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The Summit

Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser

April 2013




EAST, WEST, NORTH and SOUTH Route ideas and places to go, also Scotland and New Zealand this month.

Gear reviews: Daypacks

MountainViews uploading tracks and routes directly to Garmin units.

Walkers Association: Talk on a Camino, Landscape Photography Course, GPS Course, Challenge Walks



2012 - 2013 Winter Talks Series
Full details here: www.walkersassociation.ie On Weds Mar 13th, John G O'Dwyer hillwalker and writer spoke on the "Ancient Pilgrim Trails of Ireland".
Many of us will have seen his contributions to the Irish Times. He set out to walk these trails, in so far as he could identify them. He started one at Slemish and eventually finished at Skellig Michael. We hope to have one or two reviews on this book for the next newsletter.

WAI talks are held in the Landsdowne Hotel, 27 Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4. Directions here http://www.lansdownehotel.ie

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

More on Walkers Association 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?



09/03/2013 24/03/2013 06/04/2013 21/04/2013 04/05/2013 19/05/2013 01/06/2013 16/06/2013 29/06/2013 14/07/2013 27/07/2013 11/08/2013 24/08/2013 08/09/2013 21/09/2013 06/10/2013 19/10/2013 03/11/2013 16/11/2013
More information at www.pathsavers.org

The winter will end. Warm weather will return. Views like this will come back. This is an infinity pool, Cork style, from which that most magnificent of ridges, the Dunkerrons on the Iveragh penisula can be viewed. And in good weather the hardy can jump into the pool. Perhaps.

View from Lackawee in the Cahas. View of Knocknagantee (left), Coomnacronia in the Dunkerrons.

In short: Discovery

NORTH: Breifne, briefly
There are quite a few lower tops huddling in the vague company of Cuilcagh on the border, and Onzy has submitted a quick out-and-back trot up two of them; Benbrack and its NE top. The going in this vicinity is 'not too bad', so those looking to make more of a day of it could possibly link to the nearby W top and Bartonny Top (although an alternative starting point might be more logical for such an itinerary). The really grimly determined might squeeze Slievenakilla, Bencroy and Knockacullion in too.
Onzy on Benbrack (Breifne) and its NE Top
Quick up and down taking in Benbrack and its NE Top walk, Length:7.8km, Climb: 325m, Area: Benbrack NE Top, Breifne (Ireland) Benbrack NE Top, Benbra Click here

NORTH: A cairn older than the Pyramids!
Knockiveagh in the Mournes may be quite diminutive, but it has a claim to fame in that its cairn (collapsed) reputedly dates from 3700BC, as discovered by Simon3.
gerrym on Knockiveagh: A little Gem
Parking for this short climb is at the entrance to Knock Resevior Lower (just past the private lane at 183374) where there is room for several cars.
The covered resevoir extends up the hillside surrounded by a high fence, simply cross the gate into the field and follow the fence uphill to a line of trees. Another field brings a track which can be followed easily to the summit, reached in 1 ... Click here

NORTH: An easy bag!
Assisted by numerous helpful stiles (if only there were more of these in the south!), paddyhillsbagger nabbed an easy top in Agnew's Hill in Antrim.
group on Agnew's Hill: Short climb
Turning left off the A36 from Larne at Kilwaughter leads you up to the Old Freehold area at the foot of Agnew's Hill at over 300m. There are a few single car parking spots before and after the starting point at D329 028 where the Ulster Way crosses the road. Climb over the style and follow the Ulster Way posts to the summit plateau. There is a short steep haul followed by a gentle climb on soft to ... Click here

NORTH: Telecoms towers and hidden wildness.
A short summary for the sadly, technology-scarred Slieve Croob in The Mournes. Yet this Arderin is not without its merits, reports Simon3. Interestingly the slopes of Slieve Croob were mentioned a number of times in connection with the rescue of sheep from metre or more high snow drifts.
group on Slieve Croob: Telecoms towers and hidden wildness.
This summit is around a third of the way from the Mournes to Belfast and has major spurs SE (Slievenisky) and west (Cratlieve). There are three well known ways of reaching it. From the amenity parking area to the west at J30015 45240, from the north off the Drinn Road at J299478 or the east at Drumkerragh Forest J330460. For the first of these just follow the transmitter track, for the others i ... Click here

