This day it was a sunny and very hot day, and to trek up Lugnaquilla was on my agenda for this day. And how do you prepare yourself for a day on the hills, and a very hot day?
You have to think it through carefully, what to pack in your backpack, in terms of gear, food etc. The hills can be super enjoyable, but if you’re not prepared it can turn out to be a nightmare.
We were going to climb up from the south side starting at Fenton’s pub in Seskin. And to take this route it is gradually getting steeper, once getting over Camara Hill, then the real climb starts. On this day we took frequent breaks and water/nibble breaks. We were quite a large group and people with various hiking experiences and we had to keep the speed at a moderate pace.
When we finally reached the summit of 925 m we were not alone on a day like this. The sheep were calmly eating away at the side of our path and did not give us much attention. I think they are quite use to mad hikers climbing up and down these hills.
It is always a good feeling arriving at the summit and Lugnaquilla ain’t no different. As it is located at the south part of the Wicklow mountains and standing at the top and looking around, you see all the other peaks and hills all around. It is a gorgeous view.
This day we were doin the ‘horse shoe loop’ from the summit of Lug we continued our path towards Cannow, then across towards Table Mountain, where we turned left down to the forest track which would take us back down to the Fenton’s Pub where our cars were parked.
I enjoy taking people around on the hills, as a guide you need to be observant of the participants so that they are doing ok. At this walk there were three walkers that decided to turn around at the beginning of our walk, where I had to advice them not to take on this walk as it is a tough one and it was really hot.
The distance ended up at 20,5 km and it took us about seven hours in total including frequent stops. But this is what I do and on the hills is where I spend most of my free time these days.
And my advice before you head out for a day on the hills, be prepared, check the weather forecast before hand, inform people around you where you’re going and when you’ll be expected back, bring enough energy producing food, water, and extra food/snacks in case you’d be delayed. Map & compass, fully charged phone. Wear a good pair of boots that are sturdy enough and comfortable, extra warm clothes (be aware that he temperature drops 1 degree for every 100m your ascending up the mountains) the weather can change very quickly. Waterproof jacket and over trousers should be one of you essential things to pack.
The hills should be enjoyable, but heading out not being prepared can cause unnecessary problems. If you do find yourself in trouble don’t hesitate to call 999/112 and request Mountain Rescue.
Enjoy the hills!