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Monthly newsletter of MountainViews.ie for guestuser
NEWS - INFORMATION - RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS - FEATURES - FORUMS
MOUNTAINVIEWS: Hillwalkers' Winter Talks
Wednesday 17th January 2018 will see the anticipated resumption of the season's Walkers' Winter Talks Series as hosted by MountainViews.ie.
There will be three talks in the period Jan to April 2018 held in Dublin. There will be the usual MountainViews Gathering and two other talks. As an innovation we will, where we can, arrange two speakers for each evening for a fuller occasion. As previously there will be plenty of time to meet other hillwalkers and members of MountainViews.
These meetings are being organised by the MountainViews committee. Talks are held in the Lansdowne 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.
Wednesday, 17th Jan, 2018. 8pm.
Camino Via de la Plata: less road walking.
John Cruise, Camino Via de la Plata Talk
The first of the Talks sees the welcome return of John Cruise who will present and speak on The Camino De La Plata.
The Camino de Santiago is popular with many Irish walkers. In recent years the popular “Frances” Route has become even busier and much more crowded.
However, Camino veteran John, presents how the quieter Camino Via De La Plata is a great, interesting alternative!
Starting from Sevilla and heading Northwards trough the Iberian Peninsula the route passes through Aljucen and Salamanca before turning eastwards towards La Gudina and on to Santiago de Compostella.
Jim Bradley on Belfast Walking Like most cities on the island of Ireland, Belfast has many local mountains and hills, full of possibilities and interest but perhaps less well know to some of us. We are delighted to welcome Jim Bradley the Partnership Manager of Belfast Hills Partnership to talk about places, routes and sights.
Belfast is ringed with mountains and scenic spots.
Friday 23rd Feb 2018. 7:30 for 8pm. MountainViews Gathering and Awards.
Dermot Somers broadcaster and explorer. Dermot last spoke at the Winter Hillwalkers Talks in 2012 - we recall the superb talk so well tuned to the audience with great pleasure.
The Gathering will also have a second speaker, tba, and the usual Awards Ceremony for those who have completed various MV lists.
There will an entry fee to this event. Last year the amount was Euro 8.
Weds, 11th April, 2018. 8pm. David Walsh on the Islands of Ireland
MacDara's Island, Galway
Our main speaker for this event, David Walsh, addressed Hillwalkers Winter Talks in 2015 to an audience of over 70 with a spellbinding account of visiting the islands of Ireland. Since then MountainViews.ie has with David's assistance added hundreds of islands to our pages, a total of 577.
The Irish islands are of course a huge recreational resource for sea-kayakers, however some are reachable by walkers and their story is fascinating to anyone interested in the wild places of Ireland.
While the main speaker will be David, MountainViews will briefly introduce the changes it has made to its support for islands and also the coastline features we include. These allow users to mark which islands (as distinct from summits on islands) they have visited, to describe places, to share GPS tracks and visualise everything together on a map, features that may interest boaters or sea kayakers.
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.)
Picture of the month
For original comment, click here.
Photo: Member Colin Murphy found a great vantage point for a dreamy autumnal view of the Glendasan Valley, Wicklow, from Camaderry.
Regions: MOUNTAIN COMMENTS - TRIP REPORTS - TRACKS - SUMMARIES
In short: Discovery
Featured Track of the Month
Georgia on my mind...
Accompanied as ever by a painstakingly produced video, mcrtchly and kernowclimber have turned their trekking feet to the Caucases mountains at the fringe of Europe; an area becoming better known but still relatively obscure as a holiday destination with a comparatively turbulent recent history. There's plenty of practical information for those looking to follow in their footsteps, and visuals for those content to do their following vicariously. https://youtu.be/g2uyKtrThSA
mcrtchly on Trekking in the Caucasus Mountains: The Chaukhi Massif, Georgiaâ€™s Dolomites
Main walk Start: 07:23, End: 12:07, Duration: 100h44m, Length: 34.0km, Ascent: 1766m, Descent: 2542m
Places: Start at Lon 44.7443, Lat 42.58, end at Lon 44.928, Lat 42.5107 17km SE 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)
Mention Georgia and most people automatically think of the State of Georgia in the USA, but there’s another arguably more exciting and alluring Georgia several thousand kilometres to the east…
Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and Georgia’s independence in 1991, few in the west had ever heard of this country. Situated in the mighty Caucasus Mountains on a narrow bridge of land between the Black and Caspian Seas, it occupies a unique geopolitical space betwixt Europe and Asia, not quite east or west. Because of its strategic location on lucrative east-west trade routes, Georgia has long been a bone of contention between various powers. Despite invasions by Mongols, Persians, Ottomans, and more recently, Russians, this resilient little country has nonetheless managed to preserve its own language, culture, alphabet and Orthodox Christianity.
