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The Summit

Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser

September 2013




EAST, WEST, NORTH and SOUTH Route ideas and places to go, also Austria

Sea Stacks - emerging 'summits' Shortly MountainViews will include 100m prominence summits, bringing a new class of challenge.

Hill-surveying, history and future, Recently MV compared methods with a British group: did we get the same readings?,   Now log your climbs in Britain, Count your Munros or British Marilyns etc

VIDEOS: gerrym in the Comeraghs Audio-visual intro to the Comeraghs


WALKERS ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND: For a full list of Challenge Walks, visit here.
WAI Photo Gallery - WAI would like you to upload some of your pictures (Ireland or abroad) to this?

MOUNTAIN MEITHEAL: the following are the work days for 2013:
08/09/2013 21/09/2013 06/10/2013 19/10/2013 03/11/2013 16/11/2013

High in the MacGillycuddy's Reeks is Maolán Buí, whose name means "yellow/golden round knoll". Our member march-fixer took this magnificent, moody picture of the summit with Carrauntoohil in the background on a smartphone. More on Maolán Buí

In short: Discovery

NORTH: A short but very worthwhile walk.
Derkbeg Hill in the Bluestacks may not be the highest hill you'll encounter, yet it has some interesting rock formations, a couple of loughs and some great views.
Harry Goodman on Cnoc na Deirce Bige: Go and enjoy.
I climbed this hill on 14 August 2013 . From the R250 Finntown to Glenties I took a minor road L2583 on the right G841974 and 1.7km along also on the right side noted a rough stone and gravel track G825968 which led up to L Nacroaghy. As there was no roadside parking available to me I drove up the track for about 250 metres to a gate across it and a large parking area on the left G8231596980. Hav ... Click here

NORTH: Round the horn...
One of the most criminal combinations of 'ease of ascent' and 'stunning scenery' is provided by Croaghnamaddy, the highest point of the Horn Head peninsular in Donegal. wicklore has submitted the epic few hundred metres of gentle uphill that constitute an ascent; hopefully someone's removed the washing machine from the vicinity of the summit that I found a couple of years ago. The views inland and outland are sublime from here, but even better is the 'proper' Horn Head coastal walk, which deserves urgent attention from anyone who knows it not.
wicklore on The shortest gps route on MV
It was only a matter of time before someone added the gps ro walk, Length:0.9km, Climb: 65m, Area: Croaghnamaddy, Donegal NW (Ireland) Croaghnamaddy Click here

NORTH: One for the baggers
Lacroagh in the Bluestacks is a quite unremarkable lump topped with peat hags, and is only worth a visit if you're on your way to somewhere else, reports Harry Goodman.
group on An Leathchruach: An unremarkable Top.
Leave the R253at G968963 and follow a narrow minor road S the SW for 5km to park at G9372493563. Cross the road and take a track going N . This forms part of the Sli na Finne waymarked way. Although signed, this track at times is quite indistinct. However make for the obvious col between Lacroagh and Croveenananta and at G9358894677 leave the track and go up left (SW) to the high point of Lacroagh ... Click here

NORTH: Silence. And Wee.
Garmin has tracked a half valley, half mountain excursion based on the Silent Valley in the Mountains of Mourne, tidying up the inconvenient little upthrust of Wee Binnian along the way. He chose to do the valley section (gaining the ridge at the Binnian/Lamagan col) first...others may choose to go the other way, but they should bear in mind that the 1000ft slog up Lamagan is not a pleasant experience for anyone who's done a fair amount of ascent already. The route as described visits six tops: strong walkers could extend the walk by climbing up to Ben Crom and Doan after regaining the valley floor.
Garmin on Slievelamagan, Binnian round - Mourne mountains
walk, Length:18.2km, Climb: 1181m, Area: Mourne Mountains (Ireland) Slievelamagan, Slieve Binnian North Tor, Slieve Binnian North Top, Slieve Binnia Click here

WEST: Taking the long view
Back in the early 19th century, Keeper Hill in the Shannon area was one of the first triangulation points, as it provided views all the way to Cavan and to Dingle, reports Simon3
simon3 on Keeper Hill: Long views from the summit.
Keeper Hill dominates the surrounding land of North Tipperary. You would need to go over 42km to the Galtys to find anything higher. Keeper Hill’s elevation and strategic position made it a critical point in the first triangulation of Ireland (1829-1832). Would you believe that observations were made from here to Cuilcagh at the Cavan/ Fermanagh border (164.4km) and to Baurtregaum on the Dingle ... Click here

