A shipwreck on Bull Island near Dublin, almost an abstract shape now.
The 5 km long by 1 km wide island is still widening by 1 m per annum on the seawards
side. The island emerged and evolved naturally after the North Bull Wall was built in
the recommendation of Captain William Bligh of mutiny fame). It became Ireland’s first
sanctuary in 1931, was declared a UNESCO Biosphere in 1981, is a Nature Reserve, a
of Conservation, a Special Protection Area for birds, and a world renowned Wetland.
More information on Bull and
John Finn describes a fascinating and beautiful night ascent of Ireland’s highest,
Carrauntoohill, done under clear skies. A beautiful full moon provided some of the
illumination, as did the countless stars that dotted the Kerry skies. Reaching the
summit just short of midnight, the stillness, the beauty of the Reeks, the distant
lights of towns below, was an experience to treasure. Whatever the symbolism of a cross
on Ireland's highest point.
More information for Carrauntoohil and
Featured Track of the Month An edge of a world
This month's selection sees markwallace visit the superb cliff scenery of the North Mayo coast
with a variation on the marked Benwee Head Loop walk. It's a marvellous area, quiet and with a
very tangible feeling of remoteness to it.
markwallace on Cliff top loop from Carrowteige
Main walk Start: 17:14, End: 21:14, Duration: 3h59m, Length: 19.0km,Ascent: 667m, Descent: 669m Places: Start at F8198841955, An Bhinn BhuÃ, Doonvinalla W Top, Doonvinalla E Top, 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 walks starts in the little village of Carrowteige and takes in part of the Children of Lir Loop and almost all of the Benwee Head Loop to pass over the impressive cliffs around Carrowteige and Portacloy. I based the route initially on the cliffs walk in Lonely Planet's Hiking Ireland, but deviated slightly from it.
I took the main road from the trailhead in the one-shop village of Carrowtiege and, instead of following the waymarkers, followed the main road for 2 km to a T-junction and there took a bog track leading straight down to the cliffs. Here I joined up with the the Children of Lir Loop, which stays close to the cliff edge, providing great walking. Once past the Children of Lir sculpture, the Lir loop heads back inland, but I followed the obvious upward track towards Benwee Head, the highest point of the walk.
By now I was following the Benwee loop in reverse, encountering blank trail posts that were arrowed on the other side. The route is obvious anyway, as the only way is up. On the ascent of Benwee it is harder to stay close to the cliff edge. Unlike the previous cliffs, there is a fence along Benwee Head which, if not crossed, limits the view on this part of the walk. I crossed it at the summit in order to make sure I had bagged it and stayed on that side for the initial descent, visiting a couple more easy headlands with super perspectives on the cliffs and the Stags of Broadhaven offshore.
The harbour village of Portacloy comes into view after Benwee making the route ahead again obvious. There are a few more headlands that can be visited on the way down, a couple of them involving knife-edge traverses and inaccessible to the mere walker, but nice to look at. Finally, there is a lower headland, not listed as a summit on MV, with the EIRE 63 sign and lookout tower, known as Teachin aâ€™ Watch, as a local woman told me, and worth the short detour out. Then it is down to Portacloy and onto the road, keeping right at a junction. A steady climb and the road gives way to a good track. I missed a turn-off to the left 1 km along the track, a fiendish one as it leads onto a barely perceptible path while the rocky track continues on in an authoritative manner. The marker post was, from this side, unobtrusive and plain black so it was 1 km on, as the track began to peter out, that I realised I had missed something and got out Google Maps to locate myself and then the loop map to work out where I should be. 1 km of retraced steps and I was back to the missed turn-off where, in between recriminating myself for my subpar eyesight and lack of observation skills, I wondered why these trails are rarely if ever made in such a way as to be easily followed in either direction.
The last few kms from Portacloy to Carrowteige involve standard boggy surrounds but the 10 km of cliff-top rambling beforehand is more than enough for a very memorable walk. The stretch on the Children of Lir Loop is perhaps even better than the Benwee Head Loop, because it is perhaps better to look at Benwee Head than from it and also because of the fencing at the summit of Benwee, but it is all good. The route also seemed on this sunny midweek June evening to be much quieter than walks of comparable quality elsewhere on the Wild Atlantic Way and by much quieter I mean I didn't see a single person on the cliffs all evening, just a couple parked at the Lir sculpture and a man footing turf near Alt Breac.
