Ireland day 0032. Saturday 30 October 2021- Snowdon
|Today’s summary||A circular walk (“hard” category) with the Dublin Walking Club from near Enniskerry up and round Maulin mountain. Clear views to Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland and Snowdon in Wales|
|Today’s weather||Sparkling clear day after overnight rain. Dry all day. Cool, with a fresh breeze on the tops. 13C in valleys, 9C on tops|
|Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
(click button below to download a gpx of our walk today)
Snowdon? What’s all that about? Some cheap headline, designed to attract readers’ attention, only to be followed by a story about something completely different? Well I do have to admit that there is a certain degree of truth in that. But of course as always the truth is actually more complicated than the headline.
Today was the highlight of our career so far with the Dublin Walking Club. This time, we headed into some real mountains and we had been looking forward to it for some time. We had graduated to a “hard” walk, and were not disappointed. Our starting point today was Enniskerry, a small bustling town in Co. Wicklow. To get there meant an early start and a semi-circumnavigation of Dublin on the M50. But in actual fact it took us less than three quarters of an hour to get to the café which was to be our meeting point, right from the flat in Malahide. So almost on our doorstep by UK standards.
Today our destination was Maulin mountain – one of the most easterly summits of the Wicklow range we we had spied shimmering mirage like to the south from many of our walks over the last month. So here we were, in the thick of it, at last.
The weather today simply couldn’t have been better for our first introduction on this trip to “proper” Irish hillwalking. Bright clear skies, and an endless horizon. It became quite chilly as we climbed higher, and I almost wished I’d brought my gloves. We climbed to the top of Maulin via a mostly well trodden path, quite long sections of which actually ran along the Wicklow Way (spoiler alert – you will be able to read more about this next March!). Although it’s quite modest in height, it occupies a commanding position at the eastern edge of the Wicklow hills, with panoramic views out across the Irish Sea.
And talking of the views – as well as being spectacular – they were remarkably revealing. To the north, peaking above the Howth peninsula, Slieve Donard was just visible. It’s the highest peak in Northern Ireland at 850m / 2790ft and was about 110km away. Even more remarkably, drifting in and out of focus directly to the east and lying beyond the Irish Sea was Snowdon (circled in the featured image at the top), highest mountain in Wales at 1085m / 3560ft. It was a remarkable 136km away, and it is only very rarely visible, so we were unusually lucky today. I have to admit it was a bit strange being able to see the highest summits of two countries, neither of which I was actually standing in. But it does at least reveal the truth behind the odd headline to this blog.
We descended rapidly from the top and after a quick lunch in a sunny spot, completed the summit loop then retraced our steps back to the car park. Our route ended up looking a bit like one of Banksy’s tethered balloons, but upside down.
Back in the flat now, it’s sandwich-making duty time again, as we are heading north tomorrow to join the Boyne Valley walkers for a short sightseeing excursion round Drogheda. The next chapter in our nonstop Irish exploration whirlwind!
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)