April 2012 newsletter from MountainViews.ie
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Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser

April 2012

NEWS - INFORMATION - RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS - FEATURES - FORUMS

PIC OF THE MONTH

Highlights:

Loads of reports, tracks in the good weather

62 Tracks uploaded for first month

Book for Modern Navigation/ GPS course

Review: Kieron Gribbon County Highpoints book

Upcoming: MOUNTAINVIEWS - WALKERS ASSOCIATION - and MORE


Ordnance Survey of Ireland are running a consultation on 1:25,000 paper maps, Tues Apr 17th, 6pm

These are maps of specific areas in the Republic, such as the Brandon Mountains, the McGillycuddy Reeks and the Aran Islands. OSi are looking for informed opinion on these maps at a consultation in Dublin, on the value of paper maps in general and on whether the future is digital. Please contact mella.walsh@osi.ie if you would like to contribute.

WAI events in 2011/2012 - Winter Talks Series

Full details here: www.walkersassociation.ie

  • Soon Sat 14 April 2012. Modern Navigation course Guide to Using Your GPS with your Computer. This is now booking - see details at www.walkersassociation.ie/node/36200 The presentation is aimed at hill walkers who have mastered their GPS on its own and wish to enhance the experience by using it in association with their computer. (A small part of the course will be on how to use MountainViews with a GPS for track sharing.) This course has a tendency to be oversubscribed so book immediately.
  • Sat, 21st April 2012. WAI Photography Day This is a hiqh quality but inexpensive introduction to hill photography organised in the Brockagh Centre, Glendalough. Booking is now open at http://www.walkersassociation.ie/photoworkshop however only the last few places are now available. Where else are you going to get instructors with professional or serious amateur status at anything like this price?

  • 21st Mar 2012, Report on Completing the Munros Recent compleater and former WAI chairperson, Anne Morrissey spoke about this feat which apart from braving the Scottish mountains, has a large component of logistics for Irish attempters.
    The agm was held at the same meeting. The WAI are looking for a TREASURER. The accounts are comparitively straightforward, fitting onto 1 page, so why not put your name forward?
Full details here: www.walkersassociation.ie

For a full list of Challenge Walks, visit here.


The WAI tell us that if you are interested in hosting such an event outside of Dublin, do get in touch at http://www.walkersassociation.ie/contact

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



FUTURE MOUNTAIN MEITHEAL WORK DAYS THE FOLLOWING ARE THE WORK DAYS FOR 2012:

07/04/2012 22/04/2012 05/05/2012
20/15/2012 02/06/2012 17/06/2012 30/06/2012
15/07/2012 28/07/2012 12/08/2012 25/08/2012
09/09/2012 22/09/2012 07/10/2012 20/10/2012
04/11/2012 17/11/2012
More information at www.pathsavers.org

Regions: MOUNTAIN COMMENTS - TRIP REPORTS - SUMMARIES
In short: Discovery

NORTH: The Lost valley
A first comment for Doughill Mountain in Shehy/Knockboy from member thomas_g, who travelled tracks so ancient it was like going back in time.
SOUTH: Out of Gougane Barra
This route from newly contributing member joemountain will take you to striking distance for Conigar and the Carran group.
joemountain on Near Shehy/Knockboy (Ireland)
walk, Length:8.1km, Climb: 400m, Area: Shehy/Knockboy (Ireland)
Cuchulain's hound, the poc fada and the Ireland's smallest dolmen?
Carnavaddy in the Cooleys certainly provides a wealth of interest for all, as our member reports.
WEST: The most spectacular view in Galway?
Our member simply doesn't know where to look, so spoilt for choice of views is he on his ascent up Bunnacuneen in Partry/Joyce country. Note also that another contribution reports an access issue in the area.
WEST: The wall of death!
At least that's the view captured by member Geansai as he ascended Knocknagussy in Partry/JoyceCountry. Another first comment for an MV listed top…
NORTH: South Sperrins short walk.
Our veteran northern contributor has taken to track sharing and has this interesting short walk near Carnanelly quickly reached by anyone from Londonderry/Derry, Omagh, Ballymena.
gerrym on Goles Forest to carnanelly
A short walk of 2 hours with good parking, comfortable fores walk, Length:7.6km, Climb: 364m, Area: Carnanelly, Sperrin Mountains (Ireland) Carnanell ABROAD, Tenerife:
If you are staying in the somewhat touristical Los Cristanos you might like to try the route of this track as an antidote. After very varied countryside it arrives at Las Galletas from which you can get a bus back.
simon3 on Tenerife SW walk to Montana Guaza and Las Galletas.
Starting from the bus stop in Los Cristianos, this walk take walk, Length:19.9km, Climb: 510m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

