News and Walk Reports from 2009

January 4, 2009

New Years walks got off to a positive start on Sunday, highlighted by our away trek in the Lough Derg region, led by P.J O’ Sullivan. 15 walkers were in Ballina at 10am where PJ had arranged transport to the start of the walk in Garrykennedy. From here, they proceeded along forest paths and byroads to Castlelough and the picnic area where they sat down and took in the lake experience. Prizing them away from the sun and sand, PJ led the way south along green and main roads towards the Arra mountains to begin their one hour, stiff ascent of Tountinna. But worth it all at the summit, where they were treated to spectacular views of Lough Derg, set off in glorious sunshine. The perfect setting for lunch! From here they made their way downhill and into Ballina for their journey home. Thanks to PJ for a very special Lough Derg experience.
The B group were on Slievenamuc with Eddie McGrath who navigated a 13k circuit of the ridge in 4hrs. Starting from the Rock an Torabh car park, in mild, bright conditions, they crossed over the road and forward via the mass rock to climb up onto Slievenamuc. From here, they circled around and across the ridge via the millenium stone, looping down via the lower path and the Cordangan barrier, making their way on via Rock an Thorabh and back towards Christ the King. Quite a circuit. Well done Eddie for this and for your generous seasonal provision of Roses for all at Christ the King! Always well received.
Ten walkers from the C group turned out for the Lake Muskry experience led by Mo. Welcome on this occasion, to our newest member Orla . Dry and calm conditions prevailed for this well trod route to the jewel lake of the Galtees which, on this occasion, displayed itself in a shimmering, breathless calm. Amongst the rocks and heather, lunch and new years resolutions were shared before making their way back down in bright sunshine to the cars and (for some) onto the Glen Hotel for a welcome cup of tea.
Next weeks walks are as follows:- Sunday 11th, the A & B group will meet at Glenbrohane Church at 10am. From here, the A group will have a 5hr hike on open mountain with Willie, while Mary Ryan will take the B group on a 3 hr tour of Slieve Riadh.
Planning ahead:
A weekend away is planned for Dingle in March. Contact Breda 062 33374.

January 18, 2009

All hail the Galtee walkers who braved the wintry weather and sometimes treacherous conditions on Sunday to take to the snow covered hills of the Galtees and Slievenamon. It was the C groups first climb of Slievenamon and for Bridgit, her maiden foray as navigator for the group. Starting from the hillside village of Kilcash, nine well clad walkers took off up the path and out onto open mountain and a bitingly cold south westerly, which quickly brought a healthy glow to their cheeks. Climbing upwards, through a thick carpet of snow, wonderful clear views were had of the Comeraghs, while along the hillside some lucky children played with their parents and even built a sturdy snowman in the snow. They made the trek up in dry conditions but not down, when blowing snow and heavy drifts made for quite a hazardous descent in places. But spirits remained high, the odd snowball was thrown and all got back down safely, thanks to Bridgits sensitive stewardship and a helping hand from David, who also got some lovely snaps of the day. A truly exhilarating and memorable and experience for all.
Also daring the elements on Sunday were the B group, led by Josephine. Their windy trek took them up from Rossadrehid to Lake Muskry and around to Farbreaga where they too ran into blizzard like conditions. This was a bit disorienting but short lived. It nevertheless serves as a sober reminder for all of us of the potential hazards of hill walking. Conditions improved as they circled back and made their way around Lake Muskry to find the path home, rounding it off with some lovely views of the glen on the way. Worth it all!
For Tom Lyons and the A group, challenging conditions are what it’s all about. In 5 hours, and setting off from Clydagh Bridge, the small band of hill warriors took in the four peaks of Cush, Galtee Beag, Galtee Mor and Slievecushnabinna. Tested by high winds, icy conditions underfoot and passing blizzards, they were nonetheless able to marvel at the experience of treading through foot deep powdery snow on top of Galty Mor and to take in the altered black and white landscape of lakes and snow capped mountains. Not to mention the game of snowballs. And they were not the only ones up there. In fact, Tom says that he had never seen the Galtys so busy, with numerous walkers and snow enthusiasts out and about enjoying themselves. A unique experience for all of us.
Next Weeks Walks:
Sunday 25th The A group will meet Danny at Clydagh Bridge at 10am to take in a 5 hour round of the lower Galtee horseshoe. The B group will meet with Rita at 10am at Rock an Thorabh car park, Glen of Aherlow for 4 hours on the Slievenamuck.

January 23, 2009

The freezing snow, biting winds and icy rain did not deter our hardy walkers from taking to the mountains and forest paths last Sunday 25th January. Our chairman Danny Bailey led out his group of A walkers in miserable conditions on the lower horseshoe circuit in the Galtee mountains. The group of 8 met at Clydagh bridge and hit out for lake Curragh, onwards for lake Diheen and lake Boheen. The conditions underfoot were most challenging with the rough uneven terrain in this area made more hazardous in the icy conditions. However they trudged onwards through the snow to complete this loop in 4 hours returning via O Brien's farmyard and Cush boreen. Well done to all and a big thank you to Danny for his leadership in such trying conditions.
The B group met at Rock an Tarbh carpark for a forest track walk led by Rita Mooney. There was 21 out in this group setting out for the Bansha Woods via the Rock an Tarbh. From the Bansha woods they headed for Captain Dawson's castle and in through the forest to meet the lower barrier on the Cordangan road. The planned route to Christ the King statue was abandoned due to the very wet conditions on the path and the number of fallen trees in the area. The wrath of January's weather was very visible alongside some glimpses of spring thanks to the singing birds. A big thank you to Mary Murphy and Theresa Roche for their navigational skills as they brought the group back along a new path towards the Rock an Tarbh and down to the carpark. Many thanks also to those who travelled long distances in very inclement conditions to come out on this walk, a challenging start for our new member from Ennis! Many thanks Rita for this circuit completed safely in just over 3.5 hours.
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday 1st February the A walk will meet at Rossadrehid car park at 10.00am for a 5 hour climb on open mountain to Far Breaga with leader Catherine Russell 087 2055223.
The B walk will meet in Hollyford village at 10.00am for a 4 hour forest walk to the Redhill with leader Pat Butler 087 8305744.
The C walk will meet at the Foot Bar Rossadrehid at 11.00am for a 2 hour forest track walk to St Bereherts Well and hinterkands with leader Cecelia O'Heney 087 9314684.
There is a weekend away planned to Dingle for March 14/15th. Contact Pat & Breda Ryan or Owen Ryan for further details. Also the club's first marathon is scheduled to take place on 5th April, contact Rody Tierney for further information.

February 1, 2009

Our A, B and C groups were out in great numbers on Sunday last 1st Feb 2009. A geat show of determination with 56 out in total to defy the biting winds and greet the start of Spring. Starting with our A walkers Catherine Russell had 26 out on her route in the Galtee mountains. Having checked out the planned route on Saturday, the swollen river off the path to Lake Muskery towards Fear Breaga forced a change to this route. Catherine took her group up the path to Lake Muskery and from there up to point 786. From there they proceeded via the Geisha steps where a brief stop was taken for refreshments. At this point some of the group headed for Galtee Beag while the main body of the group tackled Cush mountain and descended via the waterworks side and returned via the forest track to the cars. Well timed as always, the group returned together in just under 5 hours to cars. Encouraging to see plenty old and some new faces out in the hardy but dry conditions. Many thanks Catherine.
Off in another direction our B walkers were in the Hollyford hills with leaders Pat and Patricia Butler. There was 15 out on this walk setting off from Hollyford village, on to the forest track for 2 - 2.5 hours to the Red Hill. Conditions were good and dry and visibility clear allowing for plenty views of the surrounding countryside. They visited the site of the plane crash of some 30 years ago. After a quick lunch break the group returned via the old Cappawhite road to complete this circuit in 4 hours. Many thanks to Pat and Patricia for this wonderful outing and imparting the local knowledge to the visitors.
The 1st of February being St. Brigid's day, our C walkers led by Cecelia O Heney visited the early Christian site of St. Berriherts Kyle and well. There were 15 out in this group some having travelled through mighty floods to make this walk. Heading off from the Foot Bar they drove up a little boreen and then crossed through a field to St Berriherts well. The peacefulness and beauty of this holy site was remarked by all, with the 20 magnificent stone carvings arranged around this hallowed ground. Leaving this ancient site the group headed on a circuit of forest track at the back of the Foot Bar looking down on Bansha woods and village. On their return to the Foot the new proprietors Ann and Garry Strong opened their doors and welcomed the group inside to their newly refurbished premises with tea and coffee for all. Many thanks for this kind and generous gesture and best wishes to the couple from Wales in their new business. Many thanks to Cecelia for this wonderful outing,a first visit to this well for many.
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday 8th February the A walk will meet at 10.00am at Grubb's monument, The Vee for a climb on open mountain with leader Tom Lyons 086 3954924. The B walk will meet at Clydagh Bridge at 10.00am for a forest and mountain track walk to Lake Curragh with leader Mary Rose Kinane 086 8929153.

February 8, 2009

The Galtees are a delight to behold these days with their snow capped peaks towering above the glen and surrounding villages below. It’s as if you could reach out and touch them. And the A & B groups did just that last Sunday, ploughing their way, at times, through some two feet of snow drifts , to savour the glory of it all. Tom Lyons led the A group, 7 walkers, including three new members, on a moderately paced 16k hike in the Knockmealdowns. Starting from the Vee, they walked down to O’Loughlins Bridge and on to Bay Lough. They then made their ascent to 630 and down to the Avondhu Way where they had a welcome break. Their next challenge took them up through some heavy drifts to Knockmealdown and over to 786. The powdery snow however, made for good firm underfoot conditions and they were rewarded by some glorious sunshine and spectacular, clear views all round, with the Galtees to the north and Dungarvan Bay to the south. They could even make out the Mitchelstown by pass in the distance. From here, they made their drop down to the blind Lough Moylan and on to skirt the Sugar Loaf , returning back to the Vee in 6+ hours in total. A memorable day out for all. Thank you Tom.
Mary Rose Kinane brought her family out to lead an enthusiastic band of 21 B walkers, including two new members, up from Clydagh Bridge and along the ice road to Lough Curra where young and old frolicked in the snow and built a most impressive snowman. Well done and congratulations to James who marked a snowy thirteenth birthday by the lake. A memorable day out I’m sure. And we were not the only ones out; small bands of walkers could be seen scattered around on the peaks, all drawn to experience the novel alpine conditions. And the weather just went on getting better, with warm sunshine and clear skies for the return journey. A big thank you to Mary Rose for a truly joyful and invigorating experience.
Next weeks walks: The A group will meet at 9am at Clydagh Bridge for a 7 hour climb in the Galtees with Michael Casey. The B group will meet at Glengarra Woods for a 4 hour hike with Ann O’Donnell. The C group are also out and will meet at 11am at the Foresters Hall, Clogheen for a forest track walk to Baylough with Ted Clarke.
Notice: A fixtures meeting will be held at the Excel in Tipperary on 12th March. We’d love to receive offers of new walks for the Spring.

February 16, 2009

Mild, bright conditions prevailed on Sunday to greet the first out of our three groups, the A walkers, who assembled at Clydagh Bridge at 9.30am. Tom Lyons stepped in at the last minute to take this walk on a modified route through the Galtees. Driving to Coombawn Wood, they made their way up onto Temple Hill, then down and onto Lyracappul, from where they followed the wall onto Galtymore. Enjoying the great views available and the left over snow drifts, they went on to take in Galtybeag. Then descending the steps, their final climb took them onto Cush and from here it was homeward bound as they made their way back to Clydagh Bridge. A good six hours hike. Thanks to Tom for facilitating yet another successful challenge for this ace group.
Ann O'Donnell led the B group on a four hour trip of the southern slopes of the Galtees. Starting from Glengarra Woods, 19 walkers took off up through the woods, crossing the Burncourt river and on towards the ford. Then it was out onto open mountain to make their ascent to Grennane and across to O'Loughlins castle. Here they paused for lunch and took in the magnificent and extensive views of the Knockmealdowns, the Comeraghs and Slievenamon in the distance. The tell tale signs of Winter were still around and a degree of vigilance was required to navigate the snowy patches and drifts on the slopes. And the bonus of the day had to be finding Sheilas stick in this boggy terrain! Their return journey took them down through the wood, following the river and on past the hostel to their exit point. Well done and thanks from Ann to all for helping out.
Also on Sunday, Ted Clarke was out on his navigational icebreaker with the C group and delighted all with an energetic two and a half hour trek from Clogheen to Baylough and the Vee.Fifteen walkers assembled outside Clogheen and started off along the Avondhu Way, climbing gently through forest track and open mountain to reach the precipice overlooking the lake.Stunning open vistas of the Galtees and the plains below accompanied them on their way while ahead, the towering Sugarloaf beckoned them on towards the beautiful Baylough. Along the paths too, some welcome portents of Spring were evident in the amorous activity of frogs and the plentiful supply of spawn in the puddles! Lunch was enjoyed by the lough before dropping down to circle around and return via the lower path to the cars. Altogether a most successful first for Ted and we hope that we can repeat the trip later on when the rhododendrons are in bloom.
Rody and friends were also out on Sunday to map and stake out the routes and points for the April marathon. Enquiries please to Rody 062 51775.
Next Sundays walks 22/02:- the A group will meet with Mary at 10am at Munroe Church for a 5hr hike of the Slieve Felim Way. The B group will also meet at 10am at Cush car park for 4 hrs with Mary in the Galtees.