NORTH: Race with the sun
Member Krzysztof_K made a hurried ascent of Slieve Snaght from the west in time to catch
the sunset, and just about made it!
Krzysztof_K on Slieve Snaght, (Sliabh Sneachta):
I reached the foot of the mountain by the road marked 'dead end' C38868 40108. After driving about 600m I reached the gate. So far, I have walked through gates marked 'close gate' many times, but this time I drove through by a car. And, after closing the gate C39521 40119 behind me, when I found myself at the crossroads of dirt roads, right at the bottom of the mountains in front of me, it was lik ... ... Click here ...
NORTH: Ravens, Lumpers and Long Women
A linear surveying shlep through the fun, complex landscape around Slieve Foye on Louth's Cooley
peninsula from simon3, passing Barnavave's cross before getting stuck into the rocky environs of
Foye itself and the Eagles and Ravens and Foxes Rock(s). At least it has the decency to end at a
simon3 on Barnavave, Slieve Foye and the Long Woman's Grave, from Lumpers
This is a linear walk that started from the Deserted Village, which is south of Carlingford and east of Barnavave.
| walk, Len: 17.4km, Climb: 998m, Area: Slieve Foye, Cooley Mountains (Ireland) ... Click here ...
NORTH: Highpoint on soccer pitch!
At just 33m high, Inishbofin in the Donegal Islands boasts two beautiful beaches, great
views and a highpoint next to a goalpost, writes Fergalh.
Fergalh on Inishbofin (1), (inis Bo Finne):
Wonderful island to visit but it has a curious highpoint a soccer pitch ! Two impressive beaches consisting of one beautiful sandy material and one impressive stony material .Combined with a rich history makes it worth a visit ... Click here ...
NORTH: The Story of the Bluestacks
It's hard to imagine there's such a thing as lesser trodden summits in Donegal's
Bluestacks, given how quiet even the busier summits are, but these things exist, and sometimes
members of the MV committee throw themselves on their mercy, and occasionally they return,
bloodied (metaphor) but unbowed. And so it is that Colin Murphy returned to tell the tale of the
traverse of three Carns in the interior, and his compadre Brendan is able to bear witness to it
all. A tough day, apparently.
Colin Murphy on Cronamuck-Meenanea-Croaghbarnes trio
A satisfying but extremely tough walk taking in three remote Carns â€“ Cronamuck, Meenanea and Croaghbarnes. There is pa| walk, Len: 17.3km, Climb: 1081m, Area: Bluestack Mountains (Ireland) Meenanea ... Click here ...
NORTH: As tough as they come.
It took an exhausting 17km journey over very rough terrain lasting seven hours to bag a
trio of Carns in the Bluestacks, writes Colin Murphy.
Colin Murphy on Cronamuck, (Cruach na mBoc):
As tough a Carn as possible given its relative remoteness. Our journey from the SW was an exhausting 17km and over 7 hours (see track 4871). The shot shows Cronamuck on the left and Meenanea on the right taken from the Croaghbarnes ridge. ... Click here ...
WEST: Saving the best for last
His last Carn beckoning, eamonoc took a ferry to Clare Island to bag one of the most
beautiful and spectacular hills on the list, Knockmore, and it didn’t disappoint.
eamonoc on Knockmore, (An Cnoc Mór):
With the promise of decent weather booked ferry to Clare Island, an early 4.15am start from home, headed west to Roonagh pier arrived plenty of time to spare for the 8am ferry crossing, after a pleasant 15min on board stepped off and headed easily enough up to Knockaveen, Knockmore dominated the view west from here. Headed downhill and then steeply up the NE shoulder of Knockmore to the Trig point ... ... Click here ...
WEST: Windfarm eases getting there
The construction of Tullynamoyle wind farm on Lackagh in the Dartrys has made a
previously difficult slog relatively easy, says Colin Murphy in a new short summary.
group on Lackagh Mountain, (Binn Scardáin):
One approach - and probably the easiest - is via Tullynamoyle Windfarm. There is parking for multiple cars at G90716 30170, although the road up to here is just barely driveable and care is needed. Continue NE up road for about 400m and pass a barrier into windfarm proper. After this, basically stick to main windfarm road all the way up to T10, the final windmill, then turn NE, cut through a thin ... ... Click here ...
