The Cork Backpackers Hillwalking Club (CBHC for short) is based in Cork city although members come from all over the county and beyond. The Backpackers is one of the most active and longest established hiking clubs in Cork having been founded in 1982. The Club always welcomes new hillwalkers; so here are a few notes about what to expect regarding the Cork Backpackers Hill Walking Club and its activities.
The Club organises a day walk every two weeks (on Sundays) throughout the entire year to various locations in Munster including Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford. There are four Walk Grades, starting with the Easy/ Trial Walk (which is for those who would like to try out the sport) up to an Advanced Walk (for those who are very fit), the emphasis being on participation and enjoyment.
The walk meeting point is on the South Mall opposite the Imperial Hotel on Sunday morning (check the sign up forms for the meeting times) We carpool here and leave sharply 15mins after the stated times. For safety, numbers on walks are limited, so it is essential that you sign up for a walk online.
Getting to the Walk
When available, new hillwalkers and non-drivers will be assigned to a designated driver and car for the day. This driver will be on the same level walk as you so that you both finish the walk at about the same time. As well as being environmentally friendly, carpooling is beneficial because quite often parking may be limited at the hillwalking start point. Each passenger sharing a car is asked to contribute €10 for fuel to the driver.
On the way to the mountains, the club stops for coffee and scones at a designated cafe/restaurant/hotel. Walkers should ensure that they pay for their own tea/coffee and scone before leaving the coffee stop.
Food and Drinks
Walkers should bring a packed lunch and sufficient water (1 litre minimum) to be consumed during the walk. In cold weather, a flask with a hot drink is recommended. Remember also that chocolate is a great source of instant energy.
Change of Clothes
Walkers should bring a change of clothes (including a towel) to change into after the walk. These can be left in the car during the walk.
Following the walk and a change of clothes, hillwalkers from the different grades of walks may gather together in the “Après Walk” venue for refreshments. This is a convivial occasion in a local pub/restaurant/hotel where walkers can meet walkers from the other grades of walks and swap experiences. Following the meal walkers should ensure they pay for their food and drink before departure.
Because of the changeability and unpredictability of weather on the Irish mountains, proