June 2011 newsletter from MountainViews.ie
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Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser

June 2011




Handy walk in the Kenmare/ Killarney area

Matt Loughrey: climbed Croagh Patrick on 365 successive days.

Picture: Analysing your GPS Tracks

Article: National Organisation for Challenge Walks


Kenmare Killarney area
This is a fine description of a walk in the Mangertons, the first of a 2 part walk description. Replete with references both historical (ref Petty and his iron foundries) and cinematographic (Fitzcarraldo - a gorgeous wacky film about grand opera in the rain forest) this is a great read.
Conor74 on 7 Summits above Old Kenmare-Killarney Road
Overview A testing walk through difficult and varied terrain, ranging from the Old Kenmare Killarney Road to the rugged features of the area described as the Kenmare Uplands by Kevin Corcoran in his book “Kerry Walks”, the wonderful raised bogs of Foardal and the ancient woods of Killarney National Park. The more adventurous can take the obvious scrambles that present themselves on the east ... Click here

Walkers Association of Ireland
and other groups.
Irish Challenge Walk Information 2011 from The Walkers Association.
  • The GALTYS WALK (GUS TOBIN MEMORIAL WALK) 11th June 2011 Distance: 26 km. Total Ascent: 1,400m. More Info Here
  • LUG WALK 18th June 2011 Distance: 51 km. Total Ascent: 2,590m. More Info Here
  • GALTEE CHALLENGE 2011 26th June 2011 Distance: 32 km. Total Ascent: 2,100m. More Info Here
  • COMERAGH CROSSING 2nd July 2011 Distance: 30/40 km. Ascent: 1,150/1920m. More Info Here
  • JOYCE COUNTRY CHALLENGE Saturday 16th July 2011 Distance: 30 km. Total Ascent: 1,936m. More Info Here
Further WAI events in 2011/2012 - Winter Talks Series
The WAI are planning a further talk series in the Dublin area for winter 2011/2012 which will be detailed in due course. There will be a talk by East-West mapping in connection with their maps for hillwalkers. A talk on walking in Slovenia is also planned for before New Year. If you are interested in contributing or (hosting such an event outside of Dublin), do get in touch at http://www.walkersassociation.ie/contact
WAI Photo Gallery - why not upload some of your pictures (Ireland or abroad) to this?

Knocknarea view of Ballisodare Bay by member Swoop. More information

Recent Contributions and News
Steeped in beauty
The going is steep and tough, but the Owenglin valley in the Twelve Bens is the height of beauty.
Geansai on Binn Fraoigh: Owenglin Valley
Approached from the Owenglin valley to the west. Turn north off the N59 between the youth hostel and Clifden to get there and park at the entrance to the forest track just after the bridge ( L 744 513 ). Its a fifteen minute walk straight up the forest track until you come to a wide stream that you get round by going to the left and you're in the valley where you can take your pick of the various ... Click here
Climbing Croagh Patrick 365 days in a row!
Member Swoop tells us that Matt had actually climbed the summit a number of times before this particular challenge. The achievement is huge, given the horrendous weather last winter.
simon3 on MountainViews with Matt Loughrey and Award.
Matt successfully completed climbing Croagh Patrick each day for 365 days, finishing on 4th June 2011. This achievement is quite unique and we hope it inspires other people to try hillwalking. MountainViews generally honours people who have climbed many summits rather one summit many times. However we felt this was such an achievement in raising money for SVP and for popularising hillwalking th ... Click here
Also see comment from matt himself
mattloughrey on Thank you Mountain Views.
On Saturday June 4th I was honoured to receive a certificate that recognised what the 365 event has done, in any capacity for the hill walking community. To be met at the summit by the team from Mountain Views was humbling to say the very least. What a fantastic day we all had, really proud of the turn out. Very best regards, Matt Loughrey (Murrisk Co. Mayo) Click here
Binnian - works causing concern.
Our trenchant correspondent questions the logic of graniting the way up Slieve Binnian in the Mournes.
Regular visitors will know that we generally support Mountain Meithail, the group that does valuable track repair in the Republic. Nevertheless I have had occasion to climb Two Rock (Dublin Mountains) a couple of times in the last while. There is a stretch where largish granite lumps have been laid down on the way up from the Three Rock area. On one occasion I tried walking on these in icy conditions. Never again. The rock was covered in a thin layer of ice (verglass) which made them seriously treacherous. On the other occasion in better weather, I found the irregularity of the largish uncut pieces quite difficult to walk on. A bit like walking on a scree slope where you need to watch where every footstep goes. While of course we need to minimise damage in places like this, near to a major city, it seemed unnecessarily difficult on this stretch on "the mountain of flagstones". Perhaps others have different opinions? Can anything be done about this within the voluntary resources available?
Northern slope, off Binnian, this is what now greets you. A brief debate developed earlier on this site about the rights and wrongs of this effort and I shall not revisit it. The positions were intransigent – on this side and on that side. A replay would instruct no one. So I leave it to anyone who has stumbled on the new-look Slieve Binnian or whoever would like to comment, now having seen the ph ... Click here