We had planned to visit Georgia in 2008 but were thwarted by the sudden outbreak of the Russo-Georgian War. Despite this upheaval and post-communist secessionist strife in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia is gradually opening up to tourism, and, in the wake of the bloodless Rose Revolution of 2003, is aspiring to join the EU and NATO. This year we judged the time was finally ripe for a visit and booked a flight with Lufthansa from Dublin via Munich to Tbilisi, the capital, which we used as a base for several hikes and treks in the northeast and northwest of the country.
Getting around requires some detailed and complicated planning, but the local buses and shared taxi-vans (marshrutkas) are cheap (€2-€3 for a 3 hour trip) and trains even better value (€12 for an overnight sleeper). The food is truly excellent (generally costing about a 1/3rd of that in Western Europe), but the wine is the unsung star of the show (the oldest evidence in the world of wine-making was recently found at an archaeological dig near Tbilisi). Saperavi reds soon became firm favourites of ours!
The first part of our three week stay took us to the north-eastern Kazbegi area which abuts the restless Russian Federation Republics of North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya, where simmering post-communist secessionist troubles periodically make the news. The hub of the area is the sprawling town of Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) 157 km from Tbilisi which lies on the Military Highway that runs north from Tbilisi to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia. It’s a gateway for those climbing the dormant stratovolcano, Mount Kazbek, which at 5,047 metres is one of the highest mountains in Georgia.
The main tourist attraction is the fourteenth century Gergeti Trinity Church which is dwarfed by the enormous conical hulk of Mount Kazbek in whose shadow it sits. It has become something of a symbol for modern Georgia, overshadowed as it is by its larger neighbours, Russia, Iran and Turkey, and is one of the most photographed sights in the country. At an altitude of 2,170 metres, it’s reached by a truly atrocious unmade zig-zag road which we negotiated in a battered up old Lada, which was a pretty unforgettable experience! You can also walk up one of several trails to it and continue higher to see the Gergeti Glacier.
From Stepantsminda we did a day hike through the geological wonderland of the Truso Valley near the border with the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which is currently off-limits, and a wild camping trek over the Chaukhi Massif, the route of which is described below. This multi-day trek traverses the rocky heart of a scenic landscape dubbed ‘Georgia’s Dolomites’, and climbs to over 3,300 metres.
Sunrise over Mount Kazbek (5,047m) and Gergeti church
It starts at the village of Juta some 20km SW from Stepantsminda. At an elevation of over 2,000 metres this small village sits at the confluence of two rivers at the end of a long dirt road that winds its way up the picturesque Sno Valley. We arranged for a minibus to drop us there.
From Juta’s muddy streets where cows and pigs roam freely, a well-worn trail climbs steeply upwards past a campsite and hostel, into lush alpine meadows bristling with an incredible array of wildflowers. The pathway continues south and climbs gently above the left side of the Chaukhistskali River which wriggles its way through the bottom of the malachite-green valley at the head of which the tips of snow-streaked mountains soar into the sky.
This section along the river valley was busy with day-trippers from Stepantsminda. Further up the valley there is a small makeshift café by a lake selling light refreshments. Most day-trippers return to Juta at the café.
After the café the route turns sharply to the east along the right bank of a small river and heads steeply straight up into the ribs of the slate-grey Chaukhi Massif which looms ahead like a giant Baroque pipe organ. The pathway is indistinct and the terrain densely vegetated in places and quite rough underfoot. We decided to camp overnight at an altitude of 2,900 metres on an incredible grassy promontory below the pass, where we hoped to get some good timelapse photography of the Chaukhi Massif that lay directly opposite.
Next day, a steep climb up a shaly rock face brought us into a huge corrie still dappled with large patches of dirty snow. This area is only passable from mid-June onwards for the few short months of summer. From here, two routes to the Chaukhi Pass are available: one that sweeps up an arm of the corrie, or a viciously steep zig-zag path which goes straight up a steep scree slope to the corrie rim. We chose the latter.
