News and Walk Reports from 2011

January 2nd, 2011

Last Sunday it was back to business as usual for the Galtee Walking Club after the Christmas period and the big freeze. The A group of 24 met at the Lady Gregory in Kilmoyler with leader Thomas O'Neill for a relatively moderate walk of 5 hours in the Galtees. The planned route had to be reversed due to the presence of deer shooters in the woods so the first target was Bane hill (449 metres) overlooking Cahir. Visibility and weather conditions were good so it was possible to enjoy the views of all the surrounding mountain ranges, particularly the Comeraghs which were capped with snow and lit by a small patch of sunshine. From Bane it was on to Slieveanard with a break for lunch before ascending to point 541 and crossing to Sturrakeen, the final destination of the walk. There was a pleasant surprise for the group here as Rody entertained them with a song about the Tipperary All-Ireland victory. The return trip was on forest tracks through Ballydavid and Toureen completing a loop of over 20km which was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Thos and also to Rody.
There were also 24 walkers on Eddie McGrath's B walk starting from Rock an Thorabh car-park. This was really a walk of two halves with the first two hours spent exploring the Slievenamuck Ridge to the west before returning to the car-park for a lunch break. This gave an opportunity for those who wanted a relatively short walk to finish here while the remainder carried on for another two hours, this time on the forest tracks east of the road in the area of Rock an Thorabh. Thanks to Eddie for an enjoyable start to the New Year.
The traditional Christmas walks also took place in the frosty conditions of the previous weekend with 16 people on Danny Bailey's St. Stephen's Day walk from Aherlow House. This group, which included 6 visitors from Galway and Germany, covered around 20 km in over 4 hours through the variety of forest track in the Aherlow area. Many thanks to Danny and also to Ray Coleman for the 2.5 hour Christmas Morning walk.  
Walks for Sunday next, January 9th: Pat Ryan will meet with the A groub at Grubbs Monument, The Vee,at 10am for 6 hours in the Knockmealdowns. Sheila Lenihan will take the B group up the challenging Temple Hill, meeting at Anglesboro Church at 10am and the C group will meet in the centre of Galbally village at 11am for a gentle climb to the Megalithic Tomb on the top of Duntryleague Hill with leader  Henrietta Kearney.
We wish a Happy New Year to all our members and friends and if anyone is making New Year resolutions to become fitter and more active why not consider becoming a member of the Galtee Walking Club. What better way to get healthy exercise, get to know your local hills and mountains and meet new people.

January 11th, 2011

On Sunday 9th January the roads were dangerous and icy but the hills and mountains were like playgrounds of snow glistening beneath the Winter sun. The A group with their leader Pat Ryan were out in the Knockmealdowns for a 24Km circuit in wonderful bright conditions with plenty soft snow underfoot. The group of 9 set off from Grubb's monument in the Vee and ascended the Sugarloaf before proceeding on for the peaks of Knockmealdown and Knocknagnauv. Then it was time for a well earned lunch break and a chance to absorb the great scenery at the elbow before heading onwards to complete the circuit via Knockmeal, Crohan West and descending to the Liam Lynch monument. The forest track led the way back to the Vee to complete this invigorating 6 hours + trek. Special thanks to all the A walkers who helped out on the day.
The B group of 12 met with their leader Sheila Lenihan in the village of Anglesborough in the foothills of the western slopes of the Galtee mountains. They started off from Combawn Wood and walked through the forest and ascended the spine of Temple Hill. Conditions were just perfect in the snowy surroundings and the bright clear skies capped the most wonderful winter landscape. Having met some of the Ballyhoura walkers and availed of the photographic opportunity the group descended from Temple Hill via the Pinacle. The shrieks of laughter pierced the air as they slid down the slopes of Temple Hill! This great circuit was completed in 4 hours and Sheila wishes to thank those who came out on the icy roads to join her walk. 
The C group of 15 met in Galbally village with their leader Henrietta Kearney. They headed out the Tipperary road  to pick up the new forest track leading up to the Dolmen loop. Enjoying the great conditions they circled around the Dolmen before stopping off for lunch there. The return leg of the circuit was via the fortress and alongside the river. A big welcome to the three new members and thanks to those who travelled long distances to join the walk. A big thank you and well done to Henrietta on leading her first walk with the club.
Forthcoming fixtures: On Sunday next 16th January the A group will meet at 10am in the Rock an Thorabh car park, Glen of Aherlow with leader Rody Tierney to walk part of the marathon route. The B group will meet in Bansha Woods car park, Kilshane at 10am with leader Rita Mooney for a forest track walk.

January 16th, 2011

Last Sunday felt more like an April day than the middle of January and our A and B groups took advantage of the fine weather on the forest tracks between Aherlow and Bansha. Both groups covered roughly the same route but started at opposite ends with their paths crossing on a couple of occasions.
Rody Tierney led the A group of 20 on the eastern half of the Slievenamuck Marathon route. Starting at Rock an Thorabh car park they took the road to Aherlow House Hotel before making their way through the Nature Park to the Statue. Then it was onward at a brisk pace on the southern side of the ridge to reach the halfway point at Bansha Woods car park. Lunch was enjoyed here with the picnic tables proving useful. The return leg of the route was along the northern side passing Rock an Thorabh before returning to the cars. Many thanks to Rody and good luck with the full Marathon in April. Welcome also to new member Niamh from Limerick who picked a good day to start.
The B group of 12, including one new walker, met at Bansha Woods car park with leader Rita Mooney. They made their way on forest tracks to Dawson's Gate, up the narrow path through the woods, across the Ballagh road and on to Christ the King Statue. The beautiful Nature Park was next on the list before emerging at Aherlow House and taking the road to Rock an Thorabh car park. Moving on to the Rock itself the group paused to enjoy the views of Tipp Town and the surrounding countryside, looking good in the Winter sunshine. Then it was on via the Cordangan barrier and back through the woods to the starting point completing a 20km loop in 4 hours. Many thanks to Rita and also to Danny for his valuable assistance.
It's safe to say that anyone who was on either of the walks last Sunday really enjoyed the weather, the wonderful views, the peace in the woodlands and the good company.
Next Sunday's walks: The A group will meet with Mike Moroney at Clydagh Bridge at 10 am for 6 hours in the Galtees. The B group will meet at Bay Lough car park on the Vee Road, also at 10 am, where Brendan Sheils will take them to Knockshanahullion on the western side of the Knockmealdowns. Joan Kavanagh will lead the C group on 2 to 3 hour forest track walk meeting at Bansha Woods car park at 11 am.
Please note also that there is a committee meeting in the Excel Centre Tipperary Town at 8:00pm on Thursday January 20th to prepare for the upcoming Glen of Aherlow Winter Walking Festival which takes place on the weekend of January 29th and 30th.

January 23rd, 2011

The club fielded three walks on Sunday, all well attended and for many their first bout of activity on the hills for 2011.
The C walk was led by Joan Kavanagh. In foggy but dry conditions Joan took 23 walkers on a comfortably paced circular hike through Bansha Woods. Taking the central forest path they climbed up to Ballagh Road and the Millenium Stone. Underground conditions were good and dry with semi frozen mud forming a crunchy top soil in places as they tripped along through the wintry silence of the forest. After a short break, they headed across the road and on to the four cross roads on the ridge where they circled around to make their way back, completing this good humoured walk in two and a half hours. Many thanks to Joan and to Willie for his help and welcome to Eilis from Cashel who had her maiden outing with the club. The group also reported quantities of semi burnt out household rubbish on the Bansha side of the forest behind the millennium stone. The club will shortly have a report sheet available on the website which members can use to report this kind of vandalism.
The A group enticed out 20 enthusiasts and report a unique and delightful experience on the Galtees. Led by the genial Mike Moroney, this hike started out from Clydagh Bridge in foggy conditions but on completing their first ascent to Lake Curra, were surprised and delighted by bright sunshine and clear skies. With renewed energy they took off along the stony path to Slievecushnabinna and from there onto Galtee Mor. Here, though colder, sunny conditions allowed for unique, phantom like views of the fog enshrouded valleys and glens which stretched out below like virtual lakes. Lunch was enjoyed in this magical setting. Then it was on to Galty beag and over to Cush mountain to begin their descent to Clydagh Bridge. The club welcomes the new members on this walk from Limerick, Niamh and Gerry.
The B group were in the Knockmealdowns with Brendan Shiels. In foggy conditions, this 12km walk started at Baylough car park and following the path past the lake , they ascended open mountain to spot height 630m. From here they proceeded to Knockshanahullion where lunch was enjoyed, and some photos taken. Then taking the Avondhue Way, they made their way back to Baylough enjoying some afternoon sun on the way. Thanks to Brendan for a lovely walk and to David for his reliable sweeping.
Next Weeks walks: There are no club walks next weekend as members will be busy helping out with the Winter Walking Festival, The base point is Aherlow House Hotel on Saturday & Sunday. To participate please turn up before 9am for the A walk, 10am for the B walks and 11amfor the C walks. If you are able to help with stewarding on the walks, see the leader on the day and if you are needed, you can enjoy a free walk. See our website for further details.
Information: A committee meeting was held last week to plan for the forthcoming Easter Marathon and the June Galtee Crossing. The meeting was chaired by Tom Lyons and sub committees were set up to organize and manage these events.

