If you’re planninbg to hike Lugnaquilla you are on the right website. I’ve hiked this mountain number of times, in cold winter conditions and during light spring. Apart of unexpected in any mountains there are few things you should definitely know before you hike any peak in Wicklow Mountains. ALways be prepared for tough conditions, no matter what the forecast says it all can change rapidly.
Hiking Lugnaquilla ‘Lug’ Mountain – 925m.
Lugnaquilla difficulty. Don’t underestimate the hight of this peak, it’s only 925 m above see level but the conditions might be serious, especially on the top. Ireland is windy anyway but on the top was really extreme when I was there in winter. Experienced walkers might want to climb Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in Wicklow in winter conditions. And trust me incredible wind and freezing air is tough enough!!
There are few walking routes to the summit. Different sources say the hike takes 6-7 hours /up and down/ but I made it in 5h.. alone. I usually go alone or hire a guide for more extreme summits. You can read about it more, links for Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Carrantoohil, Cotopaxi and lots peaks in South America) are on the bottom of the page. And although I’m not a highly experienced hiker/climber I still have a decent knowledge to share. But as mentioned, I have never done any climbing courses but it’s all on my list, as I souked with extreme mounteneering!! It’s in my mind all the time! I keep booking other destinations for higher summits.
Routes to Lugnaquilla summit.
Lugnaquilla can be hiked all year-around. A very popular starting point is Glenmalure Lodge close to nearby hostel and passes the dramatic cliffs of Fraughan Rock Glen (east side).
Hiking from the west side of the mountain starts in Glen of Imaal near Fenton’s Pub and is pretty easy. This is actually my favourite trail but it leads along the military area and you should be very carefull not to leave the track!! Although there are signs do not enter – Military area the trail sometimes is hard to find and I did step out of it few times. A route to the summit is quite visible but you should never leave without compass! Navigation ability in mountains is the key thing. It can be very cloudy in Wicklow Mountains and I’ve already lost a trail once. The other time the path wasn’t visible when it was snowing. If the sky is clear the view s over wicklow mountains are amazing!
It is also possible to hike Lugnaquilla from the south side, starting near Aughavannagh Bridge and walking up through the Ow Valley. The final stage to the summit is a little steep but it’s an interesting trails.
What to wear when hiking Lugnaquilla in winter?
I was training on Lugnaquilla before I went to Scotland. Lugnaquilla can be very challenging. The feeling was up to -13. It was raining and then snowing and on the top everything was deeply frozen. You should wear warm clothes and here’s the list that will help you to prepare well for hiking:
@ hiking boots and waterproof socks!Never wear sneakers!! I didn’t even know waterproof socks exist but Lugnaquilla can be extremely wet and slippery. Last time my leg got stuck in a mud above my knees! I just sank in mud under my weight. Obviosly my shoes were completely wet, luckily it was on the way back!
@ hiking trousers /not jeans!!/, waterproof overtrousers if you have, several warm layers of clothing (not cotton) and a warm and waterproof jacket. You might wear one or two layers at first, as a common miste is wearing too many clothes and getting sweat. Try to avoid it, as you might feel cold at the later stage.
@ Good hat and gloves are essential. Googles are usefull too, as the wind is very strong sometimes the rain might be very disturbing.
More climbing adventures to read here: Cotopaxi voulcano/5000 m in Ecuador: https://freestyletraveling.com/hiking-the-neck-of-the-moon-cotopaxi-volcano-adventure/
Highest mountain in Ireland – Carrantoohil: https://freestyletraveling.com/hiking-carrauntoohil/