Perhaps we need to reflect what the new normal will mean?
There are going to be continuing issues of social distancing and preventing the propagation of Covid viruses from panting mouths. One issue is going to be parking for those that have access to cars. In particular how would people get to the start of walks? Not at all easy to contemplate sharing a car for possibly hours with people outside your usual social bubble. And then if you can drive and go separately there can be monumental car parking issues.
In April we showed you the upland parking nightmares of Wicklow.
Approaches to the Mournes -- photo courtesy Mournes Heritage Trust
Comment by Peter Walker about Northern Ireland, which is unlikely to be any different to the situation in the Republic.
Northern Ireland's current restrictions seem to have led to something resembling a resumption of normal hillwalking activities. With ‘unlimited outdoor exercise and socialising’ and no specific limit on how far one could travel from home, plus a spell of glorious weather, it was probably inevitable that voices quietly calling for folk to ‘stay local’ and ‘be conservative with your routes’ would be drowned out.
So the obvious locations such as the High Mournes have been even more swamped than they would usually be at this time of year. People do seem to be paying at least lip service to the notion of social distancing, but there have been some horrifying examples of lighting fires, littering and grossly inconsiderate parking; it’s little consolation (and possibly wishful thinking) to believe that most of the culprits were day trippers rather than habitual hillwalkers.
of the month
View from Dunmore Head, Kerry
Dunmore Head is one of the newly added "Coastal Summits", the island immediately in front is Lure (G: Liuir), with the Blaskets in the background. For
original comment, click here.
Featured Track of the Month No pain no gain...
This month's selection is in keeping with what a lot of us promised we'd be doing under the current circumstances: training. Sometimes we go out in the hills with the focus being on upkeep/upgrade of fitness and knowledge rather than on imbibing the delights of our surroundings. It is in that spirit that we highlight simon3's slightly drunken-looking collage of ups and downs and ins and outs above Glenmalure; one needs to make use of what's near at hand sometimes, and here suddenly Wicklow is decent practice for the Maamturks. [ED, this was originally published some years ago, when said simon3 was still doing the Maamturks - simon says, yes the route shown is brutal but that's what you need for in training for the 'Turks with its 45% gradients.]
simon3 on A training walk
Main walk Start: 10:10, End: 18:26, Duration: 8h15m, Length: 19.2km,Ascent: 1755m, Descent: 1735m Places: Start at T07962 92866, Cloghernagh, Corrigasleggaun, Slievemaan, Lugnaquilla, end at Start (statistics such as Ascent or Length etc should be regarded as approximate. Duration depends on the speed of the person making the track)
This is a walk intended for training rather than interest. It uses the steep sides of a number of the south Wicklow valleys.
NORTH: I will arise now and go hillwalking ...
Magnumpig reports his first peak in 2 months an ascent of Killerry in the Ox Mountains, and enjoys a bonus view of the Lake Isle of Innisfree.
magnumpig on Killerry Mountain, (Sliabh Chill Oiridh): First peak in 2 months
Climbed Killerry on Saturday afternoon. Nothing for it but to park in Slish Wood and beat a track up through the scrub. Extensive views from the top of Knocknarea, Benbulben and the Dartrys at large. The Lake Isle of Innisfree is a nice little reward on the path back to the car. ... Click here ...
NORTH: Lancing the Moyle
The limits of lockdown can cause a bit of a re-evaluation of the land close to hand, and so it was that mcrtchly and kernowclimber have been up the relatively retiring Donegal summit of Moyle Hill because it's less than 5km from their house. Once the country lanes had been negotiated they found native and non-native woodland and a nice view over the adjacent Lough Fern. Well worth a visit if you're passing in the future, especially now the access track to the summit has been pruned a bit.
mcrtchly on To "baldy go" where we haven't been before!
Moyle Hill is a small prominence about 3 km south of Milford in east Donegal and is our nearest MV summit. We can clearl| walk, Len: 7.3km, Climb: 162m, Area: Moyle Hill, Donegal NW (Ireland) Moyle H ... Click here ...
NORTH: In search of the lost Cairn
Member trostanite tries does some research into Donalds Cairn in the Antrim Hills, and discovers some interesting mythological connections.
trostanite on Donalds Carn: There is a Cairn here somewhere...
I was intrigued by the name of this summit so I tried to find out a bit more. According to historical PRONI Ordnance Survey maps the site of Donald's Carn is situated at J4760 9788. I could only find one mention of Donald's Carn online in an article by Francis Joseph Biggar in the Belfast News Letter in 1923, posted on facebook by the 'Memories of Islandmagee' group-
"The stone of Finn MacCoo ... ... Click here ...
WEST: An eight-metre bag
Island Eddy in Galway bay was abandoned in the 80s, reports TommyV, and although virtually flat, made for an interesting kayak paddle.