NORTH: Into the badlands
Garmin has returned to his second home (after the Sperrins) of the Donegal mountains, posting a track exploring some of the lower (but still deliriously convoluted) tops to the NE of Slieve Snaght. This area is a fantastic melange of ups and downs and ins and outs and rocks and alps, but needs sound navigation in poor conditions. Using this route from the S it's straightforward enough to add Crockmulroney to the tally, but a start from the N up the Poisoned Glen allows for a parade of eight summits to be visited by the strongish walker; one of the best tramps in this corner of this island.
Garmin on A compact route taking in 3 summits
I always enjoy walking in Donegal because it is mostly unspo walk, Length:8.0km, Climb: 455m, Area: An Cnoc Fada, Donegal NW (Ireland) An Cnoc Fada, Click here

NORTH: Snowy stony sentinels
gerrym has been out and about with his video camera again (http://youtu.be/zIaVzEtknL4 is an excellent film, it goes without saying) and has turned his attention in the recent wintry conditions to Slieve Bearnagh in the Mournes (whose utmost point is a good contender for the toughest mainland summit on MV...feel free to argue). In an area so bristling with summits his route could easily be extended to cover all manner of neighbouring peaks, but Slieves Meelmore and Meelbeg most readily leap to mind; even without them this is a lovely saunter to a wonderland of a summit, but under ice and snow it will require some care.
gerrym on Trassey Track to the Tors of Bernagh
It is in words below and in video here http://youtu.be/zIaVz walk, Length:10.7km, Climb: 672m, Area: Slieve Bearnagh North Tor, Mourne Mountains (Irel Click here

WEST: Child's play
TadghKennedy strolls up Benlevy in Partry/Joyce Country, which offers stunning, panoramic views that even his three year old could enjoy.
TadghKennedy on Binn Shleibhe: childs play
as a birthday surprise all in family agreed for an after dinner walk up Mount Gable! Three boys 9, 6 & 3 , enjoyed a windy wet , bog walk in mid Jan. as the normally soft ground is much firmer, if you step lightly and swiftly! fantastic panoramic views over loughs corrib and mask, and across the plains of mayo turning south to galway. easy walk for first timers , 3yr did it. Click here

WEST: There and back again
Devotees of the collection of County highpoints (and more general fans of all-in mud wrestling) have indulged their penchants on Moylussa (Clare's highest summit) for many years. Now Onzy has submitted a track leading over it and onto the neighbouring top of Cragnamurragh. Those entranced by such connoisseurial countryside might wish to extend still further to Glennagalliagh and/or Ballykildea Mountains, but should be advised that this looks like a longish trip over unyielding terrain.
Onzy on Moylussa & Cragnamurragh
Out and back to Moylussa and Cragnamurragh walk, Length:15.2km, Climb: 604m, Area: Moylussa, Shannon (Ireland) Moylussa, Cragnamurragh Click here

SOUTH: For pilgrims with a very poor sense of direction...
One of the more elevated starts in Ireland is that from the top of Dingle's famous Conor Pass. From here one can head west/north towards Brandon, or follow onzy on an easterly course into the brilliant tangle of peaks forming the hinterland leading to Beenoskee. There are some utterly astonishing views to be had hereabouts, and those not tied down to a return to the start (and the ability to absorb a lot of lactic) could rack up a formidable total of summits just by keeping going.
Onzy on East of Connor Pass, Dingle, Kerry
An easy route beginning at 400m above Dingle at the Connor p walk, Length:12.6km, Climb: 488m, Area: Slievanea, Central Dingle (Ireland) Slievanea, S Click here

SOUTH: A lesson in the fundamentals of glaciation
Oft cited as the finest cirque in these islands, Coumshingaun is the hugest of the multiple bowls ravenously bitten out of the slightly stodgy pudding of the Comeragh plateau, and the southern arm of the corrie leading to the crowning (if somewhat squashed) summit of Fauscoum as tracked by daveevangibbons is one of the very finest routes of ascent of any Irish hill removed from the more jagged areas of the west and the north: the nervous may consider it slightly vertiginous in places. An obvious return would be to descend the facing northern arm, but if an early ascent has been made then it is possible to bogtrot your way to a string of four tops linking Coumfea W Top to Carrignagower; a day of extreme contrasts, and no mistake.
daveevangibbons on Fauscoum
walk, Length:3.8km, Climb: 652m, Area: Fauscoum, Comeragh Mountains (Ireland) Fauscoum Click here

