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CaptainVertigo: Track 2038 in area near Knockmealdown Mountains (Ireland)
Knockmealdowns East 7 Arderins
Length: 24.3km, Creator time taken: 8h35m, Ascent: 784m,
Descent: 615m

Places: Start at S04088 11825, Crohan West, Knockmeal, Knocknafallia, Knocknagnauv, Knockmealdown, Knockmoylan, Sugarloaf Hill, end at S03053 09999 2.1km SW from Start
Logged as completed by 1
(Actual Ascent 1300m) (Actual Start "The Gap") The eastern Knockmealdowns are like the poor man's Mournes, hard under foot, full of dark browns with walls running up and down steep slopes, but the walls are neither straight nor intact and there are strange "motorways" hither and thither. Or so it seemed to me on a calm, dry, dullish and cool mid winter day in December 2012. Because escapes from family duties are rare I needed the maximum number of Arderins for the hours of daylight available. Armed with my brand new Apollo Slant 20 mountain bike from Halfords (€159.99) I was determined to minimise the issue of the long slog from the last mountain to the first by parking at a high point and cycling to a low point near a road for later retrieval of the bike. So I parked at "The Gap" (room for 20 cars), and free wheeled down to "The Vee" (marked as Start on the above map), and then pushed my machine over rough ground along the East Munster Way. Here I made a beginners mistake. Instead of sticking to my route, and checking map and GPS, I spotted a forestry road on the other side of the Glenmoylan river and decided to take a "short cut" across the gorge. It took a huge amount of effort to carry my back pack and heavy mountain bike across a river and up a crazy slope. I was in total a lather and had hardly begun the day. Mistake Number 2 was to speed along the excellent but incorrect forest road uphill. Apart from the route errors, the bike idea was great and got me to a hiding place on the Clogheen/Newcastle road where you see the green spike on the map above. The trudge from there, on foot, to the Liam Lynch memorial along wide forest roads was alleviated somewhat by the views of the rich farmland beneath and the mountains that lay ahead. Mistake 3. Instead of immediately taking the forest break west of the Lynch memorial I entered the Round Tower enclosure and then instead of retracing my steps and heading up the forest break I took a "short cut" to it. I had to wade through overturned trees and dense foliage before I escaped panting. It was a great relief to ascend Crohan West and feel I was now "on the open mountain". No real effort was needed to reach Knockmeal and I enjoyed the views. But conscious of the short day I pushed on: the ascent of Knocknafallia was noticeably challenging. Its plateau gave me a breather as did most of the traverse to Knocknagnauv where I sheltered from the rising wind neath the imposing wall and ate. Facing me now was Knockmealdown - the mountain -not the brown bread, boiled egg, salami and grapefruit. A well worn highway swept up into the cloud like something from Tolkien. What a pull up! I dragged my aging and ailing body to the obscured summit and wondered if the views were as super as everybody claimed. It was just as well that the short detour to Knockmoylan was pretty much on the flat because when I came down out of the cloud and saw Sugarloaf Hill I realised that the day's work was far from over. Strangely enough I didn't find the 120 m approx ascent from the col overtaxing. No. It was the descent to my waiting car at "The Gap" in the gathering gloom that was pure torment. Those of you who know the Devil's Ladder will understand. At the end of a long day it takes huge concentration not to break a leg or a head picking your way through loose rocks. Some observations. There is considerable doubt about the true tops of Knocknafallia, Knocknagnauv and Knockmoylan. But we can live with that uncertainty. What I found very disturbing was the degree of erosion the whole way from The Gap to the eastern side of Knockmealdown...there is a superhighway the whole way to the summit of KMD itself. But I was lucky. Apart from meeting a member of the MV junta in the Gap Car Park at dawn I never met another soul on my rambles.
Crohan West 521 - 50 Start = 471
Add for undulations = 10
Knockmeal 560 - 440 Col = 120
Add for "bump" between = 10
Knocknafallia 668 - 500 Col = 168
Knocknagnauv 655 - 590 Col = 65
Knockmealdown 794 -510 Col = 284
Add for "bump" on way up = 10
Knockmoylan 768 - 730 Col = 38
Sugarloaf Hill 663 - 540 Col = 123
Total ascent =1299

Uploaded on: Sun, 9 Dec 2012 (21:01:39)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/2038/  
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Note: ALL information such as Ascent, Length and Creator time taken etc should be regarded as approximate. The creator's comments are opinions and may not be accurate or still correct.
Your time to complete will depend on your speed plus break time and your mode of transport. For walkers: Naismith's rule, a rough and often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 6h 10m + time stopped for breaks
Note: It is up to you to ensure that your route is appropriate for you and your party to follow bearing in mind all factors such as safety, weather conditions, experience and access permission.

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British summit data courtesy:
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"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here