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The Summit

Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser

September 2012


Something we need to think about.


EAST, WEST, NORTH and SOUTH Route ideas and places to go.

Works in the Mournes: Good or bad?

A new sort of list

Gear review: trousers


Trip to the Blaskets
This is now proceeding, weather permitting. As with other events organised by members there is no suggestion that the people organising or MountainViews are holding ourselves out as experts or guides. These are simply activities facilitated by members who are not taking responsibility for other members coming along.
View Motley Views | General Forum for details.


Some 24 members and friends attended this meet which took in a route starting from Carricklittle. (See Track 2001 for detail).


Helping the Hills

Ireland has tremendous potential for walking and other outdoor recreation activities, but wise management is required to deliver quality recreation experiences and long-term benefit.

Many of Ireland’s mountains are suffering the effects of erosion, whether through increased recreational activity or natural processes, or indeed a combination of these. As these areas have a high conservation value, it’s important to respond appropriately.

Helping the Hills is a conference on the management of upland paths, hosted by Mountaineering Ireland and taking place at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow on Thursday 13th – Friday 14th September.

The programme incorporates presentations, workshops and site visits. The conference will be jointly opened by Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Minister Alex Attwood MLA, Minister for the Environment (NI). There’s a strong line-up of speakers, ready to share the lessons from their work in the management of recreation and upland paths.

This event should be of interest and value to those involved in the promotion, funding and management of outdoor recreation, local authorities, land managers, participants in outdoor recreation and all those with an interest in the sustainable management of upland areas.

Conference fee is just €80, for full programme and online booking, go to www.helpingthehills.ie.


The Walkers Association are interested in taking on new people for their committee to help run their successful events series.

More here: www.walkersassociation.ie

For a full list of Challenge Walks, visit here.

WAI Photo Gallery - They would like you to upload some of your pictures (Ireland or abroad) to this?


09/09/2012 22/09/2012 07/10/2012
20/10/2012 04/11/2012 17/11/2012
More information at www.pathsavers.org


walk on the wild side
Member Astrofizz01 guides us on a 6-hour walk in the Mournes' remote and stunning Annalong Valley
Astrofizz01 on Slieve Lamagan from the Annalong valley
Overview I found this walk in Dillons "The Mournes walks" and liked the look of it.I headed off last saturday, 28/7/12. and parked in the Carrick little carpark. The weather was fine and the walk to the head of the valley was fairly straight forward.The track disappears when you reach the head of the valley but by this stage you have a fairly obvious target of the brandy pad above you to aim ... Click here

Two tracks on Binnian: Two models for the future.
This month we ask you to consider two approaches to paths, indeed to consider to what extent constructed paths are needed in Ireland, the island of 60 mountain areas and a population of 6 million. On the left is an old path on Slieve Binnian in the Mournes. Effective, unobtrusive. On the right a recent path supposedly needed on the same mountain. A strident staircase further removing the sense of the wild to many of us. Lower right: a meeting of MV members to discuss the track. We include an article about this issue below.

This picture originally appeared with a comment, here: simon3 on Slieve Binnian: Very different approaches to tracks.
Let's start with a great example of a mountain path. Descending Slieve Binnian East Top towards Carrick Little requires a fairly steep descent. On 18th Aug 2012 a group of us were on this leg of a longer route which you can see elsewhere on this site as Track 2001. A lot of the slope is rough mountainside which you will encounter if you want to visit any of Ireland's 60 summit areas. In the Mourne ... Click here

Note: many thanks to those that submitted various great photos for this Pic of the Month spot - they will appear in future newsletters.

In short: Discovery

NORTH: The hidden hill
A first comment for the little visited Craigagh by member slemish, who discovers that the turf cutters are so active they seem to be trying to lower the hill's height!
slemish on Craigagh Hill: hidden among higher summits
It is very rare these days to come across a summit on MV that has no comments, particularly in such an accessible area as the Sperrins. However such is the case with Craigagh Hill. The hill is somewhat hidden from view as it is surrounded by higher mountains on three sides. Indeed one could almost argue that Craigagh Hill is merely a subsidiary top of Oughtmore with only a shallow col separating t ... Click here

NORTH: A stark beauty
A MountainViews organised trip, (known as a Scavvy) hits great heights on Ben Crom, providing a rewarding panorama on a sunny day in the Mournes.
simon3 on Ben Crom: Join. celebrate a stark beauty.
This view of the impressive east face of Ben Crom presented itself on one of the MV member organised trips (Scavvys). On the skyline behind are, left to right, Slieve Loughshannagh, Slieve Meelbeg and Slieve Meelmore. Click here