February 6th, 2011

After a very successful festival weekend, the club were out again last Sunday on their regular club walks. However, weather conditions being what they were, numbers on all walks were considerably diminished. Willie Ryan led the A walkers on the Ballyhoura trails and luckily, their route was largely wooded, affording a degree of shelter from the elements. Assembling at the Greenwood cycle park, they began a gradual climb to the Seefin trig point and on across to Pigeon Rock. From here they made a welcome descent into the sheltered Glennanair valley and crossing many bridges came to enjoy their lunch break on the banks of the Farahy river. Then it was onwards to the townland of Quitrent and further to the shelter of Coolfree forest, looping their way back to complete this 22km trek in a little over 5hrs. And although rain was the order of the day, it was otherwise mild and with appropriate clothing and the relative shelter of the woodlands, a worthwhile day out was enjoyed by all. Thank you Willie.
George Kehoe who led a band of B walkers, made a wise decision to avoid the designated rain drenched Cush mountain and take to the nature park in Aherlow instead. This small band of walkers emerged from the nature trail and headed off towards Bansha Woods via the Ballagh Road to complete a 4hr circuit back to Aherlow House. A satisfactory walk was salvaged and enjoyed by all with thanks to George.
Jill Baird was the C group leader who ventured out on a two hour loop of the Aherlow trails. Starting from Aherlow House hotel in full rain gear, they entered the ridge at the barrier and followed the trails up and around to exit back at the hotel. Conditions were wet and muddy in places but all were well equipped and not unduly bothered, ending up with a warming bowl of soup at the hotel afterwards. Well done Jill and company.
Next Week’s Walks: Sunday 13/02 John Murphy will meet the A walkers at 10am at Goatenbridge for 6hrs in the Knockmealdowns. Contact John for car pooling 087 2565666. Catherine Russell will lead the B walk. Meet at 10am at Rossadrehid Waterworks for a climb of Knockastakeen, 4hrs.

February 20th, 2011

Strong winds, mist and poor visibility spoiled things a little for last Sunday's walks but at least the rain held off until late in the day. A bonus considering the bad weather forecasts earlier in the week.
Paul Ryan and his group of 9 A walkers met at Clydagh Bridge and headed for Lake Curra with the intention of climbing to the ridge above. However, given the conditions, the sensible decision was made to stay low and instead they travelled in an easterly direction, following the contour of the hill, to visit all the major Galtee Lakes, Curra, Diheen, Borheen and Muskry. The return to the cars was via the Muskry track and forest roads completing the 22km trip in 6 hours. Many thanks to Paul and given the very poor visibility thanks also to all who helped with navigation.
On the other side of the Galtees, again in conditions of poor visibility, Joe Browne led the B walk starting At Galtee Castle car-park. 8 walkers, including two new members from Cork, headed up the Blackrock valley to the base of Lyracappul. The lunch break was enjoyed beside the Blackrock river before the group headed up the zig zag path and over the ridge to the Glounreagh valley. From here it was on by mountain paths and fields to meet the Attychraan river and follow its course back to the starting point completing this 4 hour loop in a beautiful part of the Galtees. Many thanks to Joe.
The C group met with David Stapleton at Woodie's in Clonmel and drove to Carey's Castle car-park for a three hour ramble around Russelstown wood and the Glenary Valley. Taking the forest paths the group of 18 climbed to the highest point on the walk at 383 metres where the hoped for views of the surrounding mountain ranges were sadly obscured by mist. From there it was downhill, taking part of the East Munster Way to meet the Glenary river. Following the river downstream they crossed at the bridge and backtracked to Carey's Castle where they had a friendly encounter with members of the Comeragh Mountaineering Club from Waterford. Thanks to David and welcome to the new members who hopefully enjoyed their first walk with the club.
Walks for Sunday next, 27th February: The A walkers are meeting at Rossadrehid Waterworks at 10am for a six hour trek in the Galtees with Ann Donohoe and Una Hayes. The B walk will cover territory probably new to most members as Cliona Tuohy takes walkers around the Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop with a climb to Mother Mountain. The meeting point is Kilcommon Village at 10am and the walk should last around 4 hours.

March 1st, 2011

Last Sunday’s A walk was in the Galtees, led by Ann Donohoe and Una Hayes. Starting at Rossadrehid Waterworks the group of 16 set off for Lake Muskry in sunny and clear conditions. Circling the lake they climbed to the high ground and headed west along the spine of the mountain. There was a cold wind blowing from the north but this didn’t spoil the wonderful views in all directions as they made their way over the summits of Galtee Beag, Galtee Mor and Slievecushnabinnia. The decent was to Clydagh Bridge where cars had been left earlier to take everyone back to the starting point. Many thanks to Ann and Una for organising this enjoyable outing completed in under 5 hours.
Cliona Tuohy led 25 people on the 4 hour B walk, which started from Kilcommon Village and followed the recently opened waymarked route known as the Pilgrim Loop, which incorporates a historic Mass path. This is an interesting and varied route through farmland, forest paths, country lanes and open hillside. Cliona extended the walk to take in the summit of Mother Mountain where the lunchbreak provided the opportunity to enjoy the clear views of the surrounding hills and countryside. The descent included a visit to the Mass Rock used in Penal Law times and at the end many people took the opportunity to visit the peaceful Prayer Garden in the village. It was a sure sign of spring to see the first primroses making an appearance along the roadsides. Many thanks to Cliona for this most enjoyable walk and also to her Dad for relating the history of the area, including the story of Susie Lloyd, a friend to walkers in the area, who tragically died in a recent fire. Thanks also to the local farmers and all who provided the stiles and bridges on the route.
Next weekend walkers from all over Ireland will gather in the Glen of Aherlow as the Mountaineering Ireland organisation holds its Spring Gathering and AGM in Aherlow House Hotel. As well as a number of workshops over the weekend a variety of walks associated with the event will take place on Saturday, all starting from Aherlow House. Registration for the harder 6 hour walks is at 8:30am with the moderate 4 to 5 hour walks starting at 9:00am and the easy walks at 9:30am. Entry fee is 10 euro and details of the walks can be seen on the Schedule page of our websitegalteewalkingclub.ie. There is also one club C walk on Sunday, March 6. The meeting point is Glengarra Wood car park at 11am where Maureen Larkin will lead a 2 to 3 hour trek along the Burncourt River and through the woodland paths in the Glengarra area.

March 13th, 2011

On Sunday March 13th conditions were absolutely ideal for walking with large numbers out enjoying the wonders of nature on Tipperary's mountains. Tom Lyons led the A group on a 25Km route through the Knockmealdowns. After being bussed from Clogheen to Araglin the group headed off along the Munster Way taking in Crowe Hill, Fir Breaga and Knockshanahullion where lunch and wonderful scenery in all directions was enjoyed. They then continued on the Munster Way to Baylough car park and ascended Sugar Loaf and down to the dry lake Dough Lough. Then it was on via St Brendans Way to Grubbs monument in the Vee and the final leg brought the group back to Clogheen via the Avondhu Way.  Many thanks Tom for a full day out packed with high energy, wonderful scenery and hang glider antics!
Anne O'Donnell had 28 out on her B walk taking in the forest tracks and Bane mountain on the eastern side of the Galtee ridge. Enjoying the great weather and clear conditions Anne brought her group around the side of Bane and ascended to the summit on a heather free track. Views from the top included the Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountains to the south and as far as the Devil's Bit in north Tipperary. The return was via the cycle track which the group had to share with some young energetic enthusiasts. Many thanks Anne and also to Sheila and Ann for their assistance on the day. 
Walks for Sunday, March 20th - A walk will meet at 10am in Rathgormack village for a walk in the Comeraghs. Please contact leader John Murphy in advance. The B walk will meet at Glenstall Wood at 10am with leader Amelia Ryan. The C walk will meet at 11am at Rock an Thorabh car park, Glen of Aherlow with leader Margaret Magner. Anyone interested in doing the walk in Kerry on March 27th please contact Breda Ryan 086 3946048 for further information. Also please note the following - Members are not covered by insurance if they have not yet paid their membership fee and club badges are now available at €10 please contact Breda Ryan if interested.

March 21th, 2011

The club fielded three walks last Sunday under mostly good clear conditions. The C group had a good turnout of 22 and enjoyed a lovely hike over Slievenamuck ridge. The walk, led by Mo and generous helpers, met at Rock an Thorabh car park and headed west past the mass rock where they stopped to remember penal times, before heading on to the turntable and making their ascent onto Slievenamuck and the Shrough monument. Clear conditions prevailed lending spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and glen with their shifting muted colours of the dormant spring. Lunch and shared merriment was enjoyed here before circling back across the ridge to the car park. The group bid cead mile failte to three new members and hope they enjoyed their day out with the club.
20 B group members were out around the Slieve Felims, meeting with leader Amelia at Murroe village and proceeding to Glenstal woods to commence their walk. Conditions were misty to start with but soon cleared up as they looped around the townlands of Gleno and Toorlougher. Distant views of Keeper Hill as well as Killaloe were had on the way and a lovely shot of the group was taken with their backs to the Clare Hills. Hope they send it to our web site. Returning back down onto the road at Meentolla, they entered the forest and casting their eyes south to Temple Hill and the Galtees, made their way back to the cars. A lovely four hours outing with thanks to Amelia.
John Murphy and a decent band of A walkers did a 6hr round of the lakes in the Comeraghs. Meeting in Rathgormack, they drove to Ross where they carpooled their way to Mahon Falls to commence their trek. Then it was uphill to Leacanthimlay, taking in Coumtay, Coumfea and over to the falls for lunch in lovely sunny conditions. They then made for Knockaunapeelra, point 792 and Coumshingawn, enjoying lovely views of the lakes. Then taking in a visit to the Boola cairn, they descended Carrignagower to the Gap. From here they made their way back to the cars in Ross. Thank you John.
Next weeks walks: Sun 27th, the A group will be in Kerry for the day. Meet at Derrymore Bridge (map) GR Q744 111 (N86 10km from Tralee) 9.30. Contact Tom Lyons 086 3954924. The B group meet at Clydagh Bridge at 10am for 4hrs in the Galtees with Danny Bailey.
Notice: The trip to the Bavarian Alps will be on Aug 27th –Sept 3rd. For details contact Breda Ryan 086 3746048. Also note that Wednesday evening walks will start April 6th.