TommyV on Island Eddy, (Oileán Eide): Island in Galway Bay
Eddy Island is nestled into the Eastern side of Galway bay. With water transport it can be accessed from the north via a a quay 5km West from Clarinbridge or from the South via a quay 5km North from Kinvarra. We paddled out on our sea kayaks from the North. The island was abandoned in the early 80's but it's still farmed and there appears to be one or two of the old cottages maintained as holiday ... ... Click here ...
WEST: Play misty for me.
Slieve Aghkerane is part of the beautiful Corraun area, but its glories were hidden by a thick mist, writes Harry Goodman, which thankfully abated just briefly.
[ED: Those that demand naming rectitude (and also pedants) may be interested to hear that this mountain name which had been dug up by East-West mapping has turned out to be just a worse-than-usual anglicisation. A new name with better reasons for inclusion will appear soon.]
group on Slieve Aghkerane, (Corraun Hill East Top): A simple straightforward route to the top
At F763 011 go south to L737 943. Take the good track up hill to a T junction. Leave the track and go NE up the hillside to a broad saddle (Pt 421) L761 957 and then E gently up the slope to a cairn L76839 95608. Continue NE for a further 1.25k over heather and increasingly stoney ground, past a number of cairns, to reach the top. This is a perfect vantage point to view Croagh Patrick, the Sheef ... ... Click here ...
SOUTH: Most westerly point on mainland Ireland.
Dunmore Head on the Dingle Peninsula is a short climb of less than 100m, but the views towards the Blaskets are tremendous, writes Tommy V.
TommyV on Dunmore Head, (An Dún Mór): Most Westerly point on mainland Ireland.
Dunmore head on the tip of the Dingle peninsula offers great views due to it's location. There is a car park at V31165 98175 and trail leading to the summit of the hill. As the walk is a short one it's worth extending it by heading down to the Western side of the hill to reach the most Westerly point on mainland Ireland. ... Click here ...
SOUTH: The skys the limit.
Luckily for liz50, her 5km limit includes the majestic Brandon Peak in Kerry, and tremendous views along the coastline.
liz50 on Brandon Peak, (Barr an Ghéaráin): May 2020 Covid 19 lockdown walk (it is within my 5km zone!)
Brandon Peak situated on the Brandon Ridge south of the main summit offers panoramic views of Castlegregory and the Maharees. Usually included as part of the ridge walk from Brandon to the Connor Pass, it can also be accessed from an ancient right of way known as An Bothar Mhileata crossing An Gearan en route. ... Click here ...
SOUTH: Every rose has a thorn.
On a visit to Slievemore Hill on Sherkin Island in Cork, Member ciarraioch discovers the benefits of re-wilding, along with the drawbacks.
ciarraioch on Slievemore: Every Rose has a Thorn
The hill may be ungrazed but we certainly weren't!
George Monbiot, the English environmentalist, believes passionately in the removal of sheep from the mountains and the rewilding of the landscape (see his book 'Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life'). Although I happen to believe in his proposition, there is also a downside as we will see later.
Sherkin is an interesting littl ... ... Click here ...
SCOTLAND: Pretty Pollaidh
In simpler, happier times, your track reviewer had the opportunity to visit one of these islands' finest miniature mountains, the utterly unique Stac Pollaidh in the glorious Coigach area of NW Scotland. It offers incredible outlooks over a wonderland of peaks and water and opportunities for a vast amount of scrambling and climbing at all standards. It also offers a glorious test of nerve to gain the actual summit that I totally failed on...it was a high gravity day, that's my excuse.
Peter Walker on Stac Pollaidh
Possibly the finest miniature mountain in Britain and Ireland, Stac Pollaidh rears up starkly above Loch Lurgainn in the| walk, Len: 7.5km, Climb: 611m, Area: Stac Pollaidh, Lochinver to Ullapool (Bri ... Click here ...
Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for recent month(s) later.
HILLWALKING AND TRAVELLING: COVID MAY MEAN YOUR EYESIGHT NEEDS CHECKING.
The following information about a research program may be of interest to readers. It was written by Alan Dawson a leading light in the bagging community in the neighbouring island and also a person deeply concerned with health.
Hillwalking, driving and eyesight – research.
Many of you will be aware of recent eyesight research being carried out in England. This programme is being extended to Scotland from 1st June. You are cordially invited to participate in the British Eyesight Research Programme (BERP) as long as you live in the UK for more than six months of the year.
It is well known that healthy eyesight depends on switching vision from close-up to long-distance as often as possible, rather than staring at a screen all day. As millions of people have hardly left home for several weeks, their distance vision may have been adversely affected. The aim of this government-approved research is to answer several eyesight-related questions, such as:
- How far do you need to drive to test your eyesight - 5 miles, 10 miles, 30 miles, 50 miles or more?
