July 2009 newsletter from MountainViews.ie
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/mv/index.php?user=guestuser&tp=921Rn3F7LcY4g'text-align: center; width:600px; margin-left: 50px; '> Sybil Head

Taken at Sybil Head at the west end of the Dingle peninsula.
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7 Years + Good Weather = 100 Contributions MountainViews started in June 2002. That month there were 3 summit comments. I'm glad to report that in June 101 comments have come in with 74 photos and 22 new summits described. This is the first time we have reached a century in a month.
A community site such as MountainViews sets out to provide a resource "by the people for the people". Not sell a service. Not represent a state body. Not stick to the party line of some national body with threadbare legitimacy *. And it works. People want to write and people want to read. With some four hundred thousand words of description on the hill-walking possibilities of (so far) 758 summits this is a huge compendium of walking knowledge in Ireland. Every contribution you put in advances us to our aim of great practical information for walkers for every summit in Ireland.

* oh ok you do occasionally find rantings here on how things should be organised - however unlike some other places you have a right of reply
One Irish Summitteers step - Wicklore Scotland has long had Munro-bagging as a defined activity with thousands of "Compleaters". Summitteering is also a focus for hillwalkers in Ireland, one that is gaining momentum. Thousands of people use MountainViews to log at least a few summits climbed. Increasingly the number of summit climbs people have logged is rising. 215 people have logged 50 or more which is up from 33 in 2004.
As well as traditional lists MV exploits what's possible on a website for example providing users with a "Local 100" based on where you live.
Wicklore, a member of 2 years standing, really stage-managed the step he took in reaching all 100 of his local summits (and 200 overall). In the process he encountered ringforts, a teddy bear and lonely places. He heaped praise on what MV currently lists as the most isolated summit: Croaghan Hill in Offaly. So far as I know he is the only person to have done all of his "Local 100" summits. Read all about it:
wicklore on A Great Day
My Local 100

Sunday 21st June was a great day for me. With one walk I completed my Local 100 hills, and also completed my nationwide 200th summit.
My 100 local hills (as defined on MV) are spread across 8 counties – Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Meath, Cavan, Louth & Offaly. So much for local! I had planned it so that Croghan Hill in Offaly would be the final of the lot. This i ... Click here

There's more by Wicklore later about Croaghan Hill. There's more on the lists you can choose on the site at Lists & Logs | Seven Lists & Personal Log

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


Patrick McGoohan was born in America, returned with his Irish parents to Ireland and lived in England. So what is his Welsh connection ….? Cryptic innit? However, he may be known better to many of us as Edward Longshanks in Mel Gibson's entertaining epic "Braveheart".
Longshanks, old-time England's Edward 1, was also known as "Hammer of the Scots", the latter slipping on their arse between nationalism and bribery and getting kicked up it, in the process.
But Longshanks did not contain his loathing for rebel hordes to behind Hadrian's wall; the troublesome savages behind Offa's were to get it too.
One demented Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Welsh super-chieftain, despite virtually everyone he knew defecting to Edward's side, kept it up with the two fingers salutes to the stoney-faced Sassenach.
.. the hills of North Wales, he cannot commend enough ..
This resulted in Wales being reduced to dust but with Llywelyn keeping a title "Prince of Wales". Ho-hum. So up he went with another rebellion and was immediately despatched to Hell.
Longshanks then built a platoon of the most seriously eff-off castles on these islands. Caernarfon is scary even now and it was built some 700 years ago - here Ed 1 made Ed 2 the first English Prince of Wales - and it is particularly intimidating for Welsh nationalism as it stares straight at Anglesey, centre of Welsh religion and mysticism. The town itself is wonderful with its great pubs and fab eating places. Perhaps best of all it is only minutes from some of the most spectacular mountains in these islands, Snowdonia, which gives us of course Snowdon at 3,560' and endless enjoyment from desperate ridges, gorgeous valleys and v. high tops. Scrabbler can commend many Scottish, English and Irish mountains, but the hills of North Wales, he cannot commend enough. 1 or 2 hours-ish from Dublin. .

Your comments or suggestions to The Scrabbler.

