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The Summit

MountainViews newsletter for guestuser

Dec 2019


  International PIC OF THE MONTH

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

Peter Walker challenged by the Mourne Wall Veteran contributor on his December ambition

An Arderin found not to be. Only 406 others left.

ANNUAL for next February Essays, articles, informal notes, photos etc that you would like to contribute welcome.

New Article Index Feature will be released soon.

Spread of different lists There are Arderins in all counties except 6, the V-Ls in all but 13.

Two videos featured this month gerrym, David Guenot


MOUNTAINVIEWS: Hillwalkers' Events

  • January, date to be arranged.
    Walk in the Knockmealdowns We will be organising a hillwalk in the Knockmealdowns in January, details to be announced. If you are interested in joining us for this one or have ideas about further walks, perhaps leading one, contact Liz at

  • Friday 21st Feb 2020.
    Annual Gathering This is advance notice for the date of the Annual Gathering The meeting is a public meeting open to all. Venue: Lansdowne Hotel, Dublin 4. Further details to follow.

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

A picture taken from Buckaun near Maumtrasna

Photo: peter1

International Pic of the Month

The mountain view from the incredible Quiraing on the Trotternish Ridge, Isle of Skye.

For original comment, click here.

Photo: Martin Critchley

In short: Discovery

Featured Track of the Month
This month's selection takes in one of the classic mountain traverses of the Scottish Highlands, namely the Five Sisters of Kintail, a line of hills forming an imposing (and bloody high) north wall to Glen Shiel, and member billbaggins' upload has some excellent, informative notes, and some fine photos. By local standards it's a middling day, but it's a strenuous outing with considerable amounts of steep ascent and descent and a little mild scrambling to keep you honest. The compensation is the incomparable feeling of covering a long succession of rocky summits with marvellous views of the western seaboard and the Highland's an area well worth a holiday.

billbaggins on 5 Sisters of Kintail
Main walk Start: 09:22, End: 19:01, Duration: 9h38m, Length: 15.2km, Ascent: 1494m, Descent: 1653m
Places: Start at NH00893 13547, Beinn Odhar, Sgurr nan Spainteach, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe, Sgurr na Carnach, Sgurr Fhuaran, Sgurr nan Saighead, Beinn Bhuidhe, Sgurr na Moraich, end at NG94606 20246 9.2km NW 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)