February 22, 2009

Most welcome Spring like conditions prevailed last Sunday to greet our A and B walkers out in the Slieve Felim and Galtee mountain ranges. The A group of 14 walkers led by Mary Aherne Ryan met at Murroe to car pool before moving on to their starting point at the village of Toor. From there they walked the beautiful Slieve Felim Way by forest and mountain path covering 14 - 15 km in just over 5 hours.The wonderfully clear conditions allowed for great views of the surrounding countryside and hills on the Tipperary/Limerick border. The return journey brought them back via Glenstall Abbey with its stunning array of colour at this early stage of the year. The display of springtime favourites such as snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils and even some rhododendrons was a sight to behold. The walkers also had plenty hopping and croaking company as there were frogs a plenty to be seen and also some deer. Many thanks Mary for this lively trek filled with all the joys of Spring.
The B group assembled at Cush car park with Mary O Dwyer as leader for a hike up to Lake Boreen in the Galtee Mountains. The group of 18 made their way up Cush boreen and onto the forest path leading to the new style for Galteemore. Once out on the mountain they climbed steadily up to Lake Boreen at the base of Galteebeag where they had their lunch break. Here they were joined by some Mountain Rescue personnel who were out doing some training in the area. The return leg of their journey brought them up Cush mountain from the southern side to the summit. Given the clear conditions the views were spectacular in all directions, the ultimate reward after the exertion and determination that Cush always demands. They descended Cush to the forest and back to Cush car park. Thank you Mary for this wonderful outing completed safely in 3 hours.
Forthcoming Fixtures: Next Sunday 1st March the A walk with leaders Anne Donohoe and Una Hayes (086) 3669829 will meet at Rossadrehid car park at 10.00 am for a 5 - 6 hour climb to Galteemore. The B walk with leader Amelia Ryan (087) 9947256 will meet at Newport church at 10.00 am for a 4 hour climb of Keeper Hill. The C walk with leader Alice Morrissey (061) 455907 will meet in Galbally at 11.00 am for a road and forest track walk to Darby's bed.
Please note the next fixtures meeting will be held in the Excel on 12th March 2009. Anyone interested in leading either a Sunday walk or Wednesday evening walk (Wednesday's from April 15th to end of August) please contact any committee member.

March 2, 2009

Our 3 walking groups were out last Sunday 1st March covering plenty ground in the Galtees, the hills around Newport and forest tracks in Galbally.
The A group of 24 under the direction of Anne Donohoe and Una Hayes met at the waterworks carpark in Rossadrehid and headed off on the forest track for Lake Muskry. From there they headed for point 786 and onwards to Galtybeg. Weather conditions were cold and dry, visibility good and clear allowing for great views accross the mountain range and onto the surrounding countryside. To add to the challenge a nasty shower of hail fell as the group headed for the summit of Galtymór and descended via the wall to Slievecushnabinna. The final leg of this 6 hour hike brought the group down to the ice path and on to the forest track leading down to Cush carpark. Many thanks to Tom Lyons for making the necessary arrangements to have cars left at the finishing point and to John Hayes and Tom Lyons for sweeping.
Welcome to our 2 visiting walkers and of course a big thank you to Anne and Una for their leadership on this invigorating and challenging outing. Amelia Ryan had 9 out on her trek to the summit of Keeper Hill. They met at Dooneen carpark and travelled on to Killoskully. Their walk started from here as they entered the Ballyhourigan woods and followed the track, then taking the 3rd left which brought them under 2 gullies of rushing water which provided refreshment for the group. I believe the group are now working on the label for Ballyhourigan Still Water! From this point they made their ascent to the summit of Keeper at 694m where the clear conditions allowed for views of Lough Derg, Nenagh, the Silvermines and the hills of Upperchurch. Lunch was enjoyed in a sheltered spot just down from the summit before they descended via another path passing the remains of a sweat house and a mass rock. They returned safely to the starting point in 4 hours, many thanks Amelia for this well organised and interesting visit to Keeper.
The C group of 14 met in Galbally village square with leader Alice Morrissey for a road and forest track walk to Darby's bed. They took the little road from the square, over the stile onto the forest track and the gradual incline leading to the resting place of Darby himself. Luckily the sunny conditions at this point enhanced the views of Slieve Riadh, the Ballyhoura and Galty mountain ranges. After enjoying their lunchbreak the group made their way back along the same track to the village square. Thank you Alice for this pleasant and interesting walk.
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday 8th March the A group will meet at Clydagh Bridge at 10.00am with leader Paul Ryan 087-2230896 for a 6 hour Galty loop - the Horseshoe Circuit. The B group with leader Sheila Lenihan 086-0732846 will meet at Anglesboro church at 10.00am for a climb of Temple Hill. Next fixtures meeting will be held in the Excel on Thursday 12th March at 8.00pm, pleaase contact any committee member if you wish to lead a walk.

March 8, 2009

Our A and B walking groups were out last Sunday 8th March testing their mettle in the Galty mountains. It certainly was not a day for the faint hearted as showers of sleet and snow along with biting winds dominated the weather conditions for these outings.
The A group of 8 led by Paul Ryan set off from Clydagh bridge and headed for the knoll on the way to Lake Curra. From this point they treked on for Lake Curra via the ice path. After a quick break at the lake they scrambled up the snow covered gully to meet the wall running along the Galty ridge. From here they followed the wall towards Galtymore and a well earned lunch break was taken on the summit. At this altitude of over 3000ft the wind was biting cold and very strong so they moved swiftly along to make their slippery descent to Galtybeag carefully negotiating the ice and snow covered terrain. The summit of Galybeag was the next point on this loop from where they descended via the Geisha steps to the base of Cush mountain. The ever forceful wind added to the last vertical challenge of the day as the group climbed to the summit of Cush and struck off to their right to meet the forest track that leads to the water works near Rossadrehid. They then followed this track for 6 - 7 KM back to Cush carpark. Welcome to Cliona one of our more recent members who was on her first outing to Galtymore and a big thank you to Paul for this invigorating exercise, a 17.5KM circuit completed in safety in 5.5hrs.
The B group led by Sheila Lenihan met in Anglesboro for a climb of Temple Hill. This group of 10 set out in sunshine as they entered Coombawn Wood but this weather was short lived as they contended with arctic conditions with hail and snow blizzards as they climbed Temple Hill from the southern side. Luckily conditions cleared as they reached the summit of Temple Hill and the scene was likened to an Alpine one as the whole area was covered in a blanket of soft snow. This photographic opportunity was availed of by our camera enthusiast Dave and he promises to post these shots on our website. After some fun in the snow they made their descent via the Pinnacle and down to the woods. Sheila asked to thank all those who turned up and especially those who travelled from Limerick. Many thanks to Sheila for her leadership on this challenging 4 hour climb and for her assistance in organising the previous Sunday's Galty loop. Forthcoming Fixtures: Next weekend 14th and 15th March a weekend away in Dingle has been organised by Pat & Breda Ryan and Owen Ryan. Safe travelling and happy walking to all those heading off to the sights and heights of the Kingdom. On Sunday March 15th there will be a C walk with leader Joan Kavanagh meeting at 11am in the Bansha Woods car park. This will be a forest track walk of 2 - 3 hours duration.
Committee meeting in the Excel this Thursday 12th March (tonight) at 8.00pm.

March 15, 2009

It’s been a busy week for the club committee who were hard at it until gone 10pm on Thursday working out the new walking schedules for the coming season. As well as new Sunday walks which run up to the end of June, the Wednesday evening walks which commence on the 15th April are now all in place and will shortly be sent out to members. Thanks to our chairman, Danny and volunteer leaders who have yet again provided us with a variety of tempting hikes, (some old, some new) to suit all three levels of experience. Some special highlights include a Rhododendron walk to the Vee, a 4am solstice sunrise in the Galtees and a beach walk and day out in Tramore. The final touches are also been put to one of the clubs’ biggest fixtures of the year, the forthcoming Club Marathon. Rody and his team have been working hard to organize this 40kms circuit of the Slievenamuc ridge. Arrangements are also in place for those wishing to do a half marathon. This event will take place on 5th April starting from Rock an Torabh car park in the Glen of Aherlow. See below for enquiries.
This weekend the club were away in Dingle and we look forward to hearing all about this next week. Meanwhile, some 16 C walkers were out on Sunday for a 2+ hr round of Bansha Woods with Joan and Willie Kavanagh. This was a moderately paced, delightful Spring woodland walk in dry conditions through forest paths in the Ballough area. Starting from the car park, the group headed straight up the incline, veering right, then left, along a circular route which afforded glorious distant views of the Doon Hills and the Slieve Felims, with Tipperary town nestling beneath. The faint awakening scents of Spring gave an extra spring to their steps as they made their way through a landscape of freshly flowering gorse and the left over debris of the long drawn out Winter. How we all long to put that season well and truly behind us! Much appreciation to Joan and Willie for a splendid and invigorating start in that respect.
Next weeks walks: Sun 22/03: The A group will meet at Aherlow House Hotel at 10am where Rody has planned a five hour trek over Slievenamuc. Also at 10am, Rita will meet the B group at Cush car park for a four hour climb of Cush and Lake Dineen. Note: Club marathon is on 5th April. Enquiries please to Rody 062 51775 The Galtee Walking club will also be the leader group for the upcoming Aherlow Walking festival at the end of May.

March 22, 2009

Our walkers returned from their away weekend in An Daingean (Dingle) in fine spirits.In all 22 people made the trip to this beautiful peninsula, home of our Antartic hero, Tom Crean. Thanks to Breda Ryan, the group were accommodated in comfortable and scenically located holiday cottages close to all amenities. Their big walk started on Saturday morning when they drove out to the small village of Cloghane on Brandon Bay and then on to the Grotto car park above the village. From here they commenced their 20km hike of the whole of the Brandon range. Their route took them along the Faha ridge upwards to the summit of Mount Brandon, Ireland's second highest peak at 952m and marked by a large metal cross. Looking down from the Brandon saddle, great views were had of the rocky lake filled valley below. Proceeding south, their next ascent took them onto Brandon Peak, then crossing the pilgrim track, they headed towards Dingle, taking in the Ballycitteragh peak before descending the ridge back down. A well earned meal was enjoyed by all that night at The Dingle Bay Hotel.
Sunday morning saw them out again for a round of Slea Head which also included a climb of Mount Eagle. Bright clear conditions made for spectacular views of the bay and the Great Blasket island. In all a very successful weekend away, thanks of course to the Ryan family for all their good work in organizing this event.
Marking the Spring equinox and of course Mothering Sunday, the home walks continued as usual for both A & B groups.
Danny, our chairman led the B group on a trek in the galtees. Starting from Cush car park, 18 walkers made an ascent of Cush mountain in dry conditions but with a stiff westerly breeze. At the summit, they had a short pause for a snackette before making their descent on the southerly side towards Lake Diheen. The sun finally broke through at this stage and sheltering from the wind amongst the rocks around the lake, they were able to enjoy their lunch and bear witness to the last remnants of winter, made visible in the snowy patches around the gullies of Galtee Mor. Their route home took them down by O’Briens farm and back to the car park. Thanks to Danny for a most enjoyable 4 hour trek.
Rody was out on Slievenamuc with the A group. This was a 5 hour circular trek across the ridge from Ahelow House via Moor Abbey and Bansha Woods and covered much of the route of the upcoming marathon. The full and half marathon is a major event in the club calendar and is scheduled for two weeks time 5th April. All enquiries to Rody 062 51775

March 23, 2009

Launch of First Marathon A new initiative by the Galtee Walking club is planned for Sunday 5th April with the launch of their first annual marathon. Months of planning have gone into what promises to be a unique event not only for this well established local club, but also for the region generally which continues to grow in popularity amongst hillwalkers at home and abroad.
Based in Tipperary Town, The Galtee Walking Club has been in existence for some ten years and continues to grow in popularity and numbers, offering weekly hikes in the Galtees and further afield for different levels of experience. A true mark of their experience and maturity as a walking group is being able, this year, to offer their first marathon. The brainchild of Rody Tierney and a band of experienced walkers, this 40+km event will take place on Slievenamuck ridge, starting from Rock an Thorabh car park in the Glen of Aherlow and traversing the ridge in a figure of eight between Moor Abbey in Galbally and Bansha Woods. As well as the full marathon, a half marathon is also planned which brings the event within reach of a wider spectrum of walkers. Full backup and support is provided by Jimmy Barry and the South East Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) and radio communications along the route come courtesy of the Amateur Radio Emergency Network (AREN).
The full marathon will start from Rock on Thorabh at 9am with registration from 8am. The half marathon will follow on at 9.30. Those wishing to participate should ensure that they have appropriate garments and footwear and have the required level of fitness for this challenge. Further information can be had from Rody on 062 51775. We wish all participants the best of luck on the day and well done to the Galtee Walking club for fielding this special event.