Wild camp below the Chaukhi massif, "Georgia's Dolomites"
The zig-zag path led to a notch in the corrie rim (3,370 metres). The rock is razor thin here and care must be taken not to slip and tumble several hundred metres down into a neighbouring corrie. Through the swirling cloud we glimpsed several snow covered peaks of the Greater Caucasus, tantalising flashes of blue glaciers, jewel-coloured lakes, and endless waves of hills receding into Chechnya and Ingushetia that looked as if they had been draped in crumpled green velvet.
We planned to camp beside one of the three Abudelauri Lakes (named Blue, Green and White) some 900 metres below. These are accessed via a long, grassy ridge sweeping down from the Chaukhi Pass which we reached after an airy scramble along a knife edge arête. From the pass we endured a long, and in places, very steep descent along an indistinct trail that zig-zags over loose scree, then stubbly grass which gave way to lush, thigh-high vegetation interspersed with rhododendron, the branches of which lay in wait to trap a weary ankle. Walking poles certainly came in handy!
View over the Greater Caucasus Mountains from near the Chaukhi Pass
The Blue and Green Lakes are closest to the descent route from the Chaukhi Pass and we camped for two nights by the gorgeous aquamarine Blue Lake which is the more picturesque of the two. A highlight of our stay there was watching hyperactive stoats darting among the boulders near our tent!
From our camp we explored the Chaukhi Glacier and the White Lake impounded by huge chaotic deposits of moraine. We followed a faint trail of sorts for 8km up-valley over steep banks of loose moraine and boulders. This ended in an enormous amphitheatre of barren rock surrounded by huge limestone blades of rock thrusting skywards and a crooked finger of ice tumbling down to the teardrop-silver lake. It’s known as the White Lake because its water is chock-full of sediment from the glacier.
On the fourth day we descended from the Blue Lake through lush alpine meadows where handsome brown cows grazed contentedly (queue the arrival of horseflies!), to the village of Roshka. We found a good camping spot in a meadow above this isolated settlement. Next day we took the steeply descending unpaved track that meets the unsealed highway running through a gorge to the village of Shatili which is close to the Chechen border. We had hoped to take a trail on the other side of the valley that avoided this track, but it was choked with giant hogweed which it’s best to avoid at all costs, as skin that has been in contact with its sap will blister when exposed to sunlight.
View of the White Lake
In the gorge the temperature was far higher, and the plod along the very dusty road was somewhat monotonous, so we were delighted when a local man pulled up in his jeep and offered us a lift the last few kilometres to the small village of Khorsa where we were staying at a guesthouse run by one of his relatives.
View of the Blue Lake
The Khorsha Guesthouse, a large wooden two-storied building surrounded by vegetable gardens, cattle sheds, beehives and a vineyard, offers a quirky homestay experience. The rooms are rather basic and there’s only one shower. But the food, ambience, and warm Georgian welcome make it memorable for all the right reasons. Its dining room is decked out in colourful local costumes, rustic hand-carved wooden furniture, bearskins, hunting trophies, and the stunning artwork of the proprietors. The food is all home grown and the owners make their own wine too!
Early the following morning we caught a local bus for the 3 hour trip back to Tbilisi for the grand sum of two euro each. It was quite an experience in a country with roads so poor that distances on a map have little bearing on driving times! The rear suspension was shot so we felt every bump in the road; there were no seatbelts; the driver drove erratically and dangerously like most of his fellow Georgians and we were crammed in like sardines among local people and several enormous digger tyres!
This was an absolutely first class trekking and wild camping experience, where we were totally free to commune with nature in wide open spaces unfettered by barbed wire fences, along rugged trails where we seldom encountered another soul during this, the peak season for trekking.
Read the blog of this trek and others on http://purplepeakadventures.com/blog and see the video on https://youtu.be/g2uyKtrThSA
NORTH: Not sitting on the fence.
But for some pesky barbed wire fencing, Gruggandoo in the Mournes offers magnificent views across the Mourne landscape, recounts BlackCra.
BleckCra on Gruggandoo, (Gruagán Dubh): "There, beyond the bounds of [our] weak imagination."
There are things simply not worth doing. Cove Mountain summit. Galtymore. The Bluestack Mountains in the mist, the Commeraghs in the rain, Slieve Donard in the lightning ....
