Myself and Chefron headed up Camaderry via the Spink last Sunday. Starting at the carpark (C (T112 963)
) we walked up past the Pollanass Waterfall. Glendalough was teeming with tourists on this beautiful day and a dozen languages could be heard around us.
Up past the waterfall, where the Wicklow Way turns left across a bridge, we turned right up the hairpin bend. A few minutes brought us to the start of the famous Spink Boardwalk on the right. This is about 2.5 km of boardwalk that heads up and along the cliffs on the southern side of the valley. It protects the delicate bog (already heavily eroded in places) while providing a clear route for occasional walkers and experienced hikers alike.
The boardwalk is tough going as it heads directly uphill through the forest. Endless steps wind upward but eventually the path levels off as it leaves the forest and fantastic views open up of the lake below and across to Camaderry and Turlough Hill.
The boardwalk continues along the line of the cliffs. There is a final hard slog up to the highest point where we met a couple who told us they had counted 1300 steps the previous week!
I always see the wild goats that live along these cliffs. However I observed some walkers who passed within 20 feet of the goats without spotting them-surely hiking should be a mix of tough exercise and leisurely sightseeing?
Beware that the boardwalk divides as one arm branches off towards Lugduff SE and Mullacor. Keep right at this junction.(approx D (T092 955)
The boardwalk eventually runs out and a stone path leads down to a wooden bridge at approx E (T075 963)
. Most walkers then follow the track down to the Miners Village and the lake for the stroll back to the carpark. We headed N then NE towards the summit of Camaderry. It is a long haul across the bog. This is where the multitudes of the Spink Circuit are left behind and solitude is gained. I have rarely walked in Wicklow without spotting a few deer, and up here we were rewarded with a herd of more than a hundred scattered all across the slopes. They were surprisingly unfazed by us as we walked quite close to them.
Camaderry was reached and we had a much needed rest. We had clear views SW across Lugduff to Fraughan Rock Glen, Lugnaquillia, and the surrounding mountains. In fact the views were great in all directions and I fancied I saw land far across the Irish Sea.
After a trip to Turlough Hill we came back and reached the second cairn on Camaderry at F (T089 973)
. Oliver kindly let us all know he had been here with his name scrawled on granite stone.
Heading E brought us down along the shoulder where we picked up a track going directly downhill at approx G (T108 970)
towards the carpark. This becomes severely steep in places yet is a lovely walk through high ferns and forest. It’s wasn’t long before we rejoined the masses below and those who hadn’t even left the carpark turned to stare at these sweaty, smelly Mountain Men. Total time 6 hours. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/114/comment/3252/