Hill Walking Open Day Sunday February 7th Review
The Club held its “Hillwalking Open Day” in the Gap of Dunloe on Sunday, 7th February last. Although it was a wet and windy day with storm “Imogen” howling through the gap there was a large turnout.
On arrival walkers were welcomed by the social officer Liz who was hard to miss at Kate Kearney’s Cottage car park with her orange high visibility vest with the club name and logo on the back. Club members and a large number of new walkers turned out for the variety of walks available. There were three grades of walks to suit hikers of varying levels of fitness all starting at 11.00am. From the car park one group of hikers headed up the Gap of Dunloe, the second group tackled Strickeen and Cnoc na Bhraca, whilst the third group took to climbing Tomies and Purple Mountains. This area in the MacGillycuddy Reeks range is steeped in Irish Mythology where it is said that “The Fianna” frequented many years ago.
Conditions on the walks were extremely challenging with storm “Imogen” getting more ferocious as the door wore on with visibility deteriorating throughout the day. However all three walking groups got back safely and the feedback was very positive particularly with the newcomers saying they enjoyed it despite the stormy weather.
Hats off to the hillwalking leaders who demonstrated their excellent navigation and leadership skills in the challenging conditions.
An open log fire and hot whiskies/coffees were the perfect treat upon arrival at the Abbey Hotel in Ballyvourney for the group dinner. Heart-warming food was enjoyed by everyone whilst rugby enthusiasts were able to take in part of the RBS 6 Nations Ireland versus Wales game live from the Aviva Stadium. The Irish team were able to hold back a ferocious attack by the Welsh team in the closing minutes of the game. Happily Ireland were able to achieve a creditable 16 all draw against the Welsh side. What a great finish to a wonderful day in the mountains.