See our pick of the five top hills to climb in the Wicklow mountains. They are not necessarily the five highest, but instead offer a range of scenery, conditions and level of difficulty to have something for everyone.  Lugnaquilla The highest mountain in the Wicklow and the highest point in Leinster, Lugnaquilla (925 metres) is an imposing giant of a mountain. Sitting like an upturned bowl in the landscape it dominates the southern end of the Wicklow mountains. Though not a technically difficult summit to reach, it does require stamina as the 800 metres of ascent required to reach the

Many hikers use walking poles when out in the hills, and with good reason.  They help maintain balance, reduce the impact on our knees hips and ankles, (particularly in descent and when carrying a heavy pack), and are a useful support on slippery ground and when negotiating a river crossing.Using poles will also give you more of a full body workout, by exercising the upper body as well as the legs. Unfortunately, some folk using walking poles gain little of these benefits because they are either using them incorrectly or they are incorrectly adjusted. Walking poles are often placed too

Being able to navigate accurately in the mountains in all conditions is one of the most important skills you can learn as a hillwalker. Mountain Rescue teams are regularly called out to hikers who have become disorientated by poor visibility in the mountains.  Always carry a map and compass, and have the skills to use them. However, even the best navigators can make mistakes. By following the tips given below you can avoid making some of the common navigation errors and minimise the chances of becoming disorientated in the mountains.                     

Layering, in a mountaineering or hillwalking context, refers to the principle of wearing layers of clothes to maintain comfort, dryness and warmth when being active outdoors. A good layering system would involve a baselayer, worn next to the skin for comfort, a midlayer to provide insulation, and an outer layer to keep out the wind and the rain. Within this basic formula, there are a number of options and tweaks that can be made depending on the conditions we are likely to encounter and our personal preference. A good layering system allows for better temperature regulation as it is relatively

December 1st marks the meteorological start of winter and snow has already fallen in the Scottish hills and on the Macgillicuddy Reeks in Co. Kerry. If there is a chance to get out into the mountains this winter you might be considering getting an insulated jacket to keep out the cold. Here is what you need to know before you buy. Down or Synthetic? The insulation used in ‘puffy’ jackets falls into 2 broad categories, down and synthetic. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. Down is an organic product, feathers to be precise, and can be either goose or duck

Staying ‘hill-fit’ is a guest blog by Kathryn Fitzpatrick – Freelance Guide. Unless you are lucky enough to live within 5km of the hills, getting out hiking is not an option for the majority of us at the moment, however staying ‘hill-fit’ doesn’t always have to include the hills. Check out a few tips below to help maintain or build your hill-fitness over lockdown, so when the time comes and we get back outside into the mountains you’ll be ready to go..! What is ‘hill-fit’ anyway?  When we talk about being ‘hill- fit’ we mean keeping our cardiovascular system (heart

While very few people can get out into the hills at the moment, when we are able to travel again winter will have arrived in the mountains and with it the inherent problems of poor visibility, harsh weather and challenging terrain. To ensure you don’t get caught out when venturing back into the hills it’s time to prepare for the winter hiking conditions to come. Here is a check list of the things to consider before heading out. DRESS TO IMPRESS Make sure you are dressed for the conditions you are likely to meet when winter hiking. Warm baselayers are

The Maumturks lie to the east of the 12 Bens, on the far side of Lough Inagh, in Connemara. Like the Bens they are made from tough quartzite rock that weathers to a pale hard gravel and which holds very little vegetation on the upper slopes where soils are very thin or non-existent. Like the Bens, the Maumturks are rocky and steep sided, giving them a rugged mountain feel that belies their relatively modest stature, the highest point being Barrslievenaroy at 702 metres. Their closeness to the Atlantic makes these mountains a tough proposition in bad weather. As with many

In this webinar we discuss the upland flora of Ireland. Starting in the valleys (Lowland Zone) and working our way up the slopes to the exposed and harsh mountain tops (High Montane Zone). Ireland has a number of ecological zones in its upland terrain, from temperate rainforest to blanket bog, heath and montane plateau. Here we look at the characteristics of these ecological environments and introduce some of the strange and interesting plants that may be found there. Produced by Russ Mills of mountaintrails.ie

Long established with trainers and mountain professionals alike, using the five D’s at the beginning of each navigation leg, particularly when first learning these vital skills, ensures that no essential information is missed and adds structure to our decision making process when navigating in the mountains. Mountain navigation is often complex and difficult, with steep and rocky ground and with the possibility of poor visibility. To make our navigation easier in this challenging environment it is important to break our journey down into a series of manageable shorter sections called ‘legs’. We can then navigate each leg in turn and