NORTH: Just where have I been and how high?
The multiplicity of names and questions over the true height of Drumnalifferny Mountain in Donegal NW are a matter of some confusion for Harry Goodman.
Harry Goodman on Drumnalifferny Mountain: Just where have I been and how high?
I climbed Drumnalifferny Mt. (mv name), or was it Drumnaliffernn Mt., (OSi name) or indeed Rocky Cap (local name) !!! on 26 July 2012 as part of a round of other tops in the Derryveagh Mts. (For earlier part of route see my comments on Bingorms). From the col with Bingorms B9335015200 I climbed up to the rock strewn summit plateau passing a picturesque little tarn on the way. For the record, li ... Click here

NORTH: Beautiful Isolation
Approaching this lonely and isolated area of the Bluestacks requires careful planning. While access was easier back in 2007, consideration should now be given about area accessibility. The route simon3 chose utilised the Corraber river valley as a useful handrail leading directly to the lovely Lough Belshade. From there it was a long climb west to summit Croaghgorm. The return home south can be tricky at the end of a long day. You may also want to consider Track 1457, where CaptainVertigo knocks off no less that five summits from the north!
simon3 on Lough Belshade and Croaghgorm.
This route takes in Lough Belshade. Note that as of 2012 th walk, Length:18.1km, Climb: 676m, Area: Croaghgorm, Bluestack Mountains (Ireland) Croagh Click here

WEST: Army Dreamers
First freed from the occupation of the army and now visited by Wicklore ... it's been an exciting few years for Camlough Mountain. His track provides a short ascent from the east and magnificent views of the Cooleys, the Mournes, Slieve Gullion and the Armagh area.
wicklore on Near Camlough Mountain, Cooley/Gullion (Ireland)
walk, Length:6.1km, Climb: 359m, Area: Camlough Mountain, Cooley/Gullion (Ireland) Camlough Mountain Click here

WEST: Step back in time
Sligo's diminutive Bricklieve Mountains make up for their lack of height with the myriad of megalithic tombs they boast, as reported by scannerman
scannerman on Bricklieve Mountains: room with a view..
took a sojourn to the bricklieve mtns and Carrowkeel tombs just recently, quite a beautiful and panoramic area, you can see why the ancients choose this site..the views over the surrounding countryside are superb. Click here

WEST: Killary Killer
While madfrankie was intent on bagging just Benchoona, this route could be easily extended into a circuit by incorporating Garraun and Garraun South Top before descending to the track leading directly to Cloonagh. The only downside is a 1.5km road walk back to the start point. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty with excellent views out west, north towards Killary and down into Lough Muck and its larger neighbour Lough Fee.
madfrankie on Benchoona - from the North-West Ridge
In poor weather the steep ascent up the spur from Lough Fee walk, Length:5.5km, Climb: 565m, Area: Benchoona, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Benchoona Click here

WEST: Living in the shadow of its big brother
Benfree in the Twelve Bens suffers from its closeness to the taller Benbaun, but is definitely not a top that should be overlooked in any other sense, as Trailtrekker reports.
Trailtrekker on Binn Fraoigh: Benfree – Living in the Shadow of its Big Brother
Benfree is one of those mountains whose profile suffers from being in the shadow of its nearby Big Brother, Benbaun. Not only is there about 90M difference in height between them, but the later is the highest mountain in the range and a county top. This is very much reflected by the amount of comments on MV (1 page for Benfree and 4 for Benbaun), as well as the numbers of MVers who have recorded s ... Click here

SOUTH: CaptainVertigo’s Biathlon
Further creativity is shown by CaptainVertigo in his version of the Glenbeigh Horseshoe, parking under the climactic peak of Drung Hill before using a borrowed bicycle to get himself closer to his first top Macklaun. (It's very easy to add Beenreagh to the start of this itinerary, and a Bradley Wiggins-alike who was good at hiding his bike could probably even include Seefin and Coolroe too). That this is a wonderful promenade on a good day is scarcely a secret, and it deserves a pretty high priority from those who have not yet experienced it.
CaptainVertigo on Glenbeigh Horseshoe
I drove to the lay-by that runs by the northern side of Drun walk, Length:21.8km, Climb: 719m, Area: Macklaun, Glenbeigh Horseshoe (Ireland) Macklaun Click here

SOUTH: Take shelter
You might feel a tad exposed on Baurtregaum in Slieve Mish on a windy day, but there are enough shelters to protect you from any point on the compass, reports member wicklore.
wicklore on Baurtregaum: Take care on a windy day
This view, taken from Gearhane, shows Baurtregaum with Derrymore Lough below. When approaching Baurtregaum from Caherconree there is a narrow spur to descend before reaching the col and point 706m at Q74200 07400. In good conditions this spur is fine - it is grassy and easy to manage, However there are steep slopes to either side so in windy weather care would be needed to ensure the brief descent ... Click here

