SUNRISE ON LUGNAQUILLA
HomeLink, the Bray based charity which provides a phone call and basic maintenance support for older people in their homes has just completed their very successful second series of ‘The Sunrise on Lugnaquilla Walk for Transition Year Students’.
This TY programme has the following benefits for TY students:
• Creates awareness of the benefits of exercise.
• Increases their geographical knowledge of their area.
• Team building – the walk is conducted as a group.
• Social Awareness – how their efforts are helping others.
• Reinforce friendships / forge new ones
The walks took place over a 6 week period in March / April this year. We battled storms, snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures and plenty of rain. In fact we encountered everything that Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in Leinster, challenged us with, and all usually on the same night! Twice the hikes had to be cancelled and rescheduled….
First was the group from Loreto Bray. The group departed in high spirits and made themselves comfortable in the hostel, Mountain Ventures in Donard, settling down for something to eat and then to bed in preparation for the early curfew.
The alarm call was at 2.15am to start the hike at 3.20am, allowing 3 hours hiking time in order to reach the summit in time for sunrise before 7 am.
The hike was very pleasant, conditions were good and the breeze only reared up when the group left the shelter of the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately there was no sunrise at the top, just swirling mist, but we took photos to capture the spirit and good humour of the occasion. On the way down, we were amazed at how far and high we had climbed; thankful we had done it in the dark!
The second group from Loreto Bray left school in the evening misty sunshine, convinced this was a sign of heat, and hopeful of a picturesque sunrise, only to reach the summit the following morning in an inch of snow and ice! Photos captured show the group on the dolmen looking like a scene from a skiing trip in Austria.
The third group from Loreto Dalkey left school in the glorious evening sunshine, and while the rest of the country woke up to clear skies and bright sunshine, they unfortunately trekked in driving rain all the way from the hostel to the summit of the mountain and down again. The coach returned a very tired, pyjama clad group to the school the next day!
The fourth group, from Loreto Dalkey and Presentation Bray, left in the rain and trekked up in the mist to the top, knowing there would be no chance of sunshine but in high spirits, glad to have achieved all they did in conquering the mountain and getting back to base in one, albeit very wet piece!
These hikes are available from October to April annually. Each student raises €100 which goes towards the support of HomeLink, the accommodation and guided walk, plus complimentary t-shirt and baseball hat with LED light for night time trekking. There is no need for the teaching staff to accompany the walks unless it is school policy as the walk is guided by Glen of Imaal mountain guides and energetic HomeLink personnel. For more information, see our website www.homelinkbray.ie, follow us on facebook, or contact us by e-mail by using our form on our contact us page.
We look forward to seeing you on the hill!