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Frozen face at Pico Reivo.
Madeira's highest point, (Pico Reivo 1860m) can be reached from a southerly path. En route, this hag of eroded lava keeps watch on the summit (off stage, left), her view enhanced by an enigmatic brown pyramid. (Described by the more basic as like a dog t**d.)
There is plenty of walking with great views in the volcanic landscape. There's great cliff tracks. Some walking such as this route is a bit over-civilised for my taste with roads to peaks and paths with guard-rails and paving. (A warning perhaps for Irish walkers of what a tourist body can do to uplands). The lush vegetation coverage is more reminiscent of Ireland than say the Canaries, though the plant variety is sub-tropical - for some reason there weren't too many annoying insects at least when I was there. Well worth a visit.


I enquired if that was Lugnaquillia - "that" being the pointy thing directly in front of us. In unison, one said "yep" and the other said "nope". Two entirely opposed views on an entirely indisputable fact. There is a hill in the Scottish Highlands - Beinn Vorlich I believe, with 3 or 4 tops, all claiming to be the summit (Wee Davie or some other foreign national will correct me if I am wrong). This causes endless arguments over the apres-walk pints, but understandably, if there is only a mil or two between them all.
Where I am less generous, is where the seemingly obvious ends up open to a vote. Let me give you an example: I have now been out in the lovely Cooleys (one eye peeled for a big dangerous bovine - but enough of Maebh) several times, each one interrupted by a heated discussion on what constitutes "The Split Rock."
" … amble through like a drugged Druid ….."
One will advise that the Split Rock is but a concept and doesn't actually exist; another will aver that it is a hilltop, split in two, that you can amble through like a drugged Druid; and yet another will drag you to their own concept of the thing - a rock …., simply split. If I recall, this very website sought an Irish equivalent of the Hebridean "In Pinn" and found itself debating the identity of a contributor's pic (the great Jackill's, I think).
A friend recently moved to the pretty and aspiring mini-border-city of Armagh and caused a riot amongst his neighbours (you only have to scratch the surface) by asking the name of the townland he was now occupying. They couldn't agree, despite each claiming a heritage back centuries. Ever been there - wherever "there" is? Tell me your story and it could go into the next Scrabbler.

Your comments or suggestions to The Scrabbler.

Recent Contributions and News
Dingle delights
padodes has been describing some of the tops at the far end of the Dingle peninsula. We (MV members) scored this one highest:
padodes on Beennabrack
Looking across a stretch of Loch Ui Fhiannachta (Clogharee Lough), one can see the dark form of Beennabrack rising up behind. What is not visible is the little corry lake she holds in her lap: Loch Tarbh (Lough Coumeenoughter). Nearly all the lakes and mountain tops in this area seem to have both an Irish name and a very different anglicised alternative. Further back, to the right of Beennabrack, ... Click here
MountainViews - growing larger.
Summit Interest One of the objectives of MV is to enable a combined effort to get together some interesting and useful information for every summit in Ireland. In 2007 we reached the point where we had a comment for every summit of 500m and up. Then we added the 400m summits (380 of them). We have comments on 91 of those so far. There's plenty of opportunities for you to put in comments. None of the 7 Mullaghareirk Mountains yet have a comment or route (Or the Mizen/Sheeps Head summit) The Shannon, Ox and Nagles areas are places that could particularly use some contributions!
Actually we have a more accurate figure for our information coverage: the "Completion" figure which tracks number of good quality comments, number of pictures, gps readings etc. Some of the popular mountains such as Carrauntoohil, Djouce, Slieve Donard have 100% scores for this however many have a score of, well, 0% so far (the zeroes would all be 400m tops). Our overall rate for completion is 35%.
So keep those comments coming in and the pics and the GPS readings! Visit those out of the way places. Often they are far more rewarding than the better known tops.
Usage of MV continues to rise. The number of site visitors topped 12000 for the first time, a 42% increase on Jan 2007.
Encounter with a friendly farmer.
The return of Lynchieboy who tells us that he is learning a new camera. The contribution speaks volumes ..
Lynchieboy on Caherbarnagh
A dark but beautiful day. Parked in a field supplied by a friendly farmer. He recommended that we leave it there with the keys as he might want to go to Baile Bhuirne for Porter. He seemed genuinely disappointed when we informed him that there was very little left. Left car at W195 892 and went for Stoukeen. There is a stoney path which was helpful as the ground was quite wet. Lovely pull up here ... Click here
WAI Modern Navigation & GPS Workshop also Challenge Walks Calendar
The Walkers Association, an umbrella group for walkers and hillwalkers in Ireland has moved on from their temporary website. The new site (Slogan Info, Groups, Forums) is structured to allow walkers and interest groups to self-organise. We mentioned the previous successful GPS course they ran in Nov - there may be a few places left on the next beginners course in Feb.
Click here WAI: GPS Course (See piece about new GPS map)

