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wicklore
2010-09-27 18:08:14
Landslides and flooding -Scavvy 5 will go on!
On 12th September following heavy rain and flooding, MV member hobob informed us of landslides and lost footbridges in the Glenmalure Valley. With the upcoming MountainViews Scavvy 5 hike on October 9th (all welcome – be prepared and be responsible) I was anxious to assess the situation and how it might affect our walk. However after visiting Glenmalure and viewing the damage firsthand I am delighted to say it will not affect our planned walk except some splashing across a ford

The volume of water coming down the waterfall beside the zig-zags two weeks ago in heavy rain far exceeded the capacity of the waterfall. This resulted in several temporary waterfalls forming which led to landslides. Tonnes of soil and rock slid down the hill. The zig-zag track itself remains unaffected, except where the Carrawaystick Brook bridge meets it. Here the access gate has been blocked by a few inches of soil, but this is easily crossed. There are no signs to say the zig zags route is closed.

The Scavvy 5 walk begins by crossing a ford. The footbridge at the ford was damaged and now lies on the southern bank of the stream. I was able to walk across the ford itself, although after heavy rain this would not be possible. For those coming on the walk, proper footwear and gaiters are required anyway. The footbridge further up at the hostel was also mangled and lying on the bank, but this is not on our route.

It is evident on the track leading past the hostel that the river had flooded and boulders, rocks, and debris remain in the area. However it is safe and possible to walk there. The council has dug several drainage ditches to relieve the previously flooded area, and a wider clean up has taken place.
Further along, the Table Track has been stripped of its top layer of sand and gravel, but an entirely walkable surface remains. It is almost Romanesque, as the underlying rock which was placed to support the track is now visible. Either way, the Track is fine for walking on, and it goes back to normal conditions once height is gained further up the valley.

Overall I counted about 15 sites of landslides on the walk, including 8 at Kelly’s Lough. Each site is about 30 feet wide and each involved dozens of tonnes of material shifting. But with the exception of the landslide near the zig zags, all the others sites were nowhere near the route of the walk we are taking. (For example we don’t pass within 1 km of the landslides at Kelly’s Lough). In fact the remains of 18th century mining have left a more visible scar than these landslides.

Our Scavvy 5 hike can continue as planned. It is an opportunity to see erosion and the landscape being shaped, albeit on a minor scale. If the ford is impassable due to the level of the river we have Plan B (and plan C) as back-up! So come one come all. Just be prepared for a 20 km hike in wet and heavy bog. And for those who need it, there is a guided break off point after 10 kms.
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