SOUTH: Insufficient Space…
To the depths of Cork thomas_g travelled with the intention of bagging the two tops of Knocknaskagh: this he accomplished, only to realise that he'd already been there. Casting aside his disappointment he has submitted a track of the route taken, a straightforward couple of hours largely spent on rough forest tracks.
thomas_g on Easy like Sunday Morning
A gentle stroll along mostly forest tracks, bagging two summ walk, Length:7.8km, Climb: 291m, Area: Knocknaskagh, Nagles Mountains (Ireland) Knocknas Click here

SOUTH: Half decent, half something else
The other major massif on the peninsula is that crowned by Beenoskee, and simon3's track plays like a game of two halves: an initial traverse over three lower (and often very boggy) tops followed by a long climb up to and over Beenoskee and Stradbally Mountain. For those determined to bag but less enamoured of bog, a round from the south (from Anascaul Glen) can net seven tops or more..
simon3 on A circuit in Central Dingle.
Initially the route goes up a well surfaced road. There is walk, Length:20.8km, Climb: 1358m, Area: Cummeen, Central Dingle (Ireland) Cummeen, Knoc Click here

SOUTH: Unlucky horseshoe
Ascending Beenreagh, one of the less visited tops in the Glenbeigh horseshoe, member Geo is unluckily to be denied the splendour by a summer downpour.
Geo on Beenreagh: Wet Summer walking in Glenbeigh
This summit perhaps may not be climbed as part of a classic horseshoe walk around Glenbeigh, but when you have a group of six walkers, of whom three are avid MV list tickers, it's very hard to ignore! We parked to the left of the boreen leading to Coomasaharn lake at V63868 85530 where there is a piece of open waste ground, easily identified by a large yellow timber disc in the middle (for all the ... Click here

SOUTH: Knockmealdown Duo
Well, knock me down, this pair could easily be referred to as the Southern Paps were you to carefully study the contours! Like wicklore, should you be in the vicinity of Cappoquin or Ballynamult, why not spare two hours to engage your pleasure and sample the delights of these two symmetrical protuberances. You may even become bosom pals with some of the locals.
wicklore on Walking the eastern Knockmealdowns
This is a simple route to climb the two most eastern Knockme walk, Length:4.8km, Climb: 219m, Area: Broemountain, Knockmealdown Mountains (Ireland) B Click here

EAST: Camaderry Ridge
A good test of stamina with this track climbing from Glendalough up to Camaderry. There are beautiful views which need to be savoured regularly in order to get your wind back. The track condition is good all the way to the summit. A bit messy on the col to Turlough Hill though. It is a nice stroll down alongside the Glendasan River and through the old mine workings. Having completed this rocky path down, it is no wonder Saint Kevin needed a bed in Glendalough!
march-fixer on Glendalough-Camaderry-Glendasan Circuit
A nice challenging walk. Challenging due to the fact that th walk, Length:18.9km, Climb: 797m, Area: Camaderry, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Camaderry Click here

EAST: Blasts from the Past
Well, simon3 has been frantically dusting off old route storage CDs. SD cards and even LPs by the look of it, going by the deluge of routes down loaded these past couple of weeks ... and you thought it was all work and no play! Here is a nice variation on a regular Glenmalure walking route. Most of the climb is encountered on the trek up to Lugnaquilla. From there it is a good walk north to Camenabologue but returning via the South-East Top rather than the more northerly Table Track. Weather permitting this provides much better views.
simon3 on A Glenmalure Variation.
Another slightly different route on the South side of Glenma walk, Length:18.5km, Climb: 1039m, Area: Cloghernagh, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Clogherna Click here

EAST: Epic Feat
Well certainly not sore feet! It is now a record, that since July 2005, simon3 has actually been the one to log the shortest track, at 1Km in a mind numbing sub-34 minutes and gets the Hop, Skip & Jump Prize, as opposed to wicklore who gets the Marathon Prize for managing an astounding 261Km in just under 800 hours! Well ... bivy that, I say!
simon3 on Quick, short route to Clogrennan
Start from the small road that comes off the L3896 as shown. walk, Length:1.0km, Climb: 18m, Area: Clogrennan Hill, South Midlands (Ireland) Clogrenn Click here

Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for the month later.