EAST: The volcano that never was.
The iconic Great Sugarloaf in Wicklow is one of Ireland's most climbed tops, and many mistakenly believe it to be an extinct volcano. Not so, says wicklore & simon3.
group on Great Sugar Loaf: An Iconic Mountain
The Great Sugar Loaf is a very distinctive hill that towers above the small village of Kilmacanogue on the N11 Dublin – Wexford road. Conical and pointed, it is the volcano that never was. (Many people believe it is an extinct volcano but it is in fact Cambrian quartzite) But what is important is the fantastic shaped hill that is present now. It appears as a smaller version of Croagh Patrick.
Click here

EAST: Random ramblings?
mulciber has been conducting some non-summit-based exploration above the Wicklow Gap road (although it would be very easy to visit Tomaneena en route, or even Camaderry), demonstrating that sometimes it's enough to just go for a dander in the the hills with no objective beyond regaining the starting point...eventually. (Assuming he was just going for a random stroll, rather than casing possible locations for the disposal of bodies...you never can tell these days).
Mulciber on Fair Mt and Glanakeera
This is short one, It takes you around the steep ground at t walk, Length:9.7km, Climb: 407m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Click here

EAST: Fore!
A slightly more focussed trip in Wicklow is simon3's shortish amble over Cushbawn (two cars will help if you're slightly lazy), climbing up the SW spur and descending the NW. The pedestrian may or may not encounter a village and/or a fusilade of flying golf balls. There will definitely be trees though.
simon3 on Cushbawn
A visit up Cushbawn. walk, Length:7.4km, Climb: 354m, Area: Cushbawn, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Cushbawn Click here

(The route can be extended a la mvtrack2122 to include three further tops ending in Carrickashane Mountain...and that itself could be further elongated to Ballycurragh Hill, although both these itineraries will probably require transport for the majority of the industrious, never mind the lazy).
SCOTLAND: Fancy a drive up Ben Nevis? Here's the car you'll need….
Apparently an intrepid Austin driver made it to the top of Scotland's highest peak back in 1928! Paddyhillsbagger reports that the original car is up for sale…
paddyhillsbagger on Ben Nevis: Mountain motoring history.
Did Ben Nevis as a young teenager of 15 with the rest of the family dressed in jeans,cagoules, wellies and trainers. Not exactly suitable gear but made it up and down. Back in 1928 another person got to the top in his Austin car. Now I know this feat can be achieved on a few Irish tops but it's a bit of a stretch driving up Ben Nevis. Anyway, the car is up for sale if you want to repeat the exerci ... Click here

NEW ZEALAND: Don't Dream It's Over...
marchfixer's travels have now reached the Land of the Long White Cloud from where he submits two tracks. The first is an easy ramble round a very nice looking headland close to the beaten track; the second follows a maintained track but it otherwise very different, set as it is against the awesome backdrop of the Southern Alps and their highest mountain, Mount Cook. Recent rockfalls prevented his seeing the icebergs on Hooker Lake but the fact that that's even a possibility should flag this physically straightforward shlep as something out of the ordinary (and that's without the orcs, hobbits and Balrogs that he must have seen along the way but neglected to mention). Dedicated Summiteers should note however that considerable ingenuity/some sort of teleportation device will be required to add to their tally in this area.
march-fixer on Kaikoura Peninsula Walk - New Zealand
This is a lovely walk from the northern side of the headland walk, Length:3.9km, Climb: 70m, Area: () Click here

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


In MountainViews 2.0 Track Export, further improvement this month.

In short, our track export now allows
a. direct upload from the website to a Garmin GPS
b. control over the number of points in exported tracks and routes
c. a unique system to add context to a GPS track

There's more detail on this at simon3 on New GPS feature for you to try.
. INVITATION TO TRY AN EXPERIMENTAL FEATURE. Last year we introduced the capability for members to upload GPS tracks, aka tracklogs. Several hundred such tracks have now been uploaded and are available for sharing. Initially we allowed the user see tracks on our main map with its description. The only export option available was to simply to get the track originally stored back, which while ... Click here