WEST: Electric dreams
The diminutive Carranarah Hill in Mayo doesn’t pose much of a climbing challenge, but
the extensive network of electric fences definitely do, writes TommyV.
TommyV on Carranarah:
Followed the route mentioned by three5four0. The lane appears to be quite overgrown in parts now, but it's actually easy enough to push through. There is an extensive network of electric fencing around here which doesn't make the casual trespasser feel very welcome. I only went to the trig point as the views from here are the best. The summit proper is only a few hundred metres North from here but ... ... Click here ...
Featured summit comment Wicker Man Mountain No1Grumbler
In an eloquent post of June 6th, No1Grumbler evokes the famous horror film "The Wicker Man"
in a comment on tackling Mauherslieve - an Arderin in Tipperary. No1Grumbler plays the role
of Edward Woodward, but thankfully does not end up the same way as the character played by
Woodward in the legendary 1973 film.
Mother Mountain by the Lord Summerisle Route
Folk horror movies follow a similar pattern. Our hero arrives at a wonderfully fertile valley
bursting with flowers and fruits, he is naïve but on some sort of quest. So it was with me, on
the hottest day of the year I arrived in Kilcommon after midday, determined to obtain
Mauherslieve for my list of Arderins. I parked in the protective shadow of the local church and
prayer garden. The village being strangely deserted except for a shambling old man wearing
religious medals who side-eyed me as he mumbled along. As I put on my boots, another old fellow
shouted “Hello!” from behind a nearby wall. “I’m off to climb Mauherslieve” I said. “I hope the
Mother gives you a breeze” he said back.
I was startled by this frankly weird statement. At any moment I expected Christopher Lee to
appear as Lord SummerIsle and invite me to his castle: “I boast the finest collection of
folklore this side of Maynooth. Indeed the good fathers would be astonished by my copy of
Malleus Maleficarum” I looked up, the old man had gone and Lord SummerIsle hadn’t appeared.
Essentially, I reversed the end of the pilgrim route, walking N uphill to reach a stile before a
modern grey house. Having crossed the river, the walk was hot and heady with the scent of
flowers and abundant bright yellow Tormentil, used in folk remedies across Europe since early
times. I stopped at the mass rock with its fine view across the valley. I was in a clearing
surrounded by white hawthorn. This being early June, the hedges and bushes were in full
I pushed on through open ground, then forest where the cool shade was a welcome respite from a
baking sun. The bogland was bone dry and the ground hard as concrete. Higher again, I left the
butterflies and bees to take the summit spur. A marker said “2h return” which proved
conservative (1h20). As with most folk horror stories, a problem arose.
My old Achilles
injury began to trouble me, and I slowed down considerably. Nevertheless, I reached the summit
40 minutes after the turnoff. The summit has a chambered cairn oriented to the North, and it was
here that the wandering sons of Mil, met the goddess Fodhla. In contrast, I had the summit of
Mother mountain to myself with views to Keeper Hill and the Galtees. I hobbled back down to the
pilgrim path and then down. In the horror movie this would be the point where a beautiful local
would tend to my ankle with her mystical enchantments. No doubt the smell of silage and clouds
of insects were discouraging the fair folk of Tipperary from doing the same- I made my own way
down. I took a short detour before the river, to see a large standing stone in a neat Hawthorn
grove, before returning to the car. I fed the village dog as I got the boots off. A fine day,
full of scents and flowers and ancient sacred spaces. It had taken a leisurely 3.5h, but allow
another 30 mins for photos, invocations to Pan or any ritual sacrifices you deem necessary.
Photo: No1Grumbler, Eerie megalithic stone, for sacrifice perhaps?
SOUTH: Brandon spectacle
A fantastic ascent of Brandon via the Paternoster Lakes by member mh400nt, and a
beautiful video to accompany his trip.
mh400nt on Brandon, (Cnoc Bréanainn):
Parked at Q49155 08556 and went up the road towards Lough Avoonane. Shot off to the right before getting to the final rise to the lake and head in the direction of Lough Cruttia. You can go along the fence but you'll have to drop down bit to be able to cross another fence near a group of trees on the rivers edge, see pic.
Once over that, go around Cruttia on the right and work your way up thru so ... ... Click here ...