Click here for their Challenge Walks Calendar. Look out for the new addition to the challenge calendar: the Knockmealdowns walk organised by the Peaks Mountaineering Club.
Cuilcagh from the Fermanagh side
The inter-county summit of Cuilcagh is well worth a visit as this comment shows. Didn't look like he got good weather though.
murphysw on Cuilcagh
Took the most straightforward route to the top from the Cuilcagh Mountain Park, which can be found just after the entrance to the Marble Arch Caves at about H122337. For most of the approach the the mountain there is a gravel road (off limits to cars) which ends about 1km short of the ascent of the ridge at H113300. From there it gets badly boggy, I went into the stuff thigh deep at one stage. The ... Click here
New features: some help needed.
MV operates as a community site. One person's work such as adding comments or photos facilitates another. Wild altruism? No, working system. Nearly 500 of the MV membership have contributed comments.
Anyway unless you are new to MV you will have heard parts of this refrain before. Cutting to the chase. We need some help with mountain lists .. see comment
simon3 on Volunteers Wanted
We are improving and adding to our lists of summits. We have already made some headway on a forthcoming addition which we hope will greatly enrich the interest and variety of the lists, allowing other members to describe their experience with places. Can you help by checking information on various summits? This is a fixed task, that is there is a fixed amount of work not a long-term committment. ... Click here
Blown off Bearnagh
Vintage Cra. Regular readers will know the quality of sharp lyricism that characterises Bleck Cra's pieces, never better displayed than in this description of the summit in high wind. Its an account that always keeps the place in sight and what it is about.
Bleck Cra on Slieve Bearnagh
“ It isn’t that gully.” “Yes it is.” “No it’s not.” “Yes it is.” I lapped them on the Brandy Pad this Saturday. Da-v-Og. 65-v-40. You just knew they’d been at this for years. Westerly?! Commercial explosives couldn’t have blown you off Bearnagh more effectively. It dropped me into rocks twice, to language unheard of outside of Marseille. Bearnagh is arguably the matriarch of the Mourne Mountains - ... Click here
New Garmin GPS map
Contributor pazapas has brought out another and better Garmin GPS map. For those new to such notions, this is a map that appears on a GPS showing some of the features of the ground. As yet these are not commercially available for Ireland (other than road maps). I would say that pazapas's map is the best available at present surpassing even the earlier SMC one. It has 10m contours, layer tinting (different colours for different heights like some maps) and the latest 400m summit positions from this site.
I tried it (installation a bit fiddly but works fine when on the GPS) and found it excellent. Has anyone else had a go? I think it would be useful to gather up feedback for pazapas for further tweaking. See also notice of the WAI course on GPS.
pazapas on Ireland map for geeks
A new version of Ireland map for Garmin GPS is available. (OSI like colors, 10m contours, special level of details) http://emeraldisland.free.fr (For questions and feedback contact me, don't open a thread in this forum) Click here
More on Mourning in the Hills.
More returned to the subject of memorials in the hills this month including thoughtful contributions from david kirk, Bleck Cra and this one.
Boots on Good Taste Police for Mourneing Sites
I too have noticed several 'memorials' in the Mournes, one on Donard, Commedagh and along the Trassey Track. I am most at peace in the Mournes and can't think of a better place to leave my mark or for others to leave it for me. I understand people's desire to create these little mark's of remembrance, especially if their loved one has died while walking in the Mournes. To be fair, so far, any o ... Click here
Question about the "Zig-zags" Lugnaquillia
In reply to a question the Zig-zags, a route popular with many up Lug (Wicklow/ Dublin area) from Glenmalure, there is this information. Kudos to Mountain Meitheal.
brenno on Cloghernagh
For the benefit of Genie who was asking about the Glenmalure zigzags beside Carrawaystick brook, this route is open with a very nice bridge built by Mountain Meitheal and a track around the back of the farmhouse at the bottom of the zigzags. There's a signpost from the road pointing the way. Click here
Strange animals
Snow allows you to see tracks and encourages speculation about monsters. (Yeti, Bigfoot whatever) Whatever genie and others saw and described below, it's as well they weren't in the Comeraghs.
According to an Irish Times piece, an employee of state forestry company Coillte, was reported to have seen a ‘strange black animal that looked like a panther roaming at Coolishal Wood’ on the Rathgormack side of Kilsheelan on January 3.
Check it out MountainViewers. err, on second thoughts bring a few dead rabbits to placate the beast.
genie on Canine footprints ?
I see bleck cra has commented on this in his bearnagh comment, I noticed these very large canine type footprints in the snow around hares gap and slievenaglogh on sunday, anyone got any ideas? Click here
Sorry if I didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for the month later.

