The Hillwalkers' Winter Talks are over for 2017/ 2018. We are interested in suggestions for talks for the 2018/ 2019 winter. They should be of interest to hillwalkers. Previous topics have included trekking abroad, historical walking, photography, geology, archaeology, weather forecasting, islands, conservation, camino, mountain rescue, mapping and disabled walking.
The Winter Talks are being organised by the MountainViews committee.
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
View of Croughan, Achill Island- is it the highest sea cliff in Ireland?
Still Got The Bluestacks This month's selection is a route of great use to aspiring Vandeleur-Lynam completists. peter1 has uploaded a route taking in all the 600m summits in Donegal's irrascible Bluestacks in a single walk, a rough old day with much in the way of clambering and contouring and complex routefinding. There are several optional diversions to add Arderin Begs during the meat of the walk and (for tougher pedestrians) a logical link over four lower summits (starting with Cruach Thiobraide) at its conclusion.
peter1 on Enough for one day
Main walk Start: 08:54, End: 16:09, Duration: 7h14m, Length: 19.6km,Ascent: 1436m, Descent: 1359m Places: Start at G95971 94117, Glascarns Hill, Croaghbane, Ardnageer, Ardnageer SW Top, Croaghgorm, Lavagh More, Lavagh Beg, Silver Hill, end at G92080 93232 4km 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)
As I get older and my ability to climb on consecutive days on the hills becomes more difficult, I tend to 'go large' on the days I do go out. Hence, my plan was to climb all 7 of the 600m peaks in the Bluestacks in one go! You will notice that this track seems to end abruptly! This is because I left my mountain bike at this spot, which is, in effect, the end of the motorable section of the road through the valley. If walking back to the start point from here, plan to add an additional 3kms or so.
The Granite landscape of the Bluestacks, looking towards Ardnageer
The cliffs of Binn na Cailli, at the western end of Lavagh Beg
NORTH: That sinking feeling.
On his ascent of Mullaleam in the Cuilcaghs, TommyMc encountered a hidden hole that swallowed him to his waist, so proceed with caution, he counsels, as the area is replete with them.
TommyMc on Mullaleam, (Mullach Léim): Hidden swallow holes hazard
Hidden swallow holes present a hazard on this mountain, an extremity of the moorlands below Cuilcagh mountain. While walking near the summit a few summers ago, I made the mistake of stepping on a bright green coloured mossy area and ended up falling to my hips into a pool of muck. Advance with care if you're venturing there. Nice views over Florencecourt Estate and of Benaughlin.-->
FALSE LAKES, MIRAGE-LIKE LOUGHS Harry Goodman
Mountainviews Members Meetup Walk, Saturday 8th September.
The next walk for Mountainviews members and friends is scheduled for Saturday 8th September. This is an opportunity to meet up with fellow Mountainviewers and visit a part of the country you may not have been to before. Why not make a weekend of it?
A post walk drink and meal will also be arranged.
The walk will start at the Conor Pass which at a height of over 400 metres is a good place to begin.
Cycling up to the Conor Pass is optional!
A short ascent from the Pass will bring us to An Bhinn Dubh, the first of many summits closely followed by Beennabrack and Ballysitteragh before a descent of over 200m to a col and ascent up to Gearhane.
From here there is a spectacular ridge over Brandon Peak and Brandon South top to Mount Brandon itself at 952m the high point of the walk
There is an option at this point to descend by the ‘Saints road’ to An Baile Breac following a line of white posts and wooden crosses
Alternatively continue over Brandon North top and Far North top to Piras Mor and the col before Masatiompamn where an Ogham stone is located
A short diversion up Masatiompan is possible before descending west by the Dingle way to a car park near Brandon Creek.
The walk is 7-8 hours for the longer version, a distance of approx. 18km with ascent of around 1,000 metres
There will be more details nearer the walk but in the meantime if you are interested in joining us, SAVE THE DATE!, and, better still, register your interest with Liz, as below.
Decorated stone near Masatiompan.
The walk and the day are organised independently by members of mountainviews.ie and there is no charge for the walk. If you choose to donate to MountainViews you are always free to do so.
You arrange your own accommodation and any matters of personal insurance.
