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march-fixer: Track 4534 in area near Brockagh Mountain SE Top, Wicklow (Ireland)
Data Mining Trip
Length: 11.9km, Creator time taken: 6h44m, Ascent: 493m,
Descent: 491m

Places: Start at T12139 97192, Brockagh Mountain SE Top, Brockagh Mountain, Brockagh Mountain NW Top, Tonelagee South-East Top, end at Start
Logged as completed by 1

Considering the expected high temperatures we set out reasonably early. We wanted to check the high points and col heights along the Brockagh Ridge. At 10am we set off from the cars and on the way down the road spotted a new opening in a fence. A defined track ran from here up through the wood and on to the forest track above. This shortened our route up to Brockagh SE Top. It was evident that these new tracks had been constructed for mountain biking.
The forest track exits through a timber gate on to the mountain where the sun really beat down. We followed a somewhat defined track through the bracken up on to Brockagh SE Top. We checked for the highest point and got our height measurement.

View from Brockagh Ridge
View from Brockagh Ridge looking South West

We followed the track towards Brockagh. There is not too much difficulty finding the correct point height especially using a Sighting Spirit Level (Simon has some fascinating gadgets!). However, finding the highest low point on a col is a different matter. Depending on how the col sits there is considerable effort involved to figure out the lie of the land. Added to that is the optical illusion that occurs on undulating open ground. While it seems to looks obvious that one mound is slightly higher than another, when checked with the sighting tool it is a revelation that you had been wrong.
The time taken to measure a point height is mostly taken up by confirming the correct high point. Then comes the logging of the data on the Trimble GPS device which gives a height and positioning reading to within 10cm of accuracy. After 5 minutes of logging, the device has accumulated around 300 readings so you can save the data and move on to the next objective.

Measuring the height and position of the top of Tonelagee SE Top.


Measuring a col height generally tends to be a hit and miss affair! The further away you are, the more definite you tend to be about the location of the required spot. However, as you get closer and you are level with the col, the topology is much more difficult to assimilate. With two people it requires picking a likely spot and then the other person walks to all of the other likely points and the highest low point can be ascertained using the sighting tool. To anyone looking on from a distance it must look very funny and confusing as one person is the "May Pole" and the other dances around it!

On the Old Miners Track
On the Old Miners Track

Having completed our measurements, we decided to try the Old Miners Track that runs along the south eastern flank of Brockagh to return back to the forest track. It might have its position marked on the map but it is not the most distinct path on the ground.t definitely needs more usage to beat a more distinct trail on the ground.

The western slopes of Brockagh have a variety of fauna. We also saw goats.

It is a very useful track since it contours nicely along the flank of the ridge. Having reached the edge of the forest the track became very confused with the bracken and furze cover. We branched off down into the wood and made our way down alongside the dry gully.
The high bracken made this route reasonably difficult to negotiate but would be much easier when the bracken is gone. However, water flow from above may add to the difficulty at that stage. We safely reached the road and made our way back to the cars. On reflection it may have been better to have persevered with our Old Miners Track and reached the forest track but such is how new routes are found. The "old miners" got their data load after all.

Uploaded on: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 (11:32:52)
Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/track/4534/  
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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, an approximate though often inaccurate estimate, suggests a time of 3h 12m + 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.

* Note: A GPS Height in the elevation profile is sourced from the device that recorded the track. An "SRTM" height is derived from a model of elevations for parts of the earth. More detail

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Some mapping:
Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
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