Monday, 7 January 2013

EI/G4OBK/P Djouce Mountain EI/IE-007 9th Jan 2013

Harveys 1:30000  Map of the Wicklow Mountains showing car park and route to Djouce Mountain 
The day after I became a SOTA Mountain Goat we were due to move north to a hotel on the outskirts of Dublin. That was later in the day, so we left Druids Glen Hotel near Newtown Mount Kennedy and headed inland to Glendalough, a fairly low key touristy spot surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains. It was a bright and frosty morning and we had allowed enough time to look around the village and visitor centre and have some lunch, before activating our chosen summit of Djouce Mountain (725m 10 points). 

The Norman tower at Glendalough - there was still a heavy ground frost at midday
From Glendalough we drove north east in the direction of Dublin and parked the hire car on a track just off the R759 road on the opposite side to Lough Tay at grid reference 170076. 
Car park for our walk up Djouce Mountain - we headed off right of the conifer plantation
Lough Tay below us as we climbed up to Djouce Mountain
After setting out on a gravel track which was actually part of The Wicklow Way, a 79 mile long distance footpath, we turned left after around 300m and discovered that the path to the top of the mountain consisted of long railway sleepers laid side by side on which chicken wire and 1000s of metal staples had been driven to aid grip. 

The Wicklow Way railway sleepers - providing excellent grip over the boggy land
We soon reached the JB Malone memorial stone. He was one of the pioneers of Irish Hill Walking encouraging many people to take up the hobby. JB Malone was the founder of The Wicklow Way LDP. 


The way was easy on the sleeper track and considering this was a 725m high mountain I would rate the walk to the summit as "moderate", this was because we had started from a height of 460m above sea level.  Once we gained some height beyond the JB Malone memorial, the views were impressive and I was sorry I could not spend more time in the area as I looked towards Kippure (IE-005) less than five miles away.


Kippure IE/EI-005
I was travelling light and only carrying a small VHF 2m FM handheld radio, a Yaesu VX-170 with quarter wave whip, yet I was surprised to make eight contacts from the summit, including a most memorable one with Karen 2W0XYL/P who was on her Mountain Goat Activation on the 1001m summit of Glyder Fawr GW/NW-003 in Snowdonia. I followed that with two more Welsh summit contacts with MW0JLA/P Rod on GW/SW-001 and MW6BWA/P Vicky on GW/SW-005 in South Wales.  
Stations logged from Djouce Mountain EI/IE-007
Operating from the summit of Djouce Mountain "G6ODU this is EI/G4OBK/P"
It was a pleasant surprise to also work G6ODU, Bob in Ormskirk on just a quarter wave whip - the distance was 140 miles or 226 Kms! 

We left the summit due east to join the Wicklow Way on the other side of White Hill. We were then out of the sun and the path was fairly boggy. At the bottom of the steep section on Djouce where we turned right on the Wicklow Way we saw this sign:



It was a steady walk back to the hire car and then we made our way to our hotel in Dublin to check in. 

Stats:

Distance walked: 5 miles approx
Total ascent: 1000 feet approx
Time taken out and back: 3 hours 30 minutes
Operating time: 40 minutes
Radio used: Yaesu VX-170 (2m FM only)
Antenna: Quarter wave whip on radio
Contacts made: 8
(Accompanied by XYL Judy)

(Ben of Howth EI/IE-072 activation to follow)

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