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Extreme plumage

The extraordinary plumage of a an apparently tame pheasant. Click here to see what happened when it became cross.

News Item: OS Map Changes
Big changes to 1:50,000 maps proposed.
  • OSi Consultation on New Discovery Seriest.
  • Existing "Irish Grid" to be replaced by all digit ITM references.
  • 69 new sheets to replace the existing 89 sheets.
  • New sheets to be double sided.
The Ordnance Survey of Ireland (OSi) want to bring out a revised 1:50000 "Discovery" series of maps. This is described on the WAI website following a request to OSi for some background information. (Click Here) An equivalent series of maps would be published in Northern Ireland.
OSi are proposing consultation as outlined below.

What would you like in revised 1:50000 maps?

What would you like to see in new recreational maps? Weather resistant paper? Checking of forestry tracks? Summit names that don't obscure detail and maintain or return to a reasonable bilingual approach? Names for more features? - MountainViews has names for 1048 summits many of which are not named on OS maps. Detail checking of streams, tracks, houses and gardens etc? Well those would be some of the things I'd like to see.
Think out what you would like for inclusion because the OSi are asking for comment.

Using ITM

This is likely to prove the most controversial. OSi want to make a change to using the ITM projection and therefore ITM grid references because it involves less steps in production. As a benefit the large scale maps they produce for town planning etc would then fit exactly with the small scale maps used for recreation.
However this introduces difficulties for walkers. For example the usual Irish grid ref of Carrauntoohil is V803 844. Converting this GR to ITM in a shortened form this would be 4802 5844. The conversion from Irish Grid to ITM is NOT a simple arithmetical matter - the last digit of easting or northing representing 100 metres is likely to be different and for somewhere like Carrauntoohil that could be crucial.
The Irish Grid (or something very close to it) first appeared on maps in the 1940s. There has been extensive use of it in hillwalking books since the late 1970s. For example the late Tony Whilde's book "Irish Walk Guides - West" (1978) makes extensive use of grid references as do most more recent books. Newer books and magazines often describe interesting features out on the hills using grid references derived from GPS. All of these would now be hard to find on the newer maps and, while they can be converted, this is an exercise requiring a computer.
Many walkers have dozens of the existing maps and will have no intention of replacing them immediately so there will be a long messy period of at least 10 to 15 years while people have both. Another issue is that of competitive maps such as Harvey's, Healy's and the East-West map mentioned before. Are they going to change their projection to ITM?

Using GPS with ITM

Newer GPS units support ITM however older ones such as a Garmin GPS72 I bought in 2002 don't. So manual entry of GPS coordinates into an older GPS will have to continue to use Irish Grid. It will not be so easy to see your position on an ITM based map. Automated upload of data from say Gartrip, GPSU or OSi Trailmaster/ Geolives will not be affected whether or not your GPS has ITM because uploads have always been done using the worldwide standard WGS84 using geodectic lat/lon.

MountainViews & websites

MountainViews itself has thousands of grid references. Since these are held in electronic rather than paper form, they could be represented as ITM easily enough however the user interface will be more complicated to handle the likely long transition period if this change goes ahead. Where coords can be entered they will have to be enterable in either form and same for display.
Other websites using Irish grid may have considerable difficulty.

OSi have arranged an online questionnaire about this which is at OSi Consultation The WAI who have taken a big interest in Modern Navigation (running courses on it) are arranging a consultation meeting with regards to this with OSi, to be held on 20th May. Places are strictly limited, preference being given to representatives of organisations who have an interest. If you are experienced in these issues and have a point of view it will be possible to contact the WAI shortly in relation to this. Watch their website.
You can comment here on MountainViews in the forum.