FURTHER NEWS

Necessary works or abomination in the Mournes?
The Mournes Heritage [Replacement] Trust and responses to it in the usual Bleck Cra forthright style is typical of a number of comments there. Don't dismiss it.
My difficulty with bodies such as the MHT or others south of the Border is that I always fear the slow decade long advance of encroachment. We wanted to visit the next-to-wilderness that we have, but it is disneyfied in the name of safety or access for all or tourism. And we lose what it was we wanted to visit. Encroachment is slow and stealthy and hard to reverse and it will take more than poetry to stand up to it.
Details from www.eastwestmapping.ie/digital-mapping
Price is 50 Euro plus tax and p&p.
Initial Comment: pricey and not for Garmin the leading make. Still the Satmap product is reportedly very good and for some this will be a useful ensemble. East-West paper maps brought welcome fresh air to the scene however need some further conceptual refinement (like all other upland maps). In previous reviews we have noted the good, the bad and the ugly. Good being the well mapped forest tracks, parking places, points of historical and archaelogical interest and general detail, proper paper etc, bad being such as the bland SRTM based contours, the lack of accessible grid references (try getting your grid ref from a folded East-West map) and ugly being the naming such as the swapping of Silsean and Moanbane.
East-West are looking for constructive comment on their maps and I suggest interested users do just that. I'm sure East-West will consider informed comments seriously.

SITE NEWS


MountainViews new track sharing: 62 in March for you to look at.
This is taking off well. Track sharing is a means by which members can view where other people have found walks. Try it here at http://mountainviews.ie/track/report/ (It works much better on Firefox or Chrome browsers than on versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer before V9.)

In the coming months it will be possible to find tracks for an area by using the map as well as the methods already available. Let us emphasise track sharing is useful to you whether or not you are into GPS, because it allows you and all of us to see other peoples' routes. Personally I have already found and tried walks based on tracks other people have entered and really found them a useful inspiration (though nothing to be slavishly followed.)

Note also. Members effort in uploading tracks does not appear to be reducing the numbers of other contributions. For both February and March this year mountain comment numbers were up on last year. User visits are also up around 23% for months this year so far. MountainViews delivered well over 500,000 pages last month to 32311 visitors. Generally usage figures of different types are up around 80 to 300% over 2009.

Track Reviewer(s) Wanted

MountainViews would like to find one or more people who will take a particular interest in tracks as they come in. One of the main purposes of this is to generate a list of interesting tracks for this newsletter monthly and also to moderate descriptions. Get in touch with admin@mountainviews.ie if you would like help on this.

Responses to more of your Survey feedback. Part 3.
Continuing our attempts at transparency, this month we thought we would include comments on "more information please", "raising revenue", "holiday information" etc

More information wanted

I would lke to find some data about special geology, animals, vegetation and historical locations.

I am interested in archaeology and have found a number of new prehistoric sites in Co Wicklow. I would like to see more comments on possible archaeological sites as mountain areas are in general the least documented in Ireland in this regard.

One of the things that attracted me was archaeological information on the site pertaining to a hill. I know it is not anywhere near the purpose of this site, but expanding on the mythology, history and geology of the listed hills would be of great interest to me. I.e. each hill with a section on myth, history, (music?) etc. and perhaps updatable in wiki fashion? Otherwise, fantastic information


There is obviously demand for further place related information which we would be delighted to provide. However while most walkers can create useful information on routes and features of places, we need people with expertise to get together archaeological, historical, geological information etc. We do this for some types of information like names already and would be delighted to facilitate other creators of scientific or cultural information. We would be quite prepared to restructure the system to facilitate such information and links to other sources. Do contact us at admin@mountainviews.ie if you have a proposal.

More information 2.

I would like to see some information on Equipment. I would be interested in GPS but do not know what it is where it works,how etc. Also people submitting reviews on Equipment, special offers they came across. New Walks. Places to stay near walks .

As a non-commercial site we are not compelled to do advertorials extolling this or that piece of branded gear ignoring cheaper or more appropriate options. Nevertheless gear and how to use it is important. For starters, if someone wants to write up what they carry and why and their experience of it, we will make space for one or more articles.

More information 3.

I would like to find location of rescue means if something like that exists (and include them in my map like phone number of the nearest rescue team).

More than one person asked this. Surely the answer is that the normal emergency number 112 or 999 will always get you to Mountain Rescue, or am I missing something?