March 28th, 2011

The clocks went forward and the mist came down to provide a chilly start to last Sundays outings. Yet 20 walkers turned out for Danny Baileys B walk, meeting at a busy Clydagh Bridge at 10am, where not only the Ballyhoura Bears were assembling, but also Mountain rescue were on an exercise outing. Conditions were extremely foggy as they made their way up via the ice road to Lake Curra. At this point, three people took the option of turning back while the rest proceeded in an easterly direction round the steep mountain contour below Galtee Mor, to reach Lake Diheen. After a lunch break here, they made their ascent of Cush at 639m. Only occasional glimpses of lakes and mountains were had as the sun tried vainly to break through from time to time. To complete this lower horseshoe walk, the group descended from here to the forest edge and were happy to get back to their cars after this challenging but most enjoyable walk. Many thanks to Danny and welcome too to the new members who turned out.
Weather conditions were much more favourable for the A group who left the fog below as they scaled the higher, rugged Kerry peaks to enjoy warm sunny conditions along the Slieve Mish range. 15 set out from Tralee and headed west to the Derrymore/Castlegregory area to pick up the trail along the Derrymore river and into Derrymore Glen. Enjoying an area of outstanding natural beauty, of brown trout lakes, myths and legends, they followed the river up to its source and made their first ascent of Caherconlee at 835m where they lunched. Then proceeding along a challenging ridge with 200m drops on either side, they climbed to the summit of the big one, Baurtregaun at 851m. Burnt by the sun but cooled by passing mist, with Tralee bay to the north and Dingle Bay to the south, this moderately paced walk concluded with Scragg mountain which took them back down to the river and homeward bound. A delightful 7hr trek covering over 15km and with a total ascent of 1200m. Well done all and mile maith Tom for excellent navigation.
Next week’s Walks: Sunday 3rd April. The A group will be in Kerry with Owen Ryan for a hike in the Slieve Mish mountains, meeting at Castlemaine Post Office, Kerry at 9.30am. Contact Owen 087 227 3562. Rody Tierney will meet the B group at Rock at Thorabh car park for a pre marathon hike of the eastern route of this forthcoming event. The marathon is only three weeks away 17/04 so this is a chance to foot the route and get in shape! Visit our website to book in advance or contact Rody 087 2893506
Wednesday evening walks commence this coming week 6/4, meeting with Rita at 7pm at Clydagh Bridge for 2hrs of forest track.

April 4th, 2011

Last Sunday began dull and rainy but thankfully the sun came out in time for both our club walks. For the second week in a row the A walk was in Kerry, this time with leader Owen Ryan. Owen's chosen route was across the ridge of the Slieve Mish Mountains starting at the Military Range near Castlemaine. From there it was on in a westerly direction covering the peaks of Barnanageehy, Knockauncorragh, Glanbrack Mountain and finally the highest point, Baurtregaum at 851 metres. The views in all directions were stunning with Tralee Bay to the north and the mighty Reeks to the south but the highlight of the day was a sighting of one of the recently introduced White Tailed Sea Eagles soaring in the blue skies above. A sight not to be forgotten. Many thanks to Owen.
As the April 17 date for the Club Marathon approaches there is obvious enthusiasm and anticipation for the event as 30 people turned out for last Sunday's B walk covering the eastern half of the route. Event organiser Rody Tierney led the group on the 21km loop from Rock an Thorabh car park with a break for lunch at the picnic benches at the Bansha Woods entrance. A lively pace throughout the walk saw the group back at the starting point in just over 4 hours. Rody appreciates all the offers he received on the day from people willing to help with stewarding and all the various jobs associated with the Marathon. He also wishes to point out that it would be a great help if intending participants in the event would complete the registration form and return it to Josephine not later than April 13. To facilitate this forms will be available at next Sunday's walks and the Wednesday walks on April 6th and 13th. Forms can also be downloaded from our website, http://galteewalkingclub.ie/galteewalkingclub.ie, and posted to the organisers. Many thanks Rody for all your hard work in preparing for this great annual event.
Walks for Sunday, April 10, 2011: The A group will meet with Paul Ryan at Clydagh Bridge at 10am for 6 hours in the Galtees. Rody will complete the second half of the Marathon route as a B walk starting from Rock an Thorabh car park at 10am and Vincent Normoyle will lead his first C walk with the club starting from Clogheen Village at 11am. The Wednesday evening walks have begun again with a starting time of 7pm. The walk on April 6th starts from Clydagh Bridge and the April 13th walk begins at the Christ the King statue in the Glen.

April 10th, 2011

The Wednesday evening walks got off to a good start on April 6th when 32 people completed a 2 hour circuit of Cush forest led by Rita. It was a beautiful Spring evening, ideal for walking, and was made even more perfect by the wonderful sunset and the crescent moon overhead. Many thanks to Rita. Next Wednesday, April 20th the evening walk starts at Rock an Thorabh car park at 7pm with leader John Walsh.
The weather on Sunday last was warm and sunny and all three groups were out on the hills. The A group had a strenuous day on the Galtees led by Paul Ryan assisted by Tom Lyons. Eight walkers started at Clydagh Bridge and reached the high ground via the gulley behind Lough Curra. They headed west over Carrignabinnia and Lyracappul to reach Temple Hill for lunch in the sunshine. Next was the descent into the Pigeonrock valley and over the ridge to the Blackrock valley where the group split. Some began the return via Bengower, the wall and Lough Curra while the remainder pushed on to climb Galtee Mor from the south and take in Galtee Beag and Cush as well before returning to Clydagh Bridge completing a strenuous and highly enjoyable walk in 9 hours. The distance covered was 24km and the height gain was 2400 metres. Many thanks to Paul and Tom.
Rody Tierney led the B group of 15 around the western half of the Marathon route starting from Rock an Thorabh car park. The route involved heading west along the Slievenamuck Ridge, stopping for lunch at Moor Abbey and returning along the Aherlow River and the Ballyhoura Way to the start, a distance of 21km completed in 4.5 hours.
The Slievenamuck Marathon itself takes place on Sunday next, April 17th. This major club event begins at 9am sharp from Rock an Thorabh car park. Participants are asked to arrive well before this time, particularly those who have not registered in advance.
If possible, download the registration form and fill it in before arriving. There is an option of a full or half Marathon and the entry fee is 10 euro. Best of luck to organiser Rody and his team of helpers and thanks for last Sunday’s walk.
In what may have been a record for a C walk, 40 people arrived in Clogheen last Sunday for Vincent Normoyle’s first outing as leader. They were not disappointed as Vincent had a most enjoyable walk planned starting from Shanrahan graveyard. The route took in forest tracks on the northern slopes of the Knockmealdowns overlooking the village of Clogheen, rhododendron lined paths leading to Bay Lough and a lunch break on the shores of the lake itself. To complete the day Vincent had organised tea and cakes back in the village afterwards. Thanks Vincent for a great day out, the first of many, hopefully.
Dumping of rubbish continues to be a problem in the forest areas around the Galtees. A clean-up has been organised for Saturday next, April 16th involving a number of local walking clubs and Mountain Rescue. All members of the Galtee Club are encouraged to attend and help with this good cause. See our website schedule page for more details.

April 17th, 2011

The club fielded their third Slievenamuck Marathon on Sunday. A resounding success all round with over 75 participants taking part in this annual 42km crossing of the Slievenamuck ridge in the Glen of Aherlow. Weather conditions were ideal with sunny spells and some welcome cloud coverage too with underfoot conditions dry and and sufficiently pliable. They came from all over the county and beyond and across the age range, with 50 completing the full marathon and a further 25, the half marathon. Shortly after 9am, the ribbon was cut and they were off down the road from Rock an Thorabh car park, taking the lovely Nature Park trail west to Bansha Woods. Thanks to organizer, Rody and his team, the trail was excellently signed, enabling people to progress at their own pace. The woodland paths of flowering gorse and pine provided a cool and tranquil environment, punctuated by bursts of glorious bird song and periodic glimpses of the sunlit glen below. The Bansha woods check point provided a welcome break and some refreshments, before heading west along the northern loop to reach the halfway point back at Rock an Thorabh. With the Marathon clock ticking away, Josephine presented the half marathon participants with their certificates and some 50 others took off across the road to take the second leg of the trail west to Galbally. Their route took them up over Slievenamuck Hill, overlooking the plains and mountain ranges of north Tipperary and down to the river and the third check point at Moore Abbey. After a break here, the final leg of the journey took them back up and onto the southerly loop, past the Shrough Monument and the mass rock to complete the full 42km at Rock an Thorabh. What an achievement! All finished the route without incident and tired but elated, received their certificates and congratulations from Josephine. William O’Grady was first in, setting a record of 5hrs20mins. Majella Moyles came second and Pamela Rambsbottom third and each was presented with a cup by Rody. Congratulations all, a great achievement and a great day out. And well done to our youngest participants, Laura and Christopher from Clonmel
A special word of thanks to Rody and his crew for organizing this great event, to our chairman Tom and to all those who provided vital backup on the day, especially Helen Morrisey and the civil defence, ARAN and the radio crew, those who manned the check points. Dara did a great job as car park attendant and Sean captured it all on camera and provided vital general support all day. Most important was the administrative support provided by Josephine Tierney and Mary Ryan , who were out from 8am to sign people up and make it all happen. Last but not least, we are indebted to the local farmers who allowed access to their lands along the route. A proud day for the club and even prouder for the participants.
Next weeks walks: Wed 20/04 at 7pm. John Walsh will lead from Rock an Thorabh car park. Easter Sunday 24/04 The A Walk starts at 10am from Melodys Bar Ballymacarbery with William O’Grady. Mossy Casey will lead the B walk to Mount Mellary, starting at Grubbs Monument, The Vee at 10am.

