News 2012

Title: Mountaineering Ireland Autumn Gathering 2012
Date: 19/10/2012
Mountaineering Ireland Autumn Gathering 2012

19 October 2012

Huge thank you to the CROWS Hillwalking Club for hosting a great weekend in the Cooleys. The whole Club supported the weekend. A special thanks has to go to Eugene McManus for his help and support in the build up to the Autumn Gathering. Crows Chairperson, Eugene Mulholland opened the Gathering with great enthusiasm and welcomed all comers to the Cooleys on Friday evening.

The Gathering kicked off on Friday evening when Dermot Somers treated us to a very entertaining and enlightening talk on The Táin mythology and how the legends played out over the very hills we were walking in the next day. Everyone was on the look-out for the brown bulls and errant sliotars! What a great introduction to the uplands and lowlands of the Cooley region.

For those who had not been to the Cooleys before, or hadn’t visited for some time, the mountains put on a beautiful show, bathed in bright Autumn sunshine. The scenery was stunning and the ground underfoot perfect for a great variety of walks on the Saturday. There was something for everyone, even those who wanted something longer, something harder… was 23km through the Cooley Peninsula enough for you? Two groups headed for the Mournes, one climbing Slieve Donard and the other following a route from Carricklittle to Newcastle. I’m sure at some stage around lunch time, groups walking in the Cooleys and those in the Mournes could have waved to each other over Carlingford Lough. MI’s Paul Swail brought a group of youths bouldering in the Cooleys – big thanks also to Ricky Bell who helped out on the day.

A big thank you to our Sunday morning speakers for waking us up nice and early and keeping us awake throughout the morning with stories of conquering seemingly impossible bouldering problems (Ricky Bell), the important role the Irish have played in Alpine mountaineering (Declan O’Keefe), the Slieve Gullion Geo Park project concept (Brendan McSherry) and climbing in Torres del Paine in Patagonia (Rhys McAllister and James Gernon).

Finally thank you to the Carrickdale for providing an ideal base for the weekend, good food and an opportunity for some of our members to show off their moves on the dance floor on Saturday night!