The Firing Range (5.1km, 375m, 7.3%)

Map and Elevation Profile of the Firing Range climb


The climb to the Firing Range at Kilbride army camp is my favourite training climb, five kilometres sustained effort, much of it along a quiet, well-paved road. Although it’s a fraction of the length of the marquee climbs in the Alps, the gradients and smooth asphalt are comparable.

The first couple of kilometers follow the Ballinascorney climb. Near the summit, bear left onto the slip road (signposted for the Lodge, L7462) and stay left past the Famine Cross. The road levels out for a few hundred meters, then ramps up after a small bridge, briefly hitting double-digit gradients before settling at 8–9%. As the trees give way to open land on the left, the gradient eases and you can gear up for the short ramp to the top.

The road is narrow enough at points that cars will struggle to pass, but it’s little used and during the week you can expect to have it entirely to yourself. Settle into the climb and enjoy the ambient soundtrack provided by streams, insects, birds and sheep, and maybe the odd burst of gunfire.

Stone cross on a grassy knoll, commemorating the dead of the Great Famine
The Famine Cross

Thoughts, hopes, exhortations?