SOUTH: Varied terrain from Annascaul lake
Member glencree enjoyed an interesting and varied ascent of Beenoskeee in Central
glencree on Beenoskee, (Binn os Gaoith):
We took the route suggested in the short summary with a gradual climb via the track from Lough Annascaul. Emerging from the U shaped valley the terrain is grassy and involves a gradual ascent to Stradbally, followed by the rocky traverse to Beenoskee. The rock gives way to grass again on the col before ascending Coombane, to return again to the rocky track to the lake. ... Click here ...
SOUTH: Lung-bursting ascent
A vertigo-inducing, leg-wearying ascent of Broaghnabinnia in the Dunkerrons via the
Bridia Valley was a rewarding if exhausting effort, writes glencree.
glencree on Broaghnabinnia, (Bruach na Binne):
We went up from the Bridia valley, which is an extremely steep ascent and not for anyone prone to vertigo. Although the summit is achieved in a short distance, the climb/scramble requires care and concentration. The views on a clear day are extensive in all directions. It might not be the most exciting summit (as others have noted) but the relief of getting there is adequate compensation- it fe ... ... Click here ...
EAST: A typical Wicklow top, bur fine views.
Tonduff may not be in anyone’s favourite hill list, but it can be part of a good route
and offers some fine, broad and remote views, writes michaelseaver.
michaelseaver on Tonduff, (Tóin Dubh):
Climbed Tonduff as part of circuit that included War Hill and Djouce. Parked in Crone Woods and followed the forest paths towards Maulin, then cut across a boggy path to Tonduff East Top and Tonduff. Not the prettiest summit but nice views from the top. From here there is a squelchy walk across to War Hill, then on to Djouce and following the Wicklow Way back to your car. ... Click here ...
EAST: Home Not On The Range
A nicely illustrated walk on the north side of the Glen of Imaal from BrianKennan,
incorporating some rarely crossed ground for the relative hillwalking fleshpots of Wicklow.
Everything from forest roads to trackless bog is essayed on the way to Corriebracks. The walk
deliberately avoids the shooting range in the glen, but tougher walkers could extend onto the
higher summits around the rim along the standard circuit. (Last month's newsletter also featured
some of these summits approached from a very different direction).
BrianKennan on Knickeen Corriebracks Loop
Its an interesting and challenging walk across very varied terrain, seldom crossed in some areas, and with excellent vie| walk, Len: 19.7km, Climb: 850m, Area: Sugarloaf, Wicklow (Ireland) Sugarloaf, ... Click here ...
EAST: Nice ridge walk with great views
On a clear day the ridge from Pinnacle to Lobawn and on to Sugarloaf offers great
panoramas, writes michaelseaver.
michaelseaver on Lobawn, (Lúbán):
Lobawn should probably get more love. On a clear day the ridge from Pinnacle to Lobawn and on to Sugarloaf offers great panoramas. In particular there are seldom-seen views of Lugnaquilla's North Prison and south as far as Mount Leinster.
Park at the forestry track S 95540 95608 and head along the tracks and open ground for Pinnacle. You can now follow the ridge along to Lobawn and either head ... ... Click here ...
SCOTLAND: SCOTLAND: Up and down, and repeat several times.
There's a lot of substantial mountains rearing up from sea level in Scotland's glorious Glen
Etive, and having already done the largest of them (Ben Starav) eamonoc moved onto the not
inconsiderable task of dealing with the other four Munros on the south side of the glen, a tough
old day with a multitude of considerable ascents and descents (including a number of non-Munro
summits inconveniently in the way). Less hardened folk could break the 3000ft summits down to
two pairs, or the genuinely hardcore could simply add Starav onto the start.
eamonoc on A very tough outing in Glen Etive
With the prospect of some good weather in Scotland headed up to Glen Etive, having previously climbed Ben Starav a few y| walk, Len: 28.5km, Climb: 2901m, Area: Glen Etive to Glen Lochy (Britain) Bei ... Click here ...
Sorry if we didn't mention what you posted .. there's a list of all contributors for recent
After many years our secretary has retired from the post. We need a new committee secretary.
Does minutes, handles some emails, assists with the Gathering .. that sort of thing.
Contact us at admin -at- mountainviews.ie
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 1500 people's contributions over 21
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
Three walkers enjoy a splendid view of Errigal and its nearby peaks. The shot was taken
by Colin Murphy from the summit of An Grógan More, some 10km to the south-west. This
Carn provides very fine views in all directions as it sits in a landscape dotted with
mountain loughs big and small all set amid rugged Donegal terrain. In fact the name
‘Grógan More actually means ‘the big, hard patch of land,’ and the area certainly lives
up to it.
More information on the track.
Armenia - Mount Khustup
Our man in Armenia...
Armenia is a highly mountainous state, geographically Asian but with political ties to
Europe. Fergal Hingerty climbs one of its many mountains.
Dawn at 2000m
On a recent trip to Armenia I climbed a number of peaks in that country. Having arrived
midweek we climbed Mt Azhdahak on our way south towards the subject of this article, a large
peak called called Mount Khustup, near the borders with both Nakichevan and Iran. The mini
vans arrived and we headed out of the hotel to them.
I settled myself in the back seat of the raised wheel base off road vehicle and wrestled with my
seat belt as the others got in. In front of me Jacek pointed out to the driver that his seat
belt does not work as he could not buckle the belt. The driver said with a shrug of his
shoulders “This is Armenia!“ We soon were all seated (some of us were even seatbelted), and the
driver started the engine and turned on his CD, which of course had to start with the song
“Highway to Hell”….and believe me, we came close on numerous occasions…..
The verdant mountains of Armenia
The roads in Armenia are of varying quality from motorway standard to stony dirt tracks. The
cracked windscreen on the vehicle was a mirror for various other vehicles with lights, bumpers,
number plates, wings and in one case a door missing. What the numerous traffic cops parked in
Yerevan with their blue and red lights flashing do all day who knows? On the road there were
various 50’s style buses in different colours with the name Hyundai blazoned across them. The
speeding drivers in cars mingled with Soviet-style lorries belching out diesel fumes (no sign of
any catalytic convertors here) and numerous Ladas in various states of disrepair overtaking
donkeys and carts. It definitely was not a smooth ride!
We had arrived in Yerevan a few days before and we were heading south to near the Iranian Border
to climb Mount Khustup (3,209m) with a few stops to see historical sights along the way,
including Khor Virap with an amazing view of Mount Ararat which I had climbed recently from the
Turkish side. Finally, after a white knuckle ride from our driver who did not seem to understand
this was not a video game we arrived in the town called Kapan where we stocked up before the off
road section of the journey to our campsite.
The town of Kapan is in a sheltered river valley with contrasted with the dry heat of some of
the areas we had passed through. It is at a height of around 1,000 meters and we proceeded
up the hill along a normal road before we hit what loosely could be called a forest track
with deep ruts, mud and dizzying drop offs and switchbacks. A one hour journey over rough
ground in which we were thrown around the off road vehicle like a dinghy in a force ten gale
followed before we eventually made it to the campsite area at around 2,000 metres just as
the sun set.
Thankfully it was not raining when we arrived, so we set up the tents quickly after depositing
the beers in a stream to keep them cool (very important work!) and a large campfire was lit. The
camp site area is close to the trans Caucasian route and it was that we were going to use the
I rose just after dawn and quickly had breakfast, whilst admiring the sun’s golden rays. Then it
was back to work, packing the rucksack for the day ahead. Despite being sunny all around us
there was a lot of cloud on the hill ahead , however we had a guide and everyone was confident
and in good spirits. The sun and clouds came and went and the area was quite green in appearance
which may also have been a result of the rain the previous day.
The col between Khustup's tops
We proceeded up the hill and followed the red and white markings for the Trans-Caucasian trail,
up and over a number of small summits on the spur off the mountain until eventually the final
rocky summit came into view. The day turned into a mixture of mainly cloud with the odd bit of
sunshine and the rocky summit shrouded in mist looked like a nice enough challenge. Eventually
we came to the col between Khustup and Khustup South peak and had a rest in the wind admiring
the view between the clouds before we headed up the rocky top.
After around about 100 metre ascent we left the bags behind to scramble up a rocky cleft to
reach the real summit of 3,209 metres. A short down climb across to the cross which was on
the edge of the rocky outcrop was a must (even though it was a few metres lower) for the
The author on the summit
Then we gingerly made our way down the rocky cleft, picked up our rucksacks and proceeded
down the trail back to the camp. We stopped on the way down to admire the enormous mushrooms
growing wild all around us and eventually reached the campsite after encountering some
vicious dogs who were herding sheep.