The Five Sisters of Kintail, Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe, Sgùrr na Càrnach, Sgùrr Fhuaran, Sgùrr nan Saighead and Sgùrr na Moraich are the most westerly of the hills on the ridge guarding the north side of Glen Shiel. Three of the 5, Sgùrr na Ciste Duibhe, Sgùrr na Càrnach and Sgùrr Fhuaran, are Munros. It is a popular route as, given reasonable weather, a day spent traversing these hills can give memorable hiking and memorable views. (The South Shiel Ridge, the Saddle, The Forcan Ridge and Sgùrr na Sgine will be in view across Glen Shiel with Beinn Fhada on the other side across Gleann Lichd. There will also be nice views to Loch Duich and beyond, possibly even to Skye, ahead. ) The busy A82, the main road to Skye, runs through Glen Shiel at the foot of these mountains but, because of the height of the ridge, there is rarely any road noise while the ridge is being traversed. The route is usually walked from southeast to northwest starting at NH008 135, below Bealach an Lápan. The route, on paper, is not a long one, but it is a tough, time consuming route as parts of the route demand patience and care.
As it is linear walk, with the start a considerable distance from the finish, it is helpful if you can arrange transport to avoid a long road-walk. One option, the one I used, is to avail of the Citylink bus service. Citylink operate two services along the A82. One between Skye and Glasgow and one between Skye and Inverness. Timetables are available at Citylink buses only allow passengers board at the designated bus stops shown on the timetables but passengers are allowed disembark anywhere along the route provided the driver can safely pull in at a layby.
The bus can be boarded at the bus shelter at Shiel Bridge or from the roadside at Ault Na Chruinn. Parking is limited at Shiel Bridge but there are 6 marked parking spaces set aside for hikers at Ault Na Chruinn at NH945 202. This is near Kintail Crafts and the now (2019) closed Jac-o-bite roadside restaurant. The bus shelter at Ault Na Chruinn is on the original road, now a layby, a little off the A82. The bus does not stop at this shelter. To flag down the bus you must stand on the side of the A82. You can see the bus crossing the bridge over the River Croe estuary to the north so you will have plenty of time to prepare for its arrival at Ault Na Chruinn. The bus company and the bus drivers are familiar with most hiker’s requirements – to be dropped at the start point for the Five Sisters. The destination text on my ticket even read “5 Sisters”. After boarding the bus, I was engaged in conversation by a friendly Glaswegian who had lived on Skye for the previous 32 years. He had fallen in love with the Highlands as a teenager and managed to move to Skye when he was 40. I would have enjoyed conversing with him all the way to Glasgow, but the hills were calling. After giving me some useful rucksack advice, he wished me an enjoyable day as I disembarked at the layby at NH005 135. There are two paths up to the ridge, one begins at NH005 135. The other one, which I used, begins a little farther east at NH008 136.
Whichever path you choose, the ascent to the ridge is tough going. The path to Bealach an Lápan (725m) from the road (175m) involves a climb of 550 meters over a little more than a kilometre so it is quite steep and requires great care and concentration in places. When I reached Bealach an Lápan it was cold and claggy, but I was heartened by having finally reached the ridge and hopeful that the weather forecast, which was for the day to improve, was correct. I had to put on full waterproofs though as I made my way over via Beinn Odhair and Sgúrr nan Spainteach to the large cairn that marks the summit of Sgúrr na Ciste Duibhe (1027m)

View back to Sgúrr nan Spainteach and Sgúrr na Ciste Duibhe from Sgúrr na Carnach
As I made my way to Sgúrr na Carnach (1022m) the cloud gradually began to lift, and I began to enjoy the reward for my earlier work. By the time I reached the summit of Carnach I had a great view back towards Sgúrr na Ciste Duibhe and Sgúrr nan Spainteach.
By the time I’d reached Sgúrr Fhuaran (1067m) the weather and views had improved even more

Above - Looking back at Sgúrr na Ciste Duibhe and Sgúrr na Carnach from Sgúrr Fhuaran
Sgúrr nan Saighead (929m), Beinn Bhuidhe (869m) and Sgúrr na Moraich(876m) then followed after Sgúrr Fhuaran.
The optional ascent of Beinn Bhuidhe involves a short but interesting scramble.

Above - Looking forward to Sgúrr nan Saighead, Beinn Bhuidheand Sgúrr na Moraich from Fhuaran.
Loch Duich and Sgúrr an t-Searraich also in view
If you want to drop down to Shiel Bridge you can descend the North West spur of Beinn Bhuidhe towards Loch Shiel. If you are not able to cross the river east of Loch Shiel you will have to stay on the north of the loch and river until the river passes under the A82.

Viewback to Sgúrr nan Saighead and Sgúrr Fhuaran from Beinn Bhuidhe
I headed for the last sister, Sgúrr na Moraich and then returned to the col between Beinn Bhuidhe and Sgúrr na Moraich to avail of the track along the Allt a'Chruinn back to my starting point. This track was mucky and rough in places. It was delightful to follow the Allt from its infancy in the ooze of the col, watching it gradually grow into a substantial stream, dropping over several small waterfalls as it made its way to Loch Duich. Just before it reaches the loch and the sea it is harnessed in a hydro-electricity / water scheme.

