure 1:25000.

The Wicklow mountains, although not quite the highest mountains in Ireland, they are the biggest expanse of mountain in the country. 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.

Lugnaquillia crowns the southern end of the mountain range, it's the only mountain in Leinster to clear the magical height of 3000 ft, it stands at 925 metres. On a clear day, to the west you can easily see the rolling grasslands of the southern midlands. Looking north, most of the Wicklow chain of mountains lies ahead. To the East, you can see Wales and finally in the distance to the south you can easily see Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs mountains.

The Route:

Important Note: The map used for this weekend has an unusual scale, we usually use 1:50,000 maps for MPCs. However the scale of this map is 1:25,000. With this scale 4 cms on the map equals 1 Km on the ground. With your normal 1:50000 maps 2 cms on the map equals 1 Km.

Friday Night: Car Park to Base Camp
* Check in at a small car park in a forest entrance (grid ref. T 056861) close to Aghavannagh Youth Hostel. This car park has fairly limited parking space. Only early arrivals will be able to park here. However, there is an over flow car park close by at 063848. This is about 2 Kms from the check in.
* From the check in 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 047886 there is a clearing in the forestry on the left. At this point the Ow river runs within a few metres of the path. 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.

Saturday: Base Camp (047886) to High Camp

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. The is no Cairn marking the summit of Aghavannagh.

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

* Follow the fence along the top of Aghanvannagh 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).

Looking in a North Easterly direction from Slievemann you can obviously see Lugnaquillia the high point of the route. 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.

* Make a short decent from Slievemann to the broad boggy col (021912). A light foot or a smart brain is sometimes of good use when trying to get across the short section of bog lying in the flat col between Slievemann and Lugnaquillia.
* 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.
* 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 ?. If the weather is windy the big cairn provides a useful shelter from the wind.

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 decent 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 decend. 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.
* Check in at high camp at the east end of the lake.

High camp to car park

* Reverse the last section of the route from yesterday to the summit of Corrigasleggaun 794m (048991).
* Decend from Corrigasleggaun 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 tress 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 baring 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 decending in a South Westerly direction. On the map you can see a long thin gap in the forestry running along a stream from 062882 to 060873. In fact this forest break actually starts a little higher up at 064886.
* Decend 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 car park at 056861.

Congratulations very well done !