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Misty moist Glendalough
Member "gerrym" has this autumn coloured picture of Ben Crom in the Mournes..


I was a golfing orphan. Every hour when the Da was not working, he was on the golf course, including subzero ventures into desolate winter courses complete with orange balls - well, you needed some kind in these conditions. At Christmas, I watched him wince as the golfing regalia landed with a thud in the hearth. A skip cap with Christie O'Connor's mug on it; a mug with Christie O'Connor's face on it, with a skip cap; a mug and skip cap.….. And I learned that you should never give people Christmas presents to do with their sporting passions. Sure if they had wanted the damned thing they would have bought it themselves!
And so to a few highlights in my own out-tray of Christmas presents for hillwalkers. Blue pyjamas that presented themselves as hillwalking thermal underwear; Hillwalking for the Over 60s (I was 40 at the time); a picture of the Himalayas with a calendar glued to it - you know the kind of thing you make when you are 6; and my fave: a spinster Aunt of serious vintage and equivalent dotage had amassed varicose small (and useless) hillwalking artefacts to be presented to me at Christmas and in a moment of lucidity, struck on the idea of delivering them inside a hillwalking sock (the presents, not herself, you understand).
" ..your own cringe-making Christmas presents are being sourced.."
"Oh my little scrabbling Scrabbler scrabbly boy child boy" she splurted insanely, kissing me full on the lips and leaving a lipstick mark like I had been punched. "Oh yes and the lovely sock, wee scrabbly child - yes you can keep it too. It's part of your present" One sock …? Ah well, your own cringe-making Christmas presents are being sourced as you read this and also alas … purchased.

Your comments or suggestions to The Scrabbler.

Recent Contributions and News
Near death on Sceilg Mhicil (Great Skellig)
"I have never had the courage to return even in this age of fast ferrys with all their modern safety aids."
wellaway on Sceilg Mhicíl
Reading comments about the boat to the Skellig Rock, re-ignited the horror of my trip in 1969/70. Arriving in Valentia on a cold n wet September evening I headed for the old coastguard station which served as the An Oige hostel. The following morning a motley crew of 2 Germen women,a yankee couple (F&M) a Dublin civil servant & self, set off from the pier in a small outboard powered boat, skippe ... Click here
Are you from the Department?
The intrepid wicklore, current highest scoring recent contributor, visited this minor summit in the Wicklow mountains. He seems to have a way with farmers ..
wicklore on Preban Hill
Scouting along the minor roads surrounding Preban Hill I stopped to talk to a farmer at a gate at approx T071 806. I asked him about access to Preban Hill. He said there were no public paths or access up from this side. He then asked if I was from “The Department”. I explained that I was just a hillwalker. I showed him my rucksack, compass and map. Seeming satisfied he immediately said I could par ... Click here
A Nearest Summit account.
paulocon describes a place near to him. Interesting pics, including a magnificent set out clouds over the place. Pictorially literate - I do like the frames.
paulocon on Mount Oriel
Being the closest peak to me that's listed on MountainViews, it's somewhere I am pretty familiar with. Mount Oriel is less a mountain, more a big ugly hill that is home to several communications towers and masts. The hill is accessible by heading West at the petrol station in the village of Collon, County Louth (on the main Dublin/Derry Road). The masts are visible on the right-hand side around 1/ ... Click here
Mournes comment updated.
Loved the pic on this one.
gerrym on Ben Crom
Ben Crom is surrounded by giants in Mourne terms - Binnian, Lamagan, Bernagh - but it more than holds its own in many ways. No other top in these parts offers the jaw dropping views to watery depths below, amazing perspectives along Ben Crom resevoir and from below perhaps one of the most shapely hills in the Mournes??
The easiest approach is along the Ott track, perhaps taking in a visit to ... Click here
North of Slemish
three5four0 has been trying out some of the less well known Antrim Hills (and also some of the Craigantlets, familiar to me from my schooldays.)
three5four0 on Soarns Hill
Soarns Hill, a hill for bad weather.
With a forecast of high winds and rain, Soarns Hill with its extensive forestry, seemed a good choice for the prevailing conditions this Sunday. With little in the way of parking in the area, we choose to park at the Half Way House pub's car park (210096), with the full intention of purchasing several pints on our return, as way of payment.
Cross the r ... Click here
English visitor on Achill
Peter Walker (nominative determinism at work here) had a crack at Slievemore and got a nice pic of the east ridge. Luck of the draw for Peter - the time I was there it was one of those misty moisty days so tricky to take useful pics on.
Peter Walker on Slievemore
If you're the kind of person who can't bear to waste the few hours before your flight back to England from Knock, then Slievemore is a very useful beast. When stood on the beach at Doogort the east ridge soars somewhat alluringly into the sky, and my decision to do this rather than Nephin seemed vindicated, so with time at a premium I went lightweight: just a camera, a map/compass and a Mars Bar. ... Click here
Erudition on Tibradden
padodes has added more on some of those well known but not necessarily well described favourites in Wicklow including Tibradden.
padodes on Tibradden Mountain
Tibradden has just become much more accessible, even to Sunday strollers. Replacing the old muddy trail along the ridge, there is now a path with sections of boardwalk and raised causeway. It stretches along the high ground between Tibradden Forest carpark and the Wicklow Way, at the point where it drops to the road in Glencullen. Perhaps this may awaken renewed interest in the prehistoric burial ... Click here
Sorry if I didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for the month later.