Beinn Bhuidhe and Sgúrr na Moraich from Sgúrr nan Saighead
Sgúrr na Moraich is the rounded hill to the right of the photo
{Why are these hills called the 5 sisters? According to Celtic legend, fadó fadó in Alba, a chieftain (or farmer in some versions) had 7 daughters. Two Irish brothers appeared on the scene and fell in love with and married the two youngest sisters. They headed home with their new brides to Ireland promising to send their 5 brothers over to Scotland to marry the remaining 5 unmarried sisters. The five promised brothers never arrived in Scotland, possibly because they drowned on the journey or perhaps the two brides were not a good advertisement for their sisters. Anyway, the five sisters were left awaiting their arrival and eventually asked a local sorceress to transform them into mountains so they could continue waiting patiently forever.}

NORTH: Cr-Cr-Cr-Crenville?
An exploration of the atypical Mournes summit of Crenville proves to be a bit of a sanity-questioning exercise for madfrankie.
madfrankie on Crenville: Welcome to Cruelville
Some people might say that there's no such thing as a bad mountain or hill, but on a wet and gloomy November day it was hard not to think that Crenville is the exception to the rule. Despite the weather, everything was grand from Slievemeen to Slievemartin, but once over the fence and into the 'Crenville Cul De Sac' the terrain deteriorated into high tussocky grass that sapped the energy and caus ... ... Click here ...

NORTH: Not On The Boredwalk (as the Drifters might have sung)
Sometimes your track reviewer feels the need to put his size 10s (or 45s, depending on how you measure them) where his mouth is (although in practice he lost that level of flexibility years ago) and demonstrate his disdain for the Cuilcagh 'Hairway To Steven' by climbing that mountain with actual hillwalking. With that in mind there's now a track on MV for a there-and-back ascent over Benbeg from the south, a splendid promenade along the edge of the monumental sweep of the massif's eastern scarp, deeply mucky at times (you should see what our bath looked like after myself and Indy The Tripod Dog had been in it afterwards) but fundamentally straightforward.
Peter Walker on Cuilcagh via Benbeg
For those of us who'd rather NOT use the 'contentious' Cuilcagh boardwalk, the most straightforward route of ascent is f| walk, Len: 10.8km, Climb: 443m, Area: Cuilcagh, Breifne (Ireland) Cuilcagh, B ... Click here ...

NORTH: The Amazing Melting Mountain
One of the most important functions carried out by MountainViews is the creation and maintenance of Ireland's hillwalking lists. And so it was that a trip to south-west Donegal has revealed an awful truth: it turns out that Donegal's Common Mountain didn't eat up its greens when it was younger, and as such hasn't actually grown up to be an Arderin after all. This is thankless (and very expensive, in terms of the hardware involved; the yellow thing on the ground in the photo costs around 11k, but will measure altitude to an accuracy of +-10cm) work, involving not only determining the heights of the hills, but also the prominence (and finding the highest point on a separating col is often much much harder than finding a summit).

So if you see a hill altitude on MV containing a decimal point, then that means we have measured it ourselves. These heights are then passed on to the OSI and other interested parties.

simon3 on Common Mountain, (Sliabh Chamáin): Crooked mountain turns out to be Arderin imposter.
According to the OS this summit has a summit height of 501m, however checking with a survey quality GPS on 13th Nov 2019 revealed that the true height is 499.7m +/- .1m We climbed a mountain and came down a hill. ... Click here ...

WEST: The Partry Animal
conorb has had a dander along a decent wodge of St Finbarr's Pilgrim's Way down in the south-west. His tactics involved some clever shenanigans with a bike to eliminate the need for a second car, and with the start gained on two wheels, the walk follows the well marked path back up north over hills, forests and bogs to Gougane. His uploaded track has a brief diversion to take in the locally dominant summit of Conigar; those wishing to include more hilltops will have to gird their loins and head north rather than east from that peak.
peter1 on A circuit of the upper Owenbrin Valley
I would really encourage anyone interested in walking in this valley to keep it for a clear day. The views in and from t| walk, Len: 14.7km, Climb: 1115m, Area: Buckaun East, Partry/Joyce Country (Ire ... Click here ...