Next Mountain Meitheal for trail repairers in the Dublin area anyway: Our next work day will be Saturday 11th June 2011 in Knockree. www.pathsavers.org
Opportunity knocks
On the ridge between Devilsmother and Maumtrasna, Knocklaur offers the chance for some spectacular summitting in Joyce Country.
group on Knocklaur: A dramatic location
Knocklaur is roughly the midpoint on the ridge connecting Maumtrasna and Devilsmother. This explains its name, Knocklaur, meaning ‘middle hill’. There is a steady bog sweeping up to the summit from the south, while to the north of the summit ridge the ground plummets away in sharp cliffs and extremely steep slopes. The views from Knocklaur are fantastic, especially across to the ridge containing D ... Click here
The value of "map and compass"
Recently we were glad to see a comment come in from DWMRT (Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team) stressing the need for map and compass. I totally agree with the sentiment and always go on the hills with a map and a compass. However the piece also says: " No replacement for map and compass however!". As a GPS user, not so sure about that!
Dwmrt on Recent rescue - use of phones and GPS
The recent rescue in Wicklow was a good example of problem solving and using technology where you can. No replacement for map and compass however! Be safe out there and have fun:) Click here

Press release from Mountain Rescue about the original rescue:
simon3 on Man rescued from the Spinc
Today Friday 13th May a 65-year old man was stretchered from the Lugduff Spinc mountain trail. At about 12.30pm he sustained a lower leg injury and had to seek assistance to return to the valley. Both Mountan Rescue Teams in Wicklow attended the scene and helped in carrying the hillwalker approximately 2km down a very rough mountain trail. The weather was unsuitable for a heli-evacuation wit ... Click here
Check out DWMRT "Walk the Line Challenge" on June 25th also.
Dwmrt on Walk the Line Challenge
Some of you may be aware that Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue is running a Challenge hike called Walk the Line on June 25th. We're holding an information night on Wed 1st June in the Great Outdoors on Chatham Street. We'll be giving a brief talk about the Challenge and answering any questions you may have. The staff from the Great Outdoors will be on hand to help out with gear and we'll have bo ... Click here
Revised GPS Map.
As a follow on from the last item, member Pazapas had produced an updated map for use on GPS units. Highly recommended.
Pazapas on Ireland Map v1.99
Ireland Map v1.99 is available for both PC & Mac. This update contains OSM data and Mountain Views summits from 2011/05/15. Few little changes are also added. Next may display forest with new transparent patterns (like OSI map 2010 style). The link : http://emerald-island.eu/wikka/GpsMap Click here
The great Caha expanse
High in the Cahas sits a largely untrod, broad area of small rises, boulders, marsh, rocky ridges and countless small loughs…
Colin Murphy on Killane Mountain: The great Caha expanse
Killane was the fourth top in a long day's walking, which began with the Sugarloaf, Sugarloaf West Top, Nareera and then crossed the huge swathe of largely flat but fascinating landscape which is approximately 8 sq km and marked on the OS map by Glenlough Mt and Ram's Hill (which are not MV listed summits). the area is little visited one suspects as it holds no summits for bagging, nevertheless it ... Click here
Naked madmen in Sligo mountains!
The mythical tale behind Mystic Lake in the Ox Mountains is revealed.
swoop on Slieve Daeane: Mystic Lake ( Lough Dhá Géanna )