WEST: A tough little Maamturks outlier
Thanks to its more famed big brothers, Cúlóg is a little visited top, but the very lack of visitors contributes to its unspoilt nature, reports wicklore
group on Cúlóg: A tough little outlier of the main Maamturks ridge
Cùlòg can be accessed from L87901 55560. The starting point is in the Glenlosh Valley, which is privately owned. It is advised to seek permission from the landowners who live in the last house at the end of the valley.
Starting at one of the valleys holiday cottages, it's a pleasant walk along a good (but wet) track initially, then following the banks of a rushing mountain stream. A steep up ... Click here

WEST: A quarter of twelve
Away in the west wicklore has busied himself with a tidying-up exercise in the Twelve Bens in Connemara. In addition to the two major horseshoe routes often undertaken here, some projecting spurs can make fine round trips of their own with the bonus of ticking off some of the straggling summits from the MV lists. His circuit of the Gleninagh valley from the NE covers some excellent mountain terrain, bog hopping and rock scrambling both being features of the day. For those desperate for more than four tops, Bencorr itself is close at hand, and following the northern arm of the valley (rather than its floor as per the track) would take you over Knockpasheemore and Benbaun.
wicklore on Three Bens and a descent of Bencorrbeg
I had wanted to climb Bencorrbeg for some time as the final walk, Length:11.8km, Climb: 904m, Area: Binn Dubh, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Binn Dubh, Binn Click here

WEST: 'It's kinda weird to be back here again...'
peter1 is a man after my own heart; upon realising his mistake in thinking that his traverse of the Maum Turks back in the day hadn't actually included Leenaun Hill, he went back especially to do it. His track is of the simple 'there and back' kind, although obviously it's the start of the legendary full walk if done from north to south. And we could all learn a thing or two from his self-exhortation...'must read the map more often'.
peter1 on Leenaun Hill
Finally climbed this after assuming I had climbed it years b walk, Length:5.7km, Climb: 584m, Area: Leenaun Hill, Maamturks (Ireland) Leenaun Hill Click here

SOUTH: On yer bike
You can actually cycle up Bweengduff Hill in the Boggeraghs, reports member petercrowley…unfortunately the summit is crowned by a collection of masts.
petercrowley on Bweengduff: easy hill close to cork
my first hill was an easy one, actually cycled up to it before i realised it was high point. a good starter, hard core road all the way to the top. lots of masts at the top but a short trip across to bweeng little will give you better scenery. Click here

SOUTH: Sour milk
It's a very tough ascent up Milk Hill in the Monavullaghs, as eamonoc discovered, having to contend with swampy ground, hidden tree stumps and walls of mature gorse (ouch).
eamonoc on Milk Hill: Must be an easier way to deliver the milk.
Thurs 22/8/2013. Arrived at point a as described by jackill followed route to felled area of trees. Crossed this felled area with great difficulty. It was like a grassy swamp full of hidden stinking pools of water and head high reeds not to mention a myriad of hidden tree stumps, I crossed this area in a leftward diagonal direction heading for some mature beech trees, upon reaching these I discov ... Click here

SOUTH: Out of a clear blue sky
A jaunt over to Clear Island for Dessie1 as he ascends Cnoicín an tSeabhaic Hill under a clear blue sky, yet finds the way to the top anything but clear.
Dessie1 on Cnoicín an tSeabhaic: Not a CLEAR route to the top!!
I climbed this hill (as the usual by the awkward way) starting at the roadway to the old lighthouse.I left the lighthouse and tried to head directly NE for the summit cairn through fields of gorse along the coastline.After 3 fields I got completely stuck in waist high gorse (in shorts not a good idea!) so decided to backtrack to the main road to the lighthouse and take the route that everyone else ... Click here

SOUTH: Keepering Up Appearances
Keeper Hill crowns one of Ireland's more incongruously isolated mountain massifs, and simon3's track (which needs transport) explores it and the neighbouring Silvermine Mountain pretty thoroughly, with varied terrain mixing open slopes, bog and forestry. He notes that his route is probably ripe for further refinement, and although the way is quite long it could be made longer by adding Knockfune to the six tops already included.
simon3 on Silvermines - Keeper Hill, 6 tops and great views.
This is a long route that starts from north of the Silvermin walk, Length:25.0km, Climb: 842m, Area: Silvermine Mountains Far E Top, Shannon (Ireland) Click here