April 25th, 2011

The number of people attending the Wednesday evening walks continues to increase and last week saw 40 walkers arrive at Rock an Thorabh car park for a round of the Slievenamuck Ridge. Leader Danny took the anti-clockwise direction which meant tackling the steep climb at the far end. The weather continued to favour us making the 2 hour loop all the more enjoyable. Many thanks to Danny.
Easter Sunday was also a wonderful day to be out on the hills and two club walks took place. William O'Grady led his first official walk with the club in the Comeraghs, meeting the group of 19 at Ballymacarbery. The 24km, 7 hour route took in most of the southern part of the range fron the Nire Valley to Mahon Falls. The views of the coast were spectacular with Ballycotton to the west and Hook Head to the east visible. A most enjoyable day for all who attended and an opportunity afterwards to celebrate William's victory in the previous Sunday's Slievenamuck Marathon. Thanks and well done William.
The B walk was the ever popular trip from the Vee to Mellary led by Mossy and Anthony. 26 walkers started from Bay Lough car park in perfect conditions with some choosing to climb the Sugarloaf before rejoining the rest. All then continued on to Knockmealdown before descending to follow the watercourse all the way to the monastery, passing the lily ponds on the final approach. The prospect of the coffee and cakes from the Mellary restaurant at the end was , no doubt, a great incentive to keep moving along the way. All who took part, regulars and first-timers, were greatly impressed with this walk and hopefully we will see it on the calendar again soon. Thanks to Mossy and Anthony and all who helped on the day.
There are no club walks next Sunday because the Ballyhoura Walking Festival is taking place over the May Bank Holiday weekend. This festival includes a wide variety of walks including some on the Galtees and in the Glen so hopefully our members will be out in numbers to support the neighbouring club. The Wednesday evening walk on May 4 will be led by Mary Ryan starting from Galbally Village at 7pm.

May 9th, 2011

Blustery but mild, with occasionally sunny conditions prevailed for Sunday’s walks, with all three groups on the move over the hills and along the river banks. David Stapleton led the B group through woodland and river bank, south of Kilsheelan. 21 walkers, including new member, James, some guests and aspiring Kilimanjaro challengers, enjoyed the rhododendrons and bluebells along stretches of woodland and the banks of the Glasha river, taking in part of the Munster Way and the Glenpatrick Loop. Four hours of easeful exercise in balmy conditions with thanks to David.
John Murphy led a small band of hardy walkers on a 6hr, 19km trek in the Comeraghs. Meeting at the Chip depot, outside Clonmel, they took on the peaks of Knockshegauna, Knockanaffrin, the Gap and on out to the Sean Bhean. Their last peak was Coumfea before taking the ridge back to the Nire valley and their transport home. Windy, dry conditions, with low cloud allowed for good walking conditions and an enjoyable day out. Many thanks John.
The C group had a lovely two hours plus walk which took them from Cahir, along the banks of the Suir and over the fields to the old Quaker graveyard in Kilcommon. Twelve people turned up for this most interesting journey back into Cahir’s history and the great Quaker families of the past. And what a peaceful resting place they have, overlooking this great river, their beds now sumptuously carpeted in finest bluebells! Snippets of history were exchanged and another great Irish Quaker family, the Jacobs, were recalled when William offered a round of Jacob’s jaffa cakes! Mo would like to thank all who participated in this interesting and lively walk and especially Willie, who helped with the navigation to complete a circular route back.
Next week’s walks: For the A walk, meet Ann O’Donoghue and Una Hayes in Kilbeheny Village at 10am for a climb of Temple Hill. Thomas O’Neill will meet the B group at 10am at the Lady Gregory pub, Kilmoyler (N24) for a climb in the Galtees. Wed 18th walk starts in Lisvernane village at 7pm for 3hrs forest track with Willie Ryan.
Notice: The Aherlow Walking festival is coming up on the weekend June 3rd. Volunteer stewards are needed for all catagories of walks. Contact our chairman, Tom 086 3954924.

May 15th, 2011

Cloudy and misty conditions prevailed on Sunday when both the A and B walkers took to the hills. Two of our senior leaders, Ann O’ Donohue and Una Hayes, led 18 A walkers out from Kilbeheny to make an ascent of the challenging Temple Hill. Fog and rain marred their views but lots of jovial banter kept them going as they made their way over onto Lyracappul. Then thankfully, the clouds parted, offering tantalizing glimpses of the lovely Blackrock valley, as they made their descent along the saddle and the zig zag and down to the Blackrock river and back to their cars. A big thank you to Una and Ann and welcome too to our guest walker.
Thos O’Neill led the B walk. This lovely loop walk started at the Lady Gregory pub where 22 people made their way up the sawmill road, entering the forest at the barrier and proceeding upwards past some forgotten, derelict homestead, to exit onto open mountain and make their climb of the Bain.. Though conditions were quite blustery, the group managed a quick photo before lunching in the sheltered woodland. Their descent took in the little known gem of the locality, the Ballydrehid waterfall, decked out in glorious bluebells and further on, the hallowed ground of St Pecauns well. Then rounding the corner, they followed the blind boreen back to their starting point. A lovely day out with thanks to Thos and helpers and welcome too to new member, Anita.
The very popular Wednesday evening walks continue with increasing turnouts. Thanks to our many dedicated leaders thus far, Mary O’Dwyer, Mary & Willie Ryan.
Next Weeks Walks: Sunday 22nd May: There is a moderate A walk of 6hrs, led by Brendan Shiels starting from Glengarra Woods car park at 10am. The B walk starts from Woodies car park, Clonmel at 10am for 4hrs in the Comeraghs with Paddy Burke. The C walk starts from Hollyford village at 11am for 2-3 hrs forest track with Patricia Butler. Wed 25th May: Meet at 7pm at Texaco Garage, Cahir (off the Cork road) for 3hrs forest track with Ann O’Donnell.
Notice: A meeting will be held at the Excel on Thursday 19th to plan for the upcoming Aherlow festival, starting at 8pm. Our annual big club event, The Galtee Challenge/Crossing will be held on June 26th.

May 30th, 2011

On Sunday last as both A and B walks were scheduled for the Comeragh mountains, the A and B groups decided to combine and follow the route chosen by Larry McGrath. The meeting point was Ballymacarbery with a drive to Scart Woods where the group of 33 in total set out with a climb to Barnamaddra Gap and the standing stones. From there it was north to ascend Seefin at 726m, a testing climb which managed to separate the A walkers from the rest. In the dry but windy conditions they regrouped at the top and moved northeast to find shelter for a lunch break at a point overlooking Cutteen North and Coumtay with views to the coast beyond. Here there was a surprise for Larry as a birthday cake was produced and Happy Birthday sung. The return journey was mainly on forest tracks back to Scart Woods and the cars completing the round trip of 10km in 3.5 hours.. Thanks to Larry for a wonderful outing, his first walk as leader for the club. Having presented everyone with a printed map and description of the walk, such organisational skills are sure to called on again! Thanks also to Kay, William and Vinnie for all their assistance and a special thanks to Helen for baking the delicious birthday cake.
Forthcoming fixtures: The Glen of Aherlow Walking festival takes place this bank holiday weekend with A, B and C walks scheduled for Saturday June 3rd to Monday June 5th inclusive. Also the annual Galtee Challenge/Crossing is set for Sunday June 26th, please contact Pat Ryan or Owen Ryan for further information. Full details and a registration form also available on the website. Looking forward to the weekend of July 8th - 10th, Paddy Bourke has organised a weekend of walking in Wicklow.
The meeting point for the evening walk on Wednesday June 8th is Anglesboro church at 7pm. Leaders Sheila Lenihan and Sean Fitzpatrick will provide 2 walk options on Temple Hill.