A quick take down of the tents and packing the off-road vehicles meant our goodbyes to Mount
Khustup were complete and away down the off route trail we went. The driver had been
informed that the woman in the front seat was feeling ill and felt as if she was to vomit so
he actually drove extremely cautiously until we reached Kapan given the drop offs on the way
(it was a superb piece of acting on her part it has to be said). Mount Khustup was
interesting and worth a climb and the views across into Iran were just about visible due to
clouds coming and going.
When we reached the roads again, the sick front seat passenger was forgotten about by the
driver completely. During his drive on into the town called Goris the driver restarted his
lunacy and when he was asked to slow down, his response was “why, are you scared?”
Mount Khustup is an interesting climb and is surprisingly green as a lot of the landscape is
very desert like on the journey there. The only issue is the drive for the overland bit, our
driver for instance not being especially safety conscious.
Armenia has numerous hotels and is well geared up for tourism with flights from many
countries arriving in the airport called Zvarnots. There are many day trips available from
Yerevan and that may be best option for most people. However, for the more adventurous who
wish to travel and stay outside Yerevan the roads are not great in places, the accommodation
very basic and the driving patchy at best.
-- Fergal Hingerty
Our man in Jordan
HILLWALKING IN JORDAN by Pepé
(As told to David Murphy)
The classic reveal of Petra's Treasury building
Pepé has always fancied himself as Lawrence of Arabia, so the opportunity to visit Jordan
proved tempting. He set off along with long-suffering wife Sheila on a G-Adventures tour.
Jordan means Petra to most people, so their first hillwalk took place there.
The Petra experience works like this: you pay 50 Jordanian Dinar at the ticket office – a
whopping 65 euro but worth every cent. From the ticket office through the narrow Siq to the
famous Treasury Building (familiar to most from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) is 1.2
km. After gazing in awe at the Treasury, emerge from the canyon and another 3.3 km through
the ruin-studded valley (Roman, Nabataean ruins to name but two) brings you to the start of
the Monastery Trail. Bear in mind that the 4.5 km you’ve walked thus far is all on a slight
downhill incline so the reverse will be true on the way back.
THE STAIRS, THE STAIRS. WHAT IS THE STAIRS?
Petra has three famous trails, or ‘stairs’ as Jordanians call them. Locals refer to these
hillwalks not in terms of metres height or kilometres length, but in ‘stairs’. The Monastery
Trail, a must-do in Petra, is 850 ‘stairs’ approx. These ‘stairs’ or steps are not uniform;
some are big, some small, some easy, some tortuous. Sometimes the stairs disappear and
you’re faced with a longish stretch of rock or pathway to trudge on. One thing all stairs
have in common: they go up. For this Monastery part, you trek well over half a kilometre in
before the stairs start to bite.
2.5 km after the start of this trail you arrive at a wonderful natural arena housing the
impressive monastery. There is a coffee-shop where you sit, recharge your batteries, and
admire the Wonder of the World before you. You are at no great elevation: 810 metres more or
less. Pepé, being Pepé, had to reach the highest accessible point of Monastery Hill. This
entails a short further hike of less than a kilometre. Minor scrambling is involved – there
are ropes and bits of metal, ferrata-style. Up top you’ll find benches to sit on and a local
offering sweet Bedouin tea. Enjoy the tea which is always free. That’s to make you feel
obliged to buy a trinket. If doing this, haggle like hell. Pepé splashed out on a bracelet
for Sheila. Made of ‘solid silver’ so the seller said, complete with ‘precious gems from
Petra’. Original asking price? Over a 100 euro. Pepé spent 12 euro on it so it may not be
sterling silver and rubies after all, but the workmanship is good and it’s a nice piece.
Linger at this high point and soak in the stunning views. You’ll need to rest because you’ve
trekked yourself a shade under 8 km in and are faced with the same trek out.
The Monastery at Petra
Of the two remaining stairs, Pepé had time only for the easiest option: the High Place of
Sacrifice. This trail consists of over 600 stairs (1.2 km one-way) and takes a mere
half-hour up, half-hour down. The route is a little confusing near the top but there’s
always a friendly local to ask if you’re not sure which turn to take. Views up here, as the
name suggests, are literally breath-taking – go close to the edge if you dare.