SOUTH: Bringing home the bacon...
The Galty mountains provide excellent leg-stretching-and-summit-bagging terrain, with spurs branching north and south from the main ridge allowing for plenty of logical circular walks. mcrtchly's track eschews such convenience, with a second car allowing the walker to cover a lot of terrain along the principal spine of the range and allowing the visiting of nine tops (it'd be possible to add Galtymore itself to the start) and the bonus of gradually decreasing ascents to the new tops as the day goes on. The relative isolation of this range allows for some huge lines of sight on a good day.
mcrtchly on A traverse of the eastern Galty Mountains
This traverse covers the less visited summits of Seefin and walk, Length:26.7km, Climb: 1099m, Area: Seefin, Galty Mountains (Ireland) Seefin, Seefi Click here

comeraghvideo SOUTH: Coums on film, with VIDEO
A route that crops up repeatedly in guidebooks purporting to feature the best routes in Ireland is the circuit of the Nire Valley in the Comeraghs of Waterford. Accompanied by another video mashup of glorious landscape composition and shots of passing boots ( http://youtu.be/mBSd69wCjoM ) , gerrym has tracked this passage and contributed a warm and reverent description of his wanderings. Followers in his footsteps could add Fauscoum to the tally of four tops already included by a diversion across the plateau, although that one might better be saved for the Coumshingaun round from the east.
gerrym on Nire Valley Coums
http://youtu.be/mBSd69wCjoM A walk lifted lovingly from the walk, Length:16.8km, Climb: 723m, Area: Coumfea West Top, Comeragh Mountains (Ireland) C Click here

EAST: A very accessible top
A track almost to the summit makes Croghan Kinsella a pleasant climb, with wonderful Wicklow panoramas at the top.
group on Croghan Kinsella: A very accessible Top.
Park at the entrance to Raheenleagh Forest where tere is room for several cars. Follow the main forest track up WNW keeping right at T1491772046, just after a dip in the upward path and then higher up at T1487973038 keep left. (Please note that the track on the ground is much more direct and easy to follow than would appear from those shown on OSi Sheet 62 (3rd Edition) and that no tracks at all a ... Click here

EAST: Nothing can be better after a long working day
If you're a Dub that is…as the parking, the well-maintained tracks and relatively gentle climb have long made Tibradden Hill a favourite for Dubs in search of a little country air, so reports Sarkuns.
Sarkuns on Tibradden Mountain: Nothing can be better after a long working day
I left my car at Coillte car park (outside beside the road because it was after 6 pm) and I was on my way. Sometimes a little bit steep and rocky but Perfectly developed path leads strait up to the top. Excellent even in bad weather conditions. Path is made mostly from crushed gravel and large sandstone stone peaces which ends in a boardwalk. So there is no danger of slippery or muddy trail and ... Click here

EAST: How to get ahead in advertising...
A glorious career in marketing awaits wicklore, as he describes his track from Black Hill to Carrigvore in the Wicklow mountains as 'wet, boggy, potentially soul destroying'...I'm sure Lord Baden-Powell would be chuffed to discover that moral fibre was still actively encouraged in the scouting movement. His route is of the place-to-place variety and takes in everything logical en route, but the determined could continue over the other side of the Sally Gap road to War Hill and Djouce.
wicklore on A round of the best of Wicklow bog
Another route walked with 12-15 year old scouts. This route walk, Length:15.6km, Climb: 814m, Area: Black Hill, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Black Hill, Click here

EAST: The Man Who Stared At Goats
wicklore explores virgin (or at least 'out of the game for a period of time') territory with his round of Corrig and Seefingan, finding a level of solitude unusual in the fleshpots of the Wicklow mountains...perhaps the wild goats he mentions have scared everyone else away. No such fears for MV's leading hunter of wallabies; others may consider adding the adjacent-ish Seefin, Seahan and/or Kippure.
wicklore on A new way up Corrig
This route, starting in Bohernabreena, ascends Corrig from t walk, Length:10.7km, Climb: 587m, Area: Corrig Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Corrig Click here

EAST:Get off my land, Maybe
Bridging the gap between what would normally be considered the Belfast Hills and the quagmire dissected by the Glens of Antrim is the lumpy upthrust of Slievetrue, whose 'standard' ascent is tracked by wicklore. This is a short trip of less than an hour and is handy for a quick tick on the way to or from somewhere else. Aspirants should take note of his mentions of access: I am the 'other Mountain Viewer' referenced, and I (having been unable to find anyone about on the way up) met the farmer on the way down, whereupon he refused permission. I would advise not proceeding if you cannot find someone to conclusively give you access.
wicklore on Ask for permission
This is an odd route as it starts in a farmers yard. The far walk, Length:1.2km, Climb: 67m, Area: Slievetrue, Belfast Hills (Ireland) Slievetrue Click here