... but there are things simply not worth doing .... that are.
Gruggandoo is one. Gruggandoo from the Irish, possibly Gruagán Dubh - black rushes.
I came to Gruggandoo by way of a long loop 'round a wild no man's land exce ... ... Click here ...
NORTH: Wee misnomer
Wee Binnian in the Mournes turns out to be not quite so wee, and includes an ascent up a narrow, steep gully that is not to be taken lightly, says BlackCra.
BleckCra on Wee Binnian, (Broinn Bhinneáin): Wee little tiny wee little Ben
I'm not quite sure what Wee Binnian is - although I don't expect I'll have to wait long to find out. Maybe a Marylin or a Manson or a Pike with a Triple Half Tuck.
Still, labels off, it is a wee hill. That's what Scotsmen call mountains. Such a self effacing race.
It comes to you courtesy of Moolieve, out of the Silent Valley and is kind of like a stone in your shoe, picked up enroute to Slieve ... ... Click here ...
WEST: Leading you up the garden path
The north Clare island, Aughinish, is linked to the mainland by a causeway, and as sandman discovered, it’s 25m summit is a feature in someone’s back garden!
sandman on Aughinish, (Eachinis): Clare Island
This island is located in County Clare but can only be accessed via County Galway. Originally connected to Clare but the connection was lost in 1755 as a result of an earthquake The British built the existing 0.80 km causeway from Galway to service their troops in the Martello Tower in 1811. Access to the highest point may not be inaccessible but it would prove one big challenge ,as the natural hi ... ... Click here ...
WEST: Wham, bam, thank you Maam
The need to tidy up the northern section of the Maamturks overcame your track reviewer on a recent Connemara holiday, and the necessity to return to the starting point required a little bit of ingenuity, I flatter myself. Hence the long walk down the Western Way in order to gain the ridge at the point I left it last year, then a traverse with diversions to nab all the summits on the way to Bucan. There's the odd shortcut to be had along the way, but overall I think it's a decent solution for those without two cars.
Peter Walker on A circuit of the northern Maamturks
Rationalising that at some point I'd be doing the whole Maamturks walk and wouldn't want to waste energy diverting to su| walk, Len: 22.6km, Climb: 997m, Area: Binn Bhán, Maamturks (Ireland) Binn BhÃ ... Click here ...
WEST: Rock top
The summit area of Munnia Top in Clare is a typically Burren-like vast expanse of rock, reports sandman.
sandman on Munnia Top, (Cartron Top): Coastal Hill
Best to access this hill via the farm gate located on the the coastal side at M2929112163 in order to avoid the houses on the opposite side. Just a quick up and down over grazing land to begin and then over the natural stone of The Burren. Views across Galway Bay and Aughinish Island. ... Click here ...
WEST: Australian walkers splash the cash
Sandman makes an unusual discovery on his ascent of Knockvorneen in Clare – two Australian 50 cent coins attached to a rock and eternally enjoying the view of Galway Bay!
sandman on Knockvorneen: Coastal Hill
To allow for a visit to the Flaggy Shore and to facilitate parking i accessed this hill via the farm gate located at M2608712545. The summit is basically in direct line with the gate but in order to avoid some of the shrubbery it is best follow the gravel track and just before the cattle pen head for the summit , a tip keeping to the right and you may be lucky to find the two Australian 50cent coi ... ... Click here ...
Featured summit comment
Want to get away from muck and wet grass at this time of year?
Of course you do! So consider tackling rocks and slabs instead of sliding around in mud.
To find out more about this challenging alternative to drenched mountainsides, read Iain T’s account of the stony Maamturks in his comment.
A well worthwhile but neglected Scramble
The quartzite slabs on the NE flank of Binn Mhairg make a good scramble, one of the best in the Maum Turks. They are reachable by traversing round from the Mam Ean track, pathless but largely grassy and nothing like as rough as much of the range. The scramble is long and quite serious as the slabs cover a huge chunk of hillside, but they never get too hard (Grade 2, I reckon) and there is pretty much always an easier way at any point. It's a pretty unfrequented corner so there is a fair bit of loose rock about, but the slabs themselves are pretty solid. From the summit it's easy to loop round over Binn Chaonaigh and drop back down to Mam Ean - rough, of course, but then this is the Turks!