Further Information

Some more on the difference between systems for the summit of Carrauntoohil. According to the averaged readings from 4 MV members it is at V80357 84420. A full ITM grid ref would be 480333 584479. This illustrates the difference between the grids which in this case is -24m east and +59m north. However this difference varies at different places in Ireland because of the different underlying ellipsoids in use.
It also illustrates something else: in the simple conversion from 6 digit Irish grid to ITM, the resulting ITM grid in short form had a different easting (802) however taking in the more accurate summit position the eastings are the same (803). Whether this is true or not would depend on the 10s and units of metres figure for any given Irish grid ref.
The OSi have a tutorial at (Click here) As you will see if you read this the main drivers and main consultees for the proposed change have had nothing to do with recreational users.


Do something different on the Reeks ..
The Magillycuddy's Reeks - so many people make for Carrauntoohil and ignore the far more interesting attractions of the rest of the ridge. MV already had a description of the entire walk (Click here) and this has been added to by Conor74 whose walk is shorter but fully takes in the hairy bits. His description includes parking, access and getting on and off the ridge, all from the north.
Loved the atmospheric photos.
Conor74 on The Big Gun Ridge west to east, and circuit
Overview A tough walk, but not that long. Great scrambling along the ridge. Head for heights useful, this one is a thrill.  Parked at car park outside the Black Valley church at V861 829. From there we walked west along the tarred road, and then stayed right where the road forked. This is the start of the tarred ascent to the head of the Gap of Dunloe. The road goes around a hairpin ... Click here

Walkers Association of Ireland
The Photohike
A couple of years ago MV along with the Ramblers and the Dublin Camera Club organised a digital photography in the mountains seminar/ walk /competition. Interest was huge - the WAI is now continuing that stream with this being their first event. WAI had a freelance instructor (also member of this site) and a prominent member of the Dublin Camera Club. Other members of this site also helped organise. Look out for further events. Full report

More details for all of these at the www.WalkersAssociation.ie. If you enrol on their site you can request their newsletter which has details of future events.
WAI Photo Gallery - why not upload some of your pictures (Ireland or abroad) to this?

Musings on persons and place, sometimes loosely connecting to hills.


Frank Sinatra was the greatest popular singer of the 20th Century. His unique phrasing, flat delivery, presence and swagger and the best songs ever written, catapulted him on to the world stage, forever. The mesmerising "Very Good Year" and "Wee small Hours", fabulous "Come Fly with me" and "Witchcraft" are concreted into the canon of modern music. And on the subject of concrete, chat of dealings with Sam Giancana and vote massaging for his mate and squeaky clean JFK was never proved. Mario Puzo's oeuvre The Godfather raised hackles when songbird Johnny Fontane shot to fame on the back of the mob. Was this Francis Albert? Apparently not. Sicily is very odd. It is neither Europe nor Arabia. It is no more civilised than Ruanda. It hates everyone, especially Italy who feeds it. It even hates its own brothers and cousins whom it regularly garottes in the cause of vendetta. For anyone who does not believe this stuff, believe it.
.. Mountains, crags and rocky knolls grow out of the ground like mushrooms ..
Years ago I was magiced out of a very leery situation in a Sicilian mountain village, by a gentleman and 2 minders straight out of a Godfather colour-in book. Castellamare, built into a mountain and the towns South and West of Palermo would scare the BJ out of you. It is West Belfast, the Basque Country and Marseilles rolled into one - and as always in such places, a zipped opinion gets you the best hospitality and biggest dinners you've ever seen. Sicily is at the crossroads of 3 tectonic plates. Mountains, crags and rocky knolls grow out of the ground like mushrooms, featuring diva and active Volcano Mt Etna. Many villages are built on the tops of these hills to protect from the once malarial plains below. A couple of hours out of Ireland. Beat the birds now.