EAST: His name wasn't Kenny. He wasn't a kangaroo...
About as far east as you can get in the Republic is Lambay Island, recently visited by a band of brigands masquerading as MountainViews members. Both wicklore and simon3 have contributed tracks for the trip; bizarrely the latter seems to be longer, which is odd given the amount of time the former spent looking for the (let's be charitable) 'elusive' wallabies that supposedly reside there. Access to this island has only recently been opened up (to a limited degree) and apart from the island summit there are interesting sites of both current and past habitation to visit. Those interested should look up Skerries Sea Tours ( http://www.skerriesseatours.ie/ ), a great bunch of lads.
wicklore on A private island offering limited access
14 MountainViewers took advantage of an opportunity to visit walk, Length:6.6km, Climb: 206m, Area: East Coast (Ireland) Click here

simon3 on Lambay Island, East Coast
This is a guided tour of the island which a group of Mountai walk, Length:8.8km, Climb: 248m, Area: East Coast (Ireland) Click here

EAST: Gone in sixty seconds...
Recently there has been a lot of publicity surrounding break-ins to hillwalkers' cars in Ireland, especially in Wicklow. With this in mind, wicklore has contributed a track that enables you to keep an eagle eye on your Wheels of Steel as you climb the recently-Arderined (sic) top of Carrigshouk. It's a steep sharp trip of around an hour that could be used as the opening of a circuit of Mullaghcleevaun and Tonelagee...that, or you could run straight back to the car with 999 already keyed into the mobile phone...just to be on the safe side.
wicklore on A quick route that keeps your car safe
This is a brief route up Carrickshouk that lets you keep an walk, Length:2.0km, Climb: 173m, Area: Carrigshouk, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Carrigshouk Click here

AUSTRIA: Paging Julie Andrews...and possibly Franz Klammer
march-fixer hasn't so much decided to Climb Ev'ry Mountain (I'm here all week) as 'climbed on a chairlift and strolled around a bit in the Austrian Alps above the most famous ski downhill course in the world'; to be fair to Rodgers & Hammerstein it'd have been harder to make the latter scan than the former. A quick Google reveals a mountain resembling a classical Alpine meadow (with a big radio transmitter on top). Could be worse...could be a whopping great windfarm instead.
march-fixer on Austrian Mountain Track
A nice mountain walk from Hahnenkamm to Steinberkogel with i walk, Length:10.8km, Climb: 1466m, Area: Austria, Tyrol () Click here

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


Note about works in the Mournes.
The MHT (Mournes Heritage Trust) view: "Folks, at the last MORF (Mournes Outdoor Recreation Forum) meeting in June we discussed erosion control works including the section from Slieve Binnian along the Mourne Wall to the Carricklittle Track/Black Gate. The works commence about half way down the wall and run to the Track. We discussed erecting a temporary fence and information board at each end to explain the work and encourage users along the line of the sustainable path. The plan is for the fences to act as a temporary 'steer' and to remove them after a while when users become more familiar with the route. There will be 2 fences at the mountain end of the path and possibly just a sign at the Carricklittle Track end.

We intend to erect the fences over the next 2 weeks as the contractors move off that site and relocate to Brandy Pad/Donard saddle where the remaining works are to be carried out under this project.

Happy for feedback, please put the word around."

Taking the request for feedback at face value we hereby include the following sceptical alternative and definitely more memorable views from one of our members. Read the forum where there is some support for this point of view.
BleckCra on Wrong Tracks
What this is, is part of the heap of rubble installed as a "track" by the Mourne Heritage Trust, the length of the Glen River, Slieve Donard - or more accurately their idea of a track. Sure we never contested it, so what do we expect? Yes the turmoil on the right. Not the track on the left, which it turns out, is our comment on it. Emerging from Donard Wood on to the Glen River track, a thing un ... Click here

and the more literary:
BleckCra on Horror Picture Book
... and today children, we're going to look through the ......... ass-half window. And what do we see? We see bags, white bags. I wonder what's inside. It's sand! Yes - sand! We wonder where it came from. Maybe from the seaside. The lovely seaside. And a man has brought it here in a helicopter and dropped it from 'way up there - plop - right on to our mountain. Aren't we glad we weren't unde ... Click here

Cartography: Miscellanea
You Won’t Believe How Insanely Detailed This Guy’s Fictional Maps Are.

