Jan 15th 2022. Kerry Walking
The plan is to organise a simple event on Sat Jan 15th on the two Torc Mountains near Killarney. Your editor intends to visit his last Arderin.
There may be events for experienced walkers, organised on some preceding days. Events dependent on weather and lockdown rules. Register interest with admin -at- mountainviews.ie
This event will be held outside. Given that omicron is five times as infectious, we will maintain social distancing since we don't want to be superspreaders or to find ourselves in hospital.
Friday 25th Feb 2022. Annual Gathering -- THIS EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO COVID
The MountainViews Annual Gathering is postponed. For reference:
The meeting is a public meeting open to all, with talks, awards to those that have completed lists and an opportunity to meet others. Venue: To be arranged.
of the month
Little Sugar Loaf, Wicklow, NE: Bray & Kilmacanogue
Remarkable sky above this small hill overlooking the site for much of "Ireland's Fittest Family" For
original track, click here.
Featured Track of the Month Sol de invierno
This month's selection wistfully contemplates a more relaxed time when we might be able to get more ambitious with our destinations again. Challenge walking guru GSheehy has paid many visits to the Canary Islands and this month's selection is an excellent outing in the northern part of Tenerife, physically strenuous but on good tracks and with decent infrastructure. Very usefully there is a description of how to get there by bus from the usual tourist locations, starting early enough to get in the walking.
GSheehy on Punta del Hidalgo / Cruz del Carmen Loop
Main walk Start: 08:12, End: 14:08, Duration: 5h56m, Length: 22.6km,Ascent: 1350m, Descent: 1362m Places: Start at Lon -16.3181, Lat 28.571, end at Lon -16.3254, Lat 28.5687 758m 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)
I did this track in reverse in 2013 but didn’t record it as I didn't have ViewRanger back then. I came across it in Paddy Dillon’s book on Tenerife (and La Gomera). Well, it’s actually two tracks in the book and my abiding memory was of El Batan.
When you tire of laying on the beach down in the scorched earth South of the island or you’ve walked up around Teide National Park a good few times then the North is the place to go. It’s just so nice to finish a year walking around in shorts and t-shirt on made-for-walking tracks in a pair of trail runners.
The bus service is so good that it’s very easy to commute to the start of the walks in the North. It’ll cost you about €16 for a return ticket to Santa Cruz from Los Cristianos and €1.45 each-way to get from Santa Cruz to Punta del Hidalgo. My first bus was at 05:50 and I was walking at 08:12. If you want to lie-in and wait for the midday heat on the climbs, you can do that too.
It's December so there’s sometimes a bit of rain up in the North. As I went higher there was mist but not enough to don a coat as it was about 15°C. Further up it sounded like there were heavy drops of rain but it was just the mist being grabbed by the foliage and the accumulated drops fell from leaf to leaf.
It’s folly to think that you won’t have cover from the sun for the duration of the walks up North as the trees (and barrancos) give plenty of shelter. At a guess, I’d say you’d be out of the sun 50% of the time. The high point was Cruz del Carmen. There’s a viewing area. a restaurant, a cafe, a church and a museum up there. Basically, just full of people who drive up for the view. The walkers I met on my way up would have got a bus up to here and walked down to the Punta. I made a mistake coming up out of El Batan. I remembered there being an electricity pole at the col that led out of the valley, so headed for it. But, there were two poles in two different cols. I just wasn't paying attention in the built up area where the church was and had the head down. So, you can disregard that 1KM of the track.
Again, El Batan was the highlight and it’s good for the body and mind to be able to sit there a while in December, in warmth, and pretend for a time that the outside World just doesn't exist. P.S. There's definitely more that 1,350m in this walk.
NORTH: Seo píosa sa Ghaeilge - b'fhéidir an chéad cheann?
FYI that translates as ‘Here’s a contribution in Irish – a first?’ Member pdtempan waxes lyrical on Bessy Bell in the Sperrins, both in Irish and English.
group on Bessy Bell, (Sliabh Troim):
A wedge of high ground between the valley of the Strule River on the east side and the Baronscourt estate on the north-west side. Bessy Bell/Sliabh Troim is traversed by a number of forest roads and access-roads for the two wind-farms on its upper slopes and the mobile phone mast at the summit. This means that the top can be attained without crossing any rough ground, making it one of the easier p ... ... Click here ...
