Easter Weekend, Westport
Dear Cork Backpacker Hillwalking Club member,
The Westport Easter Weekend break away from 14th to 17th April can only be described as a huge success with 50 members travelling four hours to the west.
Being the principal organiser, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking such an active part over the breakaway and creating a positive lively spirit which made it a really enjoyable time for everyone. The weather was perfect: sunny and windy all weekend.
On Easter Saturday there were three walks all attempting to summit Mweelrea (814m) as part of this year’s Four Peaks Challenge. The Moderate walk with 9 walkers was led by Jerry Murphy, the short walk with 20 members was led by Donal O’Leary and the easy walk with 5 walkers was led by Dan White
The moderate walk completed the demanding Mweelrea Horseshoe. The short and easy walks both took the eastern approach to Mweelrea.
The weather was favourable and in the event, all three walks reached the summit meaning all 34 walkers completed the challenge successfully. Congratulations and well done to all concerned and special thanks to our dedicated and knowledgeable walk leaders. All participants will be presented with their certificate shortly.
Celebrations were held at “Helm” restaurant where we were served a really delicious 4 course meal and everyone danced and sang the night away till the wee hours.
On Easter Sunday one group climbed Croagh Patrick (764 metres) which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo, and is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland.
The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Its religious significance dates back to the time of the pagans, when people are thought to have gathered here to celebrate the beginning of harvest season.
Croagh Patrick is renowned for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. The Black Bell of Saint Patrick was a highly venerated relic on Croagh Patrick for many years.
Two groups cycled the “Great Western Greenway” One completed the 96km challenge from Westport to Achill return and the other opted for a shorter cycle of 42km. The “Greenway” is the longest and almost entirely traffic free route in the country.
All members thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the west.