Take a look at some of the other linked articles in Wired's MapLab - they are really fascinating and original for anyone interesting in modern mapping.

Carlow Autumn Walking Festival
Walk in the Blackstairs on Fri 13th Sept to Sunday 15th.
Highlights include Canoeing along the River Barrow, walk with Éanna Ní Lamhna on Sat and Bike and Hike all days.
More www.carlowtourism.com/walkingfestival

Bikers trail grab in the US.
We were amused but not really surprised at the following that came from the American Hiking Society recently:


As you may be aware, in recent months there has been an upsurge of organized mountain biking groups working to gain access to sections of National Scenic Trails where mountain bikes are currently prohibited. These trails - or in some cases, sections of these trails - were neither designed nor built for mountain bike use. Due to concerns about safety, sustainability, and the displacement of hikers on trails with heavy bike usage, American Hiking Society (AHS) believes that National Scenic Trails, and/or sections of these trails, where mountain bikes are currently prohibited, should remain closed to bicycles. In the coming year, American Hiking Society will be working with federal agencies, hiking clubs, and others in the outdoor recreation community to address this issue as it affects the hiking experience on National Scenic Trails. To effectively meet this threat, AHS needs your support! ... ... "

ARTICLE: Summiteers Challenge?

Sea Stacks - another sort of challenge
an article by Peter Walker.

Cnoc na Mara and Tormore Island from above.
Recently, in recognition of an imminent augmentation of my age, I went for a little drive out to coastal Donegal. The weather was unpromising as my car negotiated the rickety road to the tiny outpost of Port, rain variously lashing and caressing the windscreen as its moods ebbed and flowed. Mid-morning found me at the tiny little harbour sporting boots and shouldering a camera; all around me the landscape was ridiculous and the elements were a bit on the stroppy side. I set off north along the coastline, easy going up sheep-cropped grass belying the drama unfolding beyond my personal space. The prospect south opened out to display countless secret inlets bitten into the cliffs and gossamer waterfalls sheeting down to the sea, while closer to hand I passed above the crushed knuckle of Toryarden Island. Conditions underfoot remained incongruously benign as I sauntered close to huge cliffs of wondrously striated rock. And finally a careful descent down a steep slope poised above a ridiculous abyss brought me face to face with the monstrous tusks that had been the objective of the trip. Below me lay Tormore Island, a huge hulk of rock like a supertanker's death throes just before it slides beneath the waves. Next to it was Cnoc na Mara, a towering spire rising from the depths as if an angry witch had been roused from her sub-aqueous slumbers.

My otherwise slack jaw tightened enough to allow a chuckle. 'Blimey', I thought...'I'm glad I don't have to climb either of those.' But unfortunately, if I (or anyone else) wish to complete all the summits listed on MountainViews, we'll soon have to.

Tormore Island from the south, in case the overhead view made it look easy.
Yes, those who've long bemoaned the absence of any tops with genuine technical challenge in the lists (an Irish 'Inaccessible Pinnacle', if you will) will probably now be wishing they'd kept their mouths shut, for the addition of hills with 100m of separation has brought a fair few of these behemoths into play; not so much Inn Pins as Old Man of Hoys. Whether they will ever become as popular as the afore-mentioned lump of rock on Skye is highly debatable, for numerous reasons:

1) Both of those mentioned are graded VS by their easiest route; this probably makes them a bit too hard for the average pedestrian to be hauled up by a superstar rock-climbing buddy even if they didn't have a whole load of other logistical issues associated with an ascent.

2) Being sea stacks, getting to them involves negotiating the sea. Swimming in swells and currents like these is pretty unthinkable, so some sort of boat (and intimate knowledge of said currents and swells) is necessary. And then getting out of the boat and onto the rock looks...interesting.

3) Even getting the boat into the water is fairly challenging, the storm beaches from which you launch being inevitably reached by very steep descents. I went down the initial stages of one of these descents while taking photos, and I remember finding it quite tricky weighed down by just a camera and a Twix; I dread to think what trouble lugging a boat might cause.

And if none of that sounds challenging enough, you could always consider Giant's Reek off Arranmore Island (also likely to go on the updated list), given the classic climbing XS 'death on a stick' grade (google 'Mick Fowler' for an idea of what that might entail) and guarded by hideously difficult seas. All yours...