NORTH: Some Like It Ott
A very popular starting point in the Mournes during the pandemic has been the small Ott Car Park (arrive early!), mostly by pedestrians looking to climb the imposing summit of Doan. But that's just one of several tops relatively easily accessed from here, and Onzy has used the Ott Track to ease access to the skyline from Slieve Muck to Slieveloughshannagh, excellent easy walking with fine views to the range's interior and south to the sea.
Onzy on Short Mournes Round from Ott Carpark
| walk, Len: 9.8km, Climb: 555m, Area: Slieve Loughshannagh, Mourne Mountains (Ireland) Slieve Loughshannagh, Carn Mountain North Top, Carn Mountain, Slieve Muck, Ott Mountain ... Click here ...
WEST: Walk, don't drive!
You may be tempted to knock a couple of kms off your walk when approaching Croaghmoyle in East Mayo – but do it at your peril, warns Harry Goodman.
Harry Goodman on Croaghmoyle, (An Chruach Mhaol):
On 22 June 2011 we parked at M0995094300 (as recommended by three5four0). From here we followed the forestry access road running more or less due N. After an initial gentle walk uphill through the forest the track opened out to a fine view across the valley to Kilhale (384m) which, while only an outlier of Croaghmoyle's summit, is from this viewpoint the prominent hill. To the right mostly out ... ... Click here ...
SOUTH: A walk 460 million years in the making.
There is a fascinating geological aspect to the cliffs in the side of Kilfarrasy Hill, in Waterford, writes jgfitz, but walking is limited by electric fencing and ‘no access’ signs.
jgfitz on Kilfarrasy Hill:
I recently uploaded The Anne Valley Nature Walk, #4579 which goes inland from Annestown Beach. My later objective was to extend this walk to include a coastal path from Kilfarrasy to Annestown. I achieved it, but can't recommend it!
Kilfarrasy Strand on the Copper Coast is itself well worth a visit. The cliffs have layers of rock that are clearly delineated by age, with the oldest layer being ... ... Click here ...
EAST: On the double
A double bag of Greenoge Hill and Croaghaun along good tracks made for a pleasant couple of hours’ walking, says Colin Murphy.
Colin Murphy on Greenoge, (An Grianóg):
Did as a looped two-hill walk, approaching from Croaghaun to the west. From there I followed a good forest track east over Kilbrannish Hill, which seemed to end when I reached S854 576, the way ahead blocked by multiple fallen trees. Another track did veer sharply to the right, away from hill, but I ignored that and clambered over a barbed wire fence behind a whitish boulder. Here I found another ... ... Click here ...
EAST: A Forest
Noting the travails of others in attempting to reach the summit of Wicklow's Carrick Mountain, jgfitz decided to attack it from a previously undescribed direction. His group passed close to the summit without visiting it, but did explore plenty of the rest of the hill, mostly on a mixture of forestry tracks and less substantial trails.
jgfitz on Exploring Carrick Mountain from Glenealy
Reports that I had read about Carrick Mountain mentioned the difficulty of finding the summit because of the forestry pl| walk, Len: 11.2km, Climb: 457m, Area: Wicklow (Ireland) ... Click here ...
EAST: Howth Soon Is Now? Making the most of an outdoors resource relatively close to Dublin's fleshpots, BrianKeenan has traced a course up and down and around and about and along the sides and summit of Howth. There's a little gorse, but also fine coastline, impressive goats and borderline obscene real estate.
BrianKennan on Howth Figure-8 Hike
This thoroughly enjoyable walk starts and ends at Howth Dart station and takes in some wonderful sights at the Howth sum| walk, Len: 18.1km, Climb: 478m, Area: Ben of Howth, Dublin (Ireland) Ben of H ... Click here ...
EAST: Hold your horses
Good walking trails up Carriglachan and Carrigroe make them relatively easy bags, and the presence of wandering horses provides an added interest, says Colin Murphy.
Colin Murphy on Carrigalachan, (Carraig Lachan):
Did this as part of a double-bag, taking in this summit and Carrigroe. On the approach from the col with Blackstairs Mountain I encountered about 6 horses happily chewing away in the heather, including a white one that looked like Gandalf's horse and this chap, who regarded me warily for several minutes. ... Click here ...