The Arderins - a list of 500m summits of Ireland
More on the Arderins - a mountain list tailored to Irish interest.
Last month we proposed the Arderins, a name for the 500m summits of Ireland list. We got a number of expressions of support - unless there's some last minute comment we will start using the name Arderins. We also got other suggestions including some for other lists such as the 600s.
In case you missed it, here is background to the "Arderins" name. Shortly MountainViews will have been around for seven years and we want to celebrate by naming one of the lists we have created. Our list of 500m and higher summits was based on previous work by mostly Irish sources.
Contributors to all MV's lists have made a serious attempt to get correct names, Irish names, derivations, area classification etc. Then using the list form a rich, interactive and social experience on the website to which over 600 contributors have added their experiences of the summits with comments and photos. We would like to give the 500m list a name reflecting where it came from and we have a suggestion.

The Arderins

The logic of the name "Arderins" is to use the name of one of the summits, Arderin (in the Slieve Blooms, near the centre of the island) to represent the whole 500m list. Arderin is an anglicised form (thought not a total manglicisation) meaning something like "height of Ireland" which we think is also appropriate.
Time is running out to comment!

And now for something completely different.
New public mapping information becoming available. The elevation coloured maps that MV shows are based on the free data that NASA provided (known as SRTM data). While a huge benefit to map makers the world over (for example the East West map of Dublin/Wicklow we reviewed recently) it was always a disappointment that NASA did not release the height data for most of the world to its full accuracy. However they now appear to be providing a differently sourced height global dataset with around 6 times the density of data points. Should be great for mapmakers, projects like Open Street Map and of course MountainViews. Eventually we should be able to get better free contours on paper and gps maps. The dataset is known as ASTER - it has been available since the early 2000's but at that time it was more like a disAster for practical mapping.
More ...

Recent Contributions and News
Another brilliant mountain photo.
That wild area around Knocknagantee, Coomura, Finnararagh at the far end of the Iveragh peninsula provides some of the best and least well known walking on the island of Ireland. Just look at this spectacular picture. It taken from a vantage point I don't remember anyone previously exploiting. (Wish I'd taken it myself).
peterkerry on Knocknagantee
Great walking in the area with the great weather last weekend! We started up the road/track from the farmyard in Gloragh then cut off east to the base of Eagles Lough, up the LHS of the waterfall & kept left of Lough Coomanassig heading straight out the back of the coom before swinging west then south-west to the flatish summit marked by a stone pyramid (man made!). Descended via the farmers road ... Click here
The most isolated peak in Ireland
We have mentioned the isolation of summits in Ireland before. Basically the measure of isolation we are using is the distance from a given summit in MountainViews lists to the next.
Note: If you want to create your own isolation listings you can go to MV | More | Resources | Listings. Click on "Show Isolation" and the program will generate listings. You can sort on isolation.
With the summits currently included in MV the most isolated are:
Name Area Height m Isolation km
Croghan Hill North Midlands 234 31.9
Mount Oriel East Coast 251 28.8
Slievecallan Clare SW 391 26.9
Slieve Bawn North Midlands 262 25.4

Not many well known summits there! But then they are by definition away from the main mountain areas and it turns out that there are no totally isolated higher summits in Ireland.

The next table shows the most isolated summits in different height ranges. Slieve Carr has been mentioned before in discussions on MV as being the hardest to get to and the isolation table illustrates this.
Height range Name Area Height m Isolation km
400-499m Maghera Shannon (Slieve Aughty) 400 15.3
500-599m Brandon Hill South Midlands (Brandon Hill) 515 5.6
600-713m Scarr Dublin/Wicklow (Wicklow Mountains) 641 3.4
Highest 100 Slieve Carr North Mayo (Nephin Beg Range) 721 4.6