The most strenuous of the trio of climbs is ‘Royal Tombs’ – more than 900 stairs. One of
Pepé’s tour group, a Canadian called Cathy, said she found the route confusing. “One set of
stairs might bring you onto a boulder. You can see the next set of stairs but how to get to
them is not obvious. Sometimes you’ve to double back and choose a route that seems
counter-intuitive,” she said. Two others in the group, Jess and Lauren, had to retrace the
long stairs back down from Royal Tombs because they couldn’t find the shorter descent
Our tour guide hammered home to us not to take short cuts. There are plenty of ‘No Climbing’
warning signs along the valley floor. “Stick to the stairs,” he said. Several tourists fell
to their deaths in 2019. The day before this visit, an Italian plummeted to his death
somewhere off Royal Tombs. Word now is that Petra authorities are considering closing off
parts of this route altogether.
To do all three stairs without rushing you’d need seven to eight hours. Pepé’s group had six
hours in Petra. You can always take a donkey ride up the stairs, or a camel or horse ride
through the valley to save time, but these are mistreated animals so best not encourage the
practice by choosing this cruel option.
Wadi Rum arch
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA’S DESERT: WADI RUM
There you have it – a memorable 18 km trek with two climbs thrown in. What more could you
want? Another climb, that’s what. Pepé got it in Wadi Rum where, as a prelude to a night of
star-gazing, the group were taken on a jeep tour to several spectacular desert sights
including Needle Arch – a boulder-climb that takes a couple of minutes as it’s elevated just
15 metres or so above the sand. There are footholds to help on the way up. “Slide down on
your backs,” the tour leader advised when it came to the descent. To hell with dignity,
thought Pepé as he negotiated the tricky way down in this manner. He discovered that
descending boulders is easy and quick – when unencumbered by bags and other equipment – if
you bend over backwards and use all fours like an upside down spiderman. The trick is to
keep your backside arched off the rock while in motion – let that be Pepé’s nugget of
knowledge imparted for today.
On a point of interest, Jordan’s highest mountain, Jabal Umm ad Dami (1854 metres), sits in a
remote part of the Wadi Rum, near the Saudi border. Not difficult to climb at all, just a
pathwalk with slight scrambling. Two hours should see you summit from the usual start point.
Unfortunately for Pepé, his full-on tour schedule precluded any thoughts of ascending it
this visit. Maybe next time.
Let's suppose you have been looking at local route descriptions or EastWest mapping for the
Blackstairs and you want to know where "Suidhe Laighean" is located? Google
It now appears in a Google search. It's also currently first on Bing and DuckDuckGo
MV isn't always the first result on Google, but it's usually on the first page for such
MountainViews has listed all (except Cooleys) of the different names on EastWest maps (with
their permission). We are doing this as a public service because EastWest names and the absence
sometimes on their maps of official or widely used names can be confusing. We believe that the
process of simplifying and standardising names should go ahead. As far as the Republic is
concerned for hillwalkers we support Logainm with its approach of "One definitive name in Irish
and one in English for all places".
Here's a few others that you will find using a search engine and MV
MV / official name
Stol a' tSaighdiúirí
Binn idir an dá Log
Change to and from new version.
MountainViews new version is gradually emerging as we have mentioned before. You can switch to and from it using the menu option, or you can add ?RWD at the end of its url. For example to see our data Djouce, mentioned earlier you could enter
Remember, MV new version isn't just for mobile devices, it is what is known as "Responsive", that is you can use it at a variety of widths much greater than the old system, from mobile narrow width to wide laptops. The page rearranges to try to maximise the usefulness of the space that's available.
The MountainViews App
The new version also is going to be available as an "App", that is a program available on Android and Apple mobile devices, which you can install. This has a lot of advantages for users. Potentially an App can start much faster than a webpage. In fact it can start and do something at least minimal where there isn't any internet coverage - obviously an advantage for hillwalking.
Installing the MV app may appear as an option in your browser, because the method of turning into an App that we are using doesn't require that go to an App store (though it can do). It can be installed through a browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Android Chrome Browser etc. The installation will appear as option in one of the browsers menus. That sounds a bit vague, I know, but this is because different browsers and different devices do it differently. Wording will appear similar to "Install as App".
You can try this on mobiles and even some desktops as and when the option is available, however initially it is purely experimental and will not give some of the fast start and offline advantages of an App.
Short Summaries for the "Highest Hundred"
MountainViews has a lot of data about summits, good sometimes but overwhelming if you simply want the basics about how to approach a particular place and what you need to know about it.