April 6, 2009

The Galtee Marathon : The club’s first marathon got off to a rollicking start on Sunday when close on 50 participants took off from Rock on Torabh on their first leg of this 46 km challenge. It was a bright but chilly start and from 8am, our dedicated committee members were busy signing in and numbering the varied marathon enthusiasts, novices and veterans alike. By 9am, the full marathon was on its way, with the half marathon following close behind, their route taking them across the Slievenamuc ridge in a westerly direction to the first check point at Moor Abbey in Galbally. Here they had a welcome pause and enjoyed the unusual convenience of picnic tables to share some refreshments. From here they circled around, taking the road upwards towards Moorabbey Hill and crossing fields to pick up the northerly ridge track back towards the second check point at Rock on Thorabh. Close to schedule and in high spirits, they emerged through the barrier and singly and in small groups made their way across the road to the signing off point. This completed the half marathon and after a little over four hours, some of the happy walkers were able to relax, receive their certificate of completion and savour that great sense of achievement.
But for the majority, this was only half way and another twenty kilometres and more lay ahead! However, at this stage the challenge of it all was almost palpable and facing east they took off in determined fashion up the hill towards the rock and the long trek to Bansha Woods and the third check point. And they made it. And back again four hours later to the base point! What stamina and what a great sense of camaraderie there was all around. Congratulations one and all. A momentous achievement and a memorable first marathon challenge for the club. Also a great experience for other club members who completed two hours of the circuit with Margaret and the C group and were able to cheer the walkers on and look forward perhaps to participating in this great event next year?
But the success of the marathon was not only down to the walkers. A lot of hard ground work went into the planning and execution of the day. The Tierney and Ryan families as well as Tom Lyons and others gave their all to get this event off the ground. A special thanks too to our photographer Sean, who brought some visual sophistication to our map presentation, to Tom for those colourful tags, and to Dara for being such an efficient car park attendant. Also thanks to our back up support teams, amateur radio (AREN), mountain rescue (SEMRA) and Bansha Civil Defence, who stayed with us all day and added that extra bit of joviality and high tech wizardy to the scene. Helen Morrisey too of Failte deserves our special appreciation for her endless support in many ways, but especially for the big flasks of beverage which she kept continuously topped up. There was also, John, Willie and Thos, amongst others, who manned the check points and kept track of the walkers’ progress. Finally we are indebted to the generous farmers along the route who allowed us unimpeded access to their land and also to the generous sponsorship of Aeroboard Ltd for our excellent signage. And Aherlow House Hotel bade us cead mile failte with a comforting fire and coffee on the house. So many people of good will in the Glen of Aherlow. Thank you all.
Next weeks walks:
Easter Sunday 12/04: The A group will meet at 9am in Newcastle car park for 7hrs on open mountain with John Murphy. The B group will meet with Catherine Russell at 10am at Clydagh Bridge for a 4hr trek to Lake Curra. Note that our first Wednesday evening walk takes place on 15th April. Meet at Clydagh Bridge, Glen of Aherlow at 7pm for a two hour forest track walk with Rita. If you have not yet received your new walks schedule, please contact Rita 087 6242973. Corrections: Trip to the Lake district is Aug 21st -24th and not as noted on the walks schedule. The Wicklow trip will take place on July 4th.

April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday 12th April was enjoyed by our A and B walkers as they treked out in the Galty and Knockmealdown mountains. The A group of 5 in the capable hands of John Murphy met at Newcastle carpark at 9am and car pooled to Araglin from where they commenced their route at 9.30am. This eager group of walkers were not disappointed with the 30km route taking in 1700m in height. They took in some of the Avondhu Way and proceeded for Farbreaga and Crowe hill. From here they continued on for Wood Road Junction where they crossed the road and took up the forest track for Knockshanahullion. From the summit they walked above the Vee for approximately 2 hours and took a well earned brief lunch break at the Vee. The biting cold did not facilitate a lengthy stop and unfortunately the cloudy conditions limited the visibillity. The next leg of this challenging route took in the Sugar Loaf mountain and the peaks of Knockmealdown, Knocknagnauv and Knocknafallia. From these points the views were somewhat clearer so Mount Mellory, the Blackwater river and out to the coast at Youghal were to be seen, just reward when out in this beautiful area. After descending to the lower lands the group crossed the road at the county boundary, took in Knockardbounce peak and descended to the farm track leading to the tracks meeting the road back to Newcastle. Very welcome showers (particularly for our walkers from Limerick who were glad to be refreshed before their journey home) were available at the Newcastle GAA club when the group arrived back at the finishing point at 5.40pm. Many thanks to John for his careful planning of this long and challenging route, not one for the faint hearted but a definite indication of the ability and skills of our club members.
Catherine Russell had 19 out on her B walk to Lough Curra in the Galty mountains. In dry and bright conditions they assembled at Clydagh bridge at 10am and made there way to Cush carpark and onwards along the forest path meeting the stile leading out onto the mountain. They followed the river up along to Lough Curra and enjoyed their lunch break in fine sunny conditions. Their return was made via the Ice path and down to the forest path leading out to Cush carpark. A most enjoyable 3.5 hour outing facilitated by our dedicated member Catherine. Many thanks.
Forthcoming Fixtures:
Next Sunday 19th April the A walk to be led by Pat Ryan will meet at 10am at Clydagh Bridge for a 6-7 hour climb on the Galty mountains. The B walk will meet at The Foot Bar at 10am for a 4 hour climb of Sturakeen mountain with leader Brendan Shields (086) 3305565. The C walk will meet at Cahir Castle carpark at 11am for a riverside walk to the Swiss cottage with leader Cecilia O'Heney (087) 9314684.
Also our Wednesday evening schedule of walks has kicked off with the first walk of the season facilitated by Rita Mooney last night (Wed 15th April). Next Wednesday 22nd April the walk will commence at 7pm at Christ the King statue with leader Mary Rose Kinane. This will be a 2 hour walk on forest paths. Year on year these 2-3 hour walks have proved to be very popular and have indeed increased our membership so come along and join us - all walks commence at 7pm and details will be in these notes weekly.

April 19, 2009

On Sunday last our A, B and C groups were out in most welcome sunny conditions in the Galty mountains and along the banks of the river Suir in the historic town of Cahir.
Pat Ryan had 15 out on his A walk in the Galty mountains. They met at Clydagh bridge and took the boreen leading out on to the mountain. From there they began their ascent of the first peak of the day Slievecushnabinnia and proceeded on via the Galty wall for Galtymore. At this height of 919m they enjoyed their lunch and took in the fabulous views from Ireland's second highest peak. Onwards from this point they proceeded easterly taking in Galtybeg, O'Loughlins Castle, Greenane point, and Farbreaga. From this point they descended to the area in front of Lough Muskry and headed back westerly via Knocknastakeen mountain and the final peak of the day Cush mountain. They descended Cush to the forest line and back to Cush car park. An invigorating 22km loop in excellent conditions, many thanks as always to Pat for facilitating on this exercise.
Brendan Shields on his first outing as leader with the club took out his group of 17 B walkers from the Foot Bar on a loop trek of Sturakeen mountain. They started off along the road to Bansha and took a boreen up to a forest track and into the woods. Exiting the woods they commenced there ascent towards spot height 541. Near this point they enjoyed their lunch in balmy conditions and took in the wonderful views along the Galty mountain range and off towards the village of Bansha and surrounding countryside. From there they treked on for the cairn at point 597 again taking advantage of this fine viewing point in excellent conditions. Their descent via Knocknaboohley Hill and forest path to the road completed this wonderful loop of Sturakeen mountain. Many thanks to Brendan for this well planned and enjoyable outing and we look forward to more interesting walks with him in the future.
The C group led by Cecelia O'Heney had a delightful 2 and a half hour walk along the banks of the Suir. A great turnout, 30 people and a number of new members enjoyed the sunny conditions, calm waters and fishermen along the banks. From Cahir car park, they walked along the path to the Swiss Cottage where they crossed the bridge and followed the path onwards on the other side, then over styles and through the fields, exiting onto a back road leading to the historic Quaker graveyard with grave stones of the major Cahir Quaker families. Lunch was had amid the stones before retracing our steps back to the car park and al fresco refresments in the sun at the Riverside cafe. Big thanks to Cecelia and her helpers for this unique historical outing.
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday 26th April the A group will meet at Clydagh bridge at 10am for a 7 hour climb on the Galty mountains with leader Michael Casey 086 8342987. The B group will meet at LIDL car park Tipperary town at 10am or in the Square in Templemore at 11am for a climb of Devils Bit mountain with leader Paddy Bourke 087 6111026. Next Wednesday evening 29th April the meeting point is at Rock an Thorabh car park for a 2 hour walk on forest paths with leader Ray Coleman 062 52677.
Looking further ahead to some of the trips planned for the Summer period please note the following; Trip to Tramore Sun 24th May - anyone interested in going on this trip please give their names to Rita Mooney 086 1316995 before 7th May as numbers have to be finalised with the transport provider. The date has been set for the weekend away in Wicklow with Thos O Neill 086 2656598 - 4th July, please contact Thos for further information. In relation to the trip to the Lake District in England please note the date is weekend of the 21st - 24th August. Further information on this trip can be had from Breda Ryan 062 33374 and Catherine Russell 087 2055223.

April 26, 2009

On Sunday last 26th April our A walkers were out on the peaks of the Galty mountains with their leader Pat Ryan. This group of 7 assembled at Clydagh Bridge and set out on the boreen leading on to the mountain and upwards for the knoll. From this point they proceeded on to the ice path and followed this much travelled path up to Lough Curra. After a brief stop they negotiated the steep gully behind this lake and met the Galty wall at the top. They then treked easterly to Galty Mór where lunch was enjoyed before proceeding further in an easterly direction taking in Galtybeg, O Loughlins Castle, Greenane point, Fir Breaga and dropping down to Lough Muskry. On the return loop they headed for Lough Boreen and completed the loop via the Geisha steps and down to O'Briens farmyard. Surprisingly conditions were good and clear with most of this 7 hour loop completed before the fog crept in. A lively 20Km circuit enjoyed by all. Many thanks Pat for your great organisation and leadership. Also best wishes and a speedy recovery to our friend and club member Michael Casey.
The B group with leader Paddy Bourke were out in North Tipperary taking in the Devil's Bit mountain and surrounding countryside. This group of 21 enthusiasts set off from the Devil's Bit car park for a rock climbing exercise up to the cross on the mountain. From this point they treked on to the trig point on the Devil's Bit and over to the mast. Unfortunately the rainy conditions hampered the viewing opportunities and hastened the breaks, nevertheless spirits were high as they circled back through the woods and forest track to complete this 9 km route in 3.5 hours. Many thanks as always Paddy.
Last Wednesday 22nd April Mary Rose had 40 walkers out on her evening walk in Aherlow. A very big welcome to all the newcomers, hope to see you all throughout the Summer . Forthcoming fixtures: Next weekend 1/5 - 4/5/09 our club will support the Ballyhoura International Walking Festival where a range of A, B and C walks will be available. Next Wednesday 6th May our evening walk will start in Galbally village at 7.00pm with leader Mary Ryan 086 6038597 .
Looking further ahead to events planned for the summer please note the following:
Trip to Tramore including 4 hour strand walk on 24th May - those interested in travelling please contact our secretary Rita Mooney 087 6242973 before 7th May next. The annual Galtee Challenge on 28th June - please note the meeting point for this event is Anglesboro at 8am with registration from 8am - 8.30am. Walkers will be taken by bus to Cahir from where the crossing will commence at 9am.The date has been set for the weekend away in Wicklow - 4th July. Please contact Thos O Neill 086 2656598 for further information. Moving on to the month of August the trip to the Lake District in England will take place over the weekend of 21st - 24th August. Please contact Catherine Russell 087 2055223 or Breda Ryan 062 33374 as the booking for this trip will be closing by mid May.