Fortunately one doesn't have to face down gravity-and-H2O-powered death in order to get a lot from a visit to these locations. Plenty of glorious beaches are accessible by car or a short walk, and the famous view of Slieve League from the Bunglass road end is justifiably popular. Other coastal highlights such as the Sliabh Tuaidh cliffs and the incredible headland of Sturrall are perfectly accessible to the genteel walker, and all these things represent an almost random selection from the catalogue of magnificent sights proliferating along this unique seaboard; it's often cited as the finest in all of these islands, and it's hard to argue with that opinion.

"I'd love to join you for an ascent of Tormore Island, but I've just remembered there's some very important grass I have to eat near Ardara"
Those wishing to find a middle ground between 'gentle perambulation' and 'the next life' can try exploring the shoreline. (Assuming they can get to it, obviously). There are numerous enticing storm beaches (such as Glenlough Bay, just north of Tormore Island) in the area, but reaching them will involve much care and judgment and (possibly) a bit of abseiling. A member of the party experienced in ropework (hopefully one capable of remembering to bring that rope) is probably wise; such a person would also be mighty handy for those dabbling in a spot of what has come to be known as coastaleering (or coasteering, if you're into that whole brevity thing). This involves traversing the shoreline as close to the water level as possible, linking the relative relaxation of the storm beaches by means of clambering, scrambling, climbing, wading and Tyrolean traverses.

So, while completion of several lists may have just been closed off to many (courtesy of a few giant storm-tossed spanners thrown into the works), hopefully a number of avenues of adventure have been opened, or at least some eyes. There's a lot to see and do out there, and the more you see and do the more you realise that.

-- Peter Walker


The Revised Summiteers Hall of Fame and Records
Last month we mentioned that we had implemented some of the features described in the design document http://mountainviews.ie/temp/UserVisitDisplay2013.pdf, namely the historical views of who had climbed a summit, and what summits someone had climbed recently. We got a generally positive feedback on this, however if someone has reservations do get on to us at admin@mountainviews.ie.
This month we have totally rewritten the Summmiteers Hall of Fame and Records. Changes include modifying the collections that we display. We now have added "Carns" and "Binnions" for you to compare your progress on with others. We have also added some collections of British hills also. To start with these include the Munros and the Marilyns, a 600m list and a 500m list. Anyone who knows the British hill-bagging scene knows that there is a fantastic, complex array of competing lists. We have kept our initial collection simple, though will consider additions in future.

One report came in of inconsistencies between the counts here and elsewhere on the website. We will endeavour to hunt down difficulties and resolve them.

The Big Shakeup
With the addition of British lists and summit logging different names will tend to come to the top of some views of the Summiteers Hall of Fame. In fact one member has already got a count of over 1000 summit logs in the "Britain + Ireland" collection. View it yourself at mountainviews.ie/summiteers/

Software and web developers

MountainViews has one or two helpers who have kindly volunteered technical help on the website. But we could use more! Small tasks or large. Get in touch via admin@mountainviews.ie

A place for those interested in Summiteering, Bagging or Highpointing.

Hill Surveying, a small but important part of what MountainViews does.
Or why do we bother with such foolishness?

A little background When MV started working with the available summit position sources some years ago they came as 6 figure grid references. Earlier lists had specified somewhat vaguely in this fashion "Slieve Snaght 2240', Donegal, 3 3/4 miles S of Errigal". The 6 figure grid references were a big improvement, however there are still various difficulties. A 6 figure grid ref specifies not a point but the SW corner of a plot of land 100 metres X 100. (A hectare or about 2.5 acres). So assuming that the grid ref is correct, the top could be anywhere within that square. If you are navigating precisely you could miss the place by 100m east or north. Generally you can see perhaps 40 metres in mist, however in thick mist this can drop to 15m or less as it can at night. So really 6 digits aren't accurate enough and we need 8 or ideally 10. To avoid ambiguity over large areas the "Myriad letter" such as J should also be added resulting in a grid reference such as J12345 67890

By asking users to enter exact GPS coordinates for positions MV now presents corrected positions for the majority of summits in Ireland, generally within about 5m or so, good enough for precise navigation. There are some issues that remain to be dealt with such as taking measurements for the unsurveyed places and making sure we have identified the correct place, however good enough horizontal positioning is becoming well established.