Featured summit comment

The unexpected arc of five summits from Tonduff to the Sea

You Gotta have Time on your Side

Excellent advice from conororourke in his post of Nov 19 concerning Tonduff in the Wicklow Mountains. Conor suggests that you need plenty of time if you want to fully enjoy and be safe while hillwalking. How true that is, the last thing you want is to be hurrying on a mountainside! His post comes under the heading "Ascending from the south as part of a route from Djouce/War Hill"

Summiting on Tonduff via a route from Djouce & War Hill, an option to incorporate the mountain as part of a longer route. From the summit of War Hill: "a small pile of rocks marks the summit cairn (War Hill) here and can be tricky to find in poor visibility. From here, took another bearing for Tonduff across the valley - a natural path descends but you really have to find your own line to cross the river Dargle. No particular flow to be seen as the river tributaries are obscured by grasses and reeds, but took the time to find a safe crossing. My route took me across the river after it forks (2 crossings) and there was no need to trek further upstream to avoid the Dargle entirely. From here, pick a spot on Tonduff and aim for it crossing the heather - not particularly boggy here but only some hap-hazard animal tracks so slower going. From Tonduff it was a lovely tip down to Maulin and on to Crone Wood"

SOUTH: Triple G
To further illustrate the notion that some of the most satisfying challenges in the hills are the one we improvise, here's member ilenia deciding to ascend Galtymore from the Black Road car park to the top three times on the trot, just to make the most of a long day in summer. This is quite a psychological commitment (it's not often during a mountain day that you descend completely to valley level in the middle of your itinerary) and I've included it here to show what possibilities exist if you allow the daft portion of your brain to take control for a bit.
ilenia on Galtymore from the South x3
Walk completed on 15 June 2019. Started from car park at Black Road at R89306 20345 and went up the usual route to Galty| walk, Len: 31.9km, Climb: 1969m, Area: Galtybeg, Galty Mountains (Ireland) Ga ... Click here ...

SOUTH: Stone the Crohan
peter1 begins an east-west traverse of the Knockmealdowns with an atmospheric ascent of a pendant peak.
peter1 on Crohan West, (Cruachán): Sun and fog
Approaching Crohan West from the North to begin a circuit of the hills, I spotted the sun just breaking through the fog that filled the valley. As I climbed higher, I could see the Galtees, Slievenamon and the Comeraghs rising above the cloud inversion. Very nice! ... Click here ...

SOUTH-WEST: The Inch Test
simon3 reports some rewarding views from the lesser Slieve Mish summit of Knockafeehane in the south-west.
group on Knockafeehane: Rewarding views.
There is parking near the stile at Q61478 02068 for 3 cars. Circular walk map board here also. Easy walk roughly North to top with rewarding views of Inch Strand and beyond. ... Click here ...

EAST: Avondale Calling
jgfitz has visited the forest park containing the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell, an area now including many outdoors amenities as well as the (currently closed for renovations) house itself. He elected to follow the Railway Walk from Rathdrum Station down to Avondale before returning along the trail alongside the river; it's a relatively easy afternoon stroll with other possibilities as noted in his text, and the opportunity to see some tremendously varied woodland at close quarters.
jgfitz on Avondale Forest Park from Rathdrum Railway Station
The forest park surrounding the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell is also regarded as the birthplace of Iri| walk, Len: 10.0km, Climb: 247m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) ... Click here ...

EAST: End of the Line
A walk from Glendalough taking in Derrybawn Mountain and Mullacor is not necessarily the most original of outings, but simon3's approach to the former through the oakwoods to the east might not be the most obvious route, as is the avoidance of the boardwalk on the Spinc on the return; even the busiest of hills have their less frequented passages. These little variants to a popular itinerary might come in useful, but his photos also serve to emphasise that even unpromising days can conjure some hefty atmospherics through the lens.
simon3 on Halloween mists on Derrybawns two ridges.
Prepared by the weather forecast for heavy later rain we started out this Halloween on a fairly ordinary route via vario| walk, Len: 15.5km, Climb: 661m, Area: Derrybawn Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow (Irel ... Click here ...