For years we have "Short Summaries" which is a place that experienced MVers can put in the vital information for a summit. Like so many things in a website this really becomes useful when it is consistently available with a consistent set of contents. We haven't achieved all of that as yet, but we now do have a good set of short summaries for the Highest Hundred, the MountainViews list that many people are working through particularly after it was published in Mountaineering Ireland's Irish Peaks book. This was done by Mark Campion, a MountainViews volunteer.
The Short Summary is available in both the old and new user interfaces for summits. It is also available from our "Lists" section, so for example you can create a list of the "Highest Hundred" and then in the "Choose list type, export, and other options" menu choose to include the short summary for each mountain.
Here what one, for Baurtregaum, the highpoint of the Slieve Mishes in Kerry looks like:
Short Summary for Baurtregaum.
We place great emphasis on each short summary having a straightforward title, to describe the mountain as a one-liner as well as comprehensive information about the directions to approach from.
Well done to Mark Campion for completing this phase!
Slieve Foye NW
Eagle Rock KeyCol
Ott Col Carn N
Slievelamagan Col Binnian
Sl Binnian North Tor
Slieve Binnian N Tor Col Slieve Binnian N Top
Slieve Binnian East
Slieve Binnian Col Slieve Binn South
Muskeagh turns out to be just under 400m as per OS, though not as per EastWest. This is significant because it means Muskeagh is not a Carn.
We had been tipped off by EastWest that Eagle Rock was an Arderin and our measurements confirmed that with the prominence coming to 32.394m
A place for those interested in Challenge Walks
The Fei Sheehy Challenge
2023 A mighty Challenge over three days to cross the Galty, Comeragh and
Knockmealdown Mountains. Organised by Na Sléibhte Hillwalking Club - There are three
variations of walks over three great mountain ranges.
Many of these Walks can see full registration very quickly! In the case of the ever popular
Fei Sheehy Challenge for example, once the participants number 90 souls - registration
closes until the following year! So be sure to avoid disappointment as they say…
Be sure to remember also, how the Challenge Walks Calendar will continue to update and
publicise as more and more of these great Events are confirmed throughout the year.
So now as we’re starting to see a co ck-step in our daylight hours and barring the next
serving of wild weather or a “cold snap” that seem to be a whole lot more
frequent these days… there’s no real acceptable excuse for not getting muddy
boggy upon a hill or two in your own near vicinity.
This forthcoming year will see many a Hillwalking Club only delighted to welcome back the
avid Challenge Hillwalker as old friendships are renewed and new ones forged true.
Support a Challenge Walk Near You!
Onwards and Upwards Boys and Girls,
Keep Safe and Enjoy Your Day!
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.
Using MountainViews Notifications - Daily, Weekly or Monthly.
MountainViews offers a way of being notified when new contributions appear on the
You can request a notification with a selection of new items that have been added to be sent to
you by email. The main way of doing this is to click
On main screen click for notifications.
Same for new design.
After you click on the button, then each week that there new contributions for, you will
receive an email listing the more prominent ones. You can change this to each day or each
There are various other notifications available, such as for following a contributor or
several contributors. If you select more than one sort of notification then you will still
receive one email per period, with different sections.
Each notification has a link to the original place in the website where the contribution can
be found for further reading.
Here is what a notification might look like in your inbox.
You can have daily, weekly or monthly notifications. You can turn them off or
control when they are to appear at any time.
The MountainViews ANNUAL 2022, brought out in 2023.
For 2022 the Annual has 68 pages in 18 Articles about walking on hills, mountains, coast and
islands here and abroad.
MountainViews now has 10240 comments about 1740 different
hills, mountains, island and coastal features out of the total in our current full list
(2205 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
Summit comment reviews: David Murphy
Challenge Info: Proinsias, 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
USING MATERIAL FROM THIS NEWSLETTER.
Other websites can link to MountainViews newsletters at
for example: /newsletter
For clubs, individual users, non-commercial users some specified items in this
newsletter (principally, graphics, quizzes etc) are explicitly shown as Licensed for
reuse using this licence: CC
BY-NC-SA 4.0 Display link to MountainViews.ie as part of your attribution.
(If you have cookies on in your browser then you may be prompted as to username/
password. If you forget the password, the login page can email you a
DONATING TO MOUNTAINVIEWS Please help with running costs.
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