This is a wonderful opportunity to meet members of the Mountainviews community
The walk and further details are available from Liz at email@example.com
Volunteering for 2018: 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.
MountainViews is a great resource based on over 1300 people's contributions over 15 years. Great that is if you have heard of it. And that's where we could use some practical publicity help.
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
Quite apart from programmers, would you believe MV's progress can also use help from people who can really follow through on tasks like creating lists, checking stats, researching place names or geology. Whether on the committee or not we value such people's contributions.
Not strictly speaking part of the main committee but a position involved in finding and selecting interesting speakers and organising the three events we are running each year.
Lough Coomeeneragh just north of Coomacarrea in the Glenbeigh Horseshoe.
CORRIE LAKES: Where do they come from?
Between 4 million and 10,000 years ago, Ireland was covered by ice and glaciers. About 50,000 years ago, as the climate began to warm up, the ice melted and by 10,000 years ago it was all gone. The resulting glaciers of that era had a huge chiselling effect on the visible landscape. The glaciers were moving, were of high mass and density, and exerted colossal downward pressure, and shearing forces on the adjacent rock faces. They followed straightforward and predictable principles of gravity, physics, mathematics and chemistry. Freezing and thawing, masses of ice moving downhill under gravity, abrasion of vertical surfaces as they tumbled, with the resulting erosion and deep excavation of the hollow by shear forces.
These colossal forces are responsible for the dramatic landscape changes we can see, corrie lakes, ribbon lakes, valleys, all caused by erosion.
Corrie lakes are one such spectacular and beautiful result of such erosion and the resulting deposition of debris (moraine) at the bottom and around the edges of the iced -over hollow, gives corrie lakes a very typical appearance.
Many corrie lakes are to be seen in Wicklow and indeed all over Ireland and elsewhere. They are always high altitude mountainous lakes with a steep northerly facing back wall.
Classic corries are about one kilometer long and one kilometre wide.The are always situated high on a mountainside under a steep north east slope where they are protected from the suns energy and the prevailing winds.
Historically, during the ice age, these high mountain hollows, northfacing and sheltered from heat, encouraged the mass accummulation of snow and ice. Snow accumulated in these north facing hollows, and eventually turned into large, dense ice packs, exerting enormous lateral and downward presure on the hollow that they filled.
As the ice moved down hill, it scraped the back wall making it steeper and pulling debris with it to the base of the hollow. Further freezing and thawing cycles, and the powerful downward gravitational shifting, removed more material from the back of the hollow creating a steep back wall (think of Tonelagee cliff face and Lough Ouler). Rotation and movement of the ice pack dragged rocky debris (moraine) along the base of the glacier deepening the floor of the basin by abrasion, and forming a deep rock basin. Some of the moraine was shifted out to the periphery of the hollow, where it formed a dam-like structure of rocks, or a rock lip enclosing the iced up hollow. The terminal lip was often heightened by the deposition of moraine.
Lough Ouler under Tonelagee, Wicklow
Lough Diheen in the Galtees.
Moraines are formed from the debris pulled down the steep rock face by the glacier, and normally consist of rounded particles varying in size from large glacial boulders, to small stones and rocks. This deposition of scraped -off wall debris, is deposited in heaps at the edges of the hollow. Glaciers are a moving phenomena and over thousands of years during the ice age, these massive slabs exerted huge abrasive pressure on rocks, as they froze, melted, collapsed, moved downwards under huge forces of gravity, and scraped down and abraded adjacent surfaces. They acted much like conveyor belts carrying debris from the top of the high walled hollow glacier to the bottom, where it deposited the debris in terminal moraines, acting as a boundary, lip face or dam like structure.
When the ice melted, corrie lakes appeared with a very steep north facing back wall, a characteristic curved shape, and a border of boulders, giving the typical "string of pearls" appearance to the border of the corrie lake.
Corries and such geological hollows are variously decribed as cwms (Welsh for valley), tarns (Norse/British) or cirques. (French). A cirque (French, from the Latin word circus) is an amphitheatre-like valley formed by glacialerosion. Indeed most corrie lakes have an amphitheatre-like appearance about them, open at one end (the terminal moraine lip) and the three walls of the original mountain hollow surrounding them...one being especially steep.
