WIN­TER WALKS IN IRE­LAND

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - ART & MUSIC - HOW TO GET TOGGED UP

you’ll need them in win­ter. And fi­nally, gloves and a hat are musts.

Pack a day bag with fruit and nuts, wa­ter, a hot drink and an ex­tra layer of cloth­ing. If you’re set­ting out on a more chal­leng­ing walk, such as Lug­naquilla, add two head torches and bat­ter­ies as backup, your maps — there are ref­er­ences in our walks to OSI, irish­trails.ie and oth­ers for you to down­load or buy — your com­pass, and make sure your phone is charged.

“Be­ing ad­e­quately fed and hy­drated will help avoid hy­pother­mia,” says John Ka­vanagh, “one of the big­gest avoid­able risks when hill-walk­ing in Ire­land.” “If you’re bring­ing kids,” adds Adrian, “you def­i­nitely need an ex­tra layer of clothes — they get cold eas­ily. So bring a layer or two

and Sun­sets are at their most

spec­tac­u­lar in win­ter, ac­cord­ing to walks au­thor and pho­tog­ra­pher Adrian Hen­droff

Over the next few weeks as re­cent storm dam­age is ad­dressed, be­ware fallen or over­hang­ing trees — es­pe­cially in for­est ar­eas

bring ex­tra food for the kids, treats or a hot drink.” Don’t at­tempt any of the moun­tain sum­mits in snowy weather un­less you have the ap­pro­pri­ate cram­pon and ice axe skills and can use a com­pass and map, warns Adrian, who is also the first per­son to have as­cended all 273 of Ire­land’s Van­deleur-ly­nam sum­mits over 600m.“if you’re go­ing to climb Lug­naquilla, or Car­raun­toohil or Mount Bran­don, put the cram­pons in your bag. If con­di­tions are too icy and you don’t have cram­pons, then I can only say two words. Turn. Back.”

Per­haps the most com­mon prob­lem for win­ter walk­ers is shorter day­light hours. “Most of the time when peo­ple get lost,” says Adrian, “it’s be­cause it’s dark and they have be­come dis­ori­ented. Be aware of the day­light hours and when it gets dark.

“That’s very im­por­tant. If you set off in De­cem­ber, re­mem­ber that day­light hours end at 3pm.”

Don’t let all th­ese safety pre­cau­tions keep you in­doors, though — win­ter is a won­der­ful time to ex­plore na­ture, so choose a walk and lace up those boots.

For moun­tain res­cue, dial 999 or 112; moun­tain­res­cue.ie

Men’s Rab Mi­cro­light Alpine Jacket, €229.95 (also avail­able in women’s fit­tings); greatout­doors.ie.

Smart­wool PHD Out­door merino wool socks, €21; 53de­greesnorth.ie LED Lenser MH2 head torch, €38; ledco. co.uk

Seal­skinz merino liner gloves, €12.50;

base­camp.ie.

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