SOUTH: From the couch to...everything
A nod of recognition to the accomplishment of our committee chairman Onzy, who has gone from 'never really leaving the sofa' to completing the Arderins plus the Arderin Begs in merely seven years. He also managed to make Carrauntoohil the last summit in his odyssey, combining the ascent with a family get together...impressively OCD. Well done sir.
Onzy on Carrauntoohil via the Devil's Ladder
Family day out... | walk, Len: 13.9km, Climb: 909m, Area: Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (Ireland) Carrauntoohil ... Click here ...
Very much the forgotten section of the wonderful central upland spine of Dingle, the Moanlaur ridge may not have the altitude or nobility of a Brandon or a Caherconree, but it's a lovely quiet walk with some absolutely wonderful seaward views. David-Guenot has traversed it on a recent visit from France, accomplishing the traverse by walking as most folk do by walking from the road under Caherbla there and back to the summit of Cnoc na Stuaice...with transport it would be possible to continue over Brickany and Knockafeehane to Annascaul.
David-Guenot on Moanlaur Ridge
| walk, Len: 13.6km, Climb: 754m, Area: Lack Mountain, Slieve Mish (Ireland) Lack Mountain, Knockbrack, Moanlaur, Knockmore, Beenduff, Cnoc na Stuaice ... Click here ...
SOUTH: On a knife-edge
Member simon3 ascends Lackabane in the Cahas via the NE spur, and discovers it cuts a sharp route to the summit, with steep drops on both sides.
simon3 on Lackabane, (Leaca Bhán): NE Spur
The NE spur off Lackabane is something of a knife edge, descending steeply and with even steeper sides. Watch it on a poor day. ... Click here ...
EAST: An empty bag
Brockagh Mountain NW top in Wicklow is relatively simple and straightforward, but devoid of any real interest, and is purely for baggers, says Colin Murphy.
Colin Murphy on Brockagh Mountain North-West Top, (Sliabh na Brocaí barr thiar thuaidh): Simple and straightforward.
Having climbed Tonelagee SE (see that entry for route etc), it was simplicity itself to walk the 600m or so SE to the marginally higher Brockagh NW, with only a climb of about 20m. A bit muddy in the col, but generally the going was firm. The summit is a small heathery bump with no marking, and there are a lot of boulders scattered about. Descending from here is initially a bit of a nightmare, the ... ... Click here ...
EAST: Turning the tables...
The Na Sléibhte juggernaut continues unabated across Ireland, with GSheehy uploading the track of their recent 'Elevated Tour of Glenmalure'. This is a fine and logical extended outing without being fully brutal, with plenty of opportunities to cut the route short if energy flags or time shrinks. You could even visit the lovely summit of Table Mountain, which this route oddly/sensibly omits.
GSheehy on The Elevated Tour of Glenmalure
This was the longer (challenge) option on our second club walk with Na SlÃ©ibhte Hillwalking Club. As itâ€™s a club with| walk, Len: 35.1km, Climb: 1449m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Corrigaslegga ... Click here ...
EAST: A Vandeleur-Lynam by 3cm!
The most recent addition to the VL list qualified by a mere 3cm, but it is a worthy addition to that list, offering fine panoramas over South Wicklow, says Colin Murphy.
Colin Murphy on Camaderry South East Top: Approach from the north east
Well, I completely ignored the suggested routes and started at the old lead works car park at T099 982. AI followed a track SW for about 100m, then veered off to the west for about 400m to avoid the very steep rock outcrops that mark the higher slopes. Then I turned directly out at T093 978 and continued more or less in that direction all the way to the summit. Although as the birds flies the dist ... ... Click here ...
Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for recent months later.
Call for Material for Annual
View last ANNUAL
(or Hi-res version.)
For the the Annual 2017 - to be published in Feb 2018 - Start thinking about
contributions for this now please! (The actual copydate will be in early to mid January)
For the last two years we have brought out a PDF style magazine.
We hope to do the same next year, "The MountainViews ANNUAL
2017". We are looking for feature length
illustrated articles. And photos. And shorter
items for "Your Walking Highlights of 2017".