Site notes If you can set-up your email to get web-format ("html format"), you should be able to get more out of this newsletter. Previous Newsletters
Getting a map on your GPS. Would you like a map on your GPS so that you can visualise summits, contours etc? Well, depending on whether you have the right sort of GPS and your willingness to do a bit of uploading, we may have the answer.
simon3 on GPS for Ireland, article, download.
Currently MV provides GPS information in the form of waypoints that indicate the summit positions of all of the mountains in our list. While better than nothing this still does not use the full potential of GPS units . Essentially these can show maps and points of interest. There is no commercial product for GPS units at present, however we are pleased to announce the results of various communi ... Click here

This month.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. Adesso, aengusofarrell, aidanbyron, AislingKelly, ajlard, Alzer, amandamary, amulet, andyb, arussell333, audra, B0b_Mountain, baldeagle1999, banramble, batman, bdesmith, beatpacker, BenWetz, bicky_23, biomuesli, Bitter, bongo33, bridlofthouse, buckie07, cdumigan, ceara, chrislycett, Cianoneill, cjm, Claudydude, colmocnoc, conorwynneeeeee, cullens, damnick, Dang09, dannym888, davepen77, Davidgo, davidoneill12345, ddiamond, desmclaughlin, dg, dino234234, donegal, eamonntynan, eddoyle, ei4gxb, envarambler, evertb, fieryarrow, fionab, fitz13, Franko, fullproof, gabro, gally, garlicmonster, geoff, gkmack, gleeson, gongers, gra, graham086, hairy, hamish, hectorg2, helenmoloney, hibby, hughhardiman, jackle, jake11, JClancy, jcrotty, jdeane, Jeanstyp2000, jethro, jimjams, jo, john68, johnnywalker, karenm, Katty, keithlad, kevinosborne, kiki, knagle, koenie, lauram21, louiseloughney, lukeee, Magoolio, marcmurphy, mariebarrett, marley, mconnoll, mc_woods, meisey, Mette, Micheal11, mistyfloyd, Moore, msd19, mtman, mullinfamily, murray, mwmahon, Natalie0208, NCahill, ndeb, Negly, nemesis, niallg, nidhona2, nwalsh, nwhelan, ocarrollm, oflynnc, Orpheus, paddytheape, patricklanders, pauliejo, paulontrack, peadar20, peterh, pgib, philbee, philg, philipmangan, philomena, Pistol, pk1980, Porky, Primordial, PWalsh, raphaelm, rcdavid, rebelinexile, redpearl, rhb241, robertdeane, rod82, rogerm, Roibeard, romoore, ronanscotter, rosaleen-clarke, Rosemarie, rosie, Rourkey, Rowan-2, RudyHoganburg, Sadhbh, sailor5755, sailorbobby, santry, sarvell, scamp, sean26, seancoleman, seanoarmstrong, Secular, Seth, Shinawil, Silverfin, skooshie, sodonnell, spadger, Spogpean, sportbilly, spudface, steph, stevieharris1, Stonee, strassers, sue025, swordsnz, tebroc, thcarney, thomasd, tom79, tomdwyer, tonyc, tonygallagher, troche, veryrobust, welshman, Windsockers (187)
Our contributors to all threads this month: Bleck Cra (5), Boots (1), Colin Murphy (3), Moac (3), Natalie0208 (1), Pazapas (2), brblos (1), brenno (1), cullens (1), david kirk (1), dino (1), eflanaga (1), genie (2), gerrym (1), lewvalton (2), milo (2), murphysw (2), padodes (4), sharkey (1), simon3 (3), sparow (1), tplague (1), tsunami (1), vikinghar (1) and Contributors to GPS information this month were: csd (1), eflanaga (5), jackill (5)
There were comments on the following mountains An Chailleach, Beennabrack, Binn Bhreac, Brandon, Carrauntoohil, Cloghernagh, Cnoc Ramhar, Cock Mountain, Cuilcagh, Divis, Farbreaga, Galtymore, Knocknagorraveela, Peakeen Mountain, Sawel Mtn, Slievanea, Slievanea NE Top, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Croob, Slieve Donard and these walks were created (none in period)
Thanks to all 491 who have ever contributed
The five who have contributed most to the site are simon3 (418), csd (213), jackill (147), Bleck Cra (126), gerrym (116).
Summary. MountainViews now has 2570 comments about 551 different mountains out of the total in our current full list (840). We need more comments, better comments and more balance for every summit as our rate for "data completion" now that the 400m summits have been added is currently around 35% There's plenty (289) of opportunities for you to be the first to comment on a summit. Listing summits in "Lists & Logs" (tick MV completion information) allows you to see what information we need to get more even coverage.

If you are contributing, please be careful to respect the interests of landowners. Suggest access routes well away from houses, gardens or that could conceivably impact farming activities. When walking, keep away from gardens or farm buildings. Use stiles or gates wherever possible. Never do anything that could allow animals to roam where the farmer did not intend.
If you hear of a problem area or route, write it up in MountainViews which does everyone a service. Report rubbish tipping in the Dublin/ Wicklow area - ring PURE 1850 365 121
If you have climbed some of the less well known places, we would appreciate a mountain rating.We could use your help in making ratings for the unrated mountains which you have climbed, such as: An Machaire, Foilduff, Croaghcarragh, Cnoc Onna, Hangmans Hill, Barraduff Mountain, Killaha Mountain, Tirkslieve, Cnoc Lios Uachtair, Croaghmeen and some 15 others. and also GPS readings for summits.
If we can, let's make MV have more than one route up a mountain so as to reduce the tendency for paths to appear. Your grid refs in comments for different starting points show up on MountainViews maps.

This newsletter This newsletter is from Simon Stewart for MountainViews
Homepage: www.simonstewart.ie
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