I’m waking up to a quite grey morning, the temperature is around 6 degrees so it’s not so bad. We should be alright for the hill walk this morning, I am taking a peak towards the mountains and it looks like it might be rainy up there. The thing with the mountains is, that you never really know. It can be good weather or it can be completely different from what it is on the lower grounds. So, one of my ground rules before heading out – Always be prepared! There is nothing worse than getting caught in a really bad weather and not having packed the necessary things you would need, such as rain over trousers, or warm layers, extra hat and gloves [in case you need to change]. Today we actually had to stop a few people from coming out with us, for the reason that they did not have proper clothing on. If someone is showing up not wearing proper shoes, and wearing jeans that is a no-no. And the route we were walking today was very rough in places very rocky, mucky and uneven.
Things that I always carry with me on a ‘normal’ hike is an extra warm layer of clothes, extra hat and gloves [in case I need to change] or if someone else hasn’t brought any, my snack bag with sultanas, snack bars and chocolate & food, a flask of hot tea with honey, almost 2 liter of water, personal first aid kit, map & compass, lip balm, and other small bits and pieces I might need. I tend to think one step ahead…
Our leader at http://www.mikeshikes.ie gave me another task for today, and that was to guide the group. I was going in the front with the map, and guiding the group along our path. And since it was quite mucky and rocky in places, I walked ahead and they simply followed in my foot steps [literally]. I take these ‘tasks’ seriously since this is a part of my training for the Mountain rescue team, and the more practice the better to get confident on the mountains. And at the same time I get to practice more on my navigating skills using the map and compass, and getting our bearing, paying attention to the surrounding land marks etc. I am getting to know the mountains more and feel comfortable out there. There are probably many other things to do on a Saturday, but this is what I do and loving it.
And one other upside of being out like this is that it is extremely refreshing and relaxing, there’s nothing better than being outdoors in the nature, among the hills, forests and what have you. And wherever you turn, when you’re up there, you have these spectacular views.
This walk too us a good four hours and the total distance was around 11 km. That is a nice distance and the weather was not too bad, it was a bit rainy in places and cold wind on the summits, but once we were in sheltered places it was very nice.
Next week we are heading for Luggala Mounatin, Co. Wicklow, it’s a 586 m summit. With great views of Lough Tay, neighbouring Knocknacloghoge, Tonelagee, Scarr and Djouce, and perhaps we will run into some deer’s too, they are running free in that area. Something else we might see is the peregrine falcons, which inhabit the nearby cliffs. The terrain will be minor road, hard rough mountain track, rough boggy mountain track with often indistinct tracks. Stay tuned on this spot and I’ll be back with an update next week.
In the meantime I wish you a great and relaxing weekend and week ahead.
Here are a few doodles I was doing this week, I draw/write these things in my journal.