|Date: 3rd Dec 2010
Submitted by: Anthony Feeney
PJ and I decided to use a precious leave day last Friday and headed into white and wintry Donegal for a bit of axe swinging.
We were expecting the road down to be a bit of a slippery adventure but it wasn't until we turned off at the Dunlewy pub to go round the back of Errigal that we hit any real trouble. Half a mile in we took 3 goes to try and get up the smallest of hills but ended up just parking and traipsing for half an hour to the start of the climb.
A few spots of sleety stuff could have deterred less hardy souls but we huffed and puffed up through the snowy heather aided by a bit of stiff breeze. By the time we got to the NNE ridge the sky was clearing and a little bit of blue peeked out at the horizon.
There wasn't a soul to be seen and in the shelter of the gully we picked (don't ask me the blimming name, I forgot the print-outs) you could be forgiven for thinking you were on a Scottish or Alpine mountain.
Pristine, untrodden snow, a deep line of frozen turf at elbow height that served as an ample "banister" and white winterland as far as the eye could see. Deeply, deeply satisfying to be out on such a day and not stuck in a stuffy office!
We started the day late, around 2pm, so were topping out at 4pm onto small drifts and mini cornices. I was hoping for more clean snow on the other side but some-one had braved the tourist side and we saw our first tracks on the day on the first peak.
Descending the tourist track was brilliant craic, knee deep snow to plunder through without the usual scree shenanigans. The only downside was walking 3 miles into Dunlewy pub while a multitude of cars ignored out outstretched thumbs. So much for Irish hospitality. Maybe it was a bit incongruous to be all dressed up in walking gear and sticking the thumb out? :)
Dunlewy pub was as baltic inside as out, no fire lit and not a being about at 6pm, so we opted for home and the mulled wine.
The most fun I've ever had on Errigal, without a shadow of a doubt.
13 Dec 2010
Perhaps it was trying to get a lift with the ice axe, instead of the thumb? Have been watching some fun videos, on-line, of folks out on the Donegal hills with skis and snow boards. Bren has a good one of snowboarding on Inishowen - of all the mild places.
08 Dec 2010
Excellent!! Errigal in Winter is the gift that keeps on giving! :-)