Anyway for a really interesting description of the most isolated peak read this summit comment, by Wicklore again, which has access information, folklore, history, directions and information about an annual climb. All recounted by a member with a baby on his back!
wicklore on Croghan Hill
Croghan Hill in Co. Offaly is listed on MV as the most isolated hill in Ireland – in effect it is 32 kms from the nearest MV listed hill, which is the Ridge of Capard in the Slieve Blooms. I climbed Croghan Hill on Sunday, and in doing so I completed my Local 100 hills, and also hit the 200 summit milestone all in one go! It would also be the first time our 5 ½ month old daughter would travel on m ... Click here
MountainViews Masochists Club
As we have extended the range of heights that MV includes in lists our members have encountered some that are difficult. No, not access (though that is an issue occasionally), but usually vegetation. Shoulder high gorse. Eye-gouging Sitka spruce. Absolutely no paths.
To be a true completist you have to do them however. And then you can use the site to warn those that just want a pleasant day out what to avoid. The Wild Western pioneer was supposedly recognisable by the arrows sticking out. Here it's more the bleeding from the scrapes or the picking out of conifer needles from underclothes.
pdtempan on Tievecrom
Carrauntoohil - a doddle. Mweelrea - a piece of cake. Tievecrom? Probably even more difficult than Cairngaver. The first thing to say is that you should not feel obliged to climb this hill at all, unless you're an MV completist. A more enjoyable walk (and certainly much less masochistic one) is to circumnavigate the hill on the good forest track which loops round it at half height. However, if yo ... Click here
Total Balix
This is a smallish summit on the western end of the Sperrins between Owenreagh (with its windfarm) and the main ridge.
eflanaga on Balix Hill
Talking Ballix! One of the Sperrins outliers accessed from a track opposite junction of Glencoppagh Road IH482 956. Alternatively there is another track a little further up the hill just beyond the trees which will also bring you on to the hill's SE slope. An unremarkable hill which will only take 35 minutes up and down again. Might not seem worth it except that in this case you get maximum scener ... Click here
Second best photo this month - Photo Critique
Member dbloke describes this oddly named summit in the Mangerton area. I loved the photo which is a composition of simple foreground with contrasting background ridges fading into blueness giving depth and a feeling of wilderness. It exploits the larger format pictures MV now offers - max size 600 X 450 pixels though personally I would have cropped the bottom 15% or so.
(And the best photo this month? That was the one of Sybil Head also by dbloke at the beginning of the newsletter. A great sense of a cliff using the figure in the distance to scale it balanced by the colour of the immediate foreground. It would have been great to have seen below to strengthen the sense of edge-of-the-world but hey, you can only work with the weather and mist as you find it.)
dbloke on Shaking Rock
You can pretty much head in a direct line from the top of Knockrower to Shaking Rock, just detouring slightly to avoid the occasional small cliff. The re-ascent up just makes the Mountain Views criteria - 31m by my GPS. The summit is flat and boggy. Hard to determine the exact high point, there are 2 or 3 candidates. I wonder is the boulder in the picture the rock that shakes? It was f ... Click here
What is the iconic summit of Ireland ?
This discussion was started, or should I say ignited, by member padodes and seems to have veered from the terse /whimsical /photographic to the profound
To start:
padodes on Where is the Irish icon?
When you look at a mountain like, say, the Matterhorn, at least from the Swiss side, it immediately seems to symbolise everything we expect from a great mountain: its elegant outline soaring skywards and the promise of a cracking great climb, even if we never get to do it. I was struck recently by the same kind of symbolism at the foot of Picu Urriellu (Naranjo de Bulnes), the great limestone towe ... Click here

to the Platonic visions of dhmiriam
dhmiriam on Icon u not.
‘Icon’, noun. (Greek. eikõn, an image, from eikõ, I resemble.)
An image or representation; a portrait; This one is very clear cut. The most iconic Irish Mountain is situated in our heads, and our hearts. Not outside, topside, offside but inside.
Let me make reference to folk far more in the know than I. David Kirk’s poetic and quite beautiful publication ‘The Mountains of Mourne – A cele ... Click here