Under Sliabh Dá Éan ('mountain of two birds) lies a small but beautiful hidden lake. Legend has it that got its name Lough Dhá Géanna from the story of king Sweeney. Sweeny was a king condemned by an angry cleric to wander, naked and nervous as a bird throughout Ireland.Any sharp sound , like the ringing of a bell, would send Sweeney into madness. Because of the curse he began to levitate and mo ... Click here
Ever met a million rural midges?
Crockfadda and Slieve Snaght in the Derryveagh Mountsins prove a challenge as much for the mad Donegal midges as the climb itself!
group on Crockfadda: Ever met a million rural midges?
Approach from Glenveagh along the R254. Park in the small slipway carpark at B92918 12363, room for 5-6 cars. Walk northeast along the road for 1km, cross the fence to your left and follow the Sruhancrolee stream northwest over marshy ground before ascending steeply next to a small waterfall. The slope is less steep as you cross a boggy kilometre west the small summit cairn If you climb here d ... Click here
Ireland's Uluru!
Looking peculiarly like Australia's Uluru, minus the red-coloured rock, Slemish is a striking summit in the Antrim Hills.
group on Slemish: Well worth a visit
Slemish is a striking hill, appearing as a sudden lump sticking out of the surrounding land. It is very popular with Pilgrims on St Patrick’s Day, and can also be busy on most weekends. Starting at 217057 there is a track to the summit that will take about 20 – 25 minutes. The track is steep and muddy in places and would require care on icy days. Because of land ownership, this is the only approve ... Click here
Monarch of Achill
Achill's wonderful Slievemore is as fine a mountain as you'll find anywhere on the island…
group on Slievemore: Monarch of Achill
Follow the road along the west side of Doogort strand until there is open mountain on your left hand side (around F669 090). There's a few places to park along this road, or further back at the beach. Once off the road, head for the base of the obvious ridge to the south of the corrie and follow an intermittent path along the heathery, rocky ridge until, after 650m or so of climbing, the summit ri ... Click here
Barbed ascent
Carran Far North Top in the Shehy/Knockboy area has so many barbed wire fences you might be forgiven for thinking you're on a battlefield!
group on Carran Far North Top: Barbed ascent
There is room for one car to park at V 036 698 (Point A), at the entrance to a short track up to a farmhouse. Almost directly across the road another track leads to the NE, although you will need to cross several gates as you go. After about 500m at point V 038 702 (Point B) this forks. Take the track to the left which soon becomes a meandering forest trail. Continue up this gently rising track fo ... Click here
The making of a mountain
Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands is one of Europe's few active volcanoes and at just 900m, it's a must for hillwalkers.
brenno on Stromboli climb
Just back from a one week volcano trek in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands - absolutely magical. Highlight has to be Stromboli, a 900 metre cone that rises straight from the sea and which is one of the few active volcanos in Europe. A tough 900 metre climb from sea level and if you want to go beyond 400 metres height you have to go as part of a guided group. Pace has to be steady too as the group ... Click here
More on Oman - so good they've been there twice!
kernowclimber on Arabia's Hidden Treasure: Oman
Martin and I have just returned from another amazing trip to Oman, land of myth and legend, of a Thousand and One Nights, the Queen of Sheeba and Sinbad the Sailor; land of barren, majestic mountains, deep wadis and lush oases; harsh and aesthetically beautiful desert; of warm, crystal clear seas literally shimmering with tropical fish. This time we climbed 2 via ferrate, trekked a precipitous ... Click here
Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for the month later.

