Stare Into Space

Up the Fancy Mountain

Posted on | November 6, 2008 | 1 Comment

And down the tangled, boggy glen.

So Monday should have been a reasonable stroll of a couple of kilometers and an easy climb to get back into hiking shape.  Park on the Military Road in the middle of the Wicklow Mountains, an easy walk to the top of Fancy Mountain (really, that’s what it’s called – also known as Luggala).  Spot of view-looking from the top of the cliffs over Lough Tay and back down.  That was the plan.

Couple of issues though.

Firstly, it was foggy.  Really, really foggy.  Proper pea-souper stuff.  As there’s a trail of sorts to the top, I wasn’t too worried.  It made for pretty poor viewing once we (the brother and I) got there though.  Then, the greenhorn decides that he’d like to take a stroll down to the brook – in the valley to the southwest – and follow that back to the car.  Reluctantly, I agreed.  This was a mistake.

Now the fog made things difficult, but we were armed with compass and map so that was ok.  The map was pretty much redundant as there were no landmarks to be seen but navigation back to the road was the easy part (any bearing roughly northwest would do it).  The hard part was clambering over and through the heather and gorse and marsh and bog.  Holes abounded – real ankle-breaking terrain.  At one point, one of the brother’s legs disappeared down a hole and didn’t stop until his arse hit the ground.  Wet boot – nasty.  Glad it wasn’t me.

We made very slow progress.  Stopped at a giant rock for a brew and a sambo.  Then kicked off again.  Eventually, we made it back to the road and the car.  Tiring day, but at least the brother is unlikely to ever want to leave tarmac again.  Looking over our route on the map, I’d estimate we spent three hours covering about five kilometers.  Slow going.  Good though.  I enjoyed it immensely, although the fog didn’t clear in all the time we were there.

Here’s the area on Google Maps.  Rough route: Car parked at A.  Walked southeast to that lump overlooking the lake.  Then a descent southwest before a scramble back northwest again.  Not far – just difficult.

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Gerry Hayes

Gerry Hayes

I mostly sit around all day and drink tea. Occasionally, I write stuff and send it to strangers so they can humiliate me and deride my efforts. Other than the self-harm to dull the shame of failure, it's not a bad life. Like I say, there's tea.

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