It might take you some time since the contributions are spread over 5 pages of Motley Views, but it's really an interesting discussion of what people value in our mountains. I loved the photo of Mullaghnattin from pazapas a frequent visitor from France.
South Connemara
I visited Connemara for 30 years to do the Turks, Bens, Sheefrys etc and tried little else. A tunnel focus on the higher peaks. However the best views are often on the outliers and certainly Cnoc Mordáin was a revelation. As a long scarpy ridge it also provides a fine walk of 11k or so from one end to the other and back.
simon3 on Cnoc Mordáin
Arguably Cnoc Mordáin is the best of the south Connemara summits, its petite grandeur surpassing even the rough topped Errisbeg. From the Galway to Carna road (R340) its steep SE facing slopes, some 4k long, look extremely impressive. The slopes are not so steep on the NW side, making the mountain a long scarp. The ridge is split into two parts by a col midway which drops to around 275m.
T ... Click here
Hairiest walk on the island?

Colin Murphy on Most hair-raising 'walks' in Ireland?
Having walked/scrambled/climbed the ridge to the east of The Big Gun, we debated if it had been the hairiest/scariest walk we'd done. The only one that seemed immediately comparable was the Beenkeeragh ridge, itself visible as you cling on for dear life on the way to the Gun's summit. Having said that, I have experienced a few other hair-raising climbs, including an approach to Benchoona in the Tw ... Click here

Another item like the most Iconic summit?
West Donegal, Cliffs and Views
The prolific gerrym describes this great area with a couple of comments and promises a walking route in future. Look forward to that.
gerrym on Sliabh Tuaidh Far W Top
There is no doubt that to fully appreciate this hill an approach must be made from the western seaboard, where ground falls precipitously over 1000ft to a battered Atlantic coast. I started from Glencolumbkille - giving a walk to the top of 15km and 4.25 hours along some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Parking at 526874, beside a slipway to the tidal reaches of the Merlin river. Click here
MountainViews Donard Walk

Bleck Cra and Jackill

Date of Walk changed to
SATURDAY 22nd AUGUST with possible follow-up on 23rd

Meet Donard Car Park Newcastle Co Down - 90 mins from Dublin.
From ROI - Newry, Hilltown, Follow all signs for Newcastle.
At Bryansford village opposite church take Bryansford Road into Newcastle.
Once in Newcastle ….. ask for directions to Donard Car Park. Park towards the front of the car park - ie on the hills side of the car park. Donard Car Park can fill up very quickly, so sharp is good.

Walk Starts.
Glen River, The Saddle, Slieve Donard, return to The Saddle, Slieve Commedagh, return to Glen River and Pub.

The Mountains of Mourne do in fact sweep down to the sea - and also up from it - so every one of Donard's 850ms is above sea level. Taking the tourist route presents no obstacles at all but it is a tough, dour old pull in places but with views to make it all worthwhile. It is easy for a Grade 1, accessible for a Grade 2 and hard for a Grade 3. If you are used to fairly regular hillwalking at any level, it should pose no problem. Same for Commedagh.

Depending on numbers and such there may also be an opportunity for any Grade 1s to catch another top or two in the loop. TBD.

Also TBD anyone on the Saturday incapacitated by Northern hospitality or just of a notion, there is chat of more hills next day, on the Sunday - so you might want to think about organising accommodation.

Bleck Cra mobile: NI 07745604101 ROI 0894170187

(Just to note that everyone is welcome to join us, on the understanding that this is an informal get together and that you are responsible for yourself, your own safety and any insurance matters appropriate.
You know the craic about kit but if you are bringing friend/s please keep them right. No boots and no waterproofs means a few hours in the pub instead - come to think of it, doesn't sound so bad ……)

Bleck Cra on Donard Walk August
The Scavenger Walk, c’est a dire de Cra and Jackill, as noted within Dhmiriam’s recent and completely wonderful pieces on our lovely Mournes: her breathless enthusiasm is most encouraging and her assessment of these magical hills entirely accurate although that of the Slieve Donard Hotel is quite beyond my ken and even further beyond my Bank Manager’s (should I have such an awful thing). We are st ... Click here
Sorry if I didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for the month later.

Walkers Association of Ireland
There is a list of challenge walks on the Walkers Association site.

