Tuesday, May 22, 2012

50 Up in South Wicklow

Trig Pillar on Croaghanmoira Summit

Thursday, 3rd May
Staring and Finishing Point: View on Google Maps
Length: 4.12km


Classification: Dillon, Hewitt, Marilyn
Height: 664 metres
Dillon Count: 50

Having being stuck on 49 Dillons for 8 months, I finally found time to bag number 50 and reach something of a minor milestone. My interest in running, something I initially took up to build up fitness for my Mourne Wall Walk, had led onto an interest in Hill Running. This interest was augmented by a reading of Moire O' Sullivan's excellent book 'Mud, Sweat and Tears'. Having read the book, I set my mind on taking on some of the Irish Mountain Running Association hill races in 2012.

And so, the small amount of spare time I had which previously would have been used for hill-walking, was spent running. However, a trip down the country provided the perfect opportunity to get a walk in and having done a tough hill-race the previous evening, my legs were happy to be able to take things at a slower pace.

I had been interested in Croaghanmoira for some time as I'd read a few reports of people running up the mountain. Tracks left over from it's deforestation provided ideal terrain for this activity and offered the opportunity to quickly bag the mountain without too much of a challenge to my tired legs.

Earlier in the day, I had stopped off at The Great Sugar Loaf, a mountain I had wanted to climb for some time but had never got around to. The drive from The Sugar Loaf down to Croaghanmoira was navigated by a cheap and cheerful app on my iPhone and whilst I highly doubt it was the most efficient route, it took my through some wonderfully scenic parts of County Wicklow culminating in the longest stretch of downhill road I've ever driven on.

From the starting position, Croaghanmoira is a very handy mountain to climb. There are a number of tracks making their way up the mountain. I choose to aim for the corner where the trees meet the clearing and quickly picked up a track which took me to this location. From there, the track swings right keeping along the tree-line. Very soon, the shapely summit of the mountain comes into view and another track leads you directly to the top.

Me on Croaghanmoira
Me at the trig point on the summit of Croaghanmoira

The summit of the mountain is adorned with a trig-point from which some of the first Ordnance Survey measurements were taken. It's easy to see why Croaghanmoira was used for these early measurements as it's relatively isolated position makes for superb views of the surrounding landscape. I was particularly lucky in that I got probably the one good clear evening in a prolonged period of wet and cloudy weather.

View From Croaghanmoira
Views from the summit

Wicklow Mountains from Croaghanmoira
Trig-pillar on the summit

Despite this being a straightforward walk, I still managed to take a wrong turn on the return journey. I had decided to jog back down whilst listening to some music and after a short while found myself on a track surrounded by trees on all sides - I'd become so distracted by the music that I'd managed to miss my turn off one track onto another. Feeling slightly embarrassed, I took another track in the correct direction to complete the walk back to my starting point.

In summary, a handy wee walk and one definitely worth taking on a good clear day to enjoy the exceptional views.

More Photos
Croaghanmoira Path
Track down the mountain

Croaghanmoira Trig Pillar
Trig Pillar


  1. This mountain is relatively near to me and I've ascended it numerous times, usually running. The step track from the east side if fairly challenging. The road which flanks it comes from Aughavannagh and around towards Macreddin and makes for a handy loop on the bike (did it today) or running. You were lucky with the views. Its often shrouded in cloud. Good luck with your continued walks.

  2. Thanks Mick,

    Had toyed with the idea of running up Croaghanmoira having seen some pics on boards (probably yours) but had done Three Rock the previous night and the legs weren't in the best shape. Was very lucky with the weather that day - some pretty stunning views from top.

    You're very luck to have such good training ground close to you - I've a drive either way to the Cooley Mountains or the Wicklow Mountains!