Tag Archives: Ireland

Lake Como, Ireland, and the Peak District

One month since we finished! It’s probably time to look back at how we got on…

So after a nightmare journey from Macugnaga to Milan (involving a very picturesque bus journey to Domodossola, a very nice “city” in the Alps) and a few cancelled trains we finally took a shower! It had been 6 days since our last shower (not counting the attempts to clean ourselves in lakes).

We scrubbed ourselves clean before tackling our laundry, and spent the following days eating and seeing the sights of Milan! We visited waterparks and Gardaland theme park, watched many World Cup games, ate our body weight in pizza and ice-cream, and discovered the wonders of the Milanese “happy hour”. Unfortunately a couple of us developed a sort of gastroenteritis, and we’re still not sure whether it was caused by the mountain water or the happy hour. Luckily it was short-lived for everyone and we had a really great time in Milan!

4 of the group went back to Ireland/the UK and Luca and I headed to the Lago di Como for a day trip, only an hour’s drive from Milan, where we climbed the majestic-looking Resegone (translation: Big Saw). There are a number of other peaks around Lake Como, forming a part of the “pre-Alps”.

Monte Resegone

Monte Resegone

The path we took was very well-marked, with signposts giving the approximate time to the next part at intervals. Of course we interpreted these as a challenge and tried to beat them! The trail started off at the cable car of Piano d’Erna and passed by some very quiet rifugi, before reaching the scree slopes of the peak.

The view over Lake Como

The view over Lake Como

"Saw teeth" of the peak

“Saw teeth” of the peak

After returning to Dublin I climbed the Sugarloaf a few times, which is an easy 500m peak near Bray, Co Wicklow. It only takes an hour for the whole thing so I went up a few days after work when the weather was nice!

Approaching the sugarloaf from the West (the easy route) on a nice day

Approaching the sugarloaf from the West (the easy route) on a nice day

The same mountain on a cloudy day!

The same mountain on a cloudy day!

The terrain isn’t great and it involves using hands and knees for a little bit, but it’s well worth the short climb for the views at the top (once it’s not cloudy!)

Sunset from the sugarloaf

Sunset from the sugarloaf

The view east over Bray

The view east over Bray

Two weeks ago I had planned a trip to the Galtees but unfortunately it fell through at the last minute. Instead we headed to Lugnaquilla, the highest peak in Leinster, and the highest in Ireland outside Kerry! The weather couldn’t have been better: intermittent sun but not too hot, and it started to rain 5 minutes after we got to the car. We approached from Fraughan Rock Glen, passing the Glenmalure Hostel (must stay there some day!). It was really peaceful, although we encountered some other hikers and mountain bikers on the way down the zig-zags, which is a wide and pleasant plateau walk for the first half.

Nearing the peak!

Nearing the peak!

Next time I plan to approach from the Glen of Imaal, even though it’s a longer drive from Dublin. (Of note, it’s an active artillery range so check online before hiking there).

Highest point in Leinster- Lugnaquilla cairn

Highest point in Leinster- cairn of Lugnaquilla

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The easy path down!

Threat of rain....

Threat of rain….

Last weekend we headed to the Peak District, and details of that will follow in the next post!

Here’s one of our photos to get started:

The view of Kinder Scout, the highest mountain in the Peak District!

The view of Kinder Scout, the highest mountain in the Peak District!

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From Wexford to Wales…

On an extremely clear day it is possible to see all the way to Wales from the coast of Wexford, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite that sunny when we went!

A group of us headed down to north Wexford to celebrate Francesca’s 18th birthday, and when we arrived it was absolutely lashing! We lit the fire (thanks Granny!) and hoped that the weather would clear up…

and it did!

View from Ardamine in the sun!

View from Ardamine in the sun!

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In search of the heart-shaped lake…

Last weekend I went on a hike with Trinity Hiking society to the Wicklow mountains. We decided to do one of the hikes from my favourite Joss Lynam book.

The route starts at the carpark at Glenmacnass waterfall, with a river crossing and a gentle hike to begin. The weather was amazing!

View across the river we had just crossed

View across the river we had just crossed

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My favourite hiking photos

These are some amazing trips we had in the past and it didn’t feel fair that they weren’t getting a shout out. So here are some of the best (and worst!) pictures from the last few years… Continue reading

Hiking in Donegal!

Here’s the promised post on hiking in Donegal! This is mostly about south Donegal, there is lots of hiking to do in the north also but that will have to wait for another trip! Continue reading

Planning our next trip!

We haven’t updated this in quite a while!

We are planning our next adventure for Summer 2014. It looks like it’s going to be the Tour de Monte Rosa in July (if we can all get the time off). We are even looking into summiting Monte Rosa itself (4,634m) if we can find the money! We would need a guide to accompany us on this part of the trek as it’s quite technically difficult, and seeing as most of our experience is in wet/boggy Ireland, we’re not very familiar with glaciers.

It’s a similar format to our hike from last summer, approximately ten days of intense walking, and we plan on carrying all gear with us and camping out as we did before. We will be investing in the Cicerone guide of the route, as it was brilliant last time. We’ll make a few changes as we go, especially about the type of food we bring, bringing a pair of earplugs for the thunderstorms… Things like that!

Here’s a link to a blog that we have been using as inspiration during these cold winter months!

In retrospect we have had a quiet few months hiking-wise recently. Alan, Carl and Aisling have been hiking a good bit with Trinity Hiking Society, and have just recently returned from a fantastic weekend in Connemara.

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View from the top of Ben Lettery (Binn Leitrí) in Connemara

We really enjoyed our trip to Carrauntoohil back in September, even if it rained for the entire weekend… We hope to go back at some stage when there’s better weather so that we can actually see the scenery!

Luca and Aisling are going hiking and camping in Donegal in a few weeks, either to Mount Errigal or to Slieve League/Sliabh Liag on the coast. They’ll make sure to post some photos up here after their trip!

Happy hiking everyone!

Mont Blanc Reunion

We’ve just been reunited! The famous five are on their way to Kerry!

We met up at the Red Cow this morning at 8:20 (8:35 for some) and Carl is driving us down in his Golf. It’s a 300km drive to Killarney (we’re staying in Fossa overnight) and we hope to get a bit of hiking in today before our ascent of Carrauntoohil tomorrow!

We’re past Naas already and we’ve stopped for a bit of petrol…

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and a few kinder bars!

It’s going to be a long drive…!