May 4, 2009

The Wednesday evening walks are now well established with numbers increasing every week, whatever the weather. Don’t be put off if the skies are threatening in the early evening, we generally manage to get an hour or two of good fine conditions for our walks. Last Wednesday was typical. Not very encouraging to start with, but Ray managed to get us all back dry after two well paced hours around Slievenamuc. Over 30 people were there to enjoy this lovely circuit westward from Rock an Thorabh, past the mass rock and climbing up onto Slievenamuc, then a brief detour to take in our ancestors burial grounds at Shrough, humps of granite poking out of the sedge, a salutary reminder of the hardship of the Tipperary hills! Thank you Ray for a lovely walk and for your sensitivity in catering for such a diverse group of walkers. Our plan is to make these walks more accessible to different levels of experience by offering a choice of distance and pace along the route, where leaders are available. So something for everyone.
On Sunday, the A and B groups joined up with our neighbouring club to participate in the Ballyhoura walking festival, while David Stapleton and the C group took to the hills around Clonmel to savour the show of bluebells on Kilnamack ridge. This prehistoric ridge, also known as Bagwells folly, (of the Bagwell Marlfield estate) the stony remains of which was built to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon 1884, now forms part of a conservation area managed by Coillte and An Taisce. Meeting at the Poppyfield centre, David organized a car split to take a group of over 20 through the lovely Marlfield estate and the start of the walk. It was dry and firm underfoot as they made their way along the forest path through Kilnamack wood, climbing up through carpets of bluebells to reach the folly and take in the views from the top of the meandering Suir below and the surrounding lush farmland and hinterlands of Clonmel and the ever present Slievenamon. A truly magical experience. After a short lunch break, the group picked their steps downwards through the coppiced trees and bluebells (I can’t wait to see the photographs!) and made their way back to the cars. Well done David and a big thanks for initiating this glorious rite of Spring.
Next weeks walks: Wednesday 6/05, meet in Galbally village at 7pm for two and a half hours forest track walk with Mary Ryan. Sunday 10th May, Willie Ryan will lead a 5-6 hour A walk along the Ballyhoura Way. Meet at 10am in Kilfinane village. The B group will also meet in Kilfinane at 10am where Mary Ryan has planned a 3-4 hour trek taking in the Ogeen river.
Notice:
There will be a committee meeting this Thursday, 7th May at the Excel in Tipperary at 8pm to plan for the upcoming Aherlow walking festival at the end of the month. Also if you are intending to go on the Wicklow outing on 4th July, you should contact Thos now on 086 2656598 and for the trip to the Lake District on 21st August, call Breda 062 33374. Also last chance to get on the Tramore day out on 24th May, call Rita 087 6242973.

May 10, 2009

Over 40 walkers turned out for Mary Ryan’s Wednesday evening walk from Galbally. Their route took them out from the village and up through Duntryleague woods from the easterly side. This newly refurbished route now provides a welcome handrail on the steeper stretches, making for greater ease and safety on the ascent. Emerging from the woods onto the road, weather conditions deteriorated making for a wet and windy circle of Darby’s bed which got progressively worse as they made their descent back down to Galbally and, for the lucky ones, a change of clothing in the car.
But none the worse for their experience, many of the same people were out again on Sunday including Mary Ryan, who this time took a band of over 20 B walkers on a breathtakingly beautiful trek of the Glenanaar forest under perfect weather conditions. This circular route, known as the Cannon Sheehan walk, meanders through the woods in the foothills of the Ballyhoura mountains. Taking in part of the Ballyhoura Way, it follows the Ogeen river and crisscrosses the borders of Limerick and Cork. An environmentalists paradise, the area is one of lush undergrowth with ancient overhanging beech trees, now in their spring foliage and nestling in amongst them, the mass rocks and wells of the past. From the higher points, exceptionally clear views were enjoyed of the Cork plains to the south, with the Nagle mountains in the distance and the towns of Kildorrery and Doneraille. Lunch was had at the confluence of the Ogeen and Glenanaar rivers and it was a happy band of wanderers who arrived back at the Glenanaar car park in just under 3 hrs. Many thanks to Mary for this very special border experience.
Accompanying the group for part of the way were 12 A walkers with leader, Willie Ryan. Taking a more challenging route, this group soon took off in a westerly direction, onto the Ballyhoura Way and up to the mast on Carron Mountain. Here lunch was had before circling around to take in and test their mettle on the 13 obstacle trip trail. A veritable seniors playground! Their way back was by the Glenanaar river, clocking up over 5 hrs by the time they reached the car park.
Next weeks walks:
Sunday 17/05, the A group will meet at Clydagh Bridge at 10am for 5-6 hrs in the Galtees with Paul Ryan. Anne O’Donnell will meet the B group at Grubbs Monument, the Vee at 10am for 3-4 hrs on forest track. The C group will have their annual Suir Walk from Cashel to Golden with Marion and Jean. Meet outside the Rock car park in Cashel at 11am. The Wednesday walk for 20/05 will meet in Lisvernane village at 7pm for 3hrs forest track with Mary Ryan. The day out to Tramore is on 24th May. Booking essential now to Danny Bailey 086 1316995

May 17, 2009

On Sunday last 17th May Paul Ryan had 5 out on his A walk which met at Clydagh Bridge for a 5.5 hour Galty circuit in rather inclement weather conditions. From Clydagh Bridge they took the boreen up to the mountain and proceeded on to the knoll. Turning in a westerly direction they commenced climbing the steep and rough terrain of Carrignabinnia to meet the Galty wall and followed it's course to Galtymore. Wet, windy and foggy conditions did not facilitate a lengthy stop so onwards to Galtybeg peak, the Coll and the final peak of Cush beneath a giant rainbow before completing the circuit via Cush boreen. Many thanks to Paul and to Pat for his navigational assistance. Br> The B group of 13 led by Anne O Donnell met at Grubbs monument, the Vee and walked down the road to Baylough car park. They then walked in to Baylough lake and followed the forest track leading towards Clogheen before entering the forest and crossing the road to a picnic area for lunch. The return loop brought the group back through the forest to the car park. Despite a nasty shower of hail at the start of the walk they completed this 3 hour circuit in dry conditions, unfortunately a little too early for the rhododendrons which have yet to flower. Many thanks as always Anne.
Marian Ryan and Jean O Dwyer had 13 out on their C walk from the Rock of Cashel. The scheduled riverbank walk to Golden could not be followed as Marian had checked in advance with the tourist office and heritage group to be informed that the paths had to be strimmed and cattle were in some fields. However they improvised and met as planned in the Rock car park and followed the Bóthrín Bocht road past Hoare Abbey and on via the river to Castleleake. They then retraced their steps to meet the Dundrum/Cashel road and had lunch at the grotto. They completed this 2.5 hour circuit via the Bóthrín Bocht without rain. Many thanks ladies for your careful planning and a wonderful visit to this historic area.
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday May 24th Danny Bailey will lead his 4 hr strand walk in Tramore, bus from market yard at 9am. Also Anne Donohoe and Una Hayes will lead the A walk in the Blackrock Valley, meet in Kilbehenny village at 10am.
Next Wednesday 27th the evening walk with leader Tom Lyons will meet at 7pm in Kilcornan car park, Cahir for a 3 hour forest and mountain walk.

May 24, 2009

The most welcome balmy conditions of last Sunday were enjoyed by our members walking on the southern slopes of the Galtees and on Tramore strand Co. Waterford. What a day for our chairman Danny Bailey and his group of 19 on their 10 KM walk on Tramore strand. From the prom they walked the length of the beach including the sand dunes and back to have lunch on the prom taking in the spectacular and colourful sights of many surfers riding the waves. After lunch they proceeded from town out to Doneraille also known as the Hidden Park. Walking amongst the cannons and remains of old shipwrecks to Newtown Cove and on to the Cliff road leading to the Guillemene Swimming Cove to take in the spectacular views of the strand and Brownstown Head. They then took the forest path out to the Metal Man, a prominent cast structure erected in 1823 as a warning to sea going vessels. Many thanks to Helen Lynch for sharing her knowledge of this area, a most welcome addition to any walk. They returned to the prom via the Cliff road, many thanks to Danny and Helen for a wonderful outing to this most popular seaside resort. Closer to home Anne Donohoe and Una Hayes had 17 out on their trek in the Blackrock Valley area of the Galtee mountains. Starting at the confluence of the Pigeonrock and Blackrock rivers they headed for the saddle and began their ascent of Temple Hill marvelling at the fantastic views of the Galtee range and surrounding countryside. After availing of the photographic opportunity of Temple Hill on such a clear day they proceeded on for Lyracappul extending the walk further than originally planned. The circuit was completed via Pigeonrock valley following the course of the river to the finishing point. A wonderful 4.5 hour trek, plenty of memorable photos, many thanks to Anne and Una for a great day.
Next weekend our club members will lead out A, B and C walks for the Glen of Aherlow Walking festival which will take place from 29th May to 1st June. Further information can be had from 062 56331 or www.aherlow.com.
Our Wednesday evening walks are going really well so why not come along and join us. Next Wednesday 3rd June Rita Mooney will lead a 3 hour walk to Lough Curra meeting at Cush car park at 7 pm.

June 1, 2009

The Glen of Aherlow Walking Festival.  Some 600 walkers travelled into the Glen of Aherlow last weekend to participate in this annual festival of walks organized by Failte in cooperation with the Galtee Walking Club. It was a momentous occasion not only in terms of the glorious sunshine which prevailed throughout the weekend, but also in the buzz and excitement which spread throughout the glen from Friday evening and the opening ceremonies at the Glen Hotel, through three days of guided walks in the Galtees, to the music and craic around Moroneys pub in Lisvernane village. The Aherlow area was truly showcased during the weekend with mouth watering displays of local produce from chocolate and pate to soups and cheese on the opening night. Also included was a most impressive schools project from Lisvernane primary school and some amazing step dancing wizardy from Nicola and Roisin of the Bridget Whelan School of Dance.                         

Thanks to the Glen of Aherlow Failte for fielding such a successful event, to the chairman, Fergal Purcell and especially to Helen Morrisey and her helpers who gave their all to get and keep the show on the road.

The high points of the weekend were of course the walks and the Galtee Walking Club deserve every credit for organizing and leading a variety of inspirational daily treks which showed off the splendour of these magnificent mountains and the beautiful Glen in full sunshine. As a casual visitor was heard to remark,’Beats Kerry anyday’. The walks took in different aspects of the Galtee mountains from both the north and south faces and there were treks to suit all abilities, including nature trails. The medium graded, or B walks were the most popular with over 100 people out each day. These walks took a southerly ascent of the Galtees, with Saturdays walk, led by Paddy Burke, going onto the sun lit summit of Galtee Mor via the Black Road and Ann & Catherines Sunday loop walk through the Blackrock valley taking in Lyracappul, Slievecuashnabinna and down to Clydagh Bridge.

C walks were also very popular with up to 200 hikers out over the two days. Rita Mooney led a formidable 90+ on the Saturday outing to Lake Curra. Well done to her for this considerable feat. Then on Sunday, Josephine Tierney took 50 to the ever popular Lake Muskry while Mary Ryan took the second group on the Dolmen Loop from Lisvernane across the ridge and back to the village.

Even the more challenging A walks had numbers over 40 on day one when 5 peaks were traversed under the skilful stewardship of Tom Lyons with lesser numbers on day two for another challenging trek from Cahir to Sturakeen with Owen Ryan. There was a three way split here with Owen taking the planned descent to Rossadrehid while Pat Ryan soldiered ahead with the hardier ones to take in the higher peaks while Thos O’Neill and others made for Lake Muskry. All exited safely at different points  but missed the final whistle of the game and the full chorus of Slievenamon which rang out from Moroney’s pub. What a fitting finale to a perfect day. And the festival continues as we go to press with more A & B walks and a GPS trek with Mike Moroney.

