Ascent of Kippure on 2014-09-14

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Sunday, September 14, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:2484 ft / 757 m

Ascent Trip Report

A moderate asphalt road climb ..... 6km, 1h45 hours RT including summit time.

For our 14th day, of our 17 Day Touring Trip of Ireland, we have chosen our B&B location, for the remainder of this trip, at 2km north of the Dublin Airport. The plan is to drop the car off here this evening and communicate to downtown Dublin by bus. Today's itinerary calls for a drive on the mountain roads of the Wicklow Mountains south of Dublin, visit the Kippure summit (Dublin COHP) and the Lough Tay area with its Guinness Estate.

The drive of the narrow roads of the Wicklow's was simply amazing, perhaps the best mountain drive we have had any where .... everything is open, colored mountain tops in all directions (the color changing with location and sunlight), ridge line roads dropping down to valleys where all you see is a stunning patchwork of Irish green, loughs at high elevation, grazing sheep, a lot of hikers, cyclists and cars .... an awesome place, we loved it.

THE DIRECTIONS to the Kippure summit are as follows.
From the road junction of N81/R759 2.8km south of Brittas (and north of Blessington) we drove east on R759 for 15.5km to Sally Gap, where we turned left onto R115 and went north for about 4km to the crest-of-the-road and a gated asphalt road on the left. Parking is available here.
The moderate asphalt road climbs/winds northwest about 3km to the summit ... capped with a huge fenced-in Communication tower. A concrete Trig Pillar, once used as a triangulation station for navigational purposes is 5 meters north of the fence.
I should note that so far I haven't seen a country with so many concrete Trig Pillars on its summits as Ireland.

It goes without saying the panorama from Kippure is superb, however the most interesting discovery for me on the summit was the amount/thickness of peat bog grassed over with ferns and heather.... all over the mountain slopes. The rutted/eroded drainage ditches gives you a good indication of its depth, 3-4 meters in places.
I met a number of cyclists and hikers on the hike .... it looks like this road is a challenge for cyclists. But what really got my attention was the army people with huge back packs walking/running up and down this and neighboring mountains, and the 2 army trucks parked at the TH with drivers. I found out in talking to them, that the men were participating in a reconnaissance exercise and were being monitored and timed in the process ... packs weight 30-35 kilos, 20km distances.
At the summit I chatted with Ed and Kerry, army types, supervising the participants. They had a real nice detailed topo map of the Wicklows, apparently available at local map stores.

From the Kippure TH we drove back to Sally's gap, then left (east), down the valley to Lough Tay with apparently the commercially available Guinness Estate, tucked away on the sides of the lake. The road climbs to the next gap from where we looked back to partial views of the estate ... the site is truly awesome .... one of the reason perhaps the County of Wicklow is known as the "Garden of Ireland".
We would learn a few days later while on the Guinness Storehouse Tour in Dublin that the water for its beer comes only from the Wicklow mountains.

We found the motor-way and drove north to our B&B where we dropped off our baggage, then returned the car at the Airport ..... everything went smoothly, the tense driving "tout fini". We took a shuttle bus back to our B&B .... Glenmore House B&B, Airport road, Swords Dublin.
Out for a pint of guinness and dinner before calling it a nice day.

We just loved the Wicklows, a great place to spend time in.

For next few days we will be busing into Dublin, wearing cotton clothing instead of nylon and polyester and playing the life of regular tourists ..... all the while thinking about the other mountains I could be climbing. It would be nice to come back one day .... I should add that yesterday I ordered a copy of the guide book "IRELANDS COUNTY HIGH POINTS", it will be a nice addition to my guide book library ..... thanks goes to Oliver per my Slieve Gullion TR.

FOR THESE ARE MY MOUNTAINS AND I'M GOING HOME. ..... chorus from irish song "these are my mountains"

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Trailhead parking with Kippure in background (2014-09-14). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:778 ft / 237 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Route:road walk nwb from R115.
    Trailhead:Old Militray Road, R115, southeast of summit  1706 ft / 519 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
Ascent Statistics
    Time:43 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:30 Minutes

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