On a cold and windy morning in February we tackled the Sugar Loaf mountain in Co. Wicklow. ‘Showers’ was what the weather forecast stated. The drive out was uneventful, straight out on the N11, a turn missed and a curse echoing around the car. Once the satnav voice declared the turn off was upon us, it was a slow and cautious drive up Red Lane to the base of the mountain and a very well maintained car park with an interesting stone arch entry way.
The minute we stepped out of the car it started to snow. But not the light and fluffy snow you see in movies. This snow was sharp, piercing and excellent at hitting its mark. So we hesitated. Hopping back into the car wouldn’t have been acceptable. We had gotten this far and turning back after just looking at the mountain would have been disappointing, even sad. So we trudged up the Sugar Loaf as a respectful pace, watching every step as the wind lashed snow against out faces. The mist rolled across the top of the mountain, giving it a mysterious air. The higher we climbed the strong the wind blew, as if it didn’t want us to ascend its protected possession. Passing one or two climbers on the way up who looked beaten by the weather and rocky ground we should have taken the hint.
As the snow fell even faster and the wind blew event stronger, we accepted defeat and headed for home, or at least the car park. It’s a beautiful place, surrounded by a patchwork of green fields, snowy paths and dotted with isolated houses. I’ll be back to try again soon, when it’s warmer of course.