Special thanks to all who worked to make our walks run smoothly especially Noel and Breed Brown who ran a most efficient and courteous bus service to the various starting points, to our trusty companions, AREN and Mountain Rescue who provided backup support and to the Moroney family for creating a most convenient, informal and entertaining base camp. To our chaiman, Danny and to the 50 members who led or stewarded the walks, you deserve our highest accolade for your commitment, expertise and consideration towards all. Mile maith and see you at the races! Finally, club member, Jill Baird deserves a special thanks for her generous donation of paintings to Mountain Rescue and for organizing the raffle over two days. In all a great community effort. It’s what it’s all about. 

Notices: Sunday 7th  The A group will climb Carantuohill with Tom Lyons. Meet at Cronins farmyard 1030.(6hrs) The B group will be in the Comeraghs/Nire Valley with John Walsh. Meet at Melody’s Bar, Ballymacarberry at 10am(4hrs). The C group will be in the Rhodedendrons at the Vee with Ted Clarke. Meet 11am on the Vee road outside Clogheen.(2hrs) Wed 10/06, meet at Anglesborough Church at 7pm for a climb of Temple Hill with Willie Ryan (3+hrs)

Forthcoming: The Galtee Challenge is only 3 weeks away and participants should be getting into preparatory mode! Contact Owen Ryan for further details 087 2273562.

And for stewards who helped out at the Aherlow Fest, a night at the races is planned later this month. To reserve your place, please contact Breda Ryan 062 33374 asap.

June 8, 2009

After three days of the walking festival, the club has been out again for their regular walks with an energetic Wednesday evening hike up to Lake Curra with Rita. And Sundays walks saw all three groups out with the A group travelling to Kerry with Tom Lyons for an ascent of Carrontouhill. 13walkers turned up at Cronins Yard for this hike making their way from there up O’Sheas Gulley and onto the great mountain. Glorious weather conditions prevailed showing off the breathtaking views of the reeks all around and Inch beach below. Their route back was via the Devils Ladder and the Heavenly Gate where they crossed paths with intrepid mountaineers, Pat Falvey and Claire O’Leary. They also paid a quick visit to check out the Mountain Rescue Hut in the reeks before making their way back to the start point. A much appreciated day out. Well done Tom.

The B group were with John Walsh in the Comeraghs. Their circular hike took the 14 strong from the Nire Valley car park in a south easterly direction to the five lakes. In half an hour they were at the Sgilloges, from where they traversed the ridge to the lakes further on around Coumfea before circling around to make their way back. Excellent weather conditions ensured maximum enjoyment of this lovely four plus hours of lake hopping. Thank you John.

For scenic beauty however, the C group had it all as over 20 wended their way through the rhodedendrons from Clogheen to the Vee and the beautiful Bayloch. This is Ted Clark’s favourite walk and it did him proud with abundant displays of blooms all around reflected in the calm, clear waters of the lake. Here the group enjoyed a restful, contemplative break before taking their leave of this seasonal jewel for another year? Thanks to Ted and his family for this and welcome too to the new members of the day. 

Next weeks Walks: Sunday 14/06. The A group will meet in Kilbehenny village at 10am for 5hrs on open mountain with Joe Brown. Paddy Burke will take the B group for 4hrs in the Comeraghs.. Meet at Woodies , Poppyfield car park, Clonmel at 10am. Wed 17/06 Meet at Clydagh Bridge, Aherlow at 7pm for a 3 hr climb to Cush mountain & Lake Boreen with Paddy.

Notice: The great Galtee Challenge takes place on 28th June. Be prepared for this 10 hour crossing of the entire Galtee Ridge. Registration is at 8am in Anglesborough for a 9am start in Cahir. Contact Owen 087 2273562 or Pat 0879704404.

June 14, 2009

Wednesday evening walks continue to draw large numbers of enthusiasts and weather conditions have been excellent thus far. The midges too seem less aggressive than in previous years! Repellents are however always a good idea. Willie Ryan led a glorious outing to Temple Hill last week with the whole 30+ group taking on this tough mountain from the Coombaun Wood side. Happily for our newer walkers, they were able to take a less challenging detour through the woods, skirting the mountain from half way up with Sheila Lennihan, while the more seasoned walkers proceeded on upwards to the summit. This mountain offers spectacular views even at lower levels of the Ballyhoura range and North Cork and across the Galtees and into North Tipperary from the summit. A very special outing. Thanks to Willie and Sheila.

Paddy Burke led the Sunday B walk in the Comeraghs. 22 walkers started their climb from Glenpatrick in excellent conditions, proceeding  up and onto Knocksheegowna and a welcome lunch break. Then it was onwards again and up to the summit of Knockanaffrin where stunning views were enjoyed of West Waterford, the Galtees and Knockmealdowns.  From here they dropped down to Lake Mohra, spotting a hare on the way, and making their way back to Glenpatrick. Well done Paddy.

Also Joe Brown was out for five hours on open mountain with 11 walkers from the A group. Their route was in the Pigeon Glen/Temple Hill area. Report outstanding. 

Next weeks walks: Sunday 21/06 For the mystic in you, the special Solstice walk meets at Cush car park at 3.30am to greet the sun rise in the Galtees! Contact Willie Ryan 086 8314443. A walk for the B group will meet at Baylough car park, the Vee, at 10am for 4hrs of forest path walks with Brendan Shields.

Wed 24/06 Meet Catherine at Rossadrehid Village at 7pm for 3hrs climb of Knockastukeen.

Notice: Sunday walks end here. The grand finale is the Galtee Challenge on Sunday 28th , Cahir to Anglesborough. Register in Anglesborough at 8am. Contact Owen 087 2273562 or Pat 062 33374

A night at the Races for festival stewards is on Thursday 25th. Contact Danny 086 1316995 or Breda  062 33374

June 21, 2009

The Summer Solstice walk exceeded all expectations with over 40 people out of their beds for a 3.30am start! A pilgrimage atmosphere prevailed as the quietened figures emerged from their cars and assembled in the balmy night air of Cush car park. The lights were on in the O’Neill caravan and William was out and about taking command of the situation. Lost and late comers were rounded up and finally the group took off up the trail to Cush mountain. Lamps were soon extinguished, as eyes adjusted to the perpetual near light of midsummer and spirits rose in anticipation as they climbed up, embracing the fresh early morning breeze. But mother nature had other plans and as they neared the summit the mist came down enveloping all in a shroud of grey. Dawn broke but sadly, the solstice sunrise had to be left to the imagination! As William said, the sunset would certainly be visible in Hawaii at exactly that time! But all was not lost and the event was truly celebrated when Rody produced a bottle of champers from his rucksack! Now that’s imagination for you but it can make a descent of Cush a bit precarious, as our sweeper would verify! But a great occasion all round and something to remember forever. Many thanks to William for fielding the event and to Mary for her support and hospitality at the base.

The B group were also out on Sunday taking in the Rhodedendrons around the Vee with Brendan Shiels. 16 people joined this 4+hr forest path and open mountain trek, setting out from Baylough in misty conditions and making an ascent of a cool and breezy Knockshanahullion. Here they paused for some lunch.Weather conditions improved as they made their way back along the Avondhue Way and down to the Balough car park.Well done Brendan. Thanks too to Paddy Burke for leading a successful Wednesday evening walk to Cush and Lake Borheen.   

Next weeks Walks: Sunday 28/06. The end of season challenge is upon us! The annual Galtee Crossing will start at 9am in Cahir and will traverse the entire ridge over approx 10 hours, ending in Angelsborough. Registration is in Anglesborough from 8am. Best of luck to all for the day. To discuss please contact Owen 087 2273562 or Pat 062 333374.

Wed 24/06 Meet in Rossadrehid Village at 7pm for 3hrs to Knocknastukeen with Catherine.

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June 29, 2009

After months of preparations the day had finally arrived when the Galtee Walking club hosted it's 5th crossing of the entire Galtee ridge. Sunday morning 28th June saw Anglesboro village alive with activity as Breda and Josephine busily signed in our largest group to date to take on this challenge. A record number of 73 assembled in very promising conditions and kitted themselves out for all weather conditions that the day ahead might offer. Four busloads then headed over to the mountain road in Cahir the starting point for this years challenge. After some brief instructions from Owen the entire group proceeded along the forest track leading out on to Bane mountain.This year the decision was taken to offer those looking for an extra challenge the opportunity to do so and go ahead of the main group and self navigate accross the ridge. Many thanks to Tom, Paul and Willie and others from our club who took command of this 27 strong group as the headed over the fence and relished the challenge ahead. The bigger group of 46 led by Owen and facilitated by Pat, Rody and Thos then set off in high spirits nicely cooled by the falling mist. Onwards and upwards through the heather and stoney terrain of Bane and other points leading up to Sturakeen mountain. Unfortunately the weather conditions deteriorated with the increase in altitude and before long the rain gear was being donned and the sunscreen's work was done for the day.The crossing rapidly became a mighty challenge as the group pressed on in rain, hail and foggy conditions for Farbreaga (724m), Greenane (802m) and the shelter of O Loughlins Castle where lunch was had. Many thanks to Paddy, Margaret and Mary who met the group at this point and offered a safe route off the mountain from the base of Galtybeg to the Black road. Also thanks to Catherine for her help in facilitating a descent at this point via the Geesha steps to the northern side of the mountain. In worsening conditions the army marched on and conquered Galtybeg (799m), Galtymore (919m), Carrignabinnia (822m), Lyracappul (825m) and finally Temple Hill (785m). Unfortunately breaks were short and visibility very poor as the inclement conditions prevailed throughout.
Nevertheless spirits were high and the sense of achievement overwhelming as the mighty group descended to Anglesboro to be greeted by our lady piper and well wishers who cheered them on the final leg of the journey. Warm and welcoming showers were available in Aherlow, thanks again to the great organisation of the Ryan clan, before the final events of the day began. Then it was time to sit back relax and enjoy the beautiful food and hospitality laid on by Fergal Purcell and his staff at Aherlow House Hotel. The club wishes to extend its thanks to Fergal for his kindness and generosity to all. Then the high point of the evening when Owen presented certificates and thermal gloves with Galtee Challenge 2009 imprinted on them as a lasting reminder of the event to the walkers. Finally after the presentations it was the turn of our chairman Danny Bailey to address the group and convey his great thanks and appreciation to all involved in ensuring that this event went off so well and to welcome all walkers new and old to our club. Much appreciation to Pat, Owen and Breda whose dedication and hard work is of continuous benefit to the club and it's members, also a big thanks to all those who helped in any way to make sure this was an enjoyable and most importantly a safe day for all.
Sunday walks are now finished until September, our Wednesday evening walks continue until the end of August, please come and join in at 7pm - for full walk schedule see www.galteewalkingclub.ie. Best of luck and happy walking to those travelling off to Wicklow with Thos next weekend and to the Lake District in August with Pat, Breda and Catherine.

July 12, 2009

On the weekend 3rd - 5th July our club headed off to Co.Wicklow to sample the heights and sights of this most beautiful area. Laragh village was the meeting point for our 26 members with accomodation organised in Lynams Hotel. A group of friends from Landsdowne joined also as the walkers assembled at Glenmalure on Saturday morning. 29 A walkers and 10 B walkers set off in very showery conditions. The ascent of Lugnaquilla began via the zig zag track with the showers persisting until just before the summit was reached. Thanks to the most welcome bright conditions wonderful views off Leinsters highest peak were captured on camera and lunch was enjoyed in glorious sunshine. The descent brought them down to the track and back to the hotel to partake in the evening's entertainment. Fine food and a sing song finished off this great day, a big thank you for the hospitality and service to the staff of Lynams. 

On Sunday morning the group visited the ancient monastic settlement and round tower in Glendalough. They also visited St. Kevin's church and in keeping with tradition formed a circle around the tower. Again the weather conditions were showery but spirits were high as the group dispersed and struck out for home. A very big thank you to Thos for organising this most interesting and enjoyable weekend with great walking and plenty history thrown in.

Our Wednesday evening walks are going strong despite the wet conditions of late and as always new members are most welcome. Next Wednesday 22nd July, meet at Clydagh Bridge at 7pm for a 3 hr forest track and mountain walk with leader Rody Tierney  062 51775 .