SCOTLAND: The Big Skye
mcrtchly incentivises a holiday on Skye with this picture of one of its countless scenic wonders.
mcrtchly on Cleat: Pink 'Skye' at morning
An early morning mountain view from the incredible Quiraing on the Trotternish Ridge, Isle of Skye. In the distance is Cleat Hill with a snow-frosted Bioda Buidhe in the background. ... Click here ...

Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for recent month(s) later.


Call for Material for Annual

View last ANNUAL

Call for the Annual 2019 - to be published in Feb 2020 -
The Background. For the last four years we have brought out a PDF style magazine. We plan to do the same this, "The MountainViews ANNUAL 2019". We are looking for feature length illustrated articles. And photos. And shorter items for "Your Walking Highlights of 2019".

For the highlights we are mainly looking for experiences in Ireland though as last time we will include some adventures abroad - your short notes not necessarily your crafted paragraphs. (Note, we are not looking for your long notes. Either give us short notes or a longer, crafted article.)

We will consider any areas of interest to hillwalkers in Ireland, for example articles on Challenge Walking (both organised and individual), Way Walking (ie walking Way Marked Ways), Summiteering, Family Walking, Gear, Flora & Fauna, Holiday Walking, Scrambling, Coastal or Island walking, things you may see on the hills etc are all welcome as are new ideas. We welcome articles from people who are starting out hillwalking, or experienced or professionals etc.

Copydate: Ideally by Thurs 9th Jan 2020.

If you are thinking of contributing or would like to discuss topics etc feel free to contact or have an article

at admin -at-
We are asking for contributions a month earlier than in previous years, because experience has taught us it is difficult to marshal and to prepare a good mix for the annual when we leave it to after Xmas.
If there more material comes in than there is space for, then we will try to include it in later newsletters.

MountainViews meets the new Mountaineering Ireland Hillwalking Committee

MountainViews has been promoting a summit list which constitutes a life-time challenge for hillwalkers. We believe that Ireland should have a "headline" list or main list that people can work at over time. This would be similar in concept to the Munros in Scotland and of approximately equal difficulty. There are 282 Munros and many are extremely difficult nevertheless well over 6000 people have visited all of them.

MountainViews believes that it would be advantageous if Mountaineering Ireland supported this concept of a headline list for Ireland and assisted with its promotion. To this end a delegation from MV met a group from the MI Hillwalking Committee on 25th Nov 2019 to discuss the matter. We believe that while the Arderins have more summits (406) they constitute a challenge of approximately equal difficulty given the Munros are much higher (914m+) as against 500m+ for Arderins. We also believe in view of the astonishing and confusing array of lists in Britain that thought needs to be given to maintaining a simpler set of supporting lists for Ireland.

Our ideas got a warm reception and we anticipate further news on this in the coming months.

MORF - The Mourne Outdoor Recreation Forum

A meeting of MORF took place at the Tollymore Outdoor Centre on the 12th November. The most significant item on the agenda was an excellent presentation by the National Trust regarding the works being undertaken on the land owned by that organisation on the flanks of Slieve Donard, in particular repairs and improvements being carried out on the Glen River path leading from Newcastle to the summit. In a similar vein, mention was made of ingenious attempts to protect exposed tree roots on the woodland section of the route just above the car park. The Mourne Heritage Trust can be followed and contacted on Twitter: @Mournelive Likewise the local National Trust: @NTMournes

Volunteering for 2019: 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
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.
Publicity MountainViews is a great resource based on over 1300 people's contributions over 16 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, 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.

