Message from Mountain Rescue as extreme weather predicted

The Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team and Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team have issued the following message as extreme weather is predicted from tomorrow.

Next week could be a challenging time if the weather develops as forecast. We’re available, as usual, should we be required for mountain rescue, or to provide humanitarian assistance. We would, however, like you to help us.

If you’re venturing out into the hills, please be prepared for winter conditions. Aside from your winter mountaineering equipment and skills, don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water, and preferably a warm drink. You’ll also want plenty of extra insulation, a survival bag, and an emergency shelter. A first-aid kit, headtorch, whistle, and a fully charged phone are also essential. You should anticipate, and plan for, what you’ll do if something goes wrong.

Next week’s expected conditions are unusual in Wicklow, so we must look out for hazards that are unusual for the area. The forecast shows consistent easterly and east-northeasterly winds, with very low temperatures and heavy snow. This could lead to cornices building at the top of steep ground that faces west or south—Lugnaquilla’s south prison, for example. Cornices can be very dangerous if they collapse, often triggering an avalanche. Other risks that may present next week are whiteout, drifting snow, and extreme windchill.

Driving conditions will be very difficult if the forecasted weather materialises. Our advice is to listen to your inner Teresa Mannion, and don’t make unnecessary journeys. If you must drive, please carry some extra equipment in case you’re unexpectedly delayed. You probably won’t get very far without snow chains, and a shovel will also be very useful. You should also bring a sleeping bag, a torch, some food and water, and ideally a heat source. Please make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave.

Don’t forget to check in on elderly or vulnerable neighbours. And yes, your dog or cat deserves to spend a few days indoors. Keep an eye out for An Garda Síochána, local authority, and Met Éireann warnings and advice. Our friends at Wicklow Weather are also a great source of weather information. If you need mountain rescue, call 999 or 112, ask for the Gardaí and tell them you need mountain rescue.

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