July 27, 2009

You couldn’t exactly call it walking weather, or any kind of weather, other than what the toss of a coin may bring. And that’s the spirit that prevails on the hills this Summer. You take the tee shirt and the shorts and you stuff the all weather gear in your nap sack and you go. But we’ve had some lovely Wednesday evening walks, getting home dry  for the most part., notably the lovely outing to Lake Muskry with Mary O’Dwyer and the trip around the foothills of Cush mountain with Rody. We’ve had 30 – 40 people turn out for these evening walks with many new members, including a welcome addition of younger age groups, who bring new energy and  enthusiasm to the club. Great to see.  It being the silly season, last Sunday saw an ad hoc outing of over 30 club members join Rody for a ‘walking for softies’ southerly climb of Galtee Mor via the Black Road. This was a unique opportunity for many walkers to access Galtee Mor for the first time and at a leisurely pace. There was great enthusiasm all round especially from our youngest participant, 10 year old Jake, who scaled the heights for the first time. Unfortunately, weather conditions meant that we didn’t quite make the top and touch the cross but we were within 100 meters of it! Everyone got pretty wet but nevertheless enjoyed the challenge and the great mountain vistas in the dry intervals in between. Many thanks to Rody for this special opportunity  to sample the higher peaks.

Forthcoming walks: Wed 5/08 meet at Texaco garage, Cahir for three hours of forest track with Ann O’Donnell. The walks get shorter from here on in with only three Wed evening walks left.

The committee are already busy tooling up the Autumn schedules and there will be a fixtures meeting to this end on Thursday 13th Aug at 8pm at the Excel in Tipp Town. All suggestions for new walks greatly received. Contact chairman Danny 086 1316995.   

Our AGM will also be held at the same venue on Oct  8. All Galtee Club members are encouraged to attend.

The trip to the Lake District is coming up on 21 Aug. Contact Breda  062 33374.

August 9, 2009

The lengthy Summer days are slipping quickly by and luckily weather conditions have been favourable for our Wednesday evening outings of late. These evening walks have proven to be most popular with numbers in the 35 - 45 range out each week. It's truly great to see so many newcomers joining the club and many thanks to all our leaders who have facilitated these walks since last April.

On Wednesday evening 5th August Anne O'Donnell led out 37 walkers from the mountain road in Cahir, through forest paths and on to the summit of Bane mountain. A wonderful outing with plenty variety taking in the forest bicycle track and open mountain. The mountain ash in all its glory added a great splash of colour against a backdrop of leafy forest fern. Some lucky walkers were quick enough to catch glimpses of some deer in the distance also. Many thanks Anne and also to Anthony for his assistance.

There are 2 more Wednesday evening walks left this year - 19/8 Willie Kavanagh  087 6790310  will lead a 2 hour walk from Rock an Thorabh Car park and 26/8 Breda Ryan  062 33374  will lead a 2 hour walk from Christ the King Statue. Both walks will commence at 7pm and will be on forest paths.

This Thursday evening the committee will hold a fixtures meeting in the Excel, Tipperary at 8pm. A, B and C Sunday walks for the period September to December '09 will be scheduled. Anyone interested in leading a walk please contact any committee member before Thursday, new walks and new leaders most welcome.

Finally, safe travelling and happy walking to all our friends heading off to the Lake district in England in the very capable hands of Breda Ryan and Catherine Russell on 21st Aug.

August 16, 2009

As the evenings begin to draw in, so our Wednesday evening walks will draw to a close. We are sad to see them go and will miss those great invigorating end of day hikes which drew so many new members to our club. We hope you will join us again for our Sunday morning walks which will start in September. A special thanks to Josephine Tierney, our hard working treasurer, for leading last weeks walk through Bansha Woods. In mild, dry conditions over 30 people looped their way through forest paths and bridleways, taking in the Millenium stone and fine views of Tipperary Town. Noticeable too were the burnished leaf tips of the beech, a salutary reminder of the endless cycle of the seasons. But you could be forgiven for wondering if there are any seasons anymore! And Willie Kavanagh, who led last night’s penultimate walk of the season across Slievenamuck, would surely have some comment to make on that. Thanks to all our leaders and members for a thoroughly enjoyable season of walks.

Behind the scenes, our chairman, Danny and the committee have been busy tooling up the autumn/winter schedule of Sunday walks. These will be posted out to members in the coming weeks. Please note that due to the welcome growth in membership and consequent postal costs, this will be the last time that we will post out individual schedules of walks. From the new year, we courteously request that members access these online unless for some reason they do not have access to the internet. We would also appreciate your comments on our new notice board on the site.

And please come along to our AGM on Oct 8th at 8pm at the Excel in Tipperary town and give us your views.

Our last wed evening walk 26/08 will be with Breda Ryan and meets at Christ the King at 7pm for a two hour round of Slievenamuck. We hope you will all be around to start the Sunday walks with us on 5th

August 30, 2009

During the weekend of 21st - 24th August  21 club members set off for the Lake District in England. Flights were from Cork to Manchester and onwards by road to the beautiful town of Keswick where the group based themselves for the weekend in B&B accommodation. On Saturday 22nd all 21 walkers assembled at 10.30 am at Seath Waite from where they commenced their ascent of England's highest mountain Scafell Pike. They followed the river to Stockley Bridge and onwards to Eskhause Saddle. They then picked up the track between Ill Crag and Broad Crag and enjoyed lunch there at 1 pm in wonderful clear conditions before tackling the final leg of the ascent of Scafell Pike. Standing at 978m the group marvelled at the views in all directions and snapped up some great photos as a reminder of their great achievement. They made their descent via the corridor route to Sty Head Tarn (lake). At this point some of the group decided to take on the further challenge of the Great Gable at 899m before descending via Base Brown to the river and back to Seath Waite. Feeling invigorated after this wonderful outing and with a great sense of achievement the group tucked in to some great food in a local restaurant and retired for the evening well satisfied.

Weather conditions on Sunday 23rd were regrettably wet and miserable so a smaller group of walkers met at Glen Ridding and followed the river up to Red Tarn (lake) past the slate mines. Some walkers returned from this point and others treked on to Swirrll Ledge and Helvellin at 949m. Conditions were nasty and the going tough as they returned via Lower Man to the slate mine. Here they accepted an invitation to tea from Jon Jale and contributed to his survey on mountain clothing and equipment. Those who didn't take to the mountains enjoyed the sights and shopping in Keswick, some took a boat trip and for the Beatrix Potter fans there was a visit to one of her farms. Another great day rounded off with some fine fare and a surprise cake for Pat and Breda. They wish to sincerely thank those who arranged this, it was really appreciated. A truly great trip away, many thanks to Pat and Breda and also to Tom and Catherine for all their help.

Last Wednesday 26th August Breda led our final evening walk of the season from Christ the King statue. A record number of 52 walkers turned up for a lively 2 hour forest path walk taking in the Rock an Thorabh. What a great finish to our Wednesday walks which have been strongly supported each week since April 15th last. Many thanks to Breda and indeed to all our leaders and members who facilitated these walks and a warm welcome to all our new members that have come on board over the last few months. Hopefully we will see you out on our Sunday walks which kick off next Sunday 6th September. Rita Mooney will lead a walk to Lake Curragh, meeting point clydagh Bridge at 10 am. Also there will be a climb to Lake Muskry, meeting point Rossadrehid Post office at 11am. The full shedule of A, B and C walks for the September  - December '09 will be out in the post to all members over the next week.

September 6, 2009

Our Autumn/Winter '09 schedule got off to a wet and windy start last Sunday when 28 walkers met at Clydagh Bridge for a hike to Lake Curragh in the Galtee mountains with leader Rita Mooney. The rain started to fall as the group headed up to Cush car park and along the forest path via Saunders Lodge. From the forest path they headed over the stile and out onto the mountain as the conditions deteriorated. After reaching the top of the grassy knoll the decision was taken to abandon the original route planned and head back down to the lower barrier and on to the more sheltered Cush track. A big thank you to Danny for his help in navigating and to Rita for successfully completing this 6 mile track loop and getting her group back in safety to Clydagh in just over 3 hours. A challenging start to our Sunday walks, fingers crossed for more favourable conditions ahead. Due to the weather conditions our C walk to Lake Muskry was called off, hopefully the weather will oblige for our next visit on 1st November!

Forthcoming Fixtures: Next Sunday 13th September the A walk will meet at Ballydavid Hostel off the Rossadrehid road at 10 am for a 5 hour trek from Ballydavid to Glengarra Woods with leader Thomas O Neill 086 2656548. The B walk will meet at Grubbs Monument, The Vee at 10 am for a 3.5 - 4 hour walk in the Knockmealdown mountains with leaders Anthony O Brien 087 2737072 and Maurice Casey 086 8096137.

September 13, 2009

After the wind and rain of the week before, conditions for walking couldn't have been more different last Sunday. Glorious warm sunshine was enjoyed by everyone who turned out for the two club walks.
Thos O Neill led our first hostel-to-hostel walk from Ballydavid woods, over the mountain to Glengarra Woods. 22 walkers, including two 15 year olds, joined him at Ballydavid youth hostel from where they were bussed by Breda Brown to Glengarra woods. From here they followed the Burncourt River up through the woods to Glengarra youth hostel and onto open mountain. Walking east, they stopped for refreshments at the stone pillar, and then went to explore a derelict farmhouse. Does anyone know who formerly inhabited this humble abode? Then it was onwards and upwards to cairn 382 , bearing due west to lunch by a meandering stream. A long, arduous climb in the afternoon heat followed to 631 and onwards to 597 where luckily they were able to enjoy some cool clear water from supplies laid down from the previous festival walks.
Under cloudless skies, great views were had all around of the Galtees, Fearbreaga and Grennane with the M8 standing out in sharp contrast. Their descent took them down onto Sturakeen and onto the track, which took them past the mast and down to Ballydavid hostel. A great achievement. Thanks to Thos and to Tom Lyons and Ann O Donnell for all their help.
The B group of 19 walkers with leaders Anthony and Mossy completed a most enjoyable trek starting at The Vee, traversing the high peaks of the Knockmealdown range and finishing at Mount Mellary monastery. The toughest part of this walk came at the very start as the group climbed up past Grubb's monument and on to the summit of Sugarloaf Hill. From there they followed the wall marking the county boundary to the highest point in the range, Knockmealdown at 794 metres, stopping for a quick lunch break on the way. A stop at the top was also essential to take in the wonderful views in all directions. From the Galtees to the northwest to Slievenamon and the Comeraghs rising from the mist in the east to Dungarvan Bay and the Blackwater River towards the south, everywhere was looking it's best in the sunshine.
After a steep descent, Anthony and Mossy had a surprise for the group as they led alongside a stream, which appears to flow uphill. The church bell was ringing as the walkers approached the monastery through the woods and along the path by the lily ponds. Arriving at Mellary, tea and cakes were enjoyed by all the group at the restaurant before taking the waiting cars back to the Vee. Many thanks to Anthony, Mossy and also Sean for all their work and the stories along the way.
Next Sunday, 20th September, A walkers will meet at Lidl car park in Tipperary town at 10am for a 5-hour walk along the Multeen Way with Mike Moroney (087)9267948. The B group will meet at the Square in Cappawhite at 10:30am and will also take to the Multeen Way for 3.5 to 4 hours with Pat Butler (087)8305744. Bridgit Flynn (087)9880437 will take C walkers up Slievenamon for a 2+ hour trek meeting in Kilcash village at 11am.

September 21, 2009

Another lovely sunny day greeted our Sunday walkers as all three groups set forth for the hills. The A and B walkers were in the Cappawhite/Holyford area while the C group took on a climb of Slievenamon. Mike Moroney led 18 walkers on a combined Galtee/Ballyhoura Bear trek along a 27+ km stretch of the Multeen Way. This 6hr moderately paced walk started from Milestone Cross, extending south through a variety of terrain of road and forest track, passed the wind turbines in Toureen and crossing over the river at Losset where a variety of walks intersect, to enjoy a welcome lunch break. Then bypassing Holyford, the trail led them up onto Red Hill and the expansive crystal clear views of all the Munster mountain ranges. After this came a welcome ice cream break in Cappawhite before heading along the river bank to Greenfield and finishing up in Donohill. It was a very special and convivial joint outing for both clubs where the match of the day was carefully analysed, stories were told and songs were sung and Willie and Mary shared their recent experiences in far flung Kilimanjaro. Well done to them! Chairman Danny thanked all for their help and cooperation and expressed his hope that this may become an annual fixture.
The B group also undertook a shorter walk in the same area, starting from Cappawhite to do a round of Red Hill. A special thanks to Eddie McGrath for stepping in at the last minute to lead this walk.
Also on Sunday, Bridgit Flynn and Ann provided the C group with a most memorable hike of Slievenamon. 17 people turned up to enjoy this mountain in exceptionally bright and clear conditions. The views from the summit were spectacular all around, from the sea in Dungarvan, to Kilkenny and all across the Knockmealdowns to the Galtees in the distance. Truly breathtaking. There was much lingering and gazing on the way down with the group determined to enjoy what must inevitably be the last of the Summer wine. Thank you Bridgit and Ann.
The A group will meet in Kilbehenny village at 10am for 5 hrs in the Blackrock valley region with Joe Brown.Catherine Russell will meet the B group in Rossadrehid Waterworks at 10am for four hours to Knocknastukeen.
Notice: Don’t forget the AGM for all members will be held on 8 Oct at 8pm at the excel in Tipperary Town.
Next Sunday, 20th September, A walkers will meet at Lidl car park in Tipperary town at 10am for a 5-hour walk along the Multeen Way with Mike Moroney (087)9267948. The B group will meet at the Square in Cappawhite at 10:30am and will also take to the Multeen Way for 3.5 to 4 hours with Pat Butler (087)8305744. Bridgit Flynn (087)9880437 will take C walkers up Slievenamon for a 2+ hour trek meeting in Kilcash village at 11am.