L Cleevaun under Mullaghcleevaun, Wicklow Mtns.
Because the massive glaciers exerted potent excavating and abrasive effects on the hollow of the basin, by moving and melting, collapsing and refreezing, corrie lakes are usually quite deep.
Frequently seen corrie lakes around Wicklow include Lough Nahangan, (under Camaderry/Turlough Hill), Lough Ouler, (under Tonelagee), Lough Bray (under the Eagles Crag), Art’s Lough under Clohernagh, and Cleevaun Lough (under the northerly face of Mullaghcleevaun massif.). There are of course many more around Ireland.
Book Review: The Mourne and Cooley Mountainsby Adrian Hendroff.
Published : Summer, 2018 by Collins Press
26 wonderful high and low levels walks through Northern Ireland's most iconic mountains. Inspiration for C.S. Lewis' Narnia, backdrop to Game of Thrones and theatrical set for some of Ireland's most dramatic legends.
Hendroff's Mournes and Cooleys is a wonderful word and picture record of his recommended pilgrimages through these pretty mountains, describing high spots and highlights from right across the region .... and truth is, it's a damned good read too.
So, trademark contour strapped paperback ... you can stick it in your kit when you're bus or train bound for northern parts - and after a brief encounter with the contents, you WILL be heading North.
Well established as a prolific mountain photographer - huge vistas, airy, panoramic - Hendroff's pics should be rated best of all for their off-piste viewpoints. Mourne and Cooley enthusiasts will compare their photo libraries and scenes will be duplicated a hundred times over but Hendroff always finds the ones we don't quite.
His photography is the driver to many of us buying his books but you'd be wrong to think of his prose as picture captions.
On the contrary, Hendroff's loping, striding style is ever engaging. Never shuffling nor ever breathless and in his new Mourne and Cooley Mountains there are some darlings too.
"Sheer crags and precipitous cliffs guard the eastern ramparts of Ben Crom, plummeting agonisingly down to the reservoir below for nearly 900 feet."
"Guarded by the green, forested slopes of Slievemartin on one end and the brown, menacing face of Slieve Foye at the other."
Although his depiction of Carlingford Bay as Mediterranean blue is, well, enthusiastic.
Twenty six of his top walks in the Mournes and Cooleys. Headed up by tantalising pics, excellent route maps, technical data and each record a pinboard for fascinating fact and detail. Broadcast from two different rigs. One, painting the picture, another picking out diverse, interesting and quirky facts. On one hand ..... "Impressive views across Carlingford Lough toward the majestic sweep of green Rostrevor hills." On the other .... "George Bernard Shaw, once referred to the area around here as 'more beautiful than the Bay of Naples'." - or advice to avoid Slieve Bearnagh on public holidays - or to beware compass bending bedrock.
There is a temptation to plea for text to be broken into more bite-sized chunks but that's the very thing about Adrian Hendroff's Mourne and Cooley Mountains. It's not some vast intimidating encyclopaedia.
It's there to be referred to certainly - but best of all, its there to be read - and thoroughly enjoyed.
-- Review by Bleck Cra
The MountainViews ANNUAL, 2018.
We published our third annual in Feb 2018
58 pages in 17 Articles about walking on hills, mountains and islands here and abroad.
Through no sin of our own, we could have never have guessed that the good weather of May would continue on, and into June!! Like lads, this is still Ireland . . . memories of a day's tough hillwalking through heavy snow, having to call upon trusted navigational skills, to the local Centra, so as to fight to the death, our one time neighbour, for the last remaining slice pan, still scar our psyches . . .
But incredibly, continue on, the good weather most certainly did indeed (although there was a slight exception on one of the day's adventures).
Tom Crean Endurance Walk
Towards the end of the month just passed, Annascaul Walking Club extended once again an invitation to "The Kingdom" for a Challenge Walk inspired by a true Irish hero. The Tom Crean Endurance Walk is now firmly established within the Challenge Walks Calendar and seems to go from strength to strength each year. . . Ronan O'Connor captures the day in all its sunny glory!
