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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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wicklore
2009-02-06 00:10:14
"Sally Gap-looks can be deceiving" from wicklore Contract pics
Picture: Sally Gap-looks can be deceiving (Contract pics)

The Infamous Sally Gap
Some words always seem to come together to create familiar phrases: Media Frenzies, people Wielding Swords, Angry Mobs and, of course, Cold Snaps and Big Freezes. Whenever there’s a heavy fall of snow another familiar phrase appears-the Sally Gap becomes Impassable. What is guaranteed is that the appearance of this phrase will then immediately attract ill-prepared drivers. So what is this infamous Sally Gap? Well the Military Road (R115) runs North-South from Rathfarnham in Dublin across the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains to Glenmalure and beyond. Over 40 miles of bog road that can at times be either the loneliest or busiest stretch of tarmacadam in the country. Crossing the mountains from East to West is the R759, travelling from near Roundwood to Kilbride and the N81in West Wicklow. Between them the two roads give substantial access to the very heart of the Dublin/Wicklow range. The point where these two roads intersect is known as Bearnas na Diallaite (Gap of the Saddle) or Sally Gap.(O130 110 on OSI map no.56) At about 520 metres altitude, Sally Gap provides the setting for two of the highest through-roads in the country. However there are no fear-inspiring cliffs or vertigo-inducing sheer drops. (For these you must turn left at the crossroads if travelling from Dublin to take in the drop to the corrie of Lough Tay). Rather than cliffs and alpine crags, the Sally Gap is in a setting of vast blanket bog that sweeps in all directions. Rising from the surrounding bog are, amongst others, Kippure, Tonduff, Luggala, Djouce Mountain and Carrigvore. The source of the River Liffey is also close by. From the Sally Gap there are expansive views as the bog gradually slopes away to the west. Years of driving in this area means I have seen many curious sights-cars burned out, cars driven off the road, lost tourists poring over maps, and an overturned fire tender. I have also witnessed a version of joy-riding where the car thieves drive without lights at night. This can be an unforgiving road where a moment’s distraction will see you in the deep drainage ditches that often run alongside. I’m sure the recent dramatic ski rescue of numerous people near the Sally Gap by members of Wicklow Mountain Rescue will be covered on MV. I know that hordes of people in 4x4 vehicles head directly to this area when they hear the magic phrase “The Sally Gap is Impassable”. It’s interesting to note that there are signs on approach roads that state ‘Roads in The Sally Gap Area may be Impassable in Winter Months’ or words to that effect. However these signs, and the repeated warnings on the Media, are not enough. Even after the ski rescue, Mountain Rescue had to attend another car the following day that was stranded in snow near the Pier Gates in the general area of Sally Gap. Perhaps in times of heavy snow authorities should simply close the approach roads further down the mountains to prevent these silly and dangerous episodes that put so many at risk.
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Track
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Forum: General
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Summit Comment
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Summit Comment
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Summit Comment
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Track
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Summit Comment
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