For the highlights we are mainly looking for
experiences in Ireland though as last time we
will include some adventures abroad.
consider any areas of interest to hillwalkers
in Ireland, for example articles on Challenge
Walking (both organised and individual),
Family Walking, Gear, Flora & Fauna, Holiday
Walking, Scrambling, Coastal or Island walking etc are all
If you are thinking of contributing or would like to discuss topics etc feel free to contact us at
Opinions welcome at admin -at- mountainviews.ie
Mountaineering Ireland holding consultation - quick: reply to survey
The editor went to the Dublin meeting. There was 26 people there. Quite a few from the more active Dublin clubs such as the Wayfarers, Ramblers, Marlay Hillwalkers etc (apologies if I missed yours) . It was conducted by an independent mediator, Maeve Buckley. What's good is that there is independently led consultation, what bad is that this discussion amongst the MI stakeholders only happens once every 4 years so issues are not thrashed out over a period.
Participants need to get acquainted with what is happening. So what happens is that various less important issues say about the repairs on a particular mountain get mixed with major strategic questions regarding hillwalking funding, a possible hillwalking committee and media presence etc. Anyway many people put hillwalking as their number one issue for immediate concern for MI and some spoke out in favour of a hillwalking committee.
The MI survey is still open until 8th December. They are looking for replies including from non-affiliated hillwalkers.
simon3 on Request: Hillwalking Survey - Consultation
FILL IN THE SURVEY
Mountaineering Ireland organise themselves with 4 year plans. Currently the organisation is seriously under-performing for hillwalking in general in Ireland and also the 85% majority of the membership. Much of MI realise this themselves. You can read the good intentions expressed below in the MI statement. But it needs input. Open to all not just members
FILL IN T ... ... Click here ...
Mountain Names and Insects
One esteemed member, wont to satirise MV's name derivations, seems to have had a revelation during the month. Glory bee.
BleckCra on "Deaded"
Never would have thought it but it turns out mountains can can be named after insects. Despite all my decrying this site for its translation of Meelmore as Hill of the Ants, I find right on the doorstep of my old manor, in Kirkcudbrightshire, Maggot Hill. And so, my apologies. ... Click here ...
Readers to this website will know that we love instances of long distance views. In the past we published some cracking pictures of Snowdonia photographed from the Dublin Mountains etc. It turns out that there is a website for collecting and showing such views. And lots of information.
Apparently some of the best of such pictures so far are from the Pyrenees to the Alps with distances in excess of 400km! - helped by relatively stable weather and having two ranges with 3000m+ height peaks.
Click here for an extraordinary read.
Monte Perdido (3350m, Pyrenees) from Mont Caro (1447m, also in the Pyrenees) Distance 210km.
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
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.
Not strictly speaking part of the main committee but an interesting position.
The MountainViews ANNUAL, 2016.
In February 2016 MountainViews was delighted to announce something new, our first ANNUAL, an
online magazine for Hillwalkers in Ireland. Here is our latest annual, published in Feb
Click here for the current ANNUAL
(or Hi-res version.)
If you are interested in a printed version you can buy one here. Click Here.
A place for those interested in Challenge Walks
Challenge Walk Calendar
Challenge Walk Notes for Newsletter December 2017
December rolls in, cold and airy round the ankles and yet while many a Hillwalker may be in Hibernation Mode - there is a group of kindred individuals who are as we speak, are steadily changing the way we think of Challenge Hillwalking in Ireland!!
Now with three very successful Club Walks already chalked up, Na Sléibhte Hillwalking Club just this weekend enjoyed another memorable Walk in the Mournes.
"We start together, as we would do normally on a challenge, but everyone gets into their normal pace so the group stretches out as the day goes on. There's great comfort in knowing that the members can navigate and, basically, do what they like when they’re out for the day. . . . "
-- Gerard Sheehy.
Art's Cross -
Na Sléibhte have been kindly sharing their track on MountainViews too. . . .
. . . is the brilliant GPX track of the Club's second outing to the East of the country. Redefining indeed!
Where it used to be the case that a given Club would organise one Challenge Walk a year, this club have shown us all how to successfully organise a Challenge type Walk once every month!
Now the weather may be colder. . . . but more often the ground is firmer (so less bog-slopping!), our bitey bitey insect friends are taking a rest from their fayre of tasty Hillwalker. . . but more increasingly as it gets colder, a magic now presents itself in the air and the light! If this sounds slightly eccentric fear not - simply see (in this month's Newsletter) the amazing selection of photos as uploaded by fellow MV members. I'm guessing Na Sléibhte are in tune with this magic already! You can read more from Na Sléibhte Hillwalking Club on their FB page.