A link to a good website for the weather in Irish mountain areas that would display visibility and wind speed

I don't know of such a site specifically for Irish hills, but hey things change all the time so let me know of one. The best resource I find is the 5 day charts for wind, precipitation and temperature on met.ie

I have always thought it a bit strange in having to go through two introductory pages before getting into the site proper with information and perhaps a revamp of this introductory process and layout might be useful. I would be prepared to put up with some walking specific advertising on the site if that provided a revenue stream to fund further development. The average hillwalker is quite a spender in terms of gear/holidays etc and i know i visit plenty of the websites and see thier ads in Trail/TGO/Walking World Ireland - why not on mountainviews??

The introductory page thing will be changed - it was intended to give newcomers an idea of what to expect, but it is tedious for established users. Funding by advertising. We certainly could use some funding and may consider advertising. See the next response.

Raising revenue

I think MountainViews is a wonderful site, and appreciate all the hard work that has gone into developing and maintaining it. If it came to it, I'd be willing to chip in a small sum for the maintainance/development of the site. Has a drive to raise such funds been considered? Has a drive to sell advertising or seek sponsorship for the site been considered, this might allow development work to be funded, however I appreciate that the friendly and informal nature of the site and its community is something to be cherished and protected.

Subject to what the committee thinks, probably asking people to chip in and/or seeking appropriate sponsorship would be initial options for raising revenue, which indeed could make quite a difference over time. If anyone has fund-raising expertise and would like to volunteer help or even just advice, do contact us at admin@mountainviews.ie

Information of walking holidays available abroad or here in Ireland. Grades of various walks Promote with local councils or relevant body the provision of signage on walks, giving the duration & grade of the walk.(As they do in Europe)

Remember, this is a site whose main resource is its community, not funded staff so we can do a lot using crowdsourcing but don't necessarily have huge resources for tasks that may be better done by employees. Nevertheless we do intend to bring in grading of the gps tracks we are sharing.

I would find it useful if there was a way to record the date you reached a summit. Apart from that minor comment the site is a fantastic resource for the walking community in Ireland. It is informative, interesting and invaluable when researching routes around the country. Thank you

Others made this point and we will consider it. We didn't do it originally because of storage requirements but nowadays database costs are much lower.


MountainViews first book - The Vandeleur-Lynams and the Arderins Currently MountainViews community is preparing this book and have created the V1.0 Proof Copy. It is a list of all the summits in the VL and Arderin lists as well as an account of their history, how they fit with the MountainViews family of lists and the work that has been done on them.
The book is not yet on sale yet. Enquiries about the book to admin@mountainviews.ie

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

Ireland's County High Points - A Walking Guide by Kieron Gribbon (MV member)

Published March 2012 by Collins Press €17.99 or UK£15.99

There is something about hill walkers and our need to complete lists. Few of us are ever likely to get near the Seven Summits; that is the highest points on every continent. A much more manageable challenge is to complete Ireland's county tops. There may be 32 counties in Ireland, but given that some county tops are either shared by two counties or that neighbouring county tops are in close proximity there are really only 26 hills or mountains to be climbed.

In my experience, the county tops are a very varied bunch. They include landmark hills such as Errigal or Mount Leinster. Others are so modest or featureless that their county top status is the only reason anyone would visit them. Height isn't everything. Mullaghmeen in Westmeath is the lowest of the tops but still a very attractive walk. One of the great things about the tops is that they draw you to less obvious hill walking areas. Even driving to these hills tends to bring you through parts of the country you haven't visited before.

This new guidebook is very attractively produced with numerous maps and high quality photographs. These maps will be more than adequate to get you to the top of most of the hills. More detailed maps are required for the bigger hills, such as Mweelrea in Mayo. The determined peak bagger will more than cover the cost of the guidebook by not buying individual maps for each hill.

The guide is laid out in a very methodical fashion with suggested routes, map references, estimated times, distances etc. All the information you require to get to the top is in the book. The book is also a good size to slip into your backpack.

I was surprised to see that the book doesn't list the Irish names of the hills or the meaning of the names. Some local history would have added interest to the book. Carnbane East in Meath is littered with archaeological remains which barely get a mention in the book. The book also might have mentioned what can be seen from the summit of the hill. For example, on a fine day Moylussa in Co. Clare provides a magnificent view over Lough Derg. Ticking a list isn't the only reason to climb a hill. Paul Clement's 2005 book The Height of Nonsense would make a fine companion volume to Kieron Gribbon's new book. The Height of Nonsense which describes a journey round the tops provides lots of background information, but doesn't describe how to actually climb the hills.