Beenkeragh 'Ireland of the Unwelcomes' signs thankfully removed.

trekker on Beenkeragh restrictions.
I decided to take a run up Beenkeragh last Wed. 11/07/2012.and I decided to do it via the Hyrdo road.The first surprise of the day was seeing the new state of the art car park. It is a credit to whoever is responsible. Leaving it behind and heading up the Hydro I soon came upon an even bigger surprise, Anyone who knows this road will know that there are two gates on it and always have been. What i ... Click here

Several people commented on the member organised walk "Scavenger 9", thanking Bleck Cra.
I thought these comments from a professed newbie were well worth reading. ucampbell on Scavenger 9 from a total beginner...
So it was 19kms (almost) and 1000+ up and more down. And almost 8hrs in the making (what took us all day? (Mary)). Well I'll try to tell you my part in the Scavvy. Great walk in along a good track, no pause to take pics of the burnt forest (too busy trying to breathe). And of course get a few names of all these new scary/normal people I was to be with for the day/night. A gradual ascent, a few p ... Click here

Police Slate High-Tech Hillwalkers
An interesting article from across the water with some amusing comments - scroll down a bit. Perhaps it's worth mentioning that smart-phones and suchlike devices rely for some services on cell masts which can cause them to lose signal in mountain areas. Dedicated GPS devices take their signals purely from satellites.
I agree with anyone that says that a map and compass and knowledge to use them should always be taken. I don't agree that a compass should be part of the primary means of navigation since using one is slow, cumbersome and error prone. http://www.ukclimbing.com/
Thanks to member smcmullan for that one.

ARTICLE: Development or encroachment on the wild in the Mournes?

County Down's Mountains of Mourne have been a popular outdoor playground for generations. But worries are increasing that attempts to manage and preserve them are causing far more harm than good.

Iconic, dramatic and beautiful, the Mountains of Mourne have been Northern Ireland's outdoor playground of choice for generations, and as such they are under a pressure of usage unusual in this corner of Ireland. It was against this background that the Mourne Heritage Trust was established in 1997 to provide management for this stunning area and to attempt to marry the assorted competing needs of the various interested parties. In recent years the condition of the footpaths in these hills has been of increasing interest to the MHT, with both recent and planned 'remedial' works causing deep concern to a significant proportion of hillwalkers.

The track from North Tor down to the Slieve Lamagan col as it used to be.
After 30 years of extensive exploration of the hills of England, Wales and Scotland it has more recently been my great good fortune to begin visiting Ireland's uplands. It has been a shot in the arm for my hillwalking enthusiasm: lots of lonely and uniquely atmospheric summits to visit mostly imbued with a quietness increasingly hard to find in many areas over the water. Encounters with the Mournes were inevitable. On my first day I wandered up Donard and Chimney from Bloody Bridge in the evening, and I remember hopping over stepping stones to cross a benign little stream at one point. Next up my friend Dave and I wombled around the Annalong Valley skyline, and I recall the long descent from Slieve Binnian, springy ground dappled with stones and enlivened by the odd easy clamber over clusters of small boulders.

I remember thinking at the time how ridiculously crowded such routes would be if you plonked them down in the Lake District. What I don't remember thinking is "those stepping stones desperately need removing and replacing with a bridge" or "that descent is really eroded and would be much better if they built a garishly obvious path including steps to get you over those boulder bits". Yet both have come to pass.

Fofanny River bridge: because stepping stones are just way too challenging.
The bridge on Donard spans the Fofanny River (a watercourse not remotely of conventional 'river' proportions), and can serve no purpose other than a mistaken idea of safety. For the seasoned outdoors person it was never an obstacle even in spate (having to make a long upstream detour to cross a stream is something most of us have done at some point), and while it may allow the less experienced a more easy passage that's simply likely to relocate a potential accident for such people to even higher (and more serious) ground. And a few weeks ago I experienced the Binnian track first hand, in the company of a large group largely composed of members of this site: reactions to it covered all levels of disgruntlement with absolutely nobody being positive (or even ambivalent). In fact the only person whose approval I have ever seen, heard or read of is a member of the working party that built the thing.

In the aforementioned 30 years I have never come across an area recreationally utilised to the level of the Mournes that has ever been managed in such an extreme fashion.