Your comments or suggestions to The Scrabbler.
Recent Contributions and News
East-West's new maps for Dublin/Wicklow
We were sent a review copy of the first of East-West's new 1:30,000 maps for Dublin/Wicklow and have been having a look.
simon3 on East West Map of Dublin Mountains
The arrival a few years ago of accurate and free data for height over large parts of the earths land surface (SRTM) has proved a bonanza for map makers. Map producers both commercial and not can use this data as basis for maps and diagrams such as East West's new map. (The small MountainViews coloured height map for local summits is derived from SRTM) So far, so great but with limitations we'll ... Click here
Northern Coastal Delights
New member slemish has been writing up many of the north Antrim and west Donegal summits, including this previously undescribed Cross Slieve. Apparently this has some views but isn't particularly special.
slemish on Cross Slieve
Cross Slieve is the lowest hill in Antrim to qualify under MV's prominence rule. No-one else has commented or even claimed to have climbed it and it's not hard to understand why. At only 206m it is dwarfed by the other hills in the area. The summit itself is on private farmland and is therefore inaccessible. On the seaward side the road between Cushendall and Knocknacarry reaches 165m (246305) and ... Click here
and South Western classics!
At the other extreme end of the island Conor74 has been describing interesting routes including one up "The Big Gun" on the Reeks. Atmospheric pic.
Conor74 on The Big Gun
Did this from West to East - apparently it's not the usual way. Went from the Black Valley up to Cnoc na Peiste via Lough Googh, then down to the Big Gun and on to An Cruach Mhor before descending back down to the Black Valley again. Great walk, would highly recommend it - took just over 5 hours. And the Big Gun is one heck of a thrill, tried to stay on the ridge as much as possible, though we ... Click here
round valley of the red iron scum
three5four0 has included the first description of Crownarad (Cró na Roda) which at 493m almost makes it into the 500m summits. Looking at it on the map, I would say it looks like it is part of an interesting ridge in SW Donegal (just NW of Killybegs).
three5four0 on Cró na Roda
With another fine weekend promised by the weather forecasters , we drove to Donegal for a couple of days walking. The first days walk was to be the Crownard, & we parked in the car-park at Fintragh Bay, 684764.

From the car park walk back up hill to the R263 & walk a short distance along this road towards Killybegs. Turn left at the first minor junction with the R263, walk up hill and at ... Click here
Another first for three5four0
This one is for the first description of a summit in the Bricklieve Mountains which looks unusual and interesting. It could make a great trip for a filler on the way to one of the NW coastal ranges.
three5four0 on Bricklieve Mountains
From the N4 at Castlebaldwin (a possible former home of Alec?) follow the Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery sign posts, sometimes just saying Tombs south west on a minor road (there is also signs for a Historical Trail). At a road junction at 740122 turn left then take the first right up hill on a small track. Next there is a gate, where some people park, go through and close the gate behind you and ... Click here
Members Events
jackill put together a walk up Carrauntoohil for anyone interested during the month. Some 15 turned up as explained below. Also see Bleck Cra's proposal for a walk in the Mournes in August. If at all possible I will go on that one.
Bleck Cra on JACKILL. HIS DAY.
“Take it up the rear? Sure Jack, no probs.” “No, dimwit. Take UP the rear.” So that was my task when me oul mate Whacko Jackill and I took the great unwashed on the run to Karen O’Toole. Sure, there were some critters turned up: barely fit to go shopping for curtains let alone ascend oul Eireann’s highest peak. Nawww. They were perfect. Several categories: Swiss Family Robinson, seemingly endless ... Click here