September 28, 2009

Our lovely Autumnal hikes continued on Sunday with the A walkers out and about with Joe in the lovely Blackrock valley. The meeting point for this southerly, loop ascent of the Galtees was Kilbehenny village from where the nine walkers made their way to the Galtee Castle car park. Then it was off in the direction of the Blackrock river and up, past the sheep pen to the summit of a mist enshrouded Knockaterriff. Descending to the coll, they then commenced  the arduous hike up onto an equally misty Lyracappul and a welcome lunch break. Joe’s navigation skills, using his trusty map and compass were essential to get the group safely down and over onto Bengower.  Then began their long, steep descent homewards, crossing over the river to take a restful break and enjoy the sun in a peaceful oasis of sheltering trees and deserted farm dwellings.They reached the car park in approx six hours, well stretched and invigorated. Thanks to Joe for this much appreciated outing.
Closer to home, Catherine led a group of  19 B walkers  on a  4 hr forest track and climb of  Knocknastukeen. In mild but overcast conditions, they took the path from Rossadrehid up past the waterworks to begin their ascent of Knocknastukeen. Visibility was poor to start with but improved as the reached the summit when the surrounding peaks and lakes emerged from the mist. Their path down took them in an easterly direction towards the ridge behind Lake Muskry where lunch was enjoyed and photos of Muskry and Fir Breaga taken. The return journey took some of the group along by the lake and onto the path while others choose the river route back to the cars. Thanks to Catherine for 4 enjoyable hours trek and to Paddy and Anne for navigational backup.
Next weeks walks:
Important notice: We regret that due to special circumstances, the A walk to Kerry for Sunday 4/10 has been cancelled. The B walk will go ahead when Mary Ryan will lead the lovely Dolmen Loop walk from Lisvernane Village. Meet 10am in the village. The C group will also be out for a 2+ walk with Una on the Old Deer Path, meeting at 11am at the Ballydavid Hostel (off the Rossadrehid Road)

October 4, 2009

Last Sunday 4th October saw great numbers out on our B and C walks on our lovely local woodland tracks - nice to join in in the spirit of National Trails Day. Our B group of 31 walkers led by Mary Ryan met in the picturesque village of Lisvernane and headed off on the forest track from the village, on to the Ballyhoura Way and on to Monour mountain and the summit of Slieve na Muck. Lunchbreak was had at the Megalitic Tomb where the group marvelled at the crystal clear views of the Galtee mountains, the Ballyhoura's and Slieve Felim. After such an enjoyable break they headed off on the final leg of the circuit arriving back in Lisvernane to the hospitality of the Moroney family who provided refreshments to all. Many thanks Mary for this most enjoyable circuit and to the Moroney's for their welcome and generosity.

Our C walkers under the leadership of Una Phelan met at Ballydavid Hostel just off the Rossadrehid road. This group of 9 headed off from the hostel on the track towards Toureen Woods, up the Deer Path and into Cappa woods. Lunch was had beside the tumbling waters of the waterfall and the wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and beyond to the Rock of Cashel and the Devils Bit were enjoyed by all. A big welcome to our 2 new young walkers who enjoyed the day and will hopefully join us again some day. This lovely 3 hour circuit brought the group back to the youth hostel, many thanks Una for this well organised and most enjoyable outing.

Forthcoming Fixtures: Next Sunday 11th October the A walk will meet in Kilbehenny Village at 10am for a 5 - 6 hr trek to Lyracapall and Temple Hill with leaders Ann Donohoe   087 6989479 and Una Hayes   086 3669829  . The B Walk will meet at the Grubbs monument, The Vee at 10am for a 4 hr walk on mountain track with leader Paddy Burke. 

Please note the club's AGM will be held Thurs 8th Oct. at 8pm in the Excel, Tipperary town. All welcome, please come along and why not sign up for another great year.

October 11, 2009

On Sunday last 11th October our A and B groups were out on the Galtee and Knockmealdown mountains. The A group of 7 led by Anne Donohoe and Una Hayes assembled in Kilbehenny village and drove on to their starting point on the southern side of the Galtees. In very misty and foggy conditions they commenced their ascent of the southern face of Temple hill and navigated upwards for the summit in very poor visibility. From the summit of Temple hill they proceeded for the peak of Lyracappul and down the saddle towards the zig zag path where the conditions cleared and the final leg of the journey was enjoyed in lovely warm sunshine with wonderful views emerging from the mist. An invigorating 5.5 hour trip in challenging conditions - a big thank you to Anne and Una whose navigational skills were certainly required and indeed evident on the day.
Paddy Burke had 10 out on his B walk in the Knockmealdown mountains. Again the mist and fog was dominant as they started off from Baylough car park in the Vee and headed up the county boundary and up to the summit of Knockshanahullion. Paddy's keen navigational skills were more than welcome as he safely guided his group along to their lunch point at the cairn before heading in a southerly direction on the Avondhu Way. As the weather began to oblige the clear conditions afforded wonderful views off towards the Waterford coastline. In high spirits the group (with an age span of over 60 years I must say) made their return to Baylough completing the loop in 4 hours. Well done and many thanks as always to Paddy.
Our AGM was held last Thursday 8th, congratulations and welcome to our newly elected officers and committee members for 2009/2010. Best wishes for another great and safe year of walking.
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday 18th October the A walk with leader Paul Ryan  087 2230896  will meet at 10am in Rossadrehid for a 5 - 6 hr walk in the Galtees. The B walk with leader Kevin O Sullivan  061 384749  will meet at 10am at Clydagh bridge for a trip to Cush mountain and Lake Boheen in the Galtees.The C walk with leader David Stapleton  086 8756487  will meet at 11am in Woodies car park, Clonmel for a 2hr walk to the Clonmel Cross.
Social Diary: Please note the Christmas night out for the club is booked for Fri 11th December in Aherlow House Hotel, please contact Breda Ryan  062 33374  for further information.

October 18, 2009

On Sunday last 18th October our A, B and C groups were out on the northern slopes of the Galtee mountains and at the Holy Year Cross in Clonmel. The 6 A walkers assembled at Rossadrehid waterworks and headed out on the forest path that leads to Lough Muskry, crossed over the river and headed in an easterly direction to reach their first peak of the circuit - Fear Bréige (724m). In misty, overcast conditions they proceeded for the peak of Greenane (802m) and to the very popular lunch venue of O'Loughlin's Castle. After a short break for refreshments they headed west for the peak of Galtybeg (799m), made their descent on the northern side of this peak and ascended the final peak of Cush ((639m). They then dropped down to the forest line and picked up the forest track back to the water tanks in Rossadrehid. An invigorating 16Km circuit completed in 4 hrs 45 mins. Many thanks Paul and also to Tom Lyons whose great knowledge of this area recorded in Paul's GPS was certainly most useful on the day.
Kevin O Sullivan had 14 out in his B group which met at Clydagh Bridge and headed up Glencoshabinnia and over the style leading via the forest line to the base of Cush mountain. At a steady pace and in reasonable visibility they ascended Cush (639m) and descended in a southerly direction to Lough Borheen. Lunch was enjoyed by the peaceful surrounds of the lake before heading off towards the base of Cush to pick up the forest track leading back to Cush carpark. A most enjoyable outing completed in just over 4 hrs, a big thank you to Kevin for this well organised circuit.
David Stapleton had 9 out in his C group which met at Woodie's car-park in Clonmel from where they took a 10 minute drive to a forestry entrance at Cannon Hill wood.  They walked through forest tracks and then open hillside, passing a ruined farmhouse before reaching the Holy Year Cross from the back. Lunch was enjoyed at the cross and I'm sure David produced his camera to capture some shots of the group with a backdrop of Clonmel town. Much to the delight of the walkers they caught sight of a deer crossing their path on the return to the cars. A most enjoyable 2.5 hr ciruit, always nice to visit a new area, many thanks David.
Forthcoming Fixtures: Next Sunday 25th October the A group with leader Pat Ryan  062 33374  will meet at Grubbs monument, the Vee at 10am for a 5 - 6 hr climb in the Knockmealdowns. The B group with leader Amelia Ryan  087 9947256  will meet at Newport church at 10am for a 4hr climb of Keeper Hill.
Social Diary: Please note the club's Christmas party night is booked for 11th December in Aherlow house. Why not swop the walking boots for the dancing shoes and join us for a great night of fun, for more information please contact Breda Ryan 062 33374.

October 26, 2009

Intermittent rain and spells of sunshine were the order of the day on Sunday when Pat Ryan led his band of eight ‘A’ walkers across the Knockmealdowns on a 14km hike. This fast paced route took them up from Grubbs monument , over the Sugar Loaf and Knockmealdown and over to the elbow where they dropped down to the lakes. Then it was up again and onto the saddle and the Sugarloaf from where they made their way back to the cars. They were pleased to welcome two new members, Aidan and Hilary and we hope they will be back to enjoy more of our hikes in the Galtees. Thank you Pat.
Also out on Sunday were the B walkers who went further afield with Amelia to Keeper Hill.16 walkers turned out and made it to the top of this highest of the Silvermine range. Sadly, misty and wet conditions made for poor visibility but lunch was still enjoyed when they reached the mast and they were also able to appreciate the wonderful display of autumnal colours, especially the beach, on the way down. Well done to all and thanks to Amelia for this special away day.
Next weeks walks: Sunday 1/11/09. The A group will meet in Newcastle car park at 9am for six hours in the Knockmealdowns with John Murphy. The B group will meet with Josephine Tierney in Rossadrehid Village at 10am for a trek to Lake Muskry.
The C group will also be out with Margaret Magner, meeting at Rock an Thorabh car park at 11am for a 2+ ridge walk.
Notes: The Club Christmas party is now open for booking and will take place 11 Dec at Aherlow House. Please contact Breda 086 394 6048.

November 1, 2009

Well the season of darkness is upon us and the best remedy is to make use of the daylight and get out onto the hills. Which is what our walkers did last weekend, when, after Saturday night’s deluge, 17 (B) walkers took off up to Muskry Lake with Josephine. And it was sunshine all the way! They did however have to take extra care in crossing the swollen stream on the approach to Muskry and sticks were essential for safe navigation. And from on high, the flooded glen below was in full view where the Aherlow had burst its banks. On the way back, they detoured leftwards, taking a parallel path back down to the cars, getting home dry before the next cloud burst. Lucky trekkers! Thank you Josephine and helper Rody.
The C group were on Slievenamuck Ridge for a team led walk. In full rain gear and expecting the worst, a band of nine met at Rock an Thorabh for a two and a half hour circular route around by the mass rock and up onto the high point of Slievenamuck. Luckily, glorious sunshine prevailed and it being All Hallows, they detoured here to visit the Shrough Dolmen and salute the Celtic New Year. Fine views were had all around, arched by a magical rainbow display set off against the flooded plains below. A sight to remember. The paths were dry on the higher levels but a skip and a jump were the order of the day to get through some of the puddles at the lower levels. Fortunately, after a brisk return journey, they arrived back to the cars just as the skies opened. It made it all the more worthwhile! A great team effort, thanks to Una, Mo, Willie, Eddie and David.
Next weeks walks:8/11 The A group will meet with Willie Ryan in Kilfinane village at 10am for 5hrs on the Ballyhoura Way. Also at 10am, the B group meet with Thos at the Lady Gregory pub near Bansha (N24) for 4 hrs on the Bane mountain. So don’t let the dark get to you. Get out and make the best of it.