Contact us at admin -at-

CHALLENGE...It's Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away: A Middle-Aged Desk Jockey Fights The Passage and Lack of Time

Descending towards the Bog of Donard.

The thing about the routes for Challenge Walks is that they don’t merely exist when the organised outings are taking place on them; it’s not like that episode of ‘Father Ted’ where Bishop Brennan can’t get off Craggy Island because ‘they’ve taken the roads in’. The hills, the routes, they’re always there, and sometimes you just have to organise these things for yourself and yourself alone. And so it is that an expatriate Englishman sits in County Antrim and hatches a plan for a ‘charitable outing’ that his partner’s professional circumstances (she’s a teacher at a special needs school trying to raise a lot of money for a minibus before Christmas) have rendered desirable.

The deeply entertaining descent to the Silent Valley over Wee Binnian

There are numerous constraints that have to be worked with here. I’ve got to get it done before Christmas and I have a full-time (and full-on; ever worked outside in the North Carolina summer wearing fireproof clothing?) job. My homelife is great, but seven cats, three dogs, two guinea pigs, a snake and some chickens take a bit of time and wrangling. I’m currently not far off two stone over my fighting weight for really tough days in the mountains. I’m kinda the wrong sort of ‘fit’ at present…quite good at powering up individual hills, but lacking the resilience to do them one after another (probably weight-related). It has to be something with a degree of name recognition for the public at large (rather than just the hillwalking community) to encourage sponsorship. And (and I know it doesn’t reflect that well on me)…it needs to be something that impresses me more so than impresses anyone else. I mean, folk would give me sponsorship money for a dander up and down Donard, but in the grand scheme of things, I’d feel almost like I was robbing them. Got to suffer a bit.

And so I decided…it’d be the Mourne Wall Walk.

Now, even in my current condition I’m confident I can do that in a day if I take it steady enough. So, I need to up the ante a bit…so I’m going to aim for the shortest day of the year, December 21st. Handily, that’s a Saturday. And the name recognition aspect is taken care of…everyone’s heard of the Mournes, many non-hiking folk are aware of the Mourne Wall, and if you then hit them with the distance / height gain stats and ‘seven hours of daylight’ thing then you have a fair chance of a decent number of hands going into a decent number of pockets.

There’s a few things left to be taken care of. Mainly fitness, unfortunately. So I’m out pounding the outskirts of Lisburn most lunchtimes getting miles into my legs, frantically shedding pounds and trying to shift the balance of my endurance towards aerobic rather than anaerobic. And at weekends I scrape up whatever time I can find on the hill while two of our three dogs form a slightly unwilling rota of companionship. Indy, Ireland’s leading three-legged hillwalking dog (see article here: /newsletters/month/2016-10/ ), has been sporting his perpetual look of ‘I’m not 100% sure I want to be here, but hey, at least it isn’t the Sperrins’. And then there’s Eric, the new kid on the block, a bonkers little terrier that we drove all the way to a rescue charity in Galway to, erm, rescue…

Eric’s first go at hillwalking possibly misled him, seeing as it was a speedy shlep round various immaculately maintained trails (and a bit of road) on Divis, the highest of the Belfast hills. This may have given him the impression that hillwalking is all milk and honey and never getting lost (with gravy bones thrown in). So I suspect the ensuing trip to Slieve Beagh East Top was probably a bit of a shock for him, little legs not necessarily being the ideal tool for tackling one of Ireland’s largest blanket bogs, extensive bribery with chicken being necessary to quieten the regular canine grumbling.

Looking south from Slievenaglogh

So, preparations continue. I’ll probably lose a bit of weight, but nowhere near the amount I’d like. I’ll probably get fitter, but the machine-like efficiency of my youth will most likely elude me. I’ll go up Binnian in the dark just to check what that’ll be like on the day. I should probably do likewise with the final descent from Donard back to Carricklittle, but I’ll probably forget to. So, it’ll probably end up as an epic of some description, as a pale English bloke weighed down by several hundredweight of jelly babies and spare headtorch batteries crawls battered and broken back to his car at about 11pm on the day. But you’ve got to have a challenge, haven’t you? Or a Challenge. Folks, don’t just wait around for someone else to do all the organisational heavy lifting for these things…sometimes it’s great to just do them for yourself.