The track from North Tor down to the Slieve Lamagan col after being 'fixed up'.
These experiences and discoveries led me to the MHT site (http://www.mournelive.com/), a visit made more urgent when I was told of another highly contentious MHT plan to replace the track up the Glen River from Newcastle (a scheme triggered amongst other things by a requirement to protect salmonids in the water that a long-standing game fisherman described to me as 'ludicrous') while burying the old one under a wreath of helicoptered-in boulders. With that in mind I concentrated on 'The Mournes and Slieve Croob Strategic Path Review'), a slickly presented document available for download. Together with its appendices this provides a 250+ page mixture of laudable aims, woolly and convoluted writing and (in particular) a constant stream of moments where the reader's eyebrow strains for the ceiling in a quizzical (or alarmed) fashion. For instance:
  • 1) The report was paid for by the NI Environment Agency and Sport NI. MHT is a charity, but the majority of its funding is ultimately from the taxpayer.
  • 2) Consultations were held with (amongst others) walking groups, rambling clubs, fell runners, rock climber and Mountaineering Ireland. I would love to hear from anyone who was actually consulted as to what form the consultations took.
  • 3) Apparently 1,286,000 people visit the Mournes every year (as of 2006), an emotively impressive number. Given that hillwalking is apparently the most popular activity for visitors, I would be interested to know what constitutes a 'visit'. This number is projected to increase 3% every year, which means that hillwalker footfall is not about to explode (which might have given MHT better reason to carry out some of these projects). Regardless of this MHT claim that a significant proportion of paths in the Eastern Mournes "cannot sustainably accommodate current use", and "intensive management measures" are likely to be required.
  • 4) It's inferred that NI Fire & Rescue have voiced safety concerns. What concerns exactly?
  • 5) The Brandy Pad is decried as being a "clear and obvious human intervention" that "affects the wild quality of the landscape": a bit rich coming from the architects of that path up Binnian from the north. Likewise the aspiration towards "creating paths which sit well in the landscape and do not detract from people's experience of it".
  • 6) Speaking of the path to Binnian from the north, in a masterly piece of understatement the appendices describe the finished result as appearing "a little incongruous" in its surroundings, before partly attributing that to summer wildfires blackening the surrounding flora. Indeed, that hasn't helped but the path was always going to look like a livid scar: there isn't any vegetation in the world with which white, dusty slabs of split granite are capable of blending in. Apparently the MHT have taken notice of the reaction to this new path: we can but hope so. <
Of most interest however are the "Specific Route Recommendations" and the incredibly extensive path surveys that take up most of the appendices: the latter gives an idea as to MHT's view of the current 'state of play', the former gives an idea of their immediate priorities...

The summit ridge of Slieve Binnian: next to succumb to MHT's lust for 'repair'?
Of most concern are the plans for Slieve Binnian's summit ridge, a place unique in Ireland and almost Cairngorm-esque in its mix of fairytale tors and clipped tundra. MHT make soothing noises about the importance of this environment and preserving the integrity of the high mountain experience, but they have just secured £1.5m funding from Sport NI (some of which is specifically earmarked for this location) so it's apparent that 'doing nothing' isn't on their agenda. But if everything you could do can only worsen the situation then it's wilful foolishness (or a need to spend the budget on something, maybe?) to rule out 'just doing nothing'. Everyone I asked doesn't think Binnian's summit ridge needs fixing. But still MHT apparently plan 'something' (I say that as the document is very vague), with work supposedly starting this autumn.

The ascents to Slieve Bearnagh are mentioned with a similar lack of details beyond mentions of an "iconic summit" and "very important route". Both the Trassey Track - Hare's Gap and the Bog of Donard - Quarry routes apparently require "a much more clearly defined and robust route". And in case you thought Slieve Binnian hadn't been harassed enough, the path from the Black Gate (which already has some laudably subtle pitching work in-situ...credit where credit is due) is "eroded in key areas" and is in need of a robust and clear route too. Call me old fashioned, but I just followed the wall.

The path survey leaves plenty of wriggle room for further 'repairs' elsewhere in the range, and herein lies the rub of the concerns that many people have with MHT. Their recent works seem brutally heavy-handed and lastingly unsubtle even without the (far from answered) questions as to why they were carried out in the first place. There is an unapologetic air around the organisation and when that's married to the dismay caused by some of the work already carried out hopefully you can understand why folk are worried. A little more transparency and a lot less cack-handedness might have made all these fears unnecessary. The MHT do a lot of other work that it's easy to support: perhaps those substantial public funds might be better channelled into those more useful avenues.

With all that in mind, anyone who does not wish the MHT approach of the last year or so to become the preferred form of footpath management in Ireland's more popular hills is pointed in the direction of Mountaineering Ireland's 'Helping the Hills' event in Glendalough on the 13th-14th of September (http://www.helpingthehills.ie/). MHT are scheduled to be represented at this gathering, and one would hope that reasoning and answers might be more forthcoming in person than they have been via other forms of communication.

You may have never walked in this sumptuous area for yourself and as such perhaps you feel like this issue is nothing to do with you: apathy to apparently remote concerns is entirely understandable. But if the MHT are allowed to present such constructions as the Fofanny bridge and the path up the north end of Slieve Binnian as being unalloyed successes then their approach to upland maintenance may become the standard one. And if that's the case it might not be long before ugly steps and unsightly unnecessary bridges start sprouting in areas that you do care about.