Upcoming includes:
Comeragh Crossing Sat. July 4th 2009
The Joyce Country Challenge Sat. July 18th 2009
MOURNE SEVENS 1st August 2009
MARATHON WALK WESTERN WAY Saturday 15th August 2009
BURREN WALK Sat. 29th August 2009 CARLOW AUTUMN FESTIVAL Sat.11th and Sun.12th October 2008
WAI Photo Gallery - why not upload some of your pictures (Ireland or abroad) to this?

Site notes If you can set-up your email to get web-format ("html format"), you should be able to get more out of this newsletter. Previous Newsletters
GPS Notes. Would you like a map on your GPS so that you can visualise summits, contours etc? Well, depending on whether you have the right sort of GPS and your willingness to do a bit of uploading, we may have the answer.
simon3 on GPS for Ireland, article, download.
Currently MV provides GPS information in the form of waypoints that indicate the summit positions of all of the mountains in our list. While better than nothing this still does not use the full potential of GPS units . Essentially these can show maps and points of interest. There is no commercial product for GPS units at present, however we are pleased to announce the results of various communi ... Click here

Also the latest from MV member pazapas, with more uptodate info including lakes, rivers, roads, antiquities, 150m list from this site and urban areas.
pazapas on Ireland Map v1.91
Ireland Map v1.91 is available both for Mapsource (Windows) and Road Trip (Mac OS X). OSM layer is now routable without too much errors and it displays more features mostly in towns. Please forget v1.90. Click here

This month.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. acookson, adam, adi_big, admyers, ailish, alank1235, AnthonyMullan, arnas813, atch, Balallyfats, Banagherman, baoighill, Beagan, BenBryan, BenM, bmadden, bogue, boycie12, byrnesu, b_lydo, Cabiste, calgarygirl, CatherineMary, catherinemleech, catt3567, cazdubya, CG515eie, chamois, chrismulhall, chunkylover53x, cianryan, ciaran2, cnewman, cnosnet, colval, compostmaker, Cuggybear, d1976f, dannyt, davenalyons, Dermotr, desob, diarmuidh, dima, dkenn, doland, efclarke, EoinH, fabien, fgilsenan, fitzpatb, flaherty, Frank_Judy, freddiej, gabriele, Glashedy007, glenkar, hanleyg, hbowman, Howmanyminutes, IanW, icon, ifjmagyel, indy, ireland1974, ireland74, jandkmaguire, jennyfogarty, jflan, jimjdempsey, jl, johnpatrick_ryan, johnpaultiernan, Josh, jp, jukkako, jw1, keatipa, keithmcguigan, kenny_rorie, lance1266, landcruiserfj62, Laurad, laurike666, lightless, limpingben, longdrive, macksrfc, mark-robinson, marlene, Maumturk, Maximus, mazsoo, mcarch, mcginnsandra, mcmahonfnl, mickcleary, mikepmeehan, mjh27, mkmb, Mols, mountain-goat, mulvsmm, Murphswalking, murraydublin, mwalsh, myrdenn, myriamdenn, Ndel, NiallStobie, nuala481, obrien16, obrien17, oliwka1003, parmen39, Pauline, pdoherty, perdita, phototrek, plowry, Pokane2009, prendep, queensgael, Ref, reluctantwalker, ro-way, Roguestu, Roisinmarie, rorymac2, rosnarun, ryanjaf, scurtin, Seamus99, sebastianboppert, sergio, Sezamki, shanekerry, Shivs, siderson, siobhandep, sorbus2, speedemoneire, spudnik13, StBunt, Steve246, stoneill, stuartgriffiths, sue09, SumDup, Teresa_Madden, Terri, tessbiddy, themattarchist, thesultanofping, thisisBosco, timattwood, Tjoz, tmurphy, tomas3m, Ursush, vanczyz1, veve, vever, walkintalkin, walkintalkinfern, yeloneg, zelda, Zen, Zen1 (169)
Our contributors to all threads this month: Beagan (1), Big-Foot (1), Colin Murphy (4), Conor74 (3), Geo (7), Glashedy007 (5), HimiWack (1), Howmanyminutes (3), Prius (1), Superterence (1), ahendroff (2), brenno (2), calgarygirl (2), csd (4), darrenf (10), dbloke (7), dhmiriam (11), dr_banuska (4), eflanaga (11), gerrym (2), kdsb23 (1), kevin dockery (1), maclimber (2), madfrankie (1), marymac (1), mcrtchly (1), paddyhillsbagger (4), padodes (3), paulcoyne (1), pazapas (3), pdtempan (16), peterkerry (1), peterturner (2), sbender (2), simon3 (14), slemish (2), themattarchist (1), three5four0 (3), wicklore (10) and Contributors to GPS information this month were: csd (3), dbloke (1), eflanaga (6), Geo (4), simon3 (7), Wicklore (7)