"As the busloads of participants arrived in Ballybrack and Brandon was fully visible, we knew we were in for a scorcher. As the walk was officially started the 250 walkers started ascended Mount Brandon at varying paces in the very still air. Continuing on to Brandon Peak and Gearhane and the col at Mullach Beal, walkers were grateful for the energy bars and water awaiting us at the checkpoint.
A steep climb up Ballysitteragh was followed by a descent towards the Conor Pass where more badly-needed water and sandwiches awaited us. Almost at the half-way point, we then proceeded on some featureless moorland to An Cnapán Mór and an equally steep descent via Cnoc Mhaoilionain. A final push along road and the banks of the Annascaul River brought us into the back garden of the South Pole Inn, where all finishers were presented with medals by Enda O'Brien, grandson of Tom Crean.
The sun was still beaming down on us, as regular and first time challenge hikers relived the day at the BBQ outside Hanifans pub.
A great walk on a great day, superbly organised by the good folk in Annascaul Walking Club."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Glenmalure Circuit Challenge
Earlier in the month of June saw an absolutely fabulous Challenge Walk take place . . . fabulous in the sense that it traces a most beautiful route in the "Garden of Ireland" and reaches to the highest mountain in Leinster. The Walk encompasses 10 different Summits from the might Lug itself, around to Table Mountain and onwards to Lugduff, then on to Mullacor before the final route down past Carriglineen.
Circuit of Glenmalure
The Glenmalure Circuit Challenge is a special Walk in that it isn't totally advertised - and this is absolutely and totally understandable . . .
A very well respected and established club - The Roving Soles Hillwalking Club, have successfully hosted this Walk for many a year now.
The first part of this Walk saw the only wet weather all month (the exception spoken about earlier)! So it was a tough enough blaze up to Lugnaquillia, until the now glorious weather that we've since become accustomed to, would then dominate the day. Roving Soles are caught between a rock and a hard place - if the Walk were to become too popular - it would be a strain to host it! But personally, I have to express my gratitude for a wonderful invitation to what is a great route and a great day.
Firstly in July, normally the first Saturday of the month is the world famous Comeragh Crossing. On this great day the boys and girls from Dungarvan Hillwalking Club invite down to Waterford simply hundreds of walkers with all different abilities so as to all take part together, yes together . . . at different stages those on the "A" Walk may break off so as to summit an extra ridge for example - but all walkers continue to meet over the course of the day – which is a great help in sharing one’s pains.
A tough Walk that has proven difficult in parts to navigate in adverse weather, it commands an ascent of approx. 2100 metres and at least a lateral length of 40 kilometres. The 7th of July is to be this year's date.
Circuit of Glenmalure - another.
Then later in the month (on the 21st of July) is the (also world famous) Joyce Country Challenge. This is a beautiful Walk too, although it has been subject to many a seriously tough day's going! There have been years where heavy rain has dictated a long hard slog where the extra fuel reserve had to be called upon. The Joyce Country is over 30 km with an ascent of over 2000 metres.
Both Walks have been known to have required that extra bit of ummph! This special trait is to be found only in the mind-set of the most hardened of Challenge Hillwalker – but when indeed found . . . . it is etched permanently!
Even in the month of July things can be unpredictable - so never let the incredible weather that we've been chatting about, lure you into a false sense of security up the hills! We appreciate all too well how up at 700 odd metres, conditions can "turn on a dime" in a single hour.
But who knows . . . chances are, this good weather will continue 'till Christmas Eve (yes, it really does get earlier each year!).
So whether it's the beauty of the Comeraghs or the enchantment of Maumtrasna . . . it's on these Challenge Walks where you'll find the most fantastic plateaus, ancient corries, spectacular ridges, glorious valleys and lakes that have lured for generations in all their glory . . . in good weather or fresh.
Support a local Challenge Walk near you!
Onwards and Upwards, Keep Safe and Enjoy your Day!
SUMMITEERS and PLACE-VISITORS CORNER
A place for those interested in Summiteering, Bagging, Highpointing, visiting islands and coastal places.
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.
Take care if parking and do not obstruct roads, lanes and field entrances to access by farm machinery, which can be large. Exercise your dog in parks or forests but avoid countryside or open hillside where they may worry sheep.
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