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Brandon Hill 515m,
2026, 8km 3199, 5km 2006, 4km
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CaptainVertigo: Track 3199 in area near Brandon Hill, South Midlands (Ireland)
The Brandon Bergeen Concerto
Length: 4.9km, Creator time taken: 1h31m, Ascent: 342m,
Descent: 331m

Places: Start at S68229 41486, Brandon Hill, end at Start
Logged as completed by 2
Getting Started
The Start Point is a tiny little recessed area with room for three cars just before a forestry barrier (S 682 414)
I felt that one could also safely park a few cars on the wide grass verge on the left as one approaches this barrier, in dry conditions anyway. You get there from Graiguenamanagh on the Inistioge road, turning off for Brandon Hill at S 677 422.
I left in a hurry without any preparation other than a quick look at Track 2026 which was very helpful. The whole idea was to get in another bit of early season training while reaching an easy County Top/Arderin.
I was pleasantly surprised to have the mountain almost all to myself and felt that the views were really great, and the whole experience was really worthwhile
300 + Metres of Ascent
No matter what route you take from the Start Point to the top, you're starting at around 200m and you need to get up to 515m so you have just 300+ metres of ascent. I am not very keen on forestry paths so when the track veered hard left at circa S 689 408 I decided to head to the right up through a forest firebreak to reach the open hill.
Let me warn you that this was a steepish ascent over rough foliage and brambles: I got away with it in late winter. Once growth starts, it will be virtually impassible. I was glad to have escaped the long forest zig-zags and to have put myself under a bit of pressure. I have had a four month rest which is far too long to be away from the hills!
A Better Route Up
My humble recommendation for a direct ascent (NB I have turned the map upside down)
I now realise that I could have gone on to the open mountain as per the black arrows in the upside down graphic (above) . This would have allowed a fairly direct ascent but without the crazy conditions underfoot that I encountered in going up the firebreak.
A Majestic Platform
The Iron Cross is an unnecessary intrusion into creation
The summit is a fantastic 360 platform with but I was really interested in the nearby Blackstairs as I have yet to go over them.
Rapid Descent
Looking back at Brandon Hill from the West
You'll notice that I came down almost due west. Because it was a clear bright day I could see an easy route that would lead home over dry hard ground covered in heather, still brown after the winter. Yes, the initial descent west from the summit is a bit steep but nothing too testing. I went west and then north and flew down, far from the claustrophobic trees. A pleasant jaunt: as jaunty as Bach's Brandonbergeen piece itself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnAcRm7IL74

Uploaded on: Sat, 5 Mar 2016 (19:37:32)
Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/track/3199/  
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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 1h 33m + 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:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence)
"ASTER+": Hillshade and Contours
Courtesy of Tiles GIScience Research Group @ Heidelberg University More detail here