Saturday, December 15, 2007

To Err-igal is Human

Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
The mighty Mount Errigal, County Donegal. Basically a big 750-metre-high wobbly peat trifle with granite crushed nuts on top. We always wanted to have a crack at it on/with the bikes, so we departed Antrim at 5:40am on Saturday 15 December 2007, to climb the mountain en route to collecting a sofa in Dungloe on the west coast (there WAS a good reason, but it is irrelevant here).

For a time, we toyed with the idea of trying the climb on the way back, with the sofa, for a more comfortable rest at the top, but given the wind strength, the ground conditions, and the fact that the overall purpose of the journey was sofa retrieval safe and sound, the bikes were a better call.

We knew it was a carry to the top, so we padded the top- and down-tubes with pipe lagging from B&Q. It's a good idea if you are going to be carrying for a long period.

We started in total darkness, but the day came upon us quickly, and by the time we were half way up the scree, morning had well and truly broken.

Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
On the high passes, Davy made the rounding of "Devil's Elbow" and "Dead Man's Corner" look like a stroll in Covent Garden. It was VERY windy on the ridge.
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
The views were fantastic in between the misty patches, with the dawn light constantly changing.
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
The summit itself was extremely cold and windy. Nevertheless, Tango & Cash took a moment to contemplate their achievement, sparing a thought for Everest's intrepid but ultimately doomed Mallory and Irvine.
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
Coming down the scree at the top after the ridge was HAIRY-SCARY, given the wind and the loose material, but with care it was mostly rideable. Seat right down and backside over the back wheel.
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
We were concerned at one stage that we were going to have some heavy stone tablets added to our packs on the way down...
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
Given that we were up to our knees in muck for most of the way up the bog section, we did not think the lower slopes would be rideable, but to our surprise and delight, ALL of it was rideable back to the carpark, with only a single pitch over the bars when the front wheel buried.
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal
Bodies and bikes were washed in the river and then we were ready to head for the sofa! Taking a quick look back at the mountain, it looked sad that it had been whipped, and whipped good. And the sofa fitted in the Galaxy allowing us to shut the back door for the trip back - the perfect day.
Tango and Cash on Errigal Tango and Cash on Errigal

6 comments:

aquaasho said...

Just as well not to bring the sofa. The scotch guard would be ruined with all that muck and bog.

Tango and Cash said...

This story is incomplete - we ARE going back up there with a sofa some day. And a litre of petrol...

Mac said...

Truly mad. What's next?

Geconn said...

crazzzy stuff- this hike and bike thing is a whole new sport in itself!!! whats your next challenge? carrantuathail?? that might be more hiking than biking. You could always trudge up to the highest mountain in Leinster - Lugnacoille, although I think some people from MAD club have already done that one. best of luck with the rest of your adventures

Anonymous said...

I went orienteering in Castle Ward once while taking a bed to Portaferry, but Errigal on bikes while picking up a sofa - you guys are awesomemore ..

Anonymous said...

What's the gradient? Can you not climb to the summit?

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