Article: National Organisation for Challenge Walks.

MI is calling for submissions to a review entitled "Organised events in the mountains - Updating Mountaineering Ireland's policy". I would like to encourage people who are members of MI to look at and respond to this policy as outlined in the Spring ML. I understand that submissions from parties, who are not members, will also be accepted.

Many of us are interested in doing Challenge Walks seeing something that is great fun, bringing people from all over the island to explore some of the challenging terrain together. They allow both the organisers and participants a sense of discovery and feeling of self-worth. It's a flowering of the power of volunteering and community /club self-organisation.

However there are issues. This year saw a row between organisers of one event and landowners. There have been serious safety issues at some events: in 1999 one of the organisers of the Maamturks event was killed and there have been a number of emergencies at that event and others. Anecdotally I have heard of experienced walkers agreeing to help in events and then finding that they are expected to lead 50 to 200 diverse and ill-prepared people in a group. Perhaps the biggest issue surrounds some fund-raising companies or poorly organised communities using the power of such events to attract hundreds onto hills without adequate organisation. Karl Boyle of MI tells me their local consultations have mentioned a number of issues mostly with non-club organised events. However what there hasn't been is any sort of quantitative survey of such issues.

There has been no national group coordinating challenge walks on this island. There is a need to study how organisation is done and continuity between years is established, there is a need to consider safety methods, the role of new technology in the running of events, there is a need for a measured sort of promotion of events, training for participants. The social side should be considered - many of us remember the superb way that Glover Walks were rounded off by a dinner afterwards where participants could meet and tell stories. New routes and areas need to be considered to widen the range of experiences available from challenge walks. And yes it is important to consider the environmental damage and measures to limit this IF necessary and not the result of environmental scaremongering.

However it becomes clear reading the MI article that despite its title, its intent appears solely on revising the MI environmental policy. Currently and for the last decade MI policy about challenge walks is contained in environmental policy. It's a tunnel vision. By restricting the view to what can be seen through green spectacles MI has ignored an entire area of hill-walking. Instead of thinking of ways to properly relate to challenge walks such as encouragement, respect for organisers, handling landowners, training, national coordination, publicity, advocacy on tourism grounds etc the only issue is the environment. Instead we have MI saying that it will only support events in accordance with their policies. This is a negative way of trying to influence the situation and begs the question "Who exactly says whether or not a particular event follows the policy? "

And this limits what effect MI can have on the non-affiliated walking and hillwalking events. Insofar as say community groups organising events have heard of MI are they really going to listen to a policy expressed solely in environmental terms? (Looking to a group entitled Mountaineering for help climbing a local 300m hill has always been a discordance - but that's another discussion)
And even this concentration on the environment seems at variance with evidence. For example, the previous policy published in 2002 said "[MI] believes the current level of such activities is environmentally unsustainable .." Really? The number of club organised Challenge Walks in 2002 was around 12 or 13 (it's now around 21) so a lot of events have taken place. Where's the systematic evidence of unsustainability on the ground after nearly 10 years? The visible signs of trail erosion in say Wicklow show a pattern mostly connected to car parks and waymarked ways. This website lists 62 mountain areas - surely even the smallest could sustain one walk a year and large areas like Wicklow or the Mournes more?

So what needs to be done?

Hillwalking needs national organisation and coordination for each of its components (that's another whole discussion!). One of these components is Challenge Walking. MI policy should recognise the need for national organisation and respect and encourage it. Policy towards the environment should be a small but necessary component in a much bigger vision expressed in a proper policy that deals with challenge events holistically.