Why not come on this walk in the Mournes?
A Mournes run out has been mooted. This was greeted with deafening silence. Thing is I don’t believe you, so ……. First weekend August this year I, yes the famous Bleck Cra and him, the even famouser Jackill will be doing a Mournes walk. We can do the walk ourselves, which sounds good enough to me, but in truth it would be better if many mountainviewers came along. That’s what Jackill says. The w ... Click here
Avian Assault
This speaks for itself. In fact the bird was even more determined than is shown in the pics. It took off and start attempting to do a "hand peck".
simon3 on When Birds Attack
Researching a route on the southern side of Ballinacor (Wicklow) we were confronted by this angry male pheasant insisting "Get Off My Land". At first there was a standoff which we hoped could be resolved by negotiation. However it rapidly turned to a chase and a rout! We learnt what being lower in the pecking order means.
Oh what Bear Grylls's producer would have given for this moment. "L ... Click here
Reeks Mutt
Another animal story for this month.
csd on Re: Dogs in the Reeks
Just to follow up on my own posting, I'm happy to report that I'd no problems taking the mutt on a Cruach Mhor - Cnoc na Pheiste - Maolan Bui - Cnoc na Toinne and back down by the Ladder circuit. Starting from Cronin's Yard, the only signage relating to dogs was a request that they be kept on a lead, which I did, except for the Big Gun ridge, where she would have pulled me off the side of the moun ... Click here
Cairngaver - a Travelogue
Epic trip to 217m summit! Trials and vicissitudes! Overcoming of all impediments and Eventual Victory!
pdtempan describes a trip to this small but interesting place.
pdtempan on Cairngaver
What an expedition for such a small hill! Our original plan for the day's outing was to take the bikes on the train from Belfast to Newry and cycle out to the foot of Slieve Gullion. Thwarted in the 1st mile before even reaching Belfast Central, by broken glass and a back-wheel puncture to Denise's bike which needed more tools than we were carrying, we returned home to repair the puncture and re ... Click here
Emily withers and converses
Surely one of our leading "literary" contributors dhmiriam has been active this month including this piece.
dhmiriam on Wuthering Heights!
Re the bike trio on the hills who refused to use Vertigo as bait? Well the little horrors or their breed came south to muck up the Blooms and our heads. Observing their work I pondered the toss and why the unbelievable irritation. Kid oneself not, we do succumb eventually, the lucky few, if lucky to live that long is lucky, no longer fit of limb, or lung or the vagaries of self propulsion, to the ... Click here
Bear Grylls in Ireland - Natives Savage
Poor old Bear. At the time last month's newsletter came out our commentators had not had full time for the full savagery of their Bear-Baiting. For vintage Bile and Brouhaha read CaptainVertigo
CaptainVertigo on Part Two
Having dispatched the invertebrate, Bear then turned his hunger on a dead sheep which was inconveniently laid to rest in the epicentre of bottomless Irish bog. Stripping to his nuptials, almost, Bear jumped into the bog up to his nipples. He just about managed to grab the ovine carcass and then rocked forwards and backwards in a struggle to extricate himself from the treacle. My hapless spouse ent ... Click here
Sorry if I didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for the month later.

MountainViews Site News
MountainViews: hosting now changed
This appears to have gone well and most users (unless you live in North America) should experience substantial improvements in speed. simon3 on Site Hosting Now in Ireland
As forewarned the website hosting has now been changed. This happened in the middle of last week and there was disruption for some users on the 22nd or 23rd. Apr 09
The hosting is now faster and with less of the inexplicable occasional delays that affected our previous hosting. Since it is in Ireland, users (most of whom are in Ireland) will experience quicker transmission speeds also. Us ... Click here

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 Ireland Map v1.91
Ireland Map v1.91 is available both for Mapsource (Windows) and Road Trip (Mac OS X). OSM layer is now routable without too much errors and it displays more features mostly in towns. Please forget v1.90. Click here