Background - why would you want to export someone else's track anyway?
If you only go walking in fine weather (and believe that is possible) then you may not think you need navigational aids for visiting the uplands. For those of us living in the real world it is necessary to have something be it as map/compass or map/GPS. Coupled with that let's suppose you have seen one of the tracks put up by another member and you fancy trying it. Currently you can print out the route as a map, which will also include the vital statistics for the walk such as length, ascent and summits visited. However if you are like many you may want information in a modern outdoor forms such as a GPS route. ( For those not so accustomed to GPS units this is something like a route card with which the GPS can show you your route as a succession of places you need to get to. )
This is where you can use the new "Export Data" feature accessed from under every track. This has a new EXPERIMENTAL feature which allows you to create a track out of a route. You can set the number of points that you want in the resulting track. Older Garmin GPS units allowed only 50 points, newer 100.
There are design issues that do need to be addressed. It is easy even as an experienced walker simply to place too much reliance on a GPS route, losing a basic sense of where you are in relation to major landmarks. This is why we have extended the name of routepoints to include distances to the next feature etc. Comments on how the experimental design can be improved are welcome.

You may need to change old bookmarks or shortcuts.
Still clicking on that old link to MV you put in years ago? Could be a bad idea because some old links will prevent you seeing the new interface in all its glory or may not even work. Replace with a new one.
See here simon3 on Revised interface - need to change shortcuts.
If you are using an old shortcut or bookmark from your PC or whatever to access MountainViews, you may be missing out on the new interface. The simplest shortcut or bookmark should refer to http://mountainviews.ie Which will work fine and brings you to the new summit and track display. Some time ago Mountainviews urls were changed to a simplified form. For example: Mountai ... Click here


Gear reviews.

Last month Tom discussed waterproof jackets. This time he discusses daypacks.


A daypack might be referred to by many as a hiking rucksack. But, essentially it needs to be able store all the equipment you need for a day in the hills. We'll take a look at overnight or backpacking packs another time.

The daypack is probably the piece of hill kit that can be as low tech as you like - 2 shoulder straps and waterproof it with bin liners will get you by. There are also a wide variety of sizes that could be considered a day pack. Anything from a 10 litre pack that fits a bottle of water and a spare warm layer up to about 40 litres for winter hillwalking or scrambling. Without breaking down a description of the utility of different pack sizes, I'm going to recommend 30 litres as a good all round pack size. A 20 litre pack will be fine in summer or for shorter days, and 10 litres will suffice for fast and light short ventures.

Unlike other items of kit, there can be quite a variety in the features people seek in a day pack. A hillwalker's pack traditionally has more pockets and is a little more compact than a climber's pack. A lot is down to preference, and my preference is for the cleaner simpler design found on many climber's packs. These packs usually have a single main compartment, lid-closure, 1 or 2 lid pockets and a simple snug fitting back system. The current design for hillwalking packs is to have side pockets, and often the back system is designed so most of the pack is not in contact with your back. This is ideal for keeping the air flowing and preventing too much sweat, but there are sacrifices in terms of comfort, durability and space.

There are a lot of packs with far too many bells, whistles (literally) and features. These all add weight, flap about in the wind and get in the way when you're trying to open your bag when wearing mitts in a blizzard. Look for the simplest pack possible, with just the features you need - this might be straps for trekking poles, ice axe loops or some bungee cord for strapping on your wet waterproof jacket after a passing rain shower.

Nearly all of the packs I use for hillwalking are available not anymore, so I'll mention them briefly rather than the more in-depth review.

The main pack I use is a Black Diamond Sphynx 35 litre. Clean and simple, with a single-buckle lid that contains a single pocket. I rarely fill the pack, but it is the perfect size for when carrying more on cold winter days or leading groups. The fabric appears very light, but after 7 years of use it is showing no signs of wear. Keeping with Black Diamond I use the Bbee 11 litre when I'm just packing water, waterproof and chocolate. For a small pack the straps are well padded. This is unlike the Lowe Alpine Illusion 16 litre which is superlight and sacrifices some comfort in the shoulder straps. For this reason, it gets used less. The Lowe Alpine Contour Hike 25 litre is a little strange, for a small pack, in that it has an ice axe loop. But, it is nicely featured with side mesh-pockets, front mesh-pocket, small pocket and compression straps.

Black Diamond packs are not that common in Ireland. The price is usually at a bit of a premium, but they can offer great features and durability for hillwalking. Lowe Alpine is much more common in the Irish market, and while the clothing has disappeared for a while (to reappear this autumn) they still have a wide range of packs. The Lowe Alpine packs are much easier to find in Irish stores, and are quite reasonably priced.