MIDLANDS: Hillus horribilus
Taking a wrong turn in the Slieve Blooms can be an unpleasant experience, as Colin Murphy discovered on Farbreague.
Colin Murphy on Farbreague, (Fear Bréige):
Here's what NOT to do! Having approached from Garraunbaun, the col between the two hills proved fairly ropey in terms of its marshy/muddy nature. Not wishing to go through it again this time going uphill, I decided to turn east at S 201 964, with the intention of dropping down to the substantial forest track which would take me back to my car at S 204 942. After 20 minutes I knew I'd made a major ... ... Click here ...
Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for recent
Call for the Annual 2021 - to be published in Feb 2022
The Background. For the last six years we have brought out a PDF style magazine.
We plan to do the same this, "The MountainViews ANNUAL
2021". We are looking for feature length
illustrated articles. And photos. And shorter
items for "Your Walking Highlights of 2021".
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.)
consider any areas of interest to hillwalkers
in Ireland, for example articles on what we did under lockdown, Summiteering, Challenge Walking (both organised and
individual), Way Walking (ie walking Way Marked Ways),
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.
Photos> We want good quality photos. We need captions for them!
Copydate: Ideally by Sun 16th Jan 2022.
If you are thinking of contributing or would like to discuss topics etc feel free to contact or
have an article
at admin -at- mountainviews.ie
If there more material comes in than there is space for, then we will try to include it in later newsletters.
Remembering Kev Reynolds, guidebook writer.
In these days where information is overwhelmingly collected and disseminated online it can feel slightly old-fashioned to prefer guidebooks. And there were few exponents of their creation quite as eminent and skilled as Kev Reynolds, who sadly passed away in December 2021 at the age of 78. The author of over 50 guidebooks to Britain and further afield, his books and lectures (and custodianship of Youth Hostels) enlightened the outdoors for a lot of people. There are very few serious walkers who won't have had their lives informed by his writing, and he'll be greatly missed.
Volunteering for 2022: 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 1400 people's contributions over 19
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
Take a look at two collections of photos, which were Pictures of the Month during 2021. We request your help in choosing 2021 Pictures of the Year for international and Irish pictures.
Take a look at the collections.
Include something like this in the email body for your choices:
Choice from guestuser
Video of the Year 2021:
My choice. Video Number XX
Email your choice by 11th Jan 2022.
Snowdonia: A Scrambly Day In The Glyderau
Tryfan to Y Garn
The Glyderau are a particularly outstanding group of mountains in the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Fergal Hingerty undertakes one of Britain's finest days on the hill.
Tryfan from Cwm Idwal to the west - the North Ridge is the left skyline
I parked up by the shores of Llyn Ogwen and looked up at the North Ridge of mighty Tryfan. In the UK this is often voted the favourite mountain in magazine polls and it is easy to see why. There are a number of ways to climb Tryfan but the grade 2 scramble I was about to try up the Ridge is the most interesting way and also one that requires care.
I crossed the stile and headed up the steep slope past the obvious Milestone Buttress until I reached the first section of scrambling. The golden rule of scrambling should be applied here, three points of contact at all times no matter how long it takes. You will pass the famous ‘Cannon’ rock just after halfway, before eventually reaching the top (915m) and a rest at the famous Adam and Eve rocks crowning the summit.
Adam and Eve
There is a loose tradition that on reaching the summit you must jump from one to the other, but being a bit nervous about my brakes in that situation I decided to skip that part. (Editor’s note: accomplishing this apparently grants you either ‘The Freedom of Tryfan’ or means you are a true Welshman…I have done the jump and while it was fairly exciting it didn’t make me feel Welsh).
From there it was a short journey down to the Far South Peak (830m) and then down to the col of Bwlch Tryfan.
An end-on view of Bristly Ridge
On the next climb there is a choice of a scramble up the Bristly Ridge or a track up the scree to its left. Having already done one scramble it was time for another exhilarating climb up the ridge (shorter but steeper than Tryfan's North Ridge) to the huge pile of rocks on the summit of Glyder Fach (994m). Beside this is the remarkable Cantilever stone which does not look the slightest bit natural (but it is!) and is the subject of many climbers’ photographs.
