Mount Leinster

Mount Leinster, a paved steep climb in Ireland

Mount Leinster is a mountain pass located in the province of Leinster, Ireland, on the Blackstairs Mountains, at an elevation of 796m (2,605ft) above the sea level. A tall RTÉ television transmitter tops the peak with a mast height of 122m. This site is a popular location for hang-gliding enthusiasts to launch from. It’s said to be the highest paved road in Ireland.

The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. Any barriers along the edge afford little more than token protection; large stretches should be taken at a snail's pace and a lookout kept for vehicles coming from the opposite direction! The steep RTÉ access road to the summit is closed to normal traffic and RTÉ have now fenced off the transmitter tower from public access to prevent vandalism. 

There are 2 routes to reach the summit. Starting from the Borris side in County Carlow the climb is 11 km long and has an average gradient of 6.9%. The last two kilometres are very tough reaching a gradient of almost 16%. And starting from the Bunclody side in County Wexford, the climb is slightly longer at 13 km its average gradient is 5.9%. The last kilometre of this climb is difficult with a gradient of 16.3%. The surface of the road is asphalt in awful shape, and chains or snow tyres can be required anytime. Mount Leinster has been used in stages of the Tour of Ireland.