Mourne Heritage Trust can be contacted at:
Mourne Heritage Trust
Newcastle Centre, Donard Room,
10-14 Central Promenade,
BT33 0AA
Tel: 028 43724059

-- Peter Walker, member of MountainViews.

MountainViews is interested in information and photographs about any other proposed upland work in any part of the Republic or Northern Ireland. For example, there are renewed calls for the reintroduction of a bridge near the Glenmacnass Waterfall in Wicklow, which could have serious conservation and aesthetic consequences.

If you are concerned about the MHT work in the Mournes, why not contact them and express your concern. Reputedly they claim they rarely hear a bad word about their development.


"MountainViews 2.0 coming"

Last month we mentioned our first reconstruction of the website's summit page in 10 years is on the way - expect it in a few weeks probably as a test version first. The mapping has been totally updated and tracks are now shown integrated with summits.

Call for photos for the heading of this newsletter and the website

Picture for website heading? Last month our appeal for this got an interesting reply from member Pazapas from France. We are now using his picture taken in the Cahas as the website heading. Thanks Pazapas.


Trousers for the hills.

The days when Ronhills were ubiquitous are long gone! There is now a wide choice of hiking trousers in modern fabrics which don't show all. Of course, the figure hugging stuff is still out there for the quick movers.

Rab Alpine Trek Pants
Lightweight pants which are well suited to use in Ireland except winter. The cut is quite loose and baggy but the leg length is good. Simple effective features with reinforcement on the knees and ankles. Also good value.

Mammut Base Jump Pants
When launched a few years ago they were billed as the ultimate hiking pant. The problem is the price is also on the ultimate side. The cut is quite tight but the fabric offers excellent freedom of movement. The cut and spec is quite minimalist so it is difficult to see where the money goes. Wear them for a few days and they do feel worth it! Probably a bit warm for summer and too cool for proper winter conditions - ideal for foreign trekking. The only niggle is that the leg lenth is too long for me and they're not as durable as I would like something this expensive to be.

That is it, the reviews are limited to what I've used. Over the last few years I've almost lived in my Base Jump Pants for doing stuff in the Alps and the Alpine Trek Pants for more casual stuff.

Compared to the Ronhill era there are lots of good hiking pants out there and most are a fraction of the price of the Mammut pants (although you could get a good deal in the BaseCamp Mammut Outlet). The advice is obvious: look for a tight fit, not too long and avoid cotton - nylon seems to be the fabric of choice with Scholler Dryskin and other softshell fabrics at the top end.

-- Tom Sweeney (MV Member)

A place for the minority interested in Summiteering, Bagging or Highpointing.

A new list idea: High Prominents of Ireland

Prominently high places are rewarded.

This follows a discussion in newsgroup Relative Hills of Britain, rhb@yahoogroups.com While not wanting to get totally infected by the list creating mania (or is that megalomania?) in Britain, we were intrigued by one new list, called the Kirks and proposed apparently by Rob Woodall and publicised by Michael Earnshaw recently. (Both Rob and Michael are members of MV incidentally)

The proposal is to compute for each summit the sum of the height and the prominence. Let's call that the "Kirk value." Then produce a list which shows the summits in descending order. Doing this gives you a list giving equal value to height and prominence the two main qualities that statistics can bestow on a summit. Of course here at MountainViews we believe in user evaluations of everything from access to aesthetics as well as pure statistics, nevertheless this new idea does have an appealing simplicity.

So now we present, for the first time probably, a table of the first few Irish High Prominent Summits aka Irish Kirk Listing.

Mountain Area Height Kirk value
Carrauntoohil MacGillycuddy's Reeks 1039 2078
Brandon Brandon Group 952 1886
Lugnaquillia Dublin/Wicklow 925 1830
Galtymore Galty Mountains 918 1816
Slieve Donard Mourne Mountains 850 1672
Mweelrea Mweelrea Mountains 814 1593
Nephin North Mayo 806 1584
Mount Leinster Blackstairs Mountains 795 1502
Baurtregaum Slieve Mish 851 1494
Barrclashcame Sheeffry Hills 772 1479
Knockmealdown Knockmealdown Mountains 794 1476
Errigal Donegal NW 751 1439
Slievenamon South Midlands 721 1432
Purple Mountain Purple Mtn 832 1429
Mangerton Mangerton 839 1423
Fauscoum Comeragh Mountains 792 1418
Binn Bhán Twelve Bens 729 1413
Croagh Patrick Croagh Patrick 764 1403
Knockboy Shehy/Knockboy 706 1391
Croaghaun Achill/Corraun 688 1376
Ben Gorm Ben Gorm Mountains 700 1370
Slieve Carr North Mayo 721 1367
Binn idir an dá Log Maamturks 702 1346
Sawel Sperrin Mountains 678 1335
Keeper Hill Shannon 694 1321
Beenoskee Central Dingle 826 1317
The Paps East Paps/Derrynasaggart 694 1317
Mullaghanattin Dunkerron Mountains 773 1301
Maumtrasna Partry/Joyce Country 682 1289
Stumpa Duloigh Dunkerron Mountains 784 1283