June 14th, 2011

Wet is the one word to describe conditions last Sunday but two of the three scheduled walks went ahead. Catherine Russell led a moderate A walk in the Galtees starting from Rossadrehid. Six walkers braved the elements on the open mountain as Catherine led them on a high circuit over Lake Muskry taking in Knockastackeen, O'Loughlin's Castle and Farbreaga. The rain had turned the mountain streams into rivers but despite these obstacles the group managed to complete the 13.5km trip in 4 hours. Many thanks to Catherine and a gentle reminder to Larry to remember to apply the handbrake in his car next time.
22 walkers met at the University of Limerick for the B walk led by Goretti Campbell. This most enjoyable walk, along roads and canal and river banks, followed part of the Lough Derg Way between Plassey and O’Briensbridge taking in the village of Cloonlara and the Ardnacrusha Headrace as far as the Parteen Weir. Three new walkers took part, including one from Canada and all enjoyed the trip despite the rain. Thanks to Goretti and all who helped with transport.
The C walk, which was planned for Kilsheelan last Sunday, was posponed due to the bad weather and will now take place on Sunday next.
The Wednesday evening walks continue and the meeting point for Wednesday June 22 is Rossadrehid Village at 7pm from where Catherine Russell plans to climb Knockastackeen. Thanks to Sheila Lenihan for last week’s outing on Temple Hill.
A reminder to all who intend taking part in the Galtee Challenge or Crossing on June 26 that all registrations must be with the organisers by this weekend. Contact Pat or Owen or register online at the club website.
Walks for Sunday, June 19: Tom Lyons is in Kerry leading a moderate A walk. The meeting point is Daly's Filling Station, Cork Road, Killarney at 9:30am. B walkers will meet at Moor Abbey, Galbally at 10am for an Aherlow River walk led by Willie Ryan. The C walk, rescheduled from last Sunday, will go ahead in Kilsheelan with leader Mary Walsh, meeting in the village at 11am.

June 19th, 2011

The club's major event of the year, the Galtee Challenge and Crossing, will take place on Sunday next when approximately 100 people will cross the entire Galtee range from Cahir to Anglesboro taking in all the major peaks and covering a distance of 31km. The meeting point is Anglesboro Village at 7:30am and buses will ferry the walkers to the start at Cahir. The organisation of this event is a major task and so great credit is due to Pat and Breda Ryan and Owen Ryan and all the other members who give their time to make it a success. All we need now is a fine day on Sunday.
Last Sunday was such a day as the last of the regular weekend walks took place. The A walkers were in Kerry with leader Tom Lyons taking on the highest peaks in the country. Meeting in Killarney they drove to Glencar and began the walk on the Hydro Road. The route took the 8 walkers over Skregmore and on to Beenkeragh (1010 metres). From there it was across the ridge to the mighty Carrauntoohil (1039 metres) with an opportunity to enjoy the fine weather and the magnificent views below. It was the first time on Ireland’s highest mountain for one member, Tom, and what a great day he got for it. Not content with climbing the two highest peaks in the country, they took in the third, Caher (1000 metres) before descending again to the Hydro Road and the cars completing a round trip of 7 hours, 15.5 km and a total climb of 1400 metres. Many thanks to Tom for this great day in Kerry.
Nothing quite so strenuous for the B walkers as they enjoyed a more relaxing day in the Glen of Aherlow. Willie Ryan met the 23 members at Moor Abbey and began the walk along the Aherlow River and part of the Ballyhoura Way. The route took them through lush farmland with grazing cattle, through Ivory’s farmyard and by forest paths to the Dolmen on Slievenamuck. After lunch here in the sunshine the return journey took them over Monour Hill and back by Tig Roy to Moor Abbey. Thanks to Willie for a relaxing 4 hours in a beautiful place and thanks also to the obliging farmers along the route.
Mary Walsh had 11 members on her first C walk as leader starting from Kilsheelan Village. Mary’s route took the walkers through forest tracks in Kilsheelan Woods, along part of the Glenpatrick Loop and  back to Glen Bridge following the course of the Glasha River. This gentle introduction to this beautiful area was enjoyed by all participants and spoiled only slightly by the millions of midges that descended on the walkers as they stopped for a break at the picnic area. Many thanks and well done to Mary and John.
The regular Sunday walks may be at an end but throughout the summer there will be occasional walks to provide members with some training in map reading and compass skills.

June 27th, 2011

All the weeks of planning and preparation came to fruition last Sunday as the club held it's annual Challenge and Crossing covering the entire Galtee range from Cahir to Anglesboro, a distance of 31km and a total height gain of 1730 metres. This year the event was split into two parts with a self navigating group of 32 leading the way followed by a larger group of 54 under the guidance of leaders and stewards. Starting on the Mountain Road in Cahir, the route took in all the major peaks of the Galtees including Farbreaga (724m), Greenane (802m), Galtybeg (799m), Galtymore (919m), Carrignabinnia (822m), Lyracappul (825m) and finally Temple Hill (785m). The weather couldn't have been much better with dry, warm and sunny conditions all the way, with a strong wind ensuring that overheating was not a problem. Visibility, also, was excellent, a factor which contributed even more to the enjoyment of all the participants.
The event could not have happened without the help and assistance of so many people including the leaders and stewards, those who set up and manned the checkpoints, all who worked on registration, parking etc. at the base in Anglesboro, those who met the walk on the mountain to facilitate anyone wanting to descend, the communications providers, the bus operators, the providers of the evening meal and the farmers who provided parking space and access to their land. Most of all, the Challenge/Crossing owes it's existence to all the Ryans whose commitment and dedication every year is second to none. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way with this wonderful event enjoyed by all who took part.
During the Crossing a mobile phone was found at the corner of the Galtee wall. If anyone thinks it might be theirs they should call the finder Cliona Tuohy on 087 2984409.
The Crossing marks the end of the regular Sunday walks for the club but the Wednesday evening walks continue until the end of the summer and a number of navigation walks are planned to take place during July and August.

August 24th, 2011

As our Summer evening walks draw to a close, the club has just fielded a whole new batch of Sunday walks to take us through the Autumn and early Winter months. We look forward to greeting old friends and welcoming new members to our club. You will find walks to suit all abilities from two hour forest track and river bank walks to more challenging mountain hikes. Feel free to call the walks facilitator of the day if you are unsure of what’s right for you.
Members have enjoyed some lovely evening walks throughout the Summer and we thank all the leaders who have facilitated these. Our last Wednesday evening walk will be led by Danny Bailey and will take place on 31st Aug at 7pm from Rock an Thorabh car park. Thanks too to our Chairman Tom Lyons and to Brendan Shiels who recently facilitated two valuable navigation outings, where walk leaders were put through their paces with map, compass and GPS systems. And to Breda and club members, we wish bon voyage and best of luck as they take off on a walking trip to the Bavarian Alps.
Coming up next Sunday 28th we have a special joint outing with the Ballygiblin GAA to Galtymore. This is a special occasion for beginners when they will have a chance to scale the heights of this great mountain at a suitable pace. Meet at 10am in the car park at the end of the Black Road (which is near Skeheenarinka off the old N8). Regular Sunday walks will commence on 4th Sept. This will be a combined A/B walk, starting at 10am at Clydagh Bridge. Thomas O’Neill will lead this climb of Cush mountain.
We would love to hear your views and news on walking and the club. Do visit the notice board on our site and let us know what you think.

September 4th, 2011

Our Wednesday evening walks ended last week with a lively round of Slievenamuck Ridge led by Danny Bailey. It was a perfect evening, bright and fresh and the group (of over 30) enjoyed the most glorious sunset as they looped around the millennium stone to face west and make their return to their starting point at Rock an Thorabh. A fitting end to our much appreciated evening walks.
Thos O’Neill was not so lucky as he took our first Sunday walk of 14 enthusiasts up Cush mountain in misty, rainy conditions. But things got better as they beat the forest trail upwards and they were able to enjoy the fine views from the summit. And he got them back on time, but sadly, to watch the cats enjoy the cream! But we hope at least that Matt and Mike, two potential new members, gained some sense of achievement from their first outing with the club.
Our away group returned from the Bavarian Alps on Saturday with ecstatic reports of a weeks walking and touring in the border country of Germany and Austria. Travelling from Cork to Munich, they went south by train to the beautiful alpine town of Garmish. Their first two days were spent climbing to heights of up to 3,000m taking in the Zugspitse and the Alpspitze. The views were spectacular with breathtaking gorges, waterfalls and canyons and the ever present sound of cow bells. Other days were spent cycling through picturesque Alpine villages as well as a tour of the historic cities of Munich and Innsbruck. More details on our webpage. The group are indebted to Breda and Pat for organizing this exceptional get away.
Next weeks walks: Sunday 11th Sept. Owen Ryan will lead a special long distance A walk from Anglesborough to Cahir, a Galtee Crossing! Meet at 8am at Cahir Castle car Park. William O’Neill will lead a moderate A walk from Ballydavid Hostel to Glengarra Hostel. Meet at 10am at Ballydavid Hostel. There is also a C walk to Lake Muskry. Meet Mo at 11am in Rossadrehid village.

September 11th, 2011

The club fielded three walks on Sunday and got the best of what weather was available! William O’Neill took the B group on a hostel to hostel crossing from Glengarra woods on the south side of the Galtees to Ballydavid woods on the north side. A bus was organized to take the group to the start point at Glengarra Woods from where they walked to the picturesque Glengarra hostel and then onto open mountain. Their ascent took them up onto Grennane and over to Farbreaga and points 631 & 597. Weather conditions were mixed with some sun and rain and some high winds too at higher levels. Their descent was via Sturakeen and then down to the Ballydavid hostel on the north side. A lovely 5hr south to north trek, with thanks to leader, William, and to Paddy for navigational backup.
A group of 20 C walkers enjoyed a mostly dry and windy outing to Lake Muskry. For four of the group it was their first trip to the lake and their very first outing with the club. As new walkers, some found it a bit of a challenge, but all managed to complete the walk and came away with a real sense of achievement. Well done Fiona and friends. We hope you will be back. The atmosphere was friendly and lively and all enjoyed a leisurely lunch and chat by the lakeside. The track was busy with lots of walkers coming and going, which bodes well for the growing popularity of hillwalking. Mo would like to thank all who joined in to give support and help and get everyone up and back safely.
Finally we salute the Bansha/Kilmoyler girls Sarah O’Neill, 11 years old, her mother Sinead, and Michela Peters who returned safely from their climb of Kilimanjaro. A great achievement. Sarah is the youngest Irish girl to have made the summit and is the granddaughter of club member, Una Phelan. Well done all.
Next weeks walks; Sunday 18th Pat Ryan will lead the A walk in Killarney. Meet at Glenflesk (12 km from Killarney on Cork Rd) at 10am for an outing in the Paps. Enquiries to Pat 087 9704404. The B group will meet Amelia in Doon at CBS at 10am for 4hrs in the Doon hills.