Achievement is a purely personal thing; only you know how far you’ve truly pushed out the boat.

(Disclaimer: if the weather is REALLY appalling on the day, I’ll probably do the Tain Way instead: long, slightly tedious, lower level, and less likely to kill me).

-- Peter Walker, the epony-mouse.

The MountainViews ANNUAL, 2018.

We published the annual in Feb 2019
60 pages in 13 Articles about walking on hills, mountains and islands here and abroad.

The ANNUAL  (Please save and read in a PDF viewer.) (Hi-res version.)

(Obtain PRINTED VERSION - Euro 15)


Videos this month:

MV user gerrym has a spectacular day and night on the Sheefry Hills
MV user David-Guenot explores the awesome north side of Ben Nevis

Videography by Peter Walker.


Newsletter Content, a problem of success

Unfortunately I don't remember quite when MountainViews starting issuing the Summit, our monthly newsletter. I reckon it was probably around 2004 but it might have been earlier. Anyway we currently have copies of everything sent since January 2007 a total of 141 (three didn't come out following a bike accident I had in 2016).

Much of the material is relatively transient, like news reports on new maps, or articles about people taking selfies in front of a bear. But there are a core of fine well researched articles that members have contributed particularly since we introduced the Quarterlies and the Annual. It seems a shame not to make them more easily accessible for people who years after publication might benefit from them.

So with the huge help of a volunteer (Frank Browning) we are putting together an index of articles. It's not an index of everything that was ever included in a newsletter and we have been selective about what we have put in. Nevertheless the draft index has over 250 items in it. Say you were interested in Waymarked Ways, or visiting Sweden for walking or something you knew you wrote in 2014 or doing your Local 100 then you could take a look at articles about such topics. Note: this is not an index or search for forum or mountain comment or track content. Only for newsletter articles.
We will have more on this when we have it fully finished.

Sneak peak

Click on
Comments welcome.

A place for those interested in Challenge Walking

Click here for the Challenge Walk Calendar to start planning your challenge walking for next year.

Challenge Walks Newsletter December 2019


We don't have so much to report this month, though we do include an article about a possible attempt to do the Mourne Wall Walk shortly.

Also take a look at this resource managed by MountainViews:

A place for those interested in Summiteering, Bagging, Highpointing, visiting islands and coastal places.

An Arderin laid low.

As mentioned earlier, we found that though Common mountain in Donegal was marked by the OS as having 501m elevation, on measurement we found it to have 499.7 So it is hereby deemed to be not an Arderin bringing our total of Arderins down by one to 406. Over time we are likely to find other changes, either adding summits to particular lists or sometimes eliminating them. However the total number of changes can't be that great since the usual errors we find are of the order of 1 to 2m and there just aren't that many places within about 2m of the significant height of 500m

Ev'ry valley shall be exalted, and ev'ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places plain.
In fact while measuring Common (aka Crooked) we also measured nearby Knocknapeast (aka Serpent). The OS says this is 497m, however our measurements put that at 499.0m So overall Common shrank by 1.3m and Knocknapeast grew by 2m. Subtitle courtesy GF Handel and book of Isaiah. While we didn't exactly exalt any valleys, we did measure the col between the two aforesaid hills, which is probably more attention than that rough place has had for many a long year.

Getting improved measurements onto maps - repeat
We are happy to discuss standardisation and use of this data for mapping including voluntary groups like OSM, smaller commercial mapmakers or larger national mapping agencies. As per our conditions individual hillwalkers and clubs are welcome to use the data. We are happy to note that East-West mapping are taking our surveyed measurements for use with their mapping.