It's an interesting looking list to my mind and well worth considering for making interesting challenges. Look at the variety of summit areas that even this short list includes for example. I would love to hear other opinions (Suggestions Forum). Would it be worth including this as a listing alongside others on MV? Are there changes to the formula that might make the list more appropriate to Ireland?

As MV is moving towards offering information for Britain as well as Ireland, I thought I would include a list for Britain and Ireland combined. The unique quality of this list means that the major Irish summits still appear early despite the huge difference in the number of mountains in Scotland versus those of this island.

Mountain Area Height Kirk value
Ben Nevis Fort William to Loch Treig and Loch Leven 1344 2688
Carn Eige [Carn Eighe] Loch Duich to Cannich 1183 2330
Ben Macdui Cairngorms 1309 2259
Ben More Loch Lomond to Strathyre 1174 2160
Ben Lawers Glen Lyon to Glen Dochart and Loch Tay 1214 2129
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa Snowdonia 1085 2123
Carrauntoohil MacGillycuddy's Reeks 1039 2078
Sgurr Mor The Fannaichs 1108 2021
Liathach - Spidean a'Choire Leith Loch Torridon to Loch Maree 1055 2012
Ben Lui Inveraray to Crianlarich 1130 2005
Ben Cruachan Glen Etive to Glen Lochy 1126 2005
Bidean nam Bian Loch Linnhe to Loch Etive 1150 1995
Creag Meagaidh Loch Lochy to Loch Laggan 1128 1995
Sgurr na Lapaich Killilan to Inverness 1150 1989
Sgurr Alasdair Minginish and the Cuillin Hills 992 1984
Ben More Mull and Nearby Islands 966 1932
Ben Alder Loch Treig to Loch Ericht 1148 1931
A'Chralaig Glen Affric to Glen Moriston 1120 1906
Meall a'Bhuiridh Glen Etive to Glen Lochy 1108 1903
Sgurr a'Choire Ghlais Kyle of Lochalsh to Garve 1083 1901
Beinn Dearg Loch Broom to Strath Oykel 1084 1894
Scafell Pike Lake District - Central & Western Fells 978 1890
Binnein Mor Fort William to Loch Treig and Loch Leven 1130 1889
Brandon Brandon Group 952 1886
Sgurr na Ciche Knoydart to Glen Kingie 1040 1879
Ben More Assynt Scourie to Lairg 998 1833
Lugnaquillia Dublin/Wicklow 925 1830
Gulvain [Gaor Bheinn] Mallaig to Fort William 987 1829
Lochnagar - Cac Carn Beag Braemar to Montrose 1155 1825
An Teallach - Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill Loch Maree to Loch Broom 1062 1818

This month.
Kudos to our contributors.

We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. Aj3xx, alainmasurel, alan_ogorman, amanda31, amber, aoifemnc, barry156, bill-stewart1, Billybogman, Billywhizz, Boomerang, Brendan22, carlow00, chalky, clairebxxxx, colmdoggett, conjunbox, darrenmcgrath, deemcbride, delamere1, dfree, downhilldermo, dzodzinex, eagleeye, Eamon_Niland, edeldec, emolumby, Franceso, ghayes, gnelson, HarryF, heyjoe, hilladventure, itsjustabighill, jillaulton, Jlowther, joandtaz, joephyl, joiejen, jonm, Joseka, judedonaghy, lycosa, maccer75, malachyd, MantiKav, marcw, mckeefryb, miquel221, mitchbsc, mkpurcell, morrisc5, murphysw10, Ncallander, netant, normmc, nw, oberon9, oconnorca, oldroadtokenmare, oldtrier, opalmantra, PadraigKeegan, papqin, PaulBelfast, Peadar99, peig, peterdub74, philipbeattie1, piotrhamera, pjs, pmckeveney, Ptmcg, Pwoodo, Querrin, RichiePhilpott, roar, RogerC, rory51, rosie12, sagandhi, Sandra8867, Scaryfox, sequin, shabbymumbler, shanemeally, Shanewest, shannosi, smiler1318, sograinne, sunnymayo, surf, tiernan08, tomtomtom, toradioheadmi, torbreck, vinnyand, walker26, walllar, waltsig, WilliamGlasgow, williammoconnell, woodhzde, woodhzjl (104)

