January 2017 newsletter from MountainViews.ie
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The Summit

Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser

Jan 2017



NORTH, SOUTH, WEST, EAST, Midlands, Route ideas and places to go.

Hillwalkers' winter Talks Starting First talk on Weds 11th Jan

2 videos featured this month. gerrym and Antrim Rambler


MOUNTAINVIEWS: Hillwalkers' Winter Talks

MountainViews will be organising Walkers Winter Talks starting in 2017.

The programme will follow a similar format to the WAI talks. There will be three talks in the period Jan to April 2017 held in Dublin. There will be the usual MountainViews Gathering and two other talks. As previously there will be plenty of time to meet other hillwalkers and members of MountainViews.

  • L to R: Erik the Red Lands Trek, Greenland; Kungsleden Trail, Sweden; Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile.
    Wednesday, 11th Jan, 2017. 8pm. Martin Critchley/ Sharron Schwartz, experienced explorers and popularisers, will speak on Trekking the Far Ends of the Earth: Adventures in Patagonia, Laponia and Greenland
    Note: Laponia is the arctic region of northern Sweden; Patagonia is in Argentina and Chile; Greenland is in, well, Greenland.
    (Day of the week is Weds, not Tues as incorrectly shown previously.)

  • Friday 17th Feb 2017. 7:30 for 8pm. MountainViews Gathering and Awards.

    Two of Paul Clement's books.

    Paul Clements, author of by far the funniest book on the Irish County Highpoints will be speaking on the Wild Atlantic Way.

    "As a multipurpose god, you crossed many boundaries, becoming both trickster and magician. Your tricks exemplified the mischievous, not to say cunning side of your nature." -Paul Clements, Letter to Mannannán, Celtic sea god.

    Glenveagh as photographed by Gareth McCormack.

    Gareth McCormack will be talking about Mountain Photography. Read the review of his book in the last newsletter to see the quality of his work.
    Other items are being finalised but will include the annual Awards ceremony for people receiving commemorative certificates for complieting Irish summit lists.
    There is a fee of Euro 8 for this event. Come early to see books on display and to avoid a delay at the entrance.

  • Patrick Roycroft.
    Tuesday, 11th April, 2017. 8pm. Hillwalkers' Geology in Ireland. Speaker: Patrick Roycroft, President of the Irish Geological Association 2015.

    Patrick has written one of the most enthusiastic and popular books on Irish Geology. Where else will you find a fossil, rock, mineral and gemstone for every county in Ireland? Or an account of every meteorite ever recorded here?
    Hillwalkers see exposed rocks every time they go out – Patrick will shed some not too serious light on them. (Date and venue confirmed but not exact topic.)
These meetings are being organised by the MountainViews committee with assistance from the WAI. Talks are held in the Landsdowne Hotel, 27 - 29 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4 unless otherwise stated. Entry is free unless otherwise stated. There is a collection. Directions here www.lansdownehotel.ie . The excellent bar facilities allow you to have a drink with other hillwalkers after the event. You can get a meal before the meeting also. Should you wish to stay overnight then please consider staying with the Lansdowne.

MOUNTAIN MEITHEAL: Mountain Meitheal are keen to find more people to help.

Mountain Meitheal make practical repairs to some of the more popular areas we walk on, using a voluntary community based approach. (More information at their website.)

The MountainViews ANNUAL, 2016 is on the way.

In February 2016 MountainViews was delighted to announce something new, our first ANNUAL, an online magazine for Hillwalkers in Ireland. Now we are looking forward to our next Annual to be published next month. We've still got some space for short articles on the theme my Best Walks of 2016.

Click here for the 2015 ANNUAL   (or Hi-res version.)

If you are interested in a printed version you can buy one here. Click Here.

  Picture of the month

Tormore North, 139m, Ireland's Highest Sea Stack. Picture: Iain Miller

In short: Discovery

Jungle Fever
January's track of the month is a pre-Christmas jaunt around the upper reaches of Glenmalure in Wicklow, taking in what are (for Wicklow) the comparatively unfrequented high summits of Conavalla and Camenabologue, some good tracks, some glutinous bog and a gloriously masochistic jungle section born of frustration and terribly impatient route selection.

