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A Co. Wicklow land.. by CaptainVertigo   (Show all posts)
A judgement has be.. by wicklore   (Show all posts)
Hi Jim. Can you cl.. by wicklore   (Show all posts)
Hi Jim,
I c.. by Dessie1   (Show all posts)
I write for the ab.. by JimMurray   (Show all posts)
At the forest entr.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2012-02-05 20:14:51
"Building bridges in Wicklow? Yes!!" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Building bridges in Wicklow? Yes!! (Expand pics)
Led up the zig-zag pathway
I‘ve been watching the recent exchange of opinion on the pros and cons of pathways up mountains. Recently, I have been doing a lot of field work in Glendalough (Wicklow) and have had cause to walk up the zig-zag pathway from the ‘miners’ village’ above the Upper Lake to Van Diemen’s Land numerous times. This beautifully engineered road was constructed in the late-1860s by the Mining Company of Ireland to facilitate the movement of lead ore downhill to the dressing floors (incorrectly named the ‘miners’ village’) from the mines at Van Diemen’s Land. It has delightful features like stone culverts diverting streams beneath the road and is now well used by walkers who stream up the route to the Spink in their thousands each month.

However, above the zig-zags, the road is reduced to a mere track. This has been heavily engineered with the installation of a stepped route created by laying granite boulders (with heavy scoring by angle grinder to prevent slippage), small bridges over the Glenealo (which can’t decide whether to stick or twist when it comes to a water channel), and further up, railway sleepers laid across the bog. Huge white bags of granite dropped by helicopter currently lie beside this ‘path’ bearing testimony to on-going works. Quite apart from the fact that I am not keen on the surface and question its safely when icy especially when one is travelling downhill, I also contest the wisdom of the need to create this pathway at all.

Why? Because the old mine road actually swung left over the Glenealo at 308046 196192 and then crossed over the top of a cutting for a former incline tramway running up to the mines. The old road then continued uphill, passing through the heart of the Van Diemen’s Land Mine and its fascinating industrial archaeology, ending close to a structure that was a crusher and waterwheel pit right by the current track to the Spink. So, we already have a purpose built route, that, with a little rehabilitation, would have obviated the need for and considerable expense incurred in the installation of a new track that is always going to be highly prone to erosion. A track that has had money needlessly spent on it when a perfectly good route already existed, and one, I might add, that is a great deal safer for the inexperienced/casual stroller. I fail to see why anyone who could read a C19th OS map could have missed this road, let alone fail to see it on the ground today, it’s course is so blindingly obvious.

Maybe there is a case for rehabilitating this old road above the zig-zags (2 bridges required to cross the river and the tram track and perhaps a walkway/membrane for boggier sections upslope). This would reopen an historically fascinating route that would ease the pressure and bad erosion on the track that is now used above the zig-zags but which was not there in the C19th. Unfortunately, it’s been a case of reinventing the wheel where the Glendalough-Spink walk is concerned.
Only one user told.. by Pazapas   (Show all posts)
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>
Forum: General
Are there new cairns in Wicklow
wwwalker 16 hours ago.
Is it my imagination or are there some new cairns appearing in Wicklow recently. There are small ones at point 702 ( T043 980) marking the turn for the lugduff ridge and at T086 975) marking the d...

  
Summit Comment
Stoney Top: A haven of peace away from the multitudes!
Colin Murphy 17 hours ago.
The final top on a pleasant 3-summit loop, taking in Tonelagee NE, Tonelagee and this, and then descending around the pretty Lough Ouler back to Glenmacnass carpark. The summit is a rounded bump i...

  
Track
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Bunsen7 a day ago.
Similar track to a number of others which I used for guidance. Parked at the forest entrance having turned up at the ... walk, Len: 14.5km, Climb: 517m, Area: Brockagh Mountain SE Top, Dublin/Wicklow

Summit Comment
Tonelagee NE Top: Barely recognisable as a separate top
Colin Murphy 17 hours ago.
This is a handy one to bag on the way to Tonelagee, but it is so nondescript that many a walker has by-passed it without realising it is a top in itself. The summit is a broad, grassy area with no...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: The perfect beginner's mountain
Colin Murphy 17 hours ago.
Besides crossing Glenmacnass River at the start and end, (which has seen many an unfortunate walker ascend in soggy boots) Tonelagee is a pleasant and relatively easy climb from the carpark near t...

  
Track
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Onzy a day ago.
Classic route in the lakes... walk, Len: 15.3km, Climb: 1062m, Area: Ullock Pike, Lake District - Northern Fe...

Summit Summary
Iorras Beag: Panoramic views of Connemara
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 20 hours ago.
A pleasant 2 hour walk from Roundstone village by taking a minor road to the west from the centre of the village. There is parking along this road at L71775 40102. Continue on ungraded road to a w...

  
Summit Summary
Cashel Hill: Connemara in the Sun
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 20 hours ago.
Climbed on Tuesday 07th June , 2 hrs 45min return. I went up the track from the road after the entrance to Cashel House Hotel and just before the church L80303 42385. Walked past the graveyard and...

  
Summit Summary
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Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 5 days ago.
Park off road in a small lay-by at L72134 59157 and ascend the spur in a roughly Easterly direction to the summit. Usually climbed en-route to its larger neighbor Doughraugh.

Track
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GSheehy 2 days ago.
In 1492, Columbus set out from San Sebasti

  
Summit Summary
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Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 5 days ago.
Located behind Kylemore Abbey, it has been reported that access from the grounds is no longer allowed. It is possible to park in a small lay-by at L77637 58711 and walk approx 30m along the road t...

  
Forum: General
Do your VITAL bit for hillwalking maps soon.
simon3 a day ago.
Ordnance Survey Ireland bring out a high proportion of the maps of interest to hillwalkers in Ireland. They are the only source of mapping for vast swathes of the island of Ireland. But since they...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>