A few weeks after returning to Dublin from Nepal, I had the opportunity to join the last of Ronin Crossfit‘s 3 Peaks Challenge. Never having really tried hillwalking in Ireland, I figured it was about time I gave it a go. Besides, I had the trekking boots and the rain jacket anyway, might as well make use of them again.
So on the 20th of November, I put on my trekking boots once again (did I mention I have marks around my ankles from wearing them for so long? They haven’t disappeared yet at this time). As I had expected, most seemed to think that the walk would be easy for me, having survived the EBC trek and all. I knew deep down that it wasn’t true and I was about to prove it.
Right from the moment we left the van and started walking, everyone was on a fast, brisk pace. It was difficult keeping up and I was at the very end of the group. As we made our way uphill, it became obvious to me that I would be the straggler in the group. But I pushed on. I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of getting the proper mindset on and breathing right.
The walk up Lugnaquilla was tough, and it was made even tougher by the weather. Halfway up we practically lost visibility due to heavy fog and we found ourselves at the top, covering up as best as we could with our layers, gloves and jackets. Unfortunately, the fog meant we lost the promised views so we didn’t stay long at the peak. We headed down and I was faced with some steep and slippery downhill. I had a proper slip once and ensured I had mud on my (light colored!) trousers and I had almost completely immersed my boots in mud more than once ensuring I had wet feet from that point on. Good thing I had extra everything back in the van.
It was probably a total of 4 or 5 hours to get up and down Lugnaquilla and I was tired at the end of it. Needless to say I was still at the very last even on the way down, but I was glad I had managed, even without the previous (easier – I was told) peaks. It was a good thing too that the guys from Ronin didn’t mind having to wait around a bit for me 🙂
Click on the individual photos for a better view..