November 8, 2009

Sunday was surely a day to remember for all hill walkers when Saturdays deluge gave way to blue skies and sunshine all the way. It certainly put a smile on our leaders’ faces, Willie and Thos, as they set out for the hills. Willie Ryan was out with nine A walkers in Ballyhoura country. Meeting his band in Killfinane, they journeying south to Darragh Bridge, where they commenced their ascent of Castle Gale. From here, they enjoyed fine views of Kildorrery and north Cork as well as the flooded plains below. Dropping down from here by the swollen banks of the Molanna river, they headed back towards Ballyorgan village. Then it was autumn leaves all around as they trekked homewards through Magners Wood, past Reas Hill and into Glenroe Village and back to the cars. A good five hours outing in excellent weather conditions. Thanks to Willie.
Thos O’Neill was on home terrain ,taking in his nearest local peak,The Bane, which rises up west of Cahir. A lively group of 30 B walkers met at the Lady Gregory and took off up the boreen and into Toureen Woods, home to the best holly in the area! And there was plenty of it around. Weaving their way through the forest until they reached the turntable, they paused to look down with pride at the fertile lands of Kilmoyler. Notable too was the flooded confluence of the Aherlow and Suir rivers. Then it was up through the heather and onto the first peak and over onto the Bane at 449mtrs. Here they enjoyed a rest and lunch in the sun. On their way back they detoured to take in the Toureen waterfall in full force and to pay a visit to the hallowed grounds of the local St. Pecaun before heading back to the cars. Well done all and thanks to Thos. Welcome too to our two new members, Tom and Jackie. The club just keeps on growing!
Next weeks Walks: Sun 15/11. The A group will meet with Rody at Rock an Thorabh car park at 10am for 5 hrs of forest track across Slievenamuc Ridge. The B group will also meet at 10am at Tankerstown School, Tankerstown Cross (off N24 nr Bansha) for a 3+ climb to the mast in Ballydavid Woods with Mary Rose and Mo. Cecelia will also be out with the C group, meeting at 11am also at Tankerstown school for a round of Cappa Woods.
Notice: There will be a fixtures meeting on Thursday 26 Nov at the Excel, Tipperary Town at 8pm. Please come with suggestions for walks for next season. And don’t forget to book your place for the Christmas dinner at the Aherlow House Hotel Fri 11 Dec. Contact Breda Ryan 062 33374

November 15, 2009

Another surprisingly dry Sunday allowed all three groups to get out and back dry, all the better to relish their well earned dinner and match afterwards. Rody took 18 of our A walkers on a lively 5 hr trot across Slievenamuc Ridge. Starting from the Rock an Thorabh car park, they proceeded down past the hotel, bearing right through Ballynacourty Woods and on down towards the silted, debris strewn banks of the Aherlow River. Making their way towards Moor Abbey, they stopped for lunch on that welcome bench before circling around to make the climb up onto the ridge. Conditions were fair, visibility not great and somewhat muddy and wet underfoot, but as Rody said, nothing that a good pair of boots couldn’t handle! Their return route took the north side forest path, past the mast and back to the car park. Rody says thank you to all and especially to the farmers along the way, without whose cooperation such walks would not be possible.
The B group too stayed away from the higher peaks, taking in a 3+hr forest path circuit around Ballydavid Woods. Meeting with Mary Rose and Mo at the hostel car park, 19 members followed the largely dry track upwards to the mast, stopping here and there to admire the surprisingly clear views of the Glen below, but also to allow some startled deer to make it safely across their path and into the woods. Some lovely mountain sheep were out and about too and if it wasn’t for the sound counsel of Paddy, who called us aside, the startled sheep might have found themselves a long way off their grazing grounds! But the true spirit of the club became evident on the way down when they met up with Cecelia and her group of C walkers who were on their outward trek up to the mast. Here there was a chance to exchange greetings and share a few laughs before continuing on their way back down the track to the hostel. A lovely few hours out of doors and a welcome respite from those rainy day blues. Thanks to Mary Rose and Mo.
Cecelia’s C group of a bakers dozen enjoyed a loop walk of Cappa Woods before extending it along the path up towards the mast in Ballydavid and back via the beech track. As is usual with this group, they enjoyed a spirited walk with much banter and great camaraderie all round as well as a hearty lunch which was enjoyed in a sheltered fire break along the way. Appreciation and thanks to Cecelia and her merry band.
Next weeks walks, Sunday 22/11: The A group will meet with Danny Bailey 10am at Clydagh Bridge for the 5 lakes hike in the Galtees. Mary Murphy will meet the B group at 10am at Glenbrohane Church for a 3+hr climb of Slieve Riadh.

November 30, 2009

Defying the conditions our 3 groups of walkers were in action on Sunday last 29th November. Michael Casey led his group of 8 A walkers from Clydagh bridge on to the northern slopes of the Galtee mountains. Luckily the weather had improved, with jut the higher peaks covered with a thick blanket of snow. At a steady pace they proceeded from Glencusabinnia boreen over the sile towards the base of Cush mountain. Skirting around the base of Cush they then crossed over the swollen river and continued in an easterly direction and commenced their ascent of Knocknastukeen. Taking shelter in the cluster of rocks on the summit they had a brief lunch break before descending and treking on for Lough Muskry. From the lake they took the track back via the waterworks and the forest path leading back to Cush car park. An invigorating 5 and 1/2 hour circuit enjoyed by all, many thanks Michael.
The B group of 18 met in Kilfinane village with their leader Brendan Shiels and proceeded for their starting point of Ballynaboola Woods. Their walk to the summit of Carron mountain commenced in foggy conditions but thankfully it had cleared significantly when they reached the summit and so they enjoyed the views from 440m. Lunch was enjoyed by the shelter of the forestry before completing their circuit of 10Km in 3 hours. Brendan wishes to thank PJ O Sullivan for his help in directing the walkers to the starting point and also to welcome a new member Izabela to the club. Thank you Brendan for a well organised and safe outing for all.
The C group had the ideal location in Bansha Woods where they enjoyed a lovely sheltered woodland walk with Mo and her local advisers! 11 energetic members took off up to the monument, extending across the Ballagh Road to take in a mini circuit of  the Aherlow  ridge and to marvel at the steep path leading up to Rock an Thorabh. Noone was tempted! The way back took a parallel track through the woods, joining the original route along the old Scots pine way , (sadly despoiled by rubbish) and back to the car park. Mo says a special thanks to Willie without whom we could never have navigated the intricate network of alternative trails which make up Bansha Woods.  
Forthcoming fixtures: Next Sunday 6th December the A group will meet at 10am at Glengarra Woods (southern side of the Galtees) for a climb on open mountain with leader Tom Lyons  086 3954924 . The B group will meet in Woodies car park, Clonmel at 10am for a 4 hour climb in the Comeragh mountains with leader David Stapleton  086 8756487 . The C group will meet on the Vee road (1 mile from Clogheen) at 11am for a 2 hour walk with Ted Clarke  087 6659697 With just a week to go to our Christmas party, it's time to shine up the dancing shoes and  please contact Breda Ryan 086 3946048 for final details.

December 7, 2009

All three club groups were out on Sunday and in general managed to dodge the showers and get some good walking in. David Stapleton led a band of 14 B walkers on a trek in the Comeraghs. Their start point was Carey’s Castle car park with a visit to Carey’s Castle to start with. From here they followed the Glenary river upwards and onto open hillside. A welcome and seasonal shelter from the showers was provided by a berry laded holly tree, where lunch was also enjoyed. Then it was on to the Holy Cross to take in the expansive views of Clonmel before heading back via Cannon Woods to the car park. Thank you David for something different and to Willie for helping out.
Ted Clark took the C group on his favorite hike to the Vee. This is a delightful meandering sheltered walk which starts outside Clogheen and proceeds upwards along the Avondhue Way to Balough. The odd shower on high ground did not detract from the splendid clear views across the vale to the Galtees. Lingering at the wintry waters of the lake, Ted regaled the group with the associated story of Mary Hannigan or ‘Petticoat Loose’, whose torn underwear was the cause of her banishment from here in bygone years. No such luck for the Galtee women who sat and enjoyed their hot beverages before circling around and dropping down to pick up the Avondhue way again and make for home. Thanks to Ted and family too.
Taking a southern ascent of the Galtees, nine A group walkers joined John Murphy in Glengarra Woods. From here, their route took them up by the hostel to O’Loughlins Castle where they had their pit stop and lunch. Then it was onto Galtee Beag, turning back down via Knockeentoung and through the woods back to the cars. Apart from a hail shower, they managed to complete this 18km trek in relatively benign conditions, getting safely back in good spirits.
Next weeks schedule: The Christmas dinner on Friday 11 will be a chance to leave the walking boots behind and allow our feet free reign to rattle the boards at the Aherlow House Hotel. But for those up for it, the Sunday walks continue as usual with Owen Ryan and the A walkers panning 6 hrs on the high horseshoe in the Galtees. Meet at 10am at Clydagh Bridge. For B walkers, Mary O’Dwyer has planned a 2-3 hr forest track walk in Dundrum woods. Meet 10am at Bishops wood, Dundrum. And to revive some old celtic traditions, you can climb a mountain to celebrate the Winter Solstice on Monday night 21! Meet Mary Murphy at 8pm in Glenbrohane. Bring lamps. The season of light beckons and it can’t come too soon!

December 13, 2009

The wonderfully bright and dry conditions were most welcome on Sunday last 13th December for both A and B walking groups who took to the heights of the Galtee mountains and the forest tracks of Dundrum woods. The A group of 9 with their leader Owen Ryan met at Clydagh bridge and proceeded up the boreen for the Stoney Man, onwards to the grassy knoll and upwards to Slievecushnabinnia. From the height above Lough Curragh they carefully descended down the gully to the lake and circled around it's calm waters. After a short break to enjoy their surroundings they proceeded easterly towards the base of Galteemór and commenced their ascent via a gully leading up to Dawson's table and onwards to the cross on the summit of Galteemór from where they took in the wonderful views from 919 m. After some refreshments they descended in an easterly direction for Galtybeg (799m) and on to the coll beneath. Feeling energetic and encouraged by such favourable conditions Cush mountain beckoned and its summit at 639m offered more fantastic views of the surrounding countryside before they descended for the forest and back to Cush carpark. Many thanks Owen for this great circuit, taking full advantage of one of the best days on offer this winter. In just over 6 hours the group returned to their starting point, well done especially to those having danced the night away on the 11th!
The B group of 24 walkers with their leader Mary O'Dwyer assembled at Bishopswood just outside Dundrum village for their forest track loop through the woods. In high spirits with very welcome dry and sunny conditions they proceeded on the forest track for the Scouts centre and followed the tracks in a figure of 8 loop towards the Annacarty Road. After a short distance on road they entered the woods again and looped back towards the scouts centre and back to the carpark . A big welcome to those who travelled from as far away as Carrick on Suir, Clonmel and Limerick to join this walk and many thanks Mary for a great 3 hour circuit thoroughly enjoyed by all.
As mentioned earlier our Christmas party in Aherlow House Hotel on Friday night was a huge success, with fine food and drink followed by great music and plenty dancing for all. Many thanks to Breda for all her efforts, yet another successful event to your credit. The club also wishes to thank Fergal Purcell and his staff for their hospitality and generosity.
Forthcoming Fixtures: Next Sunday 20th December the B group with leader Willie Kavanagh  062 54151  will meet t 10 am in Bansha Woods for a 3 - 4 hr forest track walk. The C group with leader Jill Baird  087 7030557  will meet at Aherlow House Hotel at 11 am for a 2 hr forest path loop. No A walk next Sunday.

December 20, 2009

Our last walks before Christmas were enjoyed in crisp sunny conditions with Thos and Danny in Bansha Woods and Jill Baird on the Aherlow Loop. It was a day when the landscape of forest and mountain was at its seasonal best, from the frozen leafy trails of the forest floor to the sunlit icy patchwork of the mountain sides set off against their snow capped peaks. Adding to the magic of it all were the intermittent gentle snow flurries which brought it all to life.
Thos and the B group started from Bansha Woods car park and followed the trail through the woods and across the Baylough road, climbing up to Rock an Thorabh and across to Christ the King. From here they circled around, taking the lower road back to their start point.
Jill and the C group did a two hour loop walk starting from Aherlow House Hotel and following the path behind the hotel, they veered right and upwards  to loop around and rejoin the track back to the hotel car park.
Thanks to all our leaders for a perfect pre Christmas treat.
For those who wish to work up an appetite, there is a short walk (2+hrs) on Christmas morning. Meet with Ray Coleman at 10am Christ the King. Then on Dec 27, meet with Danny Bailey at 11am at Aherlow House Hotel for a four hour walk. Best wishes to all our members and friends for a happy and peaceful Christmastime and lots more trekking in 2010.




Galtee Walking Club