It was all very white and pretty back at the start of February. We ooooh-ed and aaaah-ed as we looked through our windows as the pretty snowflakes settled in our front gardens. Despite icy road warnings, we still headed straight for the mountains to see for ourselves their new whitened state.
Now, nearly two weeks on, it’s all become a little passé. The snow’s still there, the mountain roads are still blocked and the mountains themselves are now just a frozen mess. Even the first round of the Leinster Orienteering Spring Cup was postponed on Sunday. Granted, it’s still all lovely to look at. But when you’re trying to go for a decent hill run, it’s now just slightly annoying.
You’d think of all places, the Dublin Mountains would be the first to thaw, having the furnace of Dublin city at its feet. But no, Tibradden is still covered in the stuff. The Pine Forest section leading to the Wicklow Way is still caked with thigh deep snow. The wet path is slush city. Even the new boardwalk is treacherous, the snow piled high on either side making it sheer guesswork whether your foot is hitting the wood or the knee-high holes on either side.
Lugalla is another one. There is normally a great big dirty path up that hill, so obviously carved out of the bog and heather. Now there’s nothing but snow thickly layered upon snow, hiding all the rocks and bog holes beneath it. On top the snow has begun to melt, leaving blue ponds of glacial cold that, two days on, my feet can still feel. Beneath, the Cloghoge River roars with melt waters making crossing such a deluge near impossible.
Hill walkers may be loving it. But personally, I’d like our snow-free runnable mountain trails back as soon as possible please!