(by Gerry Moss, September 2011)
Good luck with the weather on this day-trip to the Wicklow crag.
It’s been a funny old spell of weather over the last few weeks – not a lot of sunshine, but not too much rain in East Leinster either. So I reckoned Luggala would still be in good nick and with a dry, breezy day promised, Jane and I decided to have a look.
We were a bit taken aback at how wet the walk-in was, not a good omen, and this, coupled with the low hill mist, cast some doubt over our optimistic outlook.
But we were grand. Well, almost. I had promised to introduce Jane to the wandering delights of All Along The Watchtower, but the ledge at the foot of the climb, and the first few moves, were damp and greasy. Ten years ago I would have pushed through regardless, but I’m beginning to get a modicum of sense in my old age (the trouble is, it will probably be cancelled out as I enter my dotage – it’s no shame to be getting on a bit, but it does have its drawbacks). Anyhow, I decided not to waste time faffing about, and backed off, much to Jane’s relief.
So I decided to introduce her to the wonderful VS, Clingon / Claidheamh Solais, one of the jewels of the crag.
We opted out of approaching it via Pine Tree Buttress as I had spent too many precious minutes below The Watchtower and besides, at this time of year the approach along beneath the crag is smothered in shoulder-high ferns, making for heavy going. However, a night or two of frost will put paid to them.
We worked our way along Conifer Terrace, with me pointing out all the fine routes in the rock above, which, incidentally, were all in great nick – as dry as the proverbial snuff.
Needless to say, our chosen route was in fine shape, as it is for most of the year (the huge roof above shelters most of the route from the rain).
The breeze during the day varied from fresh to quite strong, but we didn’t complain as it meant no midges!
Jane above the crux moves on the second pitch