Peter Walker on A round of Glenmalure
Main walk Start: 09:11, End: 13:27, Duration: 4h16m, Length: 18.2km, Ascent: 879m, Descent: 734m
Places: Start at T06616 94172, Conavalla, Table Mountain, Camenabologue, Camenabologue SE Top, Benleagh, end at T05917 94101 702m W from Start (statistics such as Ascent or Length etc should be regarded as approximate. Duration depends on the speed of the person making the track)

There's nothing like a project to keep a bloke active, and with an urgent need to get Conavalla and Camenabologue done it was an early start from County Antrim to beat what was left of the M50 rush hour in the run up to Christmas. The car was suitably abandoned at Baravore and a sleepy Englishman sallied forth up the glen with early morning mist still stubbornly settled on the tops.

The goats of Christmas present
I followed the Table Track to the point when a conspicuous (on the map and on the ground) track wanders northwards away from it before turning sharply right to take an ESE course across the slopes of Conavalla at around the 500m level. Harvey's Superwalker map suggested a number of (presumably) firebreaks heading straight uphill from it: these firebreaks still exist in the form of slightly blanched lines up the hillside, but the trees are now mostly gone. I climbed up the first of these lines, and it gave a very straightforward ascent, with very little hint of a path but with deeply benign conditions underfoot. It wasn't long before I was feathering the edge of the forest remnant and climbing the final easy-angled slope to the murky summit.

And with that the tourists all stampeded to Table Mountain, and the inhabitants of Cape Town laughed heartily
Heading north towards the Three Lakes was similarly speedy, almost enough to make you wonder why this area of the Wicklow mountains has a reputation for being manky and tough. Such naivete was soon rewarded with a glorious slimy area of brain-fissure peat hags which lessened only slightly on the ascent to Table Mountain...the gradient is shallow but the bog isn't. Over and downwards to the top of the Table Track and a return to more pleasant going, notwithstanding the signs for the firing range to keep you honest. A track of sorts leads up Camenabologue, from where the going gets slightly tougher and a lot more indeterminate. I hung a very definite left over the col before the SE Top, as the col itself looked too much like fun, and then did much the same to get to the final summit of Benleagh, losing a bit of height in the process.
From here it all went a bit Pete Tong. I'd taken a vague notion to heading sort-of SSW to reach the Lug path in the Fraughan Rock Glen's upper reaches (as I recalled reading that an ascent from the lower section of that path was tough, rutted going). In the end I discarded both these ideas and went for a full descent of the eastern spur. This was grand in the upper section, with a fantastic aerial view of Glenmalure and Fraughan Rock Glen from the Benleagh cliffs. But then I came to what looked like a short section of forest on the map...
This turned out to be 'great fun in retrospect', consisting as it did of a monstrous jungle that only a sociopathic orienteer could love. The thick vegatation couldn't be bothered with dinner and movie and made a damn fine effort at ripping large amounts of my clothing off (gloves, hat and amazingly a fully strapped on rucksack all being arboreally removed at various points), and there was lots of slithering down over green slimy granite. At one point I climbed down a rock step by bridging between it and an adjacent tree, but most memorable was my arrival on the edge of a 50ft crag...it was tough summoning the enthusiasm for the considerable backtrack this seemed likely to warrant, but with the alternatives being, y'know, 'serious injury' or 'death', I found it from somewhere.
I finally emerged on a forest road with a final slide down a tunnel of pine needles, water and slutch, wearing so much of the mountain as to make Leonardo di Caprio in 'The Revenant' look like Patrick Bateman in 'American Psycho', and enjoyed the walk back to the car whilst contemplating how 35 years in the mountains has still taught me so little about route selection.
I believe the expression is 'character building'.


NORTH: Walking on the clouds
Low-lying cloud has its ups and downs, as Fergal Meath discovered when he ascended Croaghmoyle in the North Mayo area and captured a lovely snap of some cloud inversion.
Onzy on Slievemore Circuit
Route over Slievemore descending over rough grouns to the SE for variety.| walk, Len: 8.1km, Climb: 639m, Area: Slievemore, Achill/Corraun (Ireland) Slievemore
Interesting series of pictures

View across Coomadaallig Lake and cliffs on the descent from Hungry Hill in the Caha mountains.

[ED: This was one of around 20 pictures uploaded by member davsheen in late Dec, early Jan. davsheen has been a member since 2010 and has recently started contributing. So, lurkers, you too can reform your ways and share something with the community!!]