This month.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. abra, adrian76, ahogan, aidan1971, aidancahalan, aisned, alanmockler, AlanSweeney, ale, algis, algis69, algislepmets, amkinane, an, andrisp1, andw99, aodhghan1, aoifeboyce, arty, banjobannon, Barty1958, belcarra, bernistephens, bluenead, boreal, brianwall, caiminkeogh, catharine, cearatreacy, Chrism, colmomaolalaidh, Cossie, costigan, costigan1, cristinaah, cygri, daire, danmc, darmtb, david-bagnall, ddos, deniseoconnor, derekawhite, Dermot10, dewsbury, dfghjw, dialinn, dmb, dobbies, dodser, donegalpaul, donnaghb, dorli, doylew, doylewi, dugganp, eamonb, eddyk, eileena, eileenmurphy, elainem, emmafarrell, emucun, emymills, eodea, etrindle, eyespec, fallonj, fitexpert, fonkalei, g4dakin, gazl60, gbrowne, gemmasidney, gercap, GoatPeter, gogginv, grainneross, greg-g, greidy, grizzler, HaDuffy, Halifax66, Harrington, HDuffy, heinkelfm, hollocaine, hunter29, idmadden, irishmick1962, JackPat, Jake1956, jamestobin, jerrikokeogh, Jesticle, jhodgkins, jimmy_odwyer, joethediver, JohnnyK, jo_zzz, jpcampbell, julesthecat, kalafior, kdo, kdsb23, kellyly, klaus23, klydo, koloblicum, kolombo, LadyGaga, lara_coyle, liamp, Louisemcl, mag, mai-liis, maloneciaran, marcopolo, marianodriscoll, mariemcdonald, mark1971, mattkime, Mayomadman, Mefistofele, Megantitatowell, michaelos, mkeogh, mmhite, monkey, monty, moriartyb, motoole, mtwomey, murphyman, myself, nachoarruga, newlife, NickMurphy, NoGuide, normthescout, nortonliam, nowatson, nualacaffrey, oho_noho, olddermot, omi1, omi2, ozzi, paulena, Philip-Jordan, philip_omeara, pmoore29, porla, Rafferty, Ramzes, raycondell, red_monkey, rkirwan, roibi, romara, rvannugt, ryansramblers, samohtj, scarface, sclinton, scorpe64, seanbyrne, SeanKenna, seannn, seffinclimbers, Seimi, Sheeran, sherosi, Skripot, sostorm, southillbilly, starecek, stellabrennan, StevenCull, stmlowry, stuwallace, suebrooks, tdk, telekon, thomasnaglejr, thrutch, tibetan, tilly, tomasmac, tombaxter, tommchugh, tommurphy67, Tonyw, trostan, veemon, vivek, wesself, wexfordnick, whichwire, yuriy (200)
Our contributors to all threads this month: Aderon (1), Bleck Cra (6), CaptainVertigo (3), Conor74 (8), JACKILL (3), Moac (1), NICKY (1), bobthebuilder (1), bofarr01 (1), brenno (1), csd (3), david kirk (1), dhmiriam (5), djouce (2), dunnejohn (1), eflanaga (5), frank12345 (3), gerrym (2), incawest (2), jimbo1979 (1), maclimber (2), oldsoldier (2), paddyhillsbagger (1), padodes (1), paulca (1), pazapas (2), pdtempan (4), pquinn572 (2), ryansramblers (1), simon3 (5), slemish (9), three5four0 (7), timmac (1), vikinghar (1), wicklore (4) and Contributors to GPS information this month were: csd (9), eflanaga (1), simon3 (6), Wicklore (3)

For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors
There were comments on the following summits An Cnoc Fada, Barrclashcame, Beenkeragh, Big Collin, Binn Charrach, Blackstairs Mtn, Boughil, Bricklieve Mountains, Caher, Carncormick, Carrafull, Carrauntoohil, Church Mountain, Cnoc na Sleá, Coumfea, Cró na Roda, Croaghacullion, Croaghanmoira, Croghan Kinsella, Cross Slieve, Cruach Eoghanach, Cummeenbaun, Curraghchosaly Mountain, Derreen, Gáinne Mór, Keadeen Mtn, Knockaterriff Beg, Knocklayd, Lakeen, Lyracappul, Mangerton, Mangerton North Top, Mullaghcroy, Seefingan, Seskin, Slieve Carr, Slieve League, Slieveanorra, Slievenanee, Stoompa, Stoompa East Top, The Big Gun, Tievebaun, Tievebulliagh, Torc Mountain W Top and these walks were created Benbaun Circuit from Glencorbet, Blackstairs Mountain, The Big Gun Ridge west to east, and circuit
Thanks to all 665 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums. .

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 3349 comments about 721 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 (327) 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: Inis Tuaisceart, Maumfin, Inis na Bró, Carhoo Hill, Edenacarnan, Carranarah, An Tiaracht, Disert, Ceann Sibéal, Croaghan Hill and some 120 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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