-- Tom Sweeney (MV Member)

MountainViews new book in the shops.

A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits - The Vandeleur-Lynams & The Arderins
MountainViews first book available online and in many bookshops.

simon3 on A Guide to Irelands Mountain Summits
MountainViews first book available online and in many bookshops.

As members will know, for over a decade, Mountainviews.ie has been providing unique information to hillwalkers on all aspects of exploring and enjoying Ireland's upland areas. It's been a collaborative effort by over 1000 of you, and currently contains over 6000 comments on 1057 mountains and hills on the island of Ireland ... Click here

This month.
Kudos to our contributors.

We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. 19ashie92, Adrianday, aidanmcginley, ailbes3, Alexandra, andrewnxn, Ann-P, annmariemac1, benmore, Boggs, bryanmcdonnell40, cameradelballa22, car1978, Cillian111, Cobhclimber, culleton, culleton5, curiousmelts, Curlew, daramc, deano, declanmcgrane, dellalally, deniseberm, derektiernan, dfokeeffe, ecollins, econneely, EdepOmoh, endacunningham, ffvanderlaan, frankie79, Georgia, HGrice, janetlaffey, jimibrennan, jmcconnell, JohnV, Jojn, KarenH, Kellyed, kieran6368, kingslyzizzou, krykal4, Leitrim-Lie-in, Lizzlo, Lucie, macker2013, Manu, Mastercaster, mat, max1, mbrowne, michael140, Michaelmca, MickMc, mklambe, mossr, musheramore, ncronin, Niallbreen, niamhhatchell, Noseleit, Orla, PaidiSull, paulinearyder, pepicek999, pgcellis, plummet, plymouth, postriker, Quinny, Rain23-drops, rhhy, rionawalker, rjtwilson, Robertc84, rosiesully, rro1mayo, RuairiRambles, Scorpeen, sheilaterry, Sigurros, simongoogle, SniceArrige, Ste, SteveO, tdeady, Teresa-ms, trulschristianse, william2, wm (92)

Our contributors to all threads this month: Cobhclimber (1), Conor74 (1), Dbosonnet (3), Dessie1 (1), Finola (1), Garmin (1), Geansai (1), Geo (1), MickMc (1), Mulciber (1), Onzy (5), TadghKennedy (1), acorn (2), aidand (1), curiousmelts (1), daveevangibbons (2), dino (1), gerrym (2), Communal summary entries (7), hivisibility (1), johnpollock (1), kissanepat1 (1), lackmt (1), march-fixer (2), maurice12 (1), mcrtchly (3), paddyhillsbagger (2), pompeii (1), simon3 (13), wicklore (1)
For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors

There were comments on the following summits , Aghla Beg, Ballyarthur Hill, Ben of Howth, Binn Shleibhe, Brickany, Carrigleitrim, Coomcallee, Coomnahorna, Croghan Kinsella, Cullenagh Mountain, Esknaloughoge N Top, Great Sugar Loaf, Knockalough, Knockanuarha, Lugnabrick SW Top, Slieve Donard
and these tracks , An Cnoc Fada, Donegal NW Ireland, Benbrack NE Top, Breifne Ireland, Cushbawn, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Fauscoum, Comeragh Mountains Ireland, Knockiveagh, Mourne Mountains Ireland, Moylussa, Shannon Ireland, New Zealand, Canterbury , Sawel, Sperrin Mountains Ireland, Silvermine Mountains Far E Top, Shannon Ireland, Slievanea, Central Dingle Ireland, Slieve Bearnagh North Tor, Mourne Mountains Ireland, Slievecushnabinnia, Galty Mountains Ireland, Slievefoore, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland tracks and these walks were created (none in period)

Thanks to all 1054 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums.

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 6087 comments about 1030 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 (27) 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 Republic - ring EPA hotline 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: Bunmore, Knocknascollop NW Top, Lettertrask, An Bheann Mhór, Cró Bheithe, Cnoc na Deirce Bige, Cashlaundrumlahan, Brickany, Maumakeogh, Cruach Léithín and some 1 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
General Forum Digest: Mark Brennan
Gear reviews: Tom Sweeney
Book reviews: Conor Murphy, Aidan Dillon, Peter Walker
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
Newsletter archive. View previous newsletters mountainviews.ie/newsletter
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