The omens early on Sunday morning May 3rd did not look good. The sky was grey and bleak with heavy rain falling and the Backpackers had there Moonlight Walk to the Galtees that evening. However the Backpackers put their faith in the weather forecast which promised clearer weather that evening. At 5.45pm the hardy Backpackers gathered on Lower Glanmire Road to arrange lifts and car pool. Passing through Kilbeheny heavy showers continued and fleeting doubts passed through our minds. The cars arrived at King’s Yard, the starting point at 7.00pm with food and provisions and cooking equipment for our Midnight Feast.
As we changed into our boots the rain stopped and the sky brightened. Shortly before 7.30pm we set off for Galtymore. Within an hour we reached Knocknagalty with a mist above us limiting our views of the mountains. Soon afterwards we reached the lower slopes of Knockduff and the mist cleared briefly and we could see Galtymore in the distance. As the light began to fade we donned our head torches and trudged onwards to the Galty Wall built in the 19th which at 823m (2700ft) in altitude is one of Ireland’s best preserved mountain walls. The wall gave us shelter from the bitterly cold wind which had arisen and we rested briefly before the final assault on Galtymore.
Within ten or fifteen minutes we reached the summit and after finding shelter from the biting wind we enjoyed our sandwiches and hot drinks. On a cold windy night the Galtees are not a place to tarry and very soon we headed off reaching the finishing point just after midnight. There we enjoyed a scoop of warming whiskey whilst we waited for the frankfurters to cook. Soon we were all joking and laughing as we munched away well pleased with our outing and planning to arrange a further midnight walk in the summer.
A great night walk and one that will surely be repeated.