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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
2009-06-10 22:07:22
"A Distinctive Hill" from wicklore Contract pics
Picture: A Distinctive Hill (Contract pics)

Iconic Mountain: The Great Sugar Loaf
The Great Sugar Loaf sits at no. 456 out of the 1048 hills and mountains on MV. Taking just the 500m mountains it sits near the bottom of that list at 501m. It is middle of the road in many ways. But it has three attributes that make it stand out from the crowd, and perhaps place it firmly in the realm of    ĎIconic Hillí

Its first attribute is its name. The Great Sugar Loaf. What a name! For those of you who donít know it, doesnít it make you curious to know what kind of hill generated such a mighty name?

Its second attribute is its appearance. You may be looking at it as you buzz down the N11 past Bray, or you may be on the road from Glendalough via Roundwood. You may be on the Military Road near Glencree or looking out the restaurant window in Dublin Airport. From near and far the Great Sugar Loaf is instantly identifiable by its distinctive shape. Conical and pointed, it is the volcano that never was. (Many people believe it is an extinct volcano but it is in fact Cambrian quartzite) But what is important is the fantastic shaped hill that is present now. A smaller version of Croagh Patrick, the Great Sugar Loaf is great in its own way.

Its third attribute is its absolute accessibility to those who wish to climb it. A clear track leads to the top from the road at the Ďbackí (Roundwood side) of the hill. Every time I pass the Great Sugar Loaf I see people on top. I think it is almost a rite of passage for Dubliners to climb it. Iím not sure how well it is known by those further afield, but most people in Dublin and Wicklow would certainly know it.

So what makes an Iconic Mountain for Ireland? Is it one that looks the best? One that is climbed the most? One that has the most striking name? I would suggest the Great Sugar Loaf is a contender in all three categories. It stands alone and offers no varied routes. Death defying it is not. And remote it most certainly isnít. But the Great Sugar Loaf is popular beyond most other hills. Does this immense popularity win it any prizes? Could it go on the flag padodes?
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