On the other hand when it comes to lists and classifying summits there is a greater need for precision, specifically in elevation. Most lists are based on geographical criteria. The Vandeleur-Lynam list is specified as 600m elevation with a drop all round or prominence of 15m. Easy enough to say and usually easy enough to apply. For example, Brandon is 951m and has a prominence of 934m so it's clearly in. Around 269 summits have been found for the list. There are however hard cases and this can arise because the height may or may not be over the magic 600m or because the prominence is or is not enough. On maps Coomacloghane on the Cummeengeara Circuit in the Cahas is shown as 599m. Our initial measurements show it to be over 600m.
In a landscape where once our ancestors built stone monuments to venerate their dead, we now worship accuracy delivered from on high by Leica and Trimble.
L-r Graham Jackson, John Barnard, John Fitzgerald (MV) and Myrddyn Phillips.
If this is confirmed then we will add it to the list. Only by accurate surveying is it possible to reliably establish such a thing. For another, Table Mountain in Wicklow may be called a mountain but in reality it is a very flat ridge extending from Camenabologue. Our surveying puts it at 701.7m elevation with a prominence of 15.8m. It stays on the list by the skin of its boggy teeth.

Comparisons Abroad
Or, can we get the figures as good as the neighbouring island?

MountainViews has accurately measured around 72 summits in Ireland often targeting those that are marginal with regard to list inclusion. In this fashion so far we have revealed at least a couple of "Arderins" (500m/ 30m prominence) and very possibly upped the status of Coomacloghane. It was therefore very interesting to compare notes with another team doing hill surveying, namely the prestigious "DoBIH" (Database of British and Irish Hills - www.hills-database.co.uk/. We have had reciprocal arrangements for sharing data with this group for some time and in early Sept 2013 we met up with them to compare methods.

Surveying on the summit of Yr Eifl. Behind is the misty coast of the Irish Sea beyond which Wicklow can sometimes be seen.
Although much smaller, the black and yellow Trimble unit can just be seen taking measurements on top of the trig pillar. It turned out to have very similar accuracy to the Leica gear.
Look out west from Wicklow and occasionally you will see parts of Wales. Sometimes when the clouds are high enough this will be Snowdonia, even Snowdon itself, but often the much lower hills of the Lleyn Penisula which are slightly nearer. On comparing measurements, figures from MV were within centimetres of the DoBIH figures on some of these, such as Bwich Mawr and Yr Eifl which were obtained with a completely different make of equipment. Both teams post-process results using "Rinex" data which allows propagation speed changes to be corrected for. As an aside let me mention that this place, relatively near to Holyhead, is really interesting place to walk in for Irish visitors. Yr Eifl has three very interesting outliers, one an enormous iron-age hill fort, Tre'r Ceiri. Read up here

Another hill of interest was Mynydd Graig Goch a summit at the end of the spectacular Nantlle Ridge ( see mountainviews.ie/summit/B2033/ ) This had been marked on OS maps at 609m. For many people in Britain this meant it wasn't a mountain because 609m is just below 2000 foot. (As another aside, official Britain apparently says mountains start at 600m nowadays but public metric adoption is somewhat slow. For MountainViews we believe a more fitting figure for mountains in Ireland is 500m) Recently DoBIH measured this summit and found it to be 609.75, just over the magic 609.6= 2000ft. Wanting a short walk MV went to the top and decided to check out the elevation. We found it to be 609.74, just 1 centimetre lower than DoBIH but still well over 2000 foot. While it might have been fun to be mischievous, it would also have been somewhat awkward for all if we had got a different figure!

If you have experience of surveying or this article particularly interests you, do get in touch at admin@mountainviews.ie

MountainViews would like to acknowledge the help given to us on the visit to Wales by the "Dobbies" (Database of British and Irish Hills), in particular from Myrddyn Phillips, Chris Crocker and the rest.

