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aidand
2012-02-03 13:04:15
Bridges
I'd like to add my own thoughts to this debate. We would all much prefer to have a pristine wilderness. Thankfully Ireland is big enough that there are plenty of hills where man has made little impact. Unfortunately there are problems in some areas.
I recently climbed Djouce for the first time in a decade. I was depressed to see how much erosion has taken place, seemingly all due to thousands of walkers. Similar rapid erosion has occured on the Devil's Ladder route up Carrauntoohil. The Kerry Mountain Rescue website lists drowning as one of the main causes of death in the hills. I am not very familiar with the Mournes, but I don't have any objections to the new footbridges in the Hags Glen. Unless hill walking goes out of fashion I think we should accept bridges, railway sleepers etc on the more popular routes.
I have wondered about the idea of a properly maintained tourist route up Carrauntoohil. There is something similar on Ben Nevis in Scotland. The idea is to give a safe route to the inexperienced walkers and tourists. It may also reduce the number of call-outs for mountain rescue. The main argument against is that it may result in even more badly prepared and inexperienced walkers getting into trouble.
This is not an issue that is going to go away. This website does encourage us to head for the lesser known hills so we can generally get away from the crowds. Now if only someone can devise a solution to quad bikes on the hills - land mines anyone!
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