Our contributors to all threads this month: Astrofizz01 (1), Bleck Cra (4), CaptainVertigo (1), Colin Murphy (1), Conor74 (11), Geo (1), Harry Goodman (6), Hilltop-Harrier (3), Mo (1), Mulciber (1), Peter Walker (6), Rocman (1), Trailtrekker (2), Val Jones (1), YoungJohn (1), acorn (3), aidand (2), brenno (2), dhmiriam (1), eflanaga (1), fingalscave (5), Communal summary entries (17), jackill (1), kevin carroll (1), kissanepat1 (1), lackmt (1), lennyantonelli (3), madfrankie (1), march-fixer (1), maurice12 (1), mcrtchly (2), mickhanney (1), muzag (1), patmoran (1), scannerman (3), simon3 (23), slemish (2), thomas_g (5), trekker (1), ucampbell (1), wicklore (18)
For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors

There were comments on the following summits Ballyvouskill, Baurtregaum, Beenreagh, Ben Crom, Bingorms, Binn Dubh, Binn Fraoigh, Bricklieve Mountains, Buailte Pádraig, Caherconree, Carrauntoohil, Cashloura, Ceann Sibéal, Cnoc na Searrach, Craigagh Hill, Croaghanirwore, Croaghaun, Croaghbane, Croaghskearda, Crockfadda, Crockfadda North-East Top, Cruach Mhín an Neanta, Drumnalifferny Mountain, Faill an tSáis, Gaugin Mountain, Keamconneragh, Knockeenatoung, Knocknakilton, Knocknarea, Knocknaskagh, Knocknaskagh N Top, Moanlaur, Musheramore, Sceilg Mhicíl, Slieve Beg, Slieve Snaght, White Mountain
and these tracks Barnanageehy, Slieve Mish Ireland, Beenreagh, Glenbeigh Horseshoe Ireland, Ben Lugmore West Top, Mweelrea Mountains Ireland, Benchoona, Twelve Bens Ireland, Binn Bhán, Bluestack Mountains Ireland, Brockagh Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Broemountain, Knockmealdown Mountains Ireland, Brown Willy, Cornwall & Devon Britain, Buailte Pádraig, Bluestack Mountains Ireland, Caherbla, Slieve Mish Ireland, Camaderry, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Camlough Mountain, Cooley/Gullion Ireland, Cloghernagh, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Clogrennan Hill, South Midlands Ireland, Cnoc Mordáin, South Connemara Ireland, co ck Mountain, Mourne Mountains Ireland, Coolroe, Glenbeigh Horseshoe Ireland, Croaghgorm, Bluestack Mountains Ireland, Crohan West, Knockmealdown Mountains Ireland, Cummeen, Central Dingle Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Faill an tSáis, Brandon Group Ireland, Gearhane, Slieve Mish Ireland, Hangmans Hill, Dartry Mountains Ireland, Inishowen Ireland, Keamconneragh, Glenbeigh Horseshoe Ireland, Knockastakeen, Galty Mountains Ireland, Knockbrack, Slieve Mish Ireland, Knocknacloghoge, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Knocknanacree, Central Dingle Ireland, Knocknaskagh, Nagles Mountains Ireland, Lavagh Beg, Bluestack Mountains Ireland, Macklaun, Glenbeigh Horseshoe Ireland, Meenteog, Glenbeigh Horseshoe Ireland, Mourne Mountains Ireland, Muckish, Donegal NW Ireland, Shannon Ireland, Trooperstown Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland tracks and these walks were created Slieve Lamagan from the Annalong valley

Thanks to all 1022 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums.

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 5893 comments about 1014 different hills & mountains out of the total in our current full list (1057). 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 49% There's plenty (43) 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. Ask permission where appropriate.
  • 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 na Bró, Knockaghaleague, Bunmore, Knocknascollop NW Top, Cruach Leac Chonaill, Lettertrask, An Bheann Mhór, Cró Bheithe, Cnoc na Deirce Bige, Cashlaundrumlahan and some 6 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.
  • MountainViews are on Twitter as MountainViewsIE. Follow us and we will follow you back. Any queries to secretary@mountainviews.ie

This newsletter

This newsletter Editor: Simon Stewart, Homepage: www.simonstewart.ie
Assistant editor: Colin Murphy
Track reviews: Tom Condon, Peter Walker
Gear reviews: Tom Sweeney
Book reviews: Conor Murphy, Aidan Dillon, Peter Walker
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
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