MountainViews 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. Aidy, allitsaw, Andy1, AnMo, AnthonyN, bill_ducey, bramblerjunior, bria5n1, cecalini, Charliepentony, chuckmorris, climbfox, coshea1, cpgh, cravaxe, DavidKral, dcoller, Donie-G, draben, ecarton, eddietate, EoinD, Evie, fergal12, Frostyjack, galbrx, gclerkin, gerhoey, glc, glenfern, grzegorz1101, jamesmontrose, jarekmajkusiak, JemHoward, jggy2003, jimhol53, Jimifinnegan, jimmyoconnor, jkp, joanfahern, joetaylor, johnheff, kavanagh-harper, klimantje, ko, laurie, Lenka, liam24, martaska, martinmullan, Maud1, midship, migualo, mitsie, Msbinireland, Murfireland, nearym, ocarroll1, oconnor03, oldgzr, oldpragmatist, pacelli, pauricmccrum, PeterKirk, Rupa1952, samuri, Savoski, sdebarra, Seaweedmonster, sibeal, skjensen, steveevered, tallmanirl, tfm9, Traceyk, tricasey, tridon, Vasco, vinegarhill, Weslos, westerlystorm, womanwalker, Zadok (83)

Our contributors to all threads this month: Aidy (1), BleckCra (9), Colin Murphy (1), Conor74 (6), Dessie1 (2), Garmin (1), Geo (2), Harry Goodman (2), Mulciber (1), Peter Walker (3), Sarkuns (3), Wildcat (1), acorn (4), ahendroff (1), ahogan (2), aidand (2), daveevangibbons (1), david bourke (1), denis-gill (1), droginexile (1), dusted (1), eamonoc (7), gerrym (1), gfmurphy101 (1), Communal summary entries (23), hazyview (2), hivisibility (1), jimgraham (1), madeleineblue (1), majestic0110 (1), march-fixer (13), mcrtchly (1), midship (6), millsd1 (1), moore1 (1), omurchu (1), paulocon (2), peter1 (2), petercrowley (4), sandman (3), scapania (1), simon3 (13), thomas_g (4), wicklore (24), zanzibar (1)
For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors

There were comments on the following summits Arderin, Ballinafunshoge, Barranisky, Ben Gorm, Bencorrbeg, Bullaunmore, Bweengduff, Camenabologue, Carrauntoohil, Carrigeenamronety, Carriglineen Mountain, Carronadavderg, Cnoc na Deirce Bige, Cnoc na Péiste, Cnoicín an tSeabhaic, Coolfree Mountain, Corcóg, Corran, Croughaun Hill, Cruach Léithín, Cruach Mhór, Derrylahard East, Gaugin Mountain, Keeper Hill, Knockacummer, Knockaghaleague, Knockanaguish, Krinnuck, Lettertrask, Milk Hill, Minaun, Moylussa, Purple Mountain, Sawel, Seefin, Silver Hill, Slieve Commedagh, Slievereagh, Taur, Taurbeg, The Bones, Tibradden Mountain, Tievereivagh, Trostan, Turners Rock
and these tracks Austria, Tyrol , Ballincurra Hill, Shannon Ireland, Benard, Galty Mountains Ireland, Binn Dubh, Twelve Bens Ireland, Binn Ghuaire, Twelve Bens Ireland, Binn Ghuaire, Twelve Bens Ireland, Black Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Bruse Hill, North Midlands Ireland, Búcán, Maamturks Ireland, Camaderry, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Camenabologue, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Carrigshouk, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Commaun Beg, Shannon Ireland, Corrig Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Coumaraglin Mountain, Comeragh Mountains Ireland, Coumfea West Top, Comeragh Mountains Ireland, Croaghnamaddy, Donegal NW Ireland, Cummer, Shannon Ireland, Devilsmother North Top, Partry/Joyce Country Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, East Coast Ireland, East Coast Ireland, Galtymore, Galty Mountains Ireland, Keeper Hill, Shannon Ireland, Knockastakeen, Galty Mountains Ireland, Knockbrinnea (E), MacGillycuddy's Reeks Ireland, Laghtshanaquilla, Galty Mountains Ireland, Leenaun Hill, Maamturks Ireland, Maamturks Ireland, MacGillycuddy's Reeks Ireland, Mourne Mountains Ireland, Purple Mtn Ireland, Seefin N Top, Galty Mountains Ireland, Seefin, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Seefin, Galty Mountains Ireland, Silvermine Mountains Far E Top, Shannon Ireland, Slieveanard NE Top, Galty Mountains Ireland, Slievetrue, Belfast Hills Ireland, Sorrel Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Spain, Aragon , Sugarloaf Hill, Knockmealdown Mountains Ireland tracks and these walks were created Hag's Glen Horseshoe, Tomies Wood

Thanks to all 1081 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums.

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 6297 comments about 1048 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 some (9) 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. 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 as well as GPS tracks.
  • 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: Peter Walker
Book reviews: Conor Murphy, Aidan Dillon, Peter Walker
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
Newsletter archive. View previous newsletters mountainviews.ie/newsletter
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