Walkers Association of Ireland
Winter Evening Meets

First Meet report
This meeting was hosted by the Irish Ramblers Club and was the first WAI meeting to exchange holiday information
It was "Walking Holidays in the Tatras and South West Crete – Louis O’Donoghue"
Louis is an experienced club tour organiser in the Ramblers who has lead groups to many different areas. Some 40 attended this inaugural event - the WAI hopes to publish info on the website and Louis can be contacted regarding these areas.
(Details to follow on WAI Site)
WAI Modern Navigation Course
The intended size of this course (20) was reached. The meeting concentrated on using OSI Trailmaster (version 4) for beginners. This version has rectified some of the difficulties of the earlier ones. At around Euro25 for an area (for example the East area covers most of the uplands of Dublin, Wicklow, Comeraghs, Galtees etc) this is now the lowest cost way of getting mapping, however you do need a reasonably powerful PC. The course was given by Ted McGrath of the WAI (yours truly helped for some parts.)
Info about course. I understand that there is a waiting list for the next one.
WAI Photo Gallery - why not send some of your pictures (Ireland or abroad) to this?

MountainViews Changes
New distance feature in Seven Lists
Many months ago the extremely prolific csd suggested that it would be a good idea to include a distance in "Lists & Logs" so that you could see how far you are from any given summit. I was showing off MV to Joss Lynam and he also pointed out the deficiency. (Joss's original listing of 600m summits was one of the original inspirations and sources of this site.) So the time has come to get around to distances. There is now a Dist figure for every summit in the Seven Lists. As well as showing the how far away it is you can click on the heading and sort by distance. (Click once for ascending sort, twice for descending) which means that you can see for example the nearest unclimbed 600m summit to you or the nearest well rated summit. (In my case Croughaun in the Blackstairs which we have given a rating of 91%)

Now here's a question for you: Where is the furthest summit from you? It turns out that if you live in much of the east or north-east it's going to be Skellig Michael. If you live in Cork that would be Crockalough.
Incidentally if you really are a geography nerd you can also use the "Listings" program in More | Resources | Listings for yet more.
Revising the display of Mountain Lists
Recently we announced the revised list of summits with 208 small prominent summits added to the previous extension of 400m summits. This has led to further information on outliers such as Preban Hill (389m in Wicklow) and Soarns Hill (403m in Antrim Hills). However some people have requested that a way be found to limit the display of summits to higher summits. Certainly I can see their point. If your agenda is currently say the 500m summits, then in some parts of the island the multiplicity of other summits can be confusing. Note: that this difficulty would be mainly on the front "Summit - Info & Comments" display. On the "Lists & Logs" page you can say what list you want and the map produced will only show those summits.
This contribution from CaptainVertigo (do read his new bio incidentally) puts the point (though we may not all be so sure about his "natural diffidence"!?) ..
CaptainVertigo on Endless Undulations
My natural diffidence, and indeed huge respect for the work of this site, prevented me from articulating seeping chagrin at what I perceived to be a retrograde step. The addition of the 400m heights was welcome, although it made the notion of ultimately completing my list during THIS lifetime more remote. But the enumeration of every pimple on the backside of this fair island of 150m plus took my ... Click here

The main suggestions for dealing with this are to colour code the summits and to allow a limiting control on what is displayed. It may take a while for me to get around to these changes so further input is welcome on this or other topics.
Other miscellaneous changes. A start has been made on using sub-area names in different parts of the site. There is also a feature whereby you can influence what language MV will try to present a summit name in. The options you can set are "MountainViews Suggested" (the default), English, Irish. One reason for offering a choice is that if you take official naming conventions which is what MV generally suggests, you may find that entire swathes of uplands have been included in the Gaeltacht but that this is not reflected in common usage or on the OS 1:50k map. This then means that when you arrive at an area and try to use guidebooks or maps that they don't use the same names as MV - there are a number of summits in say the Bluestacks like this. So you can now set (in "Settings") your language preference and MV will use this in the site. The implementation of where your choice is made effective is not complete.

