Winter Info

Prepare for a Wicklow Mountains Winter

Last year 2009 was the busiest year for Mountain Rescue Teams in Co. Wicklow.  This was partially due to the severity of the previous two winters.  January, February and December ’09 at either ends of the year were full of incidents where many people travelling into the hills were unprepared and needed assistance.

As a forewarning, the Rescue Teams would like to encourage anyone entering the mountains, either on foot or by vehicle, to assess the dangers.  Many road users, for example, began their journeys with no inking of what lay ahead, despite warnings on the radio, etc.

We are not asking for people to remain away from the mountains.  Many people participate in Winter Mountaineering, Ice Climbing and other sports, like Skiing, if the conditions are right.  What we do ask is that whether you’re enjoying recreational activities or merely trying to commute across the hills, please make a sensible assessment of the venture.  Carry out preparations in case of problems, such as a sudden deterioration of the weather.

What can you do?

For road users –

  • Postpone the journey or select another route (retreat from poor roads rather than hoping they’ll improve around the corner)
  • Heed all advice on the media (AA Roadwatch, etc.)
  • Carry blankets/sleeping bag, flask of tea, food
  • Carry a small spade
  • Be aware that Mt Rescue will only rescue you, NOT your vehicle!

For hill-walkers, etc. –

  • Get as detailed a weather forecast as possible
  • Ensure that you and your equipment are up to the task (know the limitations of both – winter conditions require specialised gear)
  • Carry enough emergency equipment to keep you warm should you or a friend become injured & need to stop moving (e.g. a survival shelter)
  • Leave word with someone responsible
  • Carry a fully charged mobile phone

In case of Emergency in or on the Mountains:
Call 999/112 and ask for ‘Mountain Rescue’