- How far do you need to be able to see to test your eyesight - 5 miles, 10 miles, 30 miles, 50 miles or more?
- How high do you need to climb to be able to see far enough to give your eyes a thorough testing - 500 feet, 1000 feet, 2000 feet or higher?
- How often do you need to test your eyesight?
Hill walkers are an important cohort for the programme as they are likely to go higher, and therefore see further, than most people.
To take part in the research programme you do not need to formally register, but please report your results to this forum. As the UK has now left the European Union, all distances should be reported in miles, not modern French units. If you prefer to keep your findings confidential, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The results will be analysed and submitted to Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) to help inform government guidance and practice on this important matter.
If you think your vision may be impaired, it is important to drive to test it. Walking or cycling are insufficient as they allow more time to react to hazards such as pedestrians and traffic lights. Evidence from government investigations to date indicate that the best way to find out if you can drive safely is to drive.
Note that eyesight research should be a solitary activity. It is important you do not get distracted from paying attention to vision and views. Go alone, go somewhere quiet, behave responsibly, obey all laws, steer clear of properties (if you can), park considerately, do not speak to anyone while you are out, and keep your distance from anyone you see. Do not call in to any shops or hospitals while taking part in this research. That way the results will have greater scientific validity.
Thank you for your assistance.
The eponymously but contradictorily named Peter Walker chooses between being an immobile rock and a walker
We put out our call for contributions for the Annual in early Jan 2020. We got a great response
with eventually 36 articles of various sorts coming in. As a community we can be proud of this
OK, it is a long way off. But consider this, the requirement is for well illustrated, concise
articles. And these can take some advance thought. So think of what photos might look well in an
article when out walking during the year. Perhaps take notes to keep what you eventually write
vivid and fresh.
consider any topics of interest to hillwalkers.
in Ireland, for example articles on what we did under lockdown, 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.
If you are thinking of contributing or would like to discuss topics etc get in touch.
Volunteering for 2020: 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 18
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
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.
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, Mountainviews.ie 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 email@example.com for a discounted price.
User comments for tracks - a major new feature
Since the inception of MV we have had comments on summits. Now we have comments on tracks. For example: Sample track on Maumtrasna
This feature allows logged in users to make comments about uploaded tracks.
If you want to suggest interesting variations or problems found here's the place.
Track Profile for uploaded tracks.
In the April issue of the newsletter we mentioned the track profile feature. You very probably haven't been able to avail much of this feature, though we hope it will be useful as restrictions ease. mgriffin a software developer who assists MV has had a go at fixing and improving the look of this and here is the result.
simon3 on New elevation display for shared tracks.
When a track is displayed it can be useful to see a representation of the ascents and descents. MountainViews now includes a graph or outline of the height that a track reaches at different points along the track.
The "Elevation Profile" shows the points on the track. The main source of information about the height a track reaches at different points comes from the GPS unit. While often this wo ... ... Click here ...
We mentioned the pros and cons of the elevation profile in April if you are starting to use it for the first time.
New placename information from Paul Tempan
In our April newsletter we were glad to report that Paul Tempan had created a new list of Irish placenames relevant to MV and this was a report.
simon3 on Revised place names from Paul Tempan
Many of the placenames and Irish forms for names in MountainViews came from the work of Paul Tempan, a qualified scholar in the area.
He has issued a revised document with various changes and improvements and this is available here:
/resourceitem/names/List2019/IrishLandscapeNames2019.pdf or through the Resources page of the website:
/resourc ... ... Click here ...
Now we can tell you that Paul has gone on to incorporate these changes into the MountainViews database. Most of these changes are detail changes to placenames such as corrections, new Irish forms for "directionally named summits" and ensuring that the primary name in Gaeltacht areas is in Irish. So far Paul has submitted over 500 such changes and most are now visible on the website.
Repeat item: Take a look at creativecommons.org/share-your-work/ and see below:
simon3 on Creative Commons and material sharing on MV
Creative Commons provides a legal way to share material with conditions. They say "Our licenses enable collaboration, growth, and generosity in a variety of media." and you can see their website at https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/ MountainViews currently offers sharing under a somewhat similar regime to Creative Commons as outlined at /conditions/
The websit ... ... Click here ...
MountainViews now has 9535 comments about 1810 different
hills, mountains, island and coastal features out of the total in our current full list
(2199). 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 (389)
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 www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx.
Specifically for the hotspot of Wicklow: the Garda Divisional Headquarters in Bray is 01
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 & cartoons: madfrankie
Development & support volunteers: Vanush "Misha" Paturyan, Mike Griffin
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