Thursday, October 22, 2009

White Hill and Djouce - Hill Walking Lite!

Djouce Trig Pillar and Cairn

Date First Walked: October 12th 2009
Range: Wicklow Mountains
Mapsheet: 56
Distance: ????

White Hill
Classification: Dillon
Height: 630 metres
County: Wicklow
My Dillon Count: 15

Classification: Dillon, Hewitt, Marilyn
Height: 725 metres
County: Wicklow
My Dillon Count: 16

Hill-Walking Lite! Had a couple of hours to pass prior to a work meeting so decided to make use of the time and bag another couple of summits. The presence of the Wicklow Way has inadvertently made Djouce a very accessible mountain. The waymarked trail begins in Dublin's southern suburb of Rathfarnham and travels across the Dublin and Wicklow uplands before finishing in County Carlow some 127 kilometres later. The popularity of the trail has led to large-scale erosion on the slopes of White Hill resulting in the laying of a boardwalk over the mountain and to within a short walk of the summit of Djouce.

Start the walk by parking in Ballinastoe woods which is to the left just past the magnificent Lough Tay when coming from the Sally Gap. Follow the signs for the Wicklow Way through the woods and you will soon reach the start of the boardwalk. From here it's only a short walk to a memorial to J.B. Malone, the pioneer of the Wicklow Way which provides a splendid viewing point across to the cliff face leading down from Fancy Mountain to Lough Tay. Follow the boardwalk to the rather nondescript summit of White Hill which is marked by a couple of small rock formations.

From the summit of White Hill, you can see across to the trig point on the summit of Djouce. Simply follow the boardwalk down to the gap where it swings right. At this point, leave the Wicklow Way and follow the obvious wide and eroded path up the slopes of Djouce. The path swings right at the top and it's only a very short walk across to the summit of the mountain which is marked by a trig point perched on top of a large mass of rock. To one side is a rather bedraggled looking cairn. The summit offers excellent views across to the Great Sugar Loaf as well as across Dublin Bay up to Howth.

From the summit of Djouce, you can walk across to War Hill and take in a third 'Dillon' but unfortunately time was against me so I retraced my steps back to the car-park.

I can't say the boardwalk is my cup of tea but the very visible erosion along the Wicklow Way make it quite obvious as to why this action was taken. It's undoubtedly a very easy way to gain such height as well as such great views across Dublin Bay and it would certainly be an exellent walk for children as well as the perfect introduction to hillwalking. It's actually easier walking up the boardwalk than coming back down it. The descent took me back to youthful days of being on a bike with dodgy brakes.. you are never quite sure if you can stop should you really need to!

White Hill
On the summit of White Hill

On the boardwalk/Wicklow Way
Looking along the boardwalk from White Hill to Djouce

First Light, Wicklow Mountains
On the slopes of Djouce

Me on the summit of Djouce

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