Looking over Castell Y Gwynt to Glyder Fawr
I continued along the broad ridge to the next peak Castell y Gwynt (972m, a spiky little scramble) and onto the high point of the day Glyder Fawr (1000m). From here a rocky descent brought me down to around 700 metres at Llyn y Cwn and a choice. Here most people descend down NE past the Devil’s Kitchen to complete a horseshoe, but I decided to continue on northwest.
A zig zag climb brought me back up over 900 metres to the summit of Y Garn (947m) in the fog and from there I descended down the steep north ridge towards Pinnacle Crag. On reaching this a short descent rejoins the path from Devils Kitchen and down to Llyn Ogwen shortly afterwards.
With hindsight, Pinnacle Crag ridge is better ascended than descended as it is very steep. The North Ridge of Tryfan and Bristly Ridge are both great scrambles (Editor’s note: both longer than but similar in overall difficulty to a direct ascent of Kerry’s Big Gun) but should only be attempted with experience in the party; once you start those climbs retreat can be awkward. I have also heard in Wales that Tryfan is nicknamed the ‘helicopter mountain’ for obvious reasons.
Having said that it is one of the best routes in North Wales, and well worth doing if you have a head for heights. Alternatively, there are more straightforward ascents of Tryfan via its west face, or via Llyn Bochlwyd.
To sum up this is easily my favourite climb in Wales. If you are experienced enough, the North Ridge of Tryfan is a must on your next visit to Wales.
I stayed in the seaside town of Llandudno, just under an hour’s drive away; there are many possibilities at this sort of distance. Closer (but probably more expensive) accommodation can be found in Capel Curig, Betws-y-coed or Bethesda.
There are parking charges at many locations in Snowdonia National Park, but not (as yet!) at the starting point described. Be aware that this is a very busy tourist area, and car parks can fill up. It’s wise to arrive early.
-- Fergal Hingerty
A place for those interested in Challenge Walks
Reports of many of the Challenge Walks and indeed news, blogs and more - can be found on . . . CHALLENGE WALKS NEWS, REPORTS, BLOGS & MORE . . .
You should be able to find this link easily off the main Challenge Walks Page.
Another feature that's closely related to Challenge Walking and other services provided by MountainViews is our page listing Irish Compleatists of the Scottish Munros. We could use some recent compleaters reports for this!
See some more info below on this new feature.
We published the annual in Feb 2021, in the midst of the pandemic.
For 2021 the Annual had 64 pages in 18 Articles about walking on hills, mountains, coast and islands here and abroad. Some working around Covid19, some despite it, some for the future.
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 ...
Reports of MountainViews.ie not working: certificate out of date -- Repeat Item
A user has reported that they were not able to access MountainViews.ie It turned out that there is a general cause, explained here:
Our volunteer Misha who looks after various technical matters for MV says:
I hope it won't be an issue with other users, or at least with a very limited number of other users. The only advice we can give is to keep OSes and browsers up-to-date: for example, in the notified case the OS he's using has not been updated since 2017.
So update your operating system if you can.
Kudos to our contributors.
We welcome the following new members who enrolled recently
Aishac, benjimann9, cdj256, cdon, Conorc7, Dave68, Emilynim, Ept, finfarrell, GerM, hoggus, Hrentroia, iebo, Jess1832, kangos, kburke96, Leona-S, magdaklim, martyq64, maxchars, MichaelButler, Miriamwa, Mohamadalmobaied, mrfleetfoot, Naomh, niallb100, ppatten, shandadam, Shay001, smilner, SusanD, tradycja, walkerhollick, walkfoxy, whiteanna, yacoob (36)
(Information above and below are since we last presented such figures, which is generally a
month but can be longer when we don't have an html newsletter.)
Our contributors to all threads this month:
BrianKennan (2), Bunsen7 (3), Colin Murphy (4), Fergalh (4), GerryCarroll (1), Jim Holmes (2), Onzy (2), ceadeile (1), csd (1), Communal summary entries (3), hibby (1), jgfitz (1), kburke96 (1), mcrtchly (1), mrfleetfoot (1), pdtempan (1), simon3 (2), srr45 (1), tomlug48 (2)
For a fuller list view Community |
MountainViews now has 9768 comments about 1670 different
hills, mountains, island and coastal features out of the total in our current full list
(2204 on island of Ireland). 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
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
2700 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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