Ireland's County High Points will find a welcome space on lots of hillwalkers book shelves. While the bigger hills on the list are well covered in other guidebooks, many of the lower ones haven't featured in any previous guidebook. Some of these high points, such as those in Roscommon and Monaghan, are not even at the top of a hill. By some twist of fate those county high points are on the slopes of a hill that summits in a neighbouring county.

The book suggests a number of road trips for those interested in doing all the tops in a province or even the whole country. This could make for an interesting few days or even a few weeks holiday. Doubtless someone is already planning a record breaking trip around all the tops. The standard of guidebooks to Ireland's mountains has risen greatly in recent years. Kieron Gribbon's beautifully produced guidebook is a worthy addition to this growing library of Irish mountain guidebooks.

Aidan Dillon (MV member)

This month.
Kudos to our contributors.

We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. adminbandb, aideenhayes, alibaba1, annekiely, AntrimRambler, aposner, bardons, Ben-Free, bernie52, billaz3000tm, bmwalsh1, bobojnr, Bourrichon, brendam, BrendanMajor, BrennanS, brinch, carlingcat, chang1981, CharlesJones, christian, cjoyce, cmwalker, codublin, cozzie, damienNew, danemac81, davispage, decmurphy, DenisCurtin, Derek_Watters, dreynolds1, dubscout, dwoods1, EefaBee, efc1980, emmets1996, EwanL, ewienka, feeny84, fintan11, fldgeog, FloxIe, fmkeane, frankquinn24, Freedom, Gentoo, geracles, gilliganl, Goatsucker, Hallidave, hilldavester, ironbird9, jaceknowicki33, Jacqueline-Devli, jeremybolton0, jimcurry, jimmurphy3465, jkovacsova, johnthemull, joro11082, justinirwin, kerrykcy, kevcorcoran, Kevin1, kieran10, knocknamucklagh, Laurahassey, legs11, LiamV, luchi, lucyP, lyncher, MacGregor, Macros42, mandude, mandude2, mar003, mark14585, mearog, mikejpatterson, millbrook, mirnamirna, Natasha, nmoran, noony103, omurchu, paja, Peakbagger, pfay, philiphowlin, philipsmith, Pooch, Roryandsha, rudys, scalep, Scrambler, seamusoneill, seany67, secretaryufrc, shaneomeara, Sirocco, skeating1976, sliabhH, slievebloom, sluiodlochlea, steven69, Tall-Tales, teddybear178, teezer, tez, thomur, toddy00, tonyfeehan, trishdill, Walkthewalk-, wfburt0n, wheatear, willm, woody1, zeitgeist, zuki (122)

Our contributors to all threads this month: AdrianneB (1), AntrimRambler (1), Barry (2), Bleck Cra (7), BrennanS (3), CaptainVertigo (12), Conor74 (2), David Kirk (1), DenisMc (1), Dessie1 (2), Geansai (5), Harry Goodman (5), MMulli2 (1), Macros42 (1), Moac (1), Mulciber (5), Pazapas (1), Podgemus (1), Skyebabyisback (3), Trailtrekker (1), ahendroff (2), ahogan (1), aidand (2), bogtrotter (2), dmcdevitt (4), gernee (2), gerrym (4), Communal summary entries (6), hbowman1 (1), jackill (2), jlk (4), joemountain (17), kernowclimber (1), madfrankie (2), march-fixer (6), mcrtchly (3), mrw (2), nkenealy (1), paddyhillsbagger (4), patmoran (1), patrickjlynch77 (1), pdtempan (3), peter1 (1), pn_runner (2), scannerman (2), shaunkelly (1), simon3 (10), skyehigh (1), slemish (1), sligobay (4), thomas_g (5), tiktiktik3 (1), tommyhogan (1), tyfan (1), wicklore (15)
For a fuller list view ,

NOTICES

Notices
  • 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: Maumfin, Inis na Bró, Knockaghaleague, Bunmore, Knocknascollop NW Top, Cruach Leac Chonaill, Lettertrask, Coolsnaghtig, Cashloura, An Bheann Mhór and some 13 others. and also GPS readings for summits.
  • If we can, let's make MV have more than one route up a summit so as to reduce the tendency for paths to appear. Your grid refs in comments for different starting points show up on MountainViews maps.
  • MountainViews are on Twitter as MountainViewsIE. Follow us and we will follow you back. Any queries to secretary@mountainviews.ie

This newsletter

This newsletter Editor: Simon Stewart Homepage: www.simonstewart.ie
Assistant editor: Colin Murphy
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
Newsletter archive. View previous newsletters mountainviews.ie/newsletter
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