With some dates for next year's Challenge Walks already confirmed - The Blackstairs, for example (19th May) it's never too early to start a training regime. . . or at least start to plan.
Registration is now open for the Fei Sheehy Challenge 2018 which offers all, or any day, of a three day Challenge event. But to complete "The Triple" is probably the toughest ask within the Calendar! Everything has to fall into place over three individual days!
Registration is open also, for the historic Art O'Neill Challenge 2018 which takes place on January 12th.
This Challenge traces the escape route from Dublin Castle to Glenmalure Valley as taken by Art O'Neill, his brother Henry, and Red Hugh O'Donnell in the early morning hours of January 6th, 1592!
All described in a major article in our last Annual mountainviews.ie/newsletters/month/2017-02/
With all proceeds going directly to Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team's (DWMRT) operating costs - the cause is obviously close to all Walkers hearts. A nighttime Walk initially on road before heading "cross country", the Art O'Neill Challenge always tends to be airy round the ankles (as we mentioned earlier).
So Onwards and Upwards into the New Year Boys and Girls, Keep Safe, Season's Greetings and enjoy your Day.
-- Jim Holmes.
Also take a look at this resource managed by MountainViews:
Videos this month:
Videography by Peter Walker.
Apps for your phone|
Very tentatively we've been taking a look at the possibilities of creating a mobile phone App for use out on the hills.
Apart from the substantial technological challenge of doing this, there's a whole discussion as to what it would do. Is it for the support of general hillwalkers? or for summiteers? or for those wanting to use MV tracks in the hills?
Opinions welcome at admin -at- mountainviews.ie
Progress on technical assistance
We have had to bring back our SOS looking for technical support.
We now have much better facilities for volunteer software developers. To support group software development various tools are required such as Version Control, Issue Handling, Documentation Repository. We have moved our version control from an earlier tool, SVN to Git and Gitlab. Latter mentioned tool also supports issue handling and documentation.
If you wish to discuss taking a hand and have skills useful to a website such as MountainViews, get in touch (with no committment) at admin -at- mountainviews.ie
SUMMITEERS and PLACE-VISITORS CORNER
A place for those interested in Summiteering, Bagging, Highpointing, visiting islands and coastal places.
Last months newsletter (one of the quarterly .pdfs) described the new feature whereby you can mark which islands you have visited as well as what summit(s) on the island.
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.
Bulk sales to groups such as Scouts/ Guides: contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a discounted price.
Kudos to our contributors.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month.
abcTrailRunners, Abruzzese, Ad, andrewsmith111, Anncar, annieipa, BalmoralRidge2, bergman, biznezdevelop, Bngr, bparle, Camper, cclair, Claire12Annette, Climb4fun, clodaghwalsh, Conorosull, Crumlinwife, Daireen, danielobrien, Daragh-Carroll, davidwaide, derek1966, diarmuid2, Donall, Elsiehill, francis.hackett, Gear, GilliD, ItsPj, Jackobeano, jfn, JimMc, Joe8908, Joedrive, johngriffith, JRdallas, Kh9297, Lobillo, Lucinda1, maevebuckley, Margaret_P, Martha, Martymcfly, Maryo, maxmaeder, MecView, mick48h, mickdylan, MolsTreks, mountaingirl, mpowell1968, muireannodea, Nicky82, npmurph, Oheidhin, ordon, Patdr, patsykennedy, Pauljude, Paul_Rooney, Rae, Reets, rgctobin, Sean-Uk, shanemc2001, shanks, sjhirsch, Teresamc, Tom98, Voyager, Whelane1234 (72)
Our contributors to all threads this month:
BleckCra (13), Bunsen7 (3), Buny Clare (1), CaptainVertigo (1), Colin Murphy (6), David-Guenot (7), DenisMc (1), Fergal Meath (1), GSheehy (4), Geo (1), IainT (1), Onzy (6), Paul_Rooney (2), Peter Walker (2), Ulsterpooka (2), bryanmccabe (1), davsheen (2), eamonoc (1), ewen (1), gfmurphy101 (1), Communal summary entries (5), hivisibility (1), jackill (3), jgfitz (1), madfrankie (1), mallowman (1), mcrtchly (3), mlmoroneybb (4), muddyboots (2), omurchu (1), paddyhillsbagger (1), sandman (25), simon3 (14), wicklore (1), wwwalker (2)
For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors
There were comments on the following places
Achillbeg Island N Top, Achillbeg Island S Top, An Starraicín, Aughinish, Ballard Hill, Binn Mhairg, Bray Head Hill, Brockagh Mountain North-West Top, Burrane Upper, Camaderry South East Top, Caoinkeen South-East Top, Carnmoney Hill, Castlemahon Mountain, Claggan Hill, Claggan Mtn W. Top, Corbally Top, Corduff, Corranabinnia, Corrin, Crossone, Dooghill, Drumcollagh Hill, Gruggandoo, Inishdaugh, Keadeen Mountain, Kilcloher Head, Kilmore, Knockardakin, Knockatee, Knockvorneen, Lackabane, Lislorkan Top, Loop Head NE Top, Luogh South, Mullagh More, Munnia Top, Nephin, Rehy Hill, Rossmore Island, Scanlan's Island, Shanganagh, Sheeanmore, Slievenaglogh, Stockeen Cliff Top, Stumpa Dúloigh, Tinoran Hill, Tonlagee South-East Top, Trawoughter Hill, Tully Mountain, Tully Mountain West, Wee Binnian
and these shared tracks An Bhinn Dubh, Brandon Group Ireland, Ballyhoura Mountains Ireland, Beenatoor, Central Dingle Ireland, Bengorm, North Mayo Ireland, Binn Bhán, Maamturks Ireland, Brandon Group Ireland, Caherbla, Slieve Mish Ireland, Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks Ireland, Carrigleitrim, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Clogrennan Hill, South Midlands Ireland, Coomagearlahy, Paps/Derrynasaggart Ireland, Coumfea, Comeragh Mountains Ireland, Croagh Patrick, Croagh Patrick Ireland, Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone Ireland, Cullenagh Mountain, South Midlands Ireland, Donegal NW Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, France, Occitanie , Georgia , Georgia , Glenaneagh, Shannon Ireland, Italy, Campania , Italy, Campania , Knockastakeen, Galty Mountains Ireland, Knockfeerina, W Limerick/N Kerry Ireland, Knockshanahullion, Knockmealdown Mountains Ireland, Lack Mountain, Slieve Mish Ireland, Lugnagun, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Nab Scar, Lake District - Eastern Fells Britain, Seahan, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Seefin Mountain E Top, Ballyhoura Mountains Ireland, Slieve Snaght, Inishowen Ireland, Spain, Canary Islands , Tinoran Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Truskmore, Dartry Mountains Ireland, Yoke, Lake District - Eastern Fells Britain tracks were created.
Thanks to all 1303 who have ever contributed place or routes info and forums.
For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame
MountainViews now has 8578 comments about 1620 different hills, mountains, island and coastal features out of the total in our current full list (2135). We want to get a good gps track showing each of the major ways to visit each of these places and summits in Ireland. If you see an option to add a "Short Summary" then do please consider creating one since another objective is to have a short summary for every summit and island and coastal feature in Ireland. There's a few (515) opportunities for you to be the first to comment on a summit, however lots of opportunities for islands and coastal features as we bring them out. We also have around 2000 shared GPS tracks, mostly in Ireland. Apart from a few popular areas, there is a need for more routes in many different areas. Plain shared tracks without descriptions are welcome however if you have time then do please add route descriptions with photos.
- 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 visited some of the less well known places, we would appreciate a place rating and also "Improve Grid Ref" for summits and other places.
- If you find errors in the basic information about places such as in their names, their heights, county name etc please use the "Propose Places Database Change" option.
- If we can, let's make MV have more than one route up a summit or to a place 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 shared GPS tracks.
Visit the MountainViews Facebook page.
Visit the Challenge Walks Ireland page (jointly managed by MountainViews)
||Editor: Simon Stewart, Homepage:
Assistant editors: Colin Murphy, David Owens
Summit comment reviews: David Murphy
Challenge Info: Jim Holmes
Track reviews: Peter Walker
Book reviews: Aidan Dillon, Peter Walker, Mel O'Hara
Videography: Peter Walker
Graphics design advice: madfrankie
Development & support volunteers: Vanush "Misha" Paturyan, Jack Higgins, Piotr Stepien
||View previous newsletters
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