For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors
There were comments on the following summits Anglesey Mountain, Balbane Hill, Balix Hill, Ballinafunshoge, Baunreaghcong, Ben Gorm, Benduff, Binn Charrach, Binnion, Black Mountain NE Top, Brandon, Brickany, Bweeng Little, Camaderry, Carhoo Hill, Carnavaddy, Carran South Top, Carrigatuke, Carrowmore Hill, Ceann Bhaile Dháith, Ceann Sibéal, Chimney Rock Mtn, Clermont, Cnoc Mordáin, Cnoc na Péiste, Coolcross Hill, Corrig Mtn, Croaghan, Crocknamoghil, Croghan Hill, Croslieve, Cullenagh Mountain, Dart Mtn, Derrybawn Mountain, Dromavally Mountain, Faill an tSáis, Farbreague, Galtymore, Kilduff Mountain, Kippure, Knockanaguish, Knockantooreen, Knocklomena, Knocknacloghoge, Knocknagantee, Knocknanacree, Knockrower, Maol na nDamh, Mullaghanattin, Mullaghcleevaun, Mullaghmore, Mullaghnarakill, Mullaghturk, Oughtmore, Prince William's Seat, Raghtin More, Ridge of Capard, Rocky Mountain, Seahan, Seefin, Seefingan, Shaking Rock, Shehy Mountain, Sliabh Tuaidh Far W Top, Slieve Bawn, Slieve Beagh, Slieve Foye, Slieve Glah, Slieve League, Slievemore, Slievetooey, Spaltindoagh, Stradbally Mountain, The Foxes Rock, The Ravens Rock, Tievecrom, Trostan, Two Rock Mountain, Wolftrap Mountain and these walks were created (none in period)
Thanks to all 684 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums. .

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 3493 comments about 758 different hills & mountains out of the total in our current full list (1048). We need more comments, better comments and more balance for every summit as our rate for "data completion" now that the 150m summits have been added is currently around 39% There's plenty (290) of opportunities for you to be the first to comment on a summit. Listing summits in "Lists & Logs" (tick MV completion information) allows you to see what information we need to get more even coverage.

If you are contributing, please be careful to respect the interests of landowners. Suggest access routes well away from houses, gardens or that could conceivably impact farming activities. When walking, keep away from gardens or farm buildings. Use stiles or gates wherever possible. Never do anything that could allow animals to roam where the farmer did not intend.
If you hear of a problem area or route, write it up in MountainViews which does everyone a service.
Report rubbish tipping in the Dublin/ Wicklow area - ring PURE 1850 365 121
Report quads in national park area (in which they are banned). For Wicklow please phone the Duty Ranger: 087-9803899 or the office during office hours Telephone: +353-404-45800. Put these numbers in your phone, take regs etc. Let MV know of contact numbers for other areas.
If you have climbed some of the less well known places, we would appreciate a summit rating.We could use your help in making ratings for the unrated mountains which you have climbed, such as: Inis Tuaisceart, Maumfin, Inis na Bró, Carhoo Hill, Edenacarnan, Carranarah, An Tiaracht, Disert, Croaghan Hill, Gortmonly Hill and some 99 others. and also GPS readings for summits.
If we can, let's make MV have more than one route up a summit so as to reduce the tendency for paths to appear. Your grid refs in comments for different starting points show up on MountainViews maps.

This newsletter This newsletter is from Simon Stewart for MountainViews
Homepage: www.simonstewart.ie
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