A walk into the cloud

I woke early on the Saturday morning during my stay in the Wicklow Mountains. I’d checked the weather forecast the night before and wasn’t very optimistic as rain was expected. It wasn’t raining when I got up, but after breakfast, when I popped down to the village to pick up some supplies, it arrived. I hung around in my pod for a while but there was no sign of it stopping. However, I had my waterproof coat and I wasn’t going to let a little rain stop me from getting out onto the hills.

I’d plotted myself a walk from the campsite that would take me to the top of Scarr, a mountain 2105 feet high just a few miles north ofthe site. I’d worked out a couple of possible circular routes, but hadn’t any definite plans as to which I would follow, I thought I’d see how it went depending on conditions.

I set out along the Military Road (as the name implies it was built by the British to facilitate the movement of troops to keep the Irish under the imperial heel)

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for about half a mile until I reached the point where the Wicklow Way crossed the road.

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Turnng right I followed the trail up through a forest,

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climbing on to moorland. The rain began to ease off and had more or less stopped by the time I came out of the cover of the trees.

I continued on the Wicklow Way for a while across the moor before turning off on a path that would take me over Paddock Hill towards Scarr. Views were opening up over the Glenmarcnass Pass to the Mullaghcleevaun, Tonelagee and Brockagh mountains, or at least they should have been! Low cloud was was covering the mountain tops.

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I carried on over the moor and started the climb up Scarr,

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up into the cloud that was covering the mountain.

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I stopped to chat with some walkers on their way down. They’d been to the summit but as visibility was poor were making their way back down towards Laragh. I carried on.

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It was a gradual climb; nothing too steep but due the cloud I couldn’t see the top. A couple of times I thought I was there but then realised that it was a false summit.

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Eventually I made it to the top. I couldn’t see a thing!

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I’d planned to carry on to another peak, Kanturk, a little further along the ridge, and then loop back. But given the lack of information on the maps I decided there was a real chance of getting lost so, reluctantly, turned back to retrace my route.

After turning round there was a break in the cloud – I could see the summit!

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and some of the nearby countryside

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I hung around for a little while to see if it was going to disperse so I could resume my original plan. But it was a false hope, it soon closed back in

I retraced my route back over the moor and then down through the forest

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Reaching the Military Road, rather than walk straight down into Laragh, I crossed over and followed the Wicklow way for a while, down through more forest

Crossing over a recently constructed bridge over the turbulent river

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rried on along the path I’d have reached the monastic site at Glendalough, but I cut down through a forest track back to the village where I picked up some supplies from the convenience shop.

Despite the conditions it was an enjoyable walk. I’ll have to return one day and repeat it when the weather’s a bit better.

After a shower and something to eat it was soon time to head down to the local pub to watch the match.

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