SOUTH: Out of a clear blue sky

What finer place to take a post-Christmas walk than up Stradbally Mountain in Central Dingle on a clear day, reports Bunsen7 MIDLANDS: Walking an old friend
MV member ewen explains his fondness for his local Sunday walk – the popular Ridge of Capard in the Slieve Blooms, which he has trekked so often, feels like an old pal.
ewen on Ridge of Capard: Old friend
Everyone has a hill they go to for a Sunday blast and the ridge of Capard is mine. I usually start from the car park at 364065 and head along the boardwalk. On a clear day you can see the stoney man cairn in the distance which you are heading for. The board walk soon ends and you are on the slieve bloom way which can be very cut up and boggy. Once at the stoney man a bearing of 234 will take you ...
Want to contribute
Short pieces on what you found interesting last year are always welcome. We will always find space for good longer articles though some may appear in regular monthly newsletters after the Annual.

Highpointers Club - US Summiteers

From a recent copy of their Apex to Zenith Newsletter we get a flow of information about the activities of this club who, broadly speaking, do something very similar to summiteers in Ireland. Many of their activities revolve around climbing the 50 state high points (48 in the contiguous 48 states + the harder Hawaii and much harder Denali in Alaska).
We note that the record time for doing the 50 has been accomplished by a woman, Maddie Miller in under 42 days. We also note, that like MountainViews, the Highpointers say "Speed records are not encouraged by the HP Club for various reasons, but it should be noted that Maddie .. entered into their adventure with a cooperative approach, not competitive, as they amicably consulted with previous record holders ..."

Strengthening the MountainViews Committee

Currently we have a number of officers on the committee such as chairperson, secretary etc. We really could use some further committee members to achieve our strategic goals and spread the load.
Position In Brief
Publicity Officer Although MountainViews has by far the biggest single collection of walking/hillwalking data in Ireland this is not well known by all those that could benefit from it. Our website, events and activities need publicity and PR. Experience is not essential though would be advantageous.
Ordinary members For those taking an interest in the MV committee or indeed committees in general we can also use some further "regular" committee members without a specific role. There are many smaller quite finite projects that might suit regular members.
Talks Group Not strictly speaking part of the main committee but an interesting position.

Appeal for your help.


An appeal for your help from MountainViews.ie

As you know, MountainViews.ie exists solely through the efforts of its volunteers and contributors.
And hopefully we can continue to offer this free resource for a very long time. While the MountainViews committee is well-represented across a broad number of skills such as strategic planning, design, surveying, research etc, we do urgently need some support on the technical side, as the entire workload for this area currently falls on a single individual.

To this end we are asking for volunteers to help ensure the continuance of MountainViews.ie into the future, by offering to assist in matters such as software maintenance, making minor feature changes, fixing bugs, dealing with hosting issues etc.
The MountainViews.ie website is developed using Open Source Tools such as Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Javascript,jQuery and OpenLayers. It is hosted on a virtual server. Volunteering would involve from a couple of hours committment a week to more depending on interest.

Please help ensure that MountainViews remains the finest hillwalking resource in these islands.
If you think you have at least some of the necessary technical skills and would like a chat without commitment please contact admin -at- mountainviews.ie

Many Thanks


Videos this month:

A walk on and around the Mourne Wall, from member gerrym
A variety of scenery above the Glens, by member AntrimRambler

Videography by Peter Walker.

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

A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits - The Vandeleur-Lynams & The Arderins
MountainViews first book available online and in some bookshops. The first reprint with numerous minor amendments is available.


  • 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.
  • Report suspicious activity to the police forces, as below.
  • If your car is broken into in an upland area report it to the PSNI or Gardai as this will help them be aware of the issue and tackle it in future. Store the numbers. In Northern Ireland use the PSNI non-emergency number 0845 600 8000. In the Republic you can find the local Garda District HQs phone numbers at www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx. Specifically for the hotspot of Wicklow: the Garda Divisional Headquarters in Bray is 01 6665300.
  • 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 recreational quads in national park area (in which they are banned). They are also banned in the Mournes. For Wicklow please phone the Duty Ranger: 087-9803899 or the office during office hours Telephone: +353-404-45800. For the Mournes ring the PSNI (as above) or contact Mournes Heritage Trust. 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
  • MV Facebook page. Visit the MountainViews Facebook page.
  • ChallengeWalksIreland Visit the Challenge Walks Ireland page (jointly managed by MountainViews)

This newsletter

This newsletter Editor: Simon Stewart, Homepage: www.simonstewart.ie
Assistant editors: Colin Murphy, David Owens
Challenge Info: Jim Holmes
Track reviews: Peter Walker
Book reviews: Conor Murphy, Aidan Dillon, Peter Walker, Mel O'Hara
Videography: Peter Walker
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
Newsletter archive. View previous newsletters mountainviews.ie/newsletter
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