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
GPS Notes. 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

Also the latest from MV member pazapas, with more uptodate info including lakes, rivers, roads, antiquities, 150m list from this site and urban areas.
pazapas on GPS: Ireland map v1.8.7
Ireland map is now available with the new extended summit list to 150m. Some old data have been removed and there is a new layer : megaliths and irish antiquities from Megalithomania.com. Download PC and Mac version at http://emeraldisland.free.fr Click here

This month.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. Abbeyfeale, ainemb, Andre_t, annr, Arkseajumper, balor999, barrycrwly, baztard, billio, bradleymcc, BratharBocht, breanbrog, Brianc, Brianpnolan, brian_M, brunt, carlton, catmullen, cdisme, christopher, christopher1, Ciaran_Clancy, cotopaxi, Criostoir, cuilcagh2, cullen_p, cwc, dahound, Damian68, decins, declank, Deegan, deerhunter, DiscPete, dlubak, dmcgrath, dmitch, donnacha, drusse01, dshanley, durhamkevg, elaine1, emma, enarafferty, Feardorcha, fergal99, fiachra, finny7, firetrotter, flox, flynner, frankmc, frodo26, gcrowley, gingerbus, goatskinrythm, GoExplore, Harryh9, hughesd1, HughReilly, i336, jackel64, jameschilton, janexerxes, jb1562, jimbo1979, JohnMitchler, kate63, KenB, kerryhartnett, kinsells, Lanca, lazyfox, lizzierascal, lolair, magdrop, markmatt, markycabana, Martindowd, marty1133, marymac, maxbiaggi, mckeever, me-fein, mick-casserly, Mitchler, mortimep, mosesotoole, mother, mountainpig, Mroowka, mull, mutley, negrito, ngantly, niessen, niklaus, oaktown, oodes, panthalassa, pats87, peterruns, pgorman, Plastic82, polar, Porcelio, port, richiemccabe, rollo, ruairihayes, Seanoloinsigh, sfalkiner, shaneooo, siobhanbolger, skeane, stephengreen, steve260, stevieboyle, tacoakley, Tahilla, tarmac100, teamar, thesparrow, thesprucemoose, tigin, tigri, tumpite, wandaktari, westie1, willfromdublin, witold, witoldk, w_orzechowski, yeldarbf, Zeb, zionswoons (136)
Our contributors to all threads this month: Alaskan (1), Audi-Anne (1), CaptainVertigo (2), Colin Murphy (5), Fergal Meath (2), Himiwack (1), JohnMitchler (2), MAP1878 (1), Moac (2), Peter Walker (2), Redtop (3), aidand (2), brucekenendy (1), coylemj (1), csd (1), gerrym (7), john_desmond (1), kevin dockery (1), madfrankie (2), marymac (1), oakesave (1), padodes (5), patrickelvin (1), paulocon (16), pazapas (3), pdtempan (1), quarryman (2), sbender (1), scannerman (2), simon3 (7), smulliga (1), swimini (1), three5four0 (6), vikinghar (1), weedavie (1), wellaway (1), wicklore (23) and Contributors to GPS information this month were: csd (4), wicklore (12)

For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors
There were comments on the following summits Ballyteige, Ben Crom, Bencorrbeg, Big Collin, Binn Bhraoin, Blackstairs Mtn, Brockagh Mountain SE Top, Butter Mountain, Caherconree, Cairngaver, Carn Mountain, Carnearny, Carrauntoohil, Castleconor, Church Mountain, Clermont Carn, Cuilcagh, Curraghchosaly Mountain, Damph, Dart Mtn, Djouce Mtn, Doan, Galtymore, Kippure, Meenard Mtn W Top, Minaun, Mount Leinster, Mount Oriel, Mullaghanattin, Mullaghaneany, Na Leargacha, Ott Mountain, Preban Hill, Sawel Mtn, Sceilg Mhicíl, Slemish, Slievanea NE Top, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Foye, Slieve Gullion, Slieve Loughshannagh, Slieve Muck, Slieve Na Calliagh, Slieve Snaght, Slievemore, Soarns Hill, Spinans Hill, Spinans Hill SE Top, Sugarloaf Hill, The Foxes Rock, Tibradden Mountain, Torc Mountain, Tountinna, Two Rock Mountain and these walks were created Ben Crom Take 2, Circuit of Gortin, West Sperrins
Thanks to all 590 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums. .

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 3015 comments about 643 different hills & mountains out of the total in our current full list (1048). We need more comments, better comments and more balance for every summit as our rate for "data completion" now that the 150m summits have been added is currently around 33% There's plenty (405) 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
Report quads in national park area (in which they are banned). For Wicklow please phone the Duty Ranger: 087-9803899 or the office during office hours Telephone: +353-404-45800. Put these numbers in your phone, take regs etc. Let MV know of contact numbers for other areas.
If you have climbed some of the less well known places, we would appreciate a summit rating.We could use your help in making ratings for the unrated mountains which you have climbed, such as: Cnoc na Sleá, Inis Tuaisceart, Maumfin, Inis na Bró, Carhoo Hill, Edenacarnan, Carranarah, An Tiaracht, Disert, Ceann Sibéal and some 157 others. and also GPS readings for summits.
If we can, let's make MV have more than one route up a summit 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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