Recently we had occasion to consider the adequacy of the spread of different lists over the area of Ireland. When a list spreads over more places it facilitates newcomers and spreads environmental load. We have tended to do this in the past by looking at the spread over different mountain areas however for this exercise (suggested by the HWC) we did it by traditional county.

The results are interesting. The Arderins are present in all but 6 counties, the V-L in all but 13 and the Hundred Highest miss 15 counties.

Spread by county and mountain area for different MV lists.
As of 27 Nov 2019       
Arderins  Vandeleur-Lynams  Hundred Highest 
Total number406 Total number273 Total number100
Different counties26 Different counties19 Different counties17
Different mountain areas43 Different areas36 Different areas33
CountyCount CountyCount   
Antrim4 Carlow2 Carlow2
Armagh1 Cavan1 Cavan1
Carlow5 Cork10 Cork6
Cavan3 Derry4 Derry1
Fermanagh1 Donegal13 Donegal6
Clare2 Down17 Down9
Cork26 Dublin4 Dublin1
Derry9 Fermanagh1 Fermanagh1
Donegal34 Galway25 Galway10
Down26 Kerry104 Kerry33
Dublin7 Leitrim1 Limerick3
Galway33 Limerick8 Mayo12
Kerry129 Mayo25 Tipperary7
Kilkenny1 Sligo1 Tyrone1
Laois2 Tipperary17 Waterford5
Leitrim6 Tyrone5 Wexford2
Limerick7 Waterford15 Wicklow12
Louth2 Wexford4   
Mayo39 Wicklow39   

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.

Purchase from here.

simon3 on A Guide to Irelands Mountain Summits
MountainViews first book available online and in many bookshops.

As members will know, for over a decade, has been providing unique information to hillwalkers on all aspects of exploring and enjoying Ireland's upland areas. It's been a collaborative effort by over 1000 of you, and currently contains over 6000 comments on 1057 mountains and hills on the island of Ireland ... ... Click here ...
Bulk sales to groups such as Scouts/ Guides: contact for a discounted price.

This month.
Kudos to our contributors.

We welcome the following new members who enrolled this month. alanfinn, archie, Attracta, Beanaldo, bglynn, cactustravelfan, ColonelWallard, conororourke, doogleman, egildolopes, evansdb, FatFoot, Grimsbyforever, Halbert57, Hikelines, jfbmitchell, nibmaire, Nonplussed, RonnieBowron, SeanAlastair, Vodafone1 (21)

Our contributors to all threads this month: IainT (1), Peter Walker (3), billbaggins (5), ceadeile (1), conororourke (6), eamonoc (1), Communal summary entries (1), ilenia (1), jgfitz (1), madfrankie (1), magnumpig (3), mcrtchly (1), peter1 (2), simon3 (7), tomlug48 (2)
For a fuller list view Community | Recent Contributors

There were comments on the following places , Binn Shleibhe, Camaderry South East Top, Carrane Hill, Common Mountain, Crenville, Crohan West, Downs Hill, Lackagh Mountain, Lugduff SE Top, Slievenamon, Tonduff
and these shared tracks Beinn Odhar, Loch Duich to Cannich Britain, Black Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Cave Hill, Belfast Hills Ireland, Cuilcagh, Breifne Ireland, Cullentragh Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Derrybawn Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Galtybeg, Galty Mountains Ireland, Tibradden Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Tonelagee, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, Vinegar Hill, North Wexford Ireland, White Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland, White Hill, Dublin/Wicklow Ireland tracks were created.

Thanks to all 1375 who have ever contributed place or routes info and forums.

For a full list view Community | Contributors Hall of Fame

Summary. MountainViews now has 9467 comments about 1794 different hills, mountains, island and coastal features out of the total in our current full list (2160). 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 quite a few (366) opportunities for you to be the first to comment on a place, not so many on summits, 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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:
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, Mike Griffin
NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE. View previous newsletters
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