Club Trip to Bavarian Alps, Sept. 2011

Nine club members enjoyed a memorable week away in the Bavarian Alps this month. Organized by Breda and Pat Ryan, the group flew out from Cork to Munich and then took a scenic train journey south to the beautiful Alpine village of Garmish where they made their base, staying in comfortable wooden chalets.
Their first day out hiking, via cable car and rock climbing, took them to ‘The Top of Germany’, the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak at 2962m. From here they enjoyed fantastic views of the 400 Alpine peaks which stretch east and west along the German Austrian border. A welcome breakfast was had at the Zugspitze restaurant and lots of lovely pictures were taken( which can be enjoyed on the club’s web page). Descending into the valley, to the sound of tinkling cow bells, they travelled through lush green meadows, wooded slopes and tumbling waterfalls to exit through the stunning 700m long Partnachklamm Gorge, one of Germany’s natural wonders.
Their second big hike was onto the Alpsitze at 2628m. A special feature of this mountain is an overhanging viewing platform which juts out some 13m from the mountainside and affords spectacular panoramic views of the mountains and trails. Also much appreciated were the mountain huts along the way which provide refreshments for travellers. Their descent was a stunning experience through yet another magnificent, one kilometre long gorge, the Hollentalklann, where the river drops down 200m in a series of breathtaking falls and canyons which have been hacked out of the mountainside.
The next couple of days were spent cycling and touring in the surrounding area where they visited some lovely alpine villages as well as the world famous fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein (near Fussen) and the historic towns of Munich and Innsbruck. They also got in some shopping and finished up their evenings with some great food and craic. They met some friendly Bavarian people too, including a baroness who taught Mossie and Mike how to play the spoons! Further details of this trip can be had from Breda and Pat Ryan at rynahousehold3@eircom.net

September 18th, 2011

Mixed weather conditions greeted our two walking groups on Sunday last.  The A group, on an outing to Kerry, got the worst end of things with rain and wind and poor visibility, always a pity after travelling such a distance. It did not deter them, however, from completing their mission of climbing the Paps Mountains close to the Cork border.
A group of seven, with leader Pat Ryan, started from Glenflesk and after some initial road walking climbed the western peak at 690 metres followed by the eastern at 695 metres. The total trip took 6.5 hours and covered a distance of 21km. Many thanks to Pat who got everyone back safely to hear the news that Tipperary had won the Minor Football Final.
Amelia Ryan had better conditions for her B walk in the Doon Hills. Fifteen walkers enjoyed this varied loop over farmland, forest track and fuchsia lined roads in two counties, starting and ending in Doon Village. As the group gained height excellent views opened up in all directions and, although visibility was not perfect, Thomond Park in Limerick could be clearly seen as well as the Galtees to the south and the wind turbines across the sunlit valley to the north. In all this was a 12km round trip completed in 3.5 hours. Thanks to Amelia for all her time and work that went into preparing this walk. Thanks also to Eddie and Mary for their help and to local farmers, Paddy, Michael and Tom for allowing access to their lands. Tom joined the group on the walk and his local knowledge was most helpful.
A word of thanks also to Owen Ryan and half a dozen stalwart A walkers, who completed a successful 10hr crossing of the entire Galtee range on Sunday September 11 last. Despite some poor weather this group did some useful reconnaissance and fine tuning of distance and timing for the annual club highlight, the Galtee Crossing, which takes place in June each year.
Next Sunday’s walks: The A walkers are meeting at the Nire car park at 10am with Cliona Tuohy for a round of the Comeraghs. B walkers meet at Bay Lough car park in the Vee at 10am for a climb of Knockshanahullion with Paddy. Una Phelan will meet the C group at Christ the King statue, Aherlow, at 11am for a 2 to 3 hour loop around Slievenamuck including a visit to the Nature Park. This is an ideal walk for anyone thinking of joining the club or taking up walking.

September 26th, 2011

It was another wet and windy start to the day on Sunday last as only the brave and committed walkers ventured out on the clubs three walks. It certainly was a hardy bunch who turned up at the Nire Valley for Cliona Tuohy’s A walk in the Comeraghs. Starting at the car park they climbed to Knockanaffrin in the rain and wind where a stop was made for an early and quickly consumed lunch. Then it was back along the ridge and across the Gap to follow the stakes to the Coum Iarthar lakes. An ascent of two gullys brought them to the Comeragh plateau and Carrignagower (767 metres) followed by the descent to the Gap again and the return to the cars. In all this was a 14km round trip completed in 6 hours with 1000 metres of climbing. A warm welcome to Michael and Joe from Limerick making their first visit to the Comeraghs and their first outing with the club. Well done to Cliona for leading this challenging walk in difficult conditions and thanks also to Thos O’Neill and John O’Dwyer for their help on a day when good navigation skills were vital.
The B walk was scheduled for the Knockmealdowns but conditions were so bad at the starting time it was decided to abandon the mountain and head instead for the more sheltered woodland tracks in the Glen of Aherlow. Those who made the journey enjoyed a 2.5 hour loop in ever improving weather conditions from Christ the King statue to the Ballagh road to the Millenium Stone and back by Rock an Thorabh. Welcome to Margaret and Michelle on their first day with the Galtee club.
Una Phelan’s C walk also started from Christ the King shortly before the B walkers arrived. Una took her group uphill through the woodland tracks to Rock an Thorabh before crossing the road and heading for Aherlow House Hotel. The return journey took them through the wonderful Nature Park to complete a 2.5 hour loop. Many thanks to Una.
On Saturday next, October 1, Tom Lyons will lead a Moderate A walk starting at Clydagh Bridge at 10am and taking in the Galty Horseshoe. This is a joint walk with visiting club Foxford Ramblers from Co. Mayo. On Sunday October 2 there are no club walks but Danny Bailey will lead a 4 hour walk as part of National Trails Day starting at Aherlow House Hotel at 11am.

October 2nd, 2011

The Galtee Walking Club welcomed visiting members of the Foxford Ramblers from Co. Mayo on Saturday last and introduced them to the Galtees with a 6.5 hour round of the horseshoe in, unfortunately, poor weather conditions. 24 walkers including 14 from Mayo set off from Clydagh Bridge with leader Tom Lyons and took the Ice Road to Lake Curra where the stream was in full flow from the heavy rain. The high ground was reached via Slievecushnabinnia and the going was slow due to underfoot conditions as they made their way to Galty Mor. Fortunately, the summit was clear allowing wonderful views of the fog filled valleys below. The rest of the route took in Galty Beag, Lake Boreen and Cush where again the fog lifted to let them see the magnificent loop they had completed. The walk was enjoyed by everyone with the lads from Mayo saying they would love to come back for more. Thanks to the lads from Mayo for making the walk very enjoyable and we hope to get up to Mayo next summer to see some new countryside. Thanks to Tom and also Mike Moroney for his help and for providing some local history along the way.
Sunday was National Trails Day and the club provided one event for the occasion as Danny Bailey led a four hour, 17km loop walk in the Glen of Aherlow. 30 walkers took part including 10 non-members, some from as far away as Laois. They all enjoyed the Autumnal conditions in the woods as the purples of the heathers give way to the yellows and reds of leaves and berries. Danny’s route took them from Aherlow House through the Nature Park, past the statue and on to the Ballagh Road and Bansha Woods. The return brought them past the Millenium Stone and Rock An Thorabh. Thanks and well done Danny.
Club walks for Sunday, October 9: A walkers are travelling to Kerry for a 23km stretch of the Kerry Way and the Black Valley with Tom Lyons, meeting at Kate Kearney's Cottage, Killarney at 10am. The B walk is the ever popular trip over the Knockmealdowns from the Vee to Mellary, meeting at Grubbs Monument at 10am with leader, Mossy Casey. David Stapleton will lead a C walk in the woods and hills overlooking Cahir, meeting at the Texaco garage on the Mitchelstown road at 11am.
Members are reminded that the club AGM will be held in the Excel Centre, Tipperary Town at 8pm on Tuesday October 18, 2011.