One model that could be considered is that of the LDWA in Britain. The Long Distance Walks Association has around 6000 members and has created a national framework for long distance walking events such as their "Hundreds" (Hundred mile walks). If you look at the ratio of British to Irish population size its around 15:1, so 6000 in Irish terms would be, very roughly, 400. Which is probably about the number that regularly participate in Irish challenge walking. The LDWA is affiliated to the Ramblers Association which is the national representative body for walkers in the UK. This seems to me to be an appropriate setup - the national body recognises and works with a group of voluntary specialists interested in their activity - why can't we do this here?

What you can do?

Go along to the MI consultation. Ask questions about why their policy is only about the environment. Ask how this aspect of the sport can have a strong voluntary leadership. Ask why there has to be one policy for all types of event regardless of objectives, methods and participant skill?

Currently there is a small WAI (Walkers Association of Ireland) group for challenge walks who publishes the rolling calendar of events. Get in touch. Comment on their website.

You can use forums here or the WAI to discuss the issues - remember unfortunately MI still hasn't reinstated its previously successful online forum.

Simon Stewart. (Opinions here are not necessarily those of the MV Committee.)

New features
New feature to show comments in full when you click on a "trailer".
Some time ago we altered the website so that if you clicked on a link from one of the "Recent Contributions" news items you were brought to the appropriate forum with only the item in question showing in full.
Anyway, we've changed things so that there is now a choice as to whether the item is shown by itself or not. A bit of a mouthful that. Just look for "Currently showing comments in full Change".
simon3 on Show full or summary versions of comments
When you click on a link from "Recent Contributions" you currently arrive at a page with just the comment you clicked on in full, the rest being just listed. Logged in members can now change this by clicking on a new link Currently showing only linked comment in full Change which appears for both mountain comments and forums. When you change the setting, it is changed until you change i ... Click here
GPS track analysis feature.

MountainViews is working on a new way of sharing information from contributors. Members will be able to upload tracks of where they have been. There's an astonishing amount of value that can be gleaned from such tracks in terms of keeping a record of where you've been (shareable), noting what summits you reached, analysing athletic performance, creating maps of routes etc.

The early version screenshot illustrates how data may be analysed. There are five colours in use for walking speed: green for moderate, tan for fast, purple for slow speed (generally uphill as you can see), pink for stopped (you can see where we had lunch just south of Duff Hill - top left) and grey for vehicle speed (no examples in this track). The info bubble summarises key features of the walk such as when you started and when you reached various summits.
Although we are many many months from even an initial useable public system, if you are technically minded you are invited to look at the very early versions of this new feature and participate in its development. Contact us at admin@mountainviews.ie or use the members messaging service to send to simon3.

