Ireland day 0844. Saturday 20 January 2024- Stormy Sugarloaves *

Ireland day 0844. Saturday 20 January 2024- Stormy Sugarloaves
Today’s summary Went on a club walk round the Sugarloaves from Kilmacanogue while Val was working at the Casino.   This is at least the third time I’ve done the walk but the first time the weather has been really bad.   But very refreshing and time for a quick drink in Pluck’s at the end.
Today’s weather Mild, stormy and wet.   A complete contrast to the previous week.   Strong blustery south westerly wind, near storm force on the summits.   Appx 10c
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Stormy Sugarloaves DWC

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

What a difference a day makes!   The last week or more has been dry, sunny, wind-free and cold.   Every single one of those features changed today, just in time for our club walk round the Sugarloaves.   It was drizzling or raining hard all day, there was barely a hint of anything other than thick heavily overcast skies, and the wind was blowing a hurricane.  And most remarkably of all, the temperature had risen from an average around zero most of last week, to ten degrees or more today.   So perhaps Val chose wisely and went to work this morning, where she stayed dry and out of the wind.

This was at least the third time I’d done the Sugarloaf circuit with the Club – but I always enjoy it even in poor weather.  Particularly the Little Sugarloaf which, for me, is a perfect little mountain in miniature.   it’s also a lot less visited than its big brother next door, which adds to its charm.

But today the Little Sugarloaf was doing its level best to stop us scaling its flanks.   The wind, which was just blustery down in Kilmacanogue had risen to full storm force by the time we got to the top – a rate of deterioration which I think took us all by surprise.   So we definitely didn’t linger – a passing visit was made to the summit then we dropped back down again as fast as we could.

We quickly headed back through Kilmacanogue then up to join the Great Sugarloaf circular path near the GAA sports field.   We made our way round the mountain clockwise, pausing halfway for a very brief, very wet, and very cold lunch break.   After lunch, we pressed on up to the shoulder below the Great Sugarloaf summit but it looked so uninviting up there that we decided to forego the pleasure of a second summit.   From the shoulder we made our way back down into the Rocky Valley, slipping and sliding on the frozen remnants of last week’s cold spell.

Once back in the town, we changed out of our wet clothes and headed over to Pluck’s for a quick team-building exercise.   The pub is being renovated at the moment, so only the smaller saloon bar was open.   But nevertheless we had an enjoyable wind-down whilst simultaneously watching the rugby and horse-racing on the TV.

Farewells were said and I made the uneventful journey back to Malahide.   This evening Val has been helping me to sharpen up the report I’ve been poring over for the last few days and she’s doing an absolutely fantastic job.   What a  star!   I’m going to make her some beans on toast to celebrate.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Approaching the top of the Little Sugarloaf.   You can’t really tell from the photo, but the wind was so strong at this point that it was almost impossible to stand up Transiting from Little to Great Sugarloaf via Kilmacanogue
On the final rocky scramble up the Great Sugarloaf (although we didn’t go right to the top as it looked far too uninviting) Still some ice left from last week – through melting fast
Heading off into the murk on the way down from the Great Sugarloaf Just time for a light refreshment at the end.   I was so thirsty I had a half of Guinness – Not enough to impair the drive back though I had to exercise considerable willpower to stop myself having anything else
On the way up the Great Sugarloaf.   This, and Croagh Patrick, vie for the title of being Ireland’s most climbed mountain
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 12181 m
Max elevation: 439 m
Min elevation: 76 m
Total climbing: 683 m
Total descent: -683 m
Total time: 05:18:26
Download file: Sugarloaves in the rain compressed corrected.gpx

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