October 9th, 2011

Unseasonably warm weather greeted our walkers on Sunday as all three groups took to the hills. The A group were in Killarney with Tom Lyons for a six hour, 25km hike of the Kerry Way. Meeting at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, they taxied to Loughacouse. Starting in the Brida Valley, they followed the Kerry Way, past old derelict houses and hill farms, climbing up in sight of a magnificent wild goat herd, where mostly foggy conditions made visibility poor on high. Descending the other side of the valley, they followed a tarmac road, then crossed over the mountain and into the Black Valley, making their way back via the Gap of Dunlo to Kate Kearneys. A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all including one new walker from Templemore. Thank you Tom.
The B group trod the very popular pilgrim route over the Knockmealdowns to Mount Mellary. Our ever ebullient host, Mossie Casey and his enthusiastic Cahir comrades led a band of 19 walkers, including three new guests, on a challenging, windy and misty crossing over the Sugar Loaf and Knockmeal mountains to the lovely Mount Mellary. A lively and entertaining outing as usual with plenty of diversions to sustain them along the way, from folklore and ballads, to tumbles in the heather and even a bout of dancing around the rocks, courtesy of leader, Mossie. The mist gave way to sunshine as the group followed the course of the ‘upwards flowing’ stream, making their entrance to the monastery through wooded paths of glorious early autumn colours. And what a reward awaited them there when tables and chairs were set up and tea and freshly bakes scones and apple pie were laid on for the weary pilgrims. What a thoughtful gesture on Mossies part. A perfect end to a very special day out. Thanks to all.
David Stapleton led 16 C walkers on a lovely autumnal loop walk of the woods and hills around Cahir Town. Starting from Mountain Road they followed the richly coloured leafy paths upwards and onto the foothills of the mountain to complete over 8km of a loop in just under three hours. Tagging along with the group was a friendly local dog who managed to complete the circuit and hopefully find his way home afterwards. Many thanks David for a lovely day out.
Next weeks walks: Sunday 16/10 The A walk will start from Kilcash Village at 10am for a loop of Slievenamon with Brendan Shiels. Mary Ryan will lead the B walk from Darragh Bridge, Kilfinnane/Mitchelstown Road at 10am.
Notes: The club AGM takes place at the Excel Centre, Tipperary Town on Tuesday 18th Oct at 8pm. All members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a book launch at Aherlow house Hotel on Sat 22nd Oct when Jimmy Barry from SEMRA will launch his book on the Galtees. All welcome.

October 17th, 2011

Excellent weather conditions on Sunday made for two delightful club walks. Mary Ryan met 22 enthusiasts at Darragh Bridge for a lovely loop walk in Ballyhoura country. Their route took them along Bohereen Dearg to Castle Gale, where a short break and a few songs put further spring to their steps as they took the forest track up onto Kilcruig Hill (401m) Here, as is customary, they signed the visitors book, had some lunch and marvelled at the clear, panoramic mountain views of the Galtys, the Ballyhouras and the Nagel. Looping back through Garryarthur wood, they dropped down to the Keale river and made their way back to Darragh Bridge. Mary hopes her visitors enjoyed the day and that we will see them all again soon. Well done Mary.
The B walkers were on Slievenamon with Brendan Shiels. 15 walkers took the path up the mountain from Kilcash village. Clear, bright conditions made for spectacular views over Kilkenny and the surrounding mountain ranges of the Comeraghs, the Knockmealdowns and the Galtees. Crossing the summit, the bore north west, taking in Carrickbrock, before picking up the forest track and descending into the valley. From here they made their way back to the start point and into Kilcash village. A very good humoured and entertaining outing, enlivened by tales of the Inca Trail, courtesy of one of our members who has just returned from there. We look forward to the full account of this special trip at a later date. Thanks to Brendan for his usual excellently organized walk.
Next Weeks Walks: There is a special outing to the Barrow River next Sunday where Liam Doheny will lead a lovely riverside walk. Those wishing to travel by bus should contact Amelia Ryan 087 9947256 to book a place. Bus leaves Market Yard, Tipperary at 9am. The A walkers should meet Catherine at 10am at Clydagh Bridge. A reminder that this coming Saturday evening sees Mossy Casey do his charity dance at the Minella Hotel and on Sunday there is a book launch at Aherlow House. All are welcome.

October 24th, 2011

The AGM of the Galtee Walking Club was held on Tuesday, October 18. This was a well-attended meeting where the main business was the election of officers and committee for the coming year. Most positions remained unchanged but we welcome Brendan as the new treasurer and thank Josephine for all her hard work and dedication during her time in that important job.
Conditions for walking on Sunday last were probably worse than has been experienced for quite some time with heavy rain and gales sweeping the country but the two planned club events went ahead. Catherine Russell had 13 A walkers on a Galtee loop starting at Clydagh Bridge and taking in Lake Curra, Slievecushnabinnia, Galtymor and Galtybeg. It was an experience not to be forgotten to be on top of the ridge in those conditions especially for one new member and a visitor back to Tipperary for the weekend. Many thanks to Catherine and all who helped out.
Nineteen B and C walkers travelled to Co. Carlow for a trek along the River Barrow led by Liam and Shane Doheny. The B group began their walk at Borris while the C group started from Graiguenamanagh, with both finishing at St. Mullins where the local café provided not only refreshment but welcome shelter from the rain. Despite the conditions there was much to enjoy along the way including the locks and the traditional lock-keepers cottages, the variety of boats and barges, the canoeists braving the elements, the beautiful village of Graiguenamanagh with it’s arched bridge and the swans, herons, mallard and other wildlife on the riverbank. Thanks to Liam and Shane and also to Amelia for all her work and to Bríd who got everyone there and back safely.
There are two walks on Sunday next, October 30. The A walk starts from Bansha Woods car park at 10am where Rody Tierney will follow part of the Slievenamuck Marathon route. Anthony O'Brien will meet the B walkers at the Texaco garage in Cahir at 10am for 4 hours on Bane Hill and surrounding area. Membership fees for the coming year are now due and the form is available from our website. New members are, of course, always welcome and the start of the club year is a good time to join.

October 30th, 2011

The club fielded two walks on Sunday, in generally benign weather conditions. Anthony O’Brien led the B group on a 10km trek around Bane Hill in Cahir. Meeting at the Texaco garage, they followed the forest tracks through Cahir woods, to circumnavigate the Bane in an anticlockwise direction, returning to their starting point in three and a half hours. It was a hearty outing with bouts of song along the way, a local dog for company and plenty of local lore and legend from the Cahir gang. Apart from some fog and mist on high ground, conditions were dry and clear throughout, making for a very agreeable start to winter clock time. Thank you Anthony.
Rody Tierney was on the marathon route across Slievenamuk with the A group. Summerlike conditions and glorious Autumn colouring were reported, with an abundance of red berried holly, as they started out from Bansha Woods to make their way via Chapel Glen to the Ballagh road and on to Christ the King. Here they stopped for a banana break, better known in marathon circles as a monkey’s breakfast and shared the delightful views of the glen with a group of classic car enthusiasts. Then it was on through the lovely nature park and west along the mass rock trail to the Shrough Dolmen and some welcome lunch. Their return journey took them via Rock an Thorabh to the Millenium Stone where they met and exchanged experience of the hills with other bank holiday walkers. On reaching Bansha Woods, their 30km walk was rewarded with a surprise round of cup cakes, the icing on the cake of this well trod and most enjoyable trail. Well done yet again Rody.
Next weeks walks: Sunday 6/11 Thos O’Neill will meet the A group at Ballydavid Hostel (off the Rossadrehid Road) at 10am for a trek in the Galtees. Pat Butler will lead a 4hr walk for the B group starting in Hollyford village at 10am.
Note: A reminder that subscriptions for the year start from this month and best value is had by joining or renewing your membership now. Contact Brendan 086 3305565. We also welcome offers of new walks for the coming new year.

November 7th, 2011

It could have been Greece (but not quite!), azure skies, not a cloud and glorious sunshine all the way for our walkers on Sunday. But a chilly, misty start and frozen cars to deal with, before the A group assembled at Ballydavid hostel for a trek in the Galtees with Thos O’Neill. From here the 18 walkers were bussed to Muskry car park where they commenced their hike. Their first ascent took them onto Knockastackeen, where exceptionally clear conditions made for awesome views and lovely photos of the surrounding mountains and Lake Muskry. Descending from here, around the back of the lake, they faced into the most arduous climb of the day to the summit of point 786 and then over to O’Loughlins Castle. Here they had a welcome break and enjoyed their lunch in the warm sunshine. Rested and refreshed, they commenced their circle back via the peaks of Grennane, Fearbreaga, points 631 and 597 and down to Sturakeen. Then picking up the mast path, they headed down the trail to pick up their cars at the hostel having completed 18km in 6 hours. Some achievement, well done and thanks to Thos.
The B group were in North Tipperary with Pat Butler. They started out from Hollyford village and went south along forest tracks towards Cappawhite, taking in the highest point at Red Hill and passing close to the hideout of the legendary Ned of the Hills. As expected, they enjoyed spectacular panoramic views of the entire Galtee range to the south and Keeper Hill to the north and even Limerick city was visible. There were lots of new wind turbines to be seen as well! 13 people enjoyed this lovely four hour, loop walk and say thanks to Pat.
Next weeks walks: Michael Moroney will lead a moderate A walk of the Multeen Way. Meet in Donohill 10am. The B group meet in Dundrum village at 10am for a forest path walk with Peig McGrath. Mary Walsh will lead the C group, meeting at 11am in Kilsheelan village for a Suir side walk.
Notice:- A fixtures meeting will be held on 24th Nov at the Excel Centre 8pm. We need and would deeply appreciate offers of new walks for the new year! Contact chairman Tom.