This month.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. aj70, andyh, andyj, ardaghjim, barrymagee, behavioursupport, bhodge, bill_garrett, birgiteder, blackleg, boggyboy, Bohemian, Border-bob, boscogillard, bourken, breffni, brianah, bried, brud, ccrawley, charliedoherty, ChrisDoody, ciarandonn, CliveDrew, Colleran, cots263, cqui, cronin54limerick, damo11, damod, daniel9021, danielek1, DannyN, daraghg, davepc33, DavidK, decalcock, DeepSub, defexoppy, DeNiro, denisgadgets, derek-a, devorgile, Dineen, djeddies, donardon, done74, dr1980, drsazmac, dtpunshon, Effenceteassew, Eiger, eiregal, eoinmcc, eryri, EugeneHendrick, Extirtytomi, FrankDempsey, Freckly, gbebo, Georgefitzgerald, goldfishka, Govinda, grimesa, gubranna, hannanj, Hatchet, hikelass, HillmanImp, Hills-Notaway, hollywoods, iago1709, Ianik, ingeenierland, IntesseShes, IntrepidClimber, jamesmaster, James_Cosgrove, JByrne, jenstress, jetblue1, jetblue2, jimhoare, jimmy-mc, Jinty, jk, jmcg, jmcjames, JoeyC, julek2601, julieann28, Kansas, Kenneth123, kevin50s, kissanepat1, kmerry, lawrence, ldeering, leona, lesholmes, liamdowling, lindie1, Lm_Holland, looseygoosey, magnumpig, mags4, Malew, Malfergus, manaslu99, margie, MariaP, marilyn, markhealy1000, marnah, marrow-man, matthew1242, mazza, merc, MFergus, Mire, mjf1230, mjs, mogan99, mojo, mountainviewsgru, mousheen, naramovige, nicklyons07, Nietnagel, nodule, nollag, nomad77, number6, nwtxd, ODonnell5, owen27wrighto, padraicm, padraigoc, parcvert, patbarry, patfitz, PaulBuchanan, paulnick, paul_ferris, pf, philscott, philscottparthus, phoenix01, pnfagan, poopoobasto, punkeasy, RayBradfield, rdbinks, richardmgn, rodge87, Roise, roisinhood, roxy, ruairiomahony, rudazebra, runnerbrady, Sabena, Saipal, Saxophone, seamusk, seanmacmay, seanmooney, sergepcrest, shayden, Slippery, SoniaBech, soupertrooper, srr45, sstegerhoey373, tatrasss, tmcguire, toppingpeter, triptotipp, TwelveSticks, vickys, viduzas, vinnyflee, wacker1, walsh, waypont, wexfordclimber, wheresmyf-ingtea, whywasthatfor, wileecoyote43, WmKee, xj5Adulnellele20, yambox, zitapaulinegriff (193)
Our contributors to all threads this month: Bleck Cra (3), Colin Murphy (5), Conor74 (4), Dessie1 (1), Donard850 (1), Dwmrt (2), Eamonn96 (1), Geansai (2), HoschIchenheim (1), Malew (1), MariaP (1), Pazapas (1), Peter Walker (1), ahendroff (1), barryd (3), brenno (3), colin4 (1), dhmiriam (1), dmcdevitt (1), drsazmac (2), Communal summary entries (27), hbowman1 (1), jackill (3), kernowclimber (1), liamdv (1), maclimber (3), madfrankie (1), marymac (1), moggy40 (1), movingmountains (1), nordiclady (1), paddyhillsbagger (1), patd (1), pdtempan (5), runnerbrady (1), simon3 (5), slemish (2), srr45 (1), swoop (24), ucampbell (1), wicklore (5) and Contributors to GPS information this month were: Geo (12), madfrankie (1), trudger (2), wicklore (15)

For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors
There were comments on the following summits Annagh Hill, Ben Lugmore, Ben Lugmore East Top, Benbradagh, Benbulbin, Benwiskin, Binevenagh, Binn Fraoigh, Boviel Top, Caora Bhán, Copes Mountain, Croagh Patrick, Damph, Dooish, Dooish South-East Top, Hungry Hill, Keeraunnageeragh, Killane Mountain, Kings Mountain, Knocknarea, Lugnaquilla, Mount Oriel, Muckish, Mweelrea, Pigeon Rock Mountain, Seanadh Bhéara, Slieve Beagh South East Top, Slieve Daeane, The Paps East, Truskmore and these walks were created 7 summits above Kenmare (Part 2), 7 Summits above Old Kenmare-Killarney Road
Thanks to all 911 who have ever contributed summits or routes info and forums. .

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 5189 comments about 949 different hills & mountains out of the total in our current full list (1056). 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 only around 44% There's plenty (107) 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, Knockaghaleague, Bunmore, Knocknascollop NW Top, Cruach Leac Chonaill, Lettertrask, Coolsnaghtig, Cashloura and some 19 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 Editor: Simon Stewart Homepage: www.simonstewart.ie
Assistant editor: Colin Murphy
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
Newsletter archive. View previous newsletters mountainviews.ie/newsletter
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