November 14th, 2011

All three club groups were out on Sunday in balmy, dry weather conditions and with lovely autumnal colours on display. The C group were in Kilsheelan Woods where the last of the Autumn colours provided a beautiful burnished backdrop to a delightful 2.5 hour walk with Mary Walsh and her family. The group of 16, car pooled from Kilsheelan village across the Suir and into the forest, picking up the Glenpatrick Loop and following the trail to an open expanse in the Glasha Valley, known as the picnic area. Here they lunched and took in the peace and quiet of this restful oasis. Then following the course of the chattering Glasha river, they looped around along the leaf carpeted forest trails, past gushing waterfalls, stopping at intervals to admire the views over to Slievenamon. It was a happy group who finally arrived back to cross over the Glen bridge and pick up their cars. Well done to Mary and John’s two girls who were well ahead for the entire walk. A lovely family outing in all. Thank you Mary and family.
Peig McGrath led a new walk for the B group, car pooling 14 people out from Dundrum to Rossmore to enjoy some lovely forest trails in that area. This was an easy paced walk which started from Simon Ryan’s House and Peig wishes to thank Simon and Siobhan who kindly allowed them to park outside their house. Then, following remote country roads, edged by colourful overhanging boughs, they made their way to the mast and up onto Rossmore Hill and some lunch. The usual splendid views from here were sadly somewhat obscured by a thick haze but savoured in the minds eye just the same. From here it was downhill to make their way back, passing some inquisitive horses on the way, a couple of greys and a chestnut. Peig would like to welcome new member, Richard and hopes he enjoyed his first day with the club. Thanks too to all for help with the cars. A lovely day out. Well done Peig.
The A group had a joint outing with our neighbouring Ballyhoura Bears. With Mike and Willie as facilitators, the 23 walkers were bussed north from Doonohill to the start of the walk at The Milestone. From here, their circular, waymarked route followed the Multeen and Ballyhours Ways towards Toureen Hill, where work on new turbines meant that they had to loop around it before bearing south to Red Hill and a welcome lunch break. Then bypassing Cappawhite on their left they went by Greenfield and the lake to make their way back to Doonohill. A great shared journey for our two clubs who completed 25km in all. Our thanks to Mike and Willie and to all who participated.
Next weeks walks: Willie Ryan will lead a moderate A walk in Ballyhoura country meeting at 10am at Ballyorgan School. The B walk will be led by Rita Mooney meeting at 10am at Aherlow House Hotel for a loop walk to Bansha Woods.

November 20th, 2011

It may be late November but Autumn carries on regardless in the woodlands and countryside visited by both groups of club walkers on Sunday last. Beautiful colours in the canopy overhead, a carpet of leaves underfoot and exceptionally mild temperatures made for very pleasant walking conditions. The A group were in Ballyhoura Country with leader Willie Ryan and began their walk from Ballyorgan School. Passing the Holiday Homes, the group of 8 headed through the forest path and past a flock of grazing Jacob sheep to Glenosheen. They then climbed to Seefin where visibility was poor and after a break for lunch at the picnic tables in The Green Wood they paid a visit to The Coillte Cycle Centre and returned via Oliver's Folly back to Ballyorgan, completing a loop of 16km in 4.5 hours. Many thanks to Willie for this visit to a lovely area.
Closer to home, Rita Mooney led the B group of 19 walkers on a 4 hour loop on Slievenamuck, starting and finishing at Aherlow House Hotel. The route taken brought them past Rock an Thorabh, across the Ballagh Road and into Bansha Woods where a stop for lunch was made at the tables in Kilshane car park. The return was along the southern side of the ridge with it’s wonderful Galtee views and took them past the Christ the King statue and into the Nature Park, always a beautiful place but particularly so at this time of year. Many thanks to Rita and also to Danny for his help.
We welcome two new members to the club, one on each walk, and hope to see them out regularly.
There are three club walks on Sunday next November 27. The A walkers are meeting in Kilbeheny Village at 10am with Joe Browne for a visit to the Blackrock Valley. B walkers will travel to Silvermines village, meeting at 10am, where Goretti Campbell will take them through the hills in that area. Henrietta Kearney will meet the C walkers in Galbally village square at 11am for a gentle climb to the megalithic tomb known as Darby’s Bed.
A reminder also that there is a fixtures committee meeting in the Excel Centre at 8pm on this Thursday November 24.

November 29th, 2011

Amidst all the broken weather lately, we seem to be lucky when it comes to Sunday and last Sunday was another beautiful day for walking. The A walk was in the Galtees and the group of seven led by Joe Browne set off from Galtee Castle car park. Joe’s route took them through the scenic Blackrock Valley, up by Knockaterriff and on to Lyracappul with its wonderful views of all the surrounding peaks. After a lunch break here it was on by the wall for 20 minutes before descending by Bengower and the Glounreagh Valley to complete the loop in 4.5 hours. Thank You Joe.
Goretti Campbell led the 12km and 4-hour B walk along the length of the undulating Silvermines Ridge starting and finishing at Knockanroe Woods and taking in part of the Knockanroe Loop. The group of 29, including new member Jim, enjoyed magnificent views in all directions, including the town of Nenagh, Lough Derg, the River Shannon, the Clare hills, The Mulkear Valley with its winding river and Keeper hill on the other side. The disused mines near Silvermines Village were a reminder of busier times in the industrial history of the area. Thank you, Goretti, for organising this walk in what was a new area for many and for your commentary along the way. Thanks also to Thos and Rody for the songs.
Ten people enjoyed a lovely C walk starting from Galbally Village and taking the gentle climb to the megalithic tomb at the top of Duntryleague Hill. Again, given the weather conditions, views in all directions were excellent. The walk was organised by Henrietta Kearney and the leader on the day was Mary Murphy. Thank you to both ladies and welcome to one first-time walker.
There are two walks on Sunday next, December 4. John O'Dwyer will lead a 5 to 6 hour A walk in the Galtees starting from Carey's Garage, Kilcoran at 10am while at the opposite side of the range the B walkers will meet with George Keogh at Clydagh Bridge at 10am for a climb of Cush and Galtee Beag.
The planning has taken place for our new schedule of walks up to March 2012 and the full list will be available on this site shortly.

December 5th, 2011

Challenging is probably the kindest word one could use to describe conditions for walking on the Galtees on Sunday last. Poor visibility, gale force winds, rain, sleet and the first snowflakes of winter were all experienced by our two groups of walkers who took to the mountain.
The A group of seven began their walk at Glengarra woods under the guidance of Thomas O’Neill. After exiting the trees they climbed to Greenane (802m) with the intention of continuing further along the ridge but given the conditions they instead decided to retreat downwards to the shelter of the forests where they completed a loop on some of the many tracks in the area. In all they covered 16 kilometres in under 5 hours. Many thanks to Thomas who was standing in for John on the day.
On the other side of the mountain George Keogh had thirteen on the B walk to Cush and Galtybeag, starting from Clydagh Bridge. On reaching the top of Cush four people decided to return to the cars while the remaining nine continued on to climb Galtybeag (799 m). Not being a day for staying in one place for too long, lunch was consumed quickly in what shelter was available at the summit before the descent via the Geisha Steps and O’Brien's farm to complete the loop of 10km in 4 hours. It was a rain-soaked group that arrived back at the cars but all felt a sense of achievement. Thank you George and well done to both leaders for your navigation skills on a difficult day.
Walks for next Sunday, December 11: A walkers are meeting at Rossadrehid Waterworks at 10am for 5 to 6 hours in the Galtees with Paul Ryan. Brendan Sheils is in the Ballyhouras, meeting the B walkers in Kilfinane at 10am for 4 hours on Carron Mountain. The C group meets at Bansha Woods car park at 11am with Joan Kavanagh for a more gentle walk on forest tracks which would be very suitable for new people considering joining the club.
The Club Christmas Party will be held in Aherlow House Hotel on December 17. Booking closes on December 6 and spaces are limited but if you read this early in the week you may still have a chance of reserving a place by phoning the hotel directly.

December 12th, 2011

The club had three groups out on Sunday last in cool and sometimes showery weather. The A walkers were in the Galtees with Tom Lyons who was standing in for Paul Ryan. The group of eight started from Rossadrehid Water Works and headed in the direction of Lake Muskry before taking a right turn at the stile and making the climb of Knockastackeen. From there they dropped to the col and picked up a sheep track leading to Lake Boreen. After a circuit of the lake and a break for lunch, the summit of Cush was the next target followed by the return to the cars on forest tracks. Thanks to Tom for standing in and taking everyone round this 13km circuit covered in 4.5 hours.
Brendan Sheils met the B group in Kilfinane for his walk in the Ballyhouras. After driving to Ballinaboola car park the group of five began their climb to Carron Mountain on the Cork-Limerick border enjoying good views of the Nagles Mountains to the south. The summit of 445 metres was mist covered but this did not prevent a few photos from being taken and the forest edge slightly lower down provided shelter for a lunch break. The 11km, 4.5 hour circuit was completed on forest tracks and enjoyed by all. Thanks Brendan.
The C walk had the most participants on Sunday last when 14 people enjoyed a forest track loop in Bansha Woods led by Joan Kavanagh. Joan’s route brought the walkers as far as the road at Cordangan and along by the Millennium Stone, which is the perfect place for a lunch break. A slight shower couldn’t dampen the spirits and the happy atmosphere. There’s no doubt that the Sunday walk is the perfect break from the hectic run-up to Christmas. Thanks and well done, Joan.
Speaking of Christmas, The Club’s annual party takes place on Saturday next and, no doubt, it will be greatly enjoyed by all who attend. It’s unlikely that many will be in the mood for walking on the following day but for everyone else, a reminder that there is a 4 hour B walk on forest tracks and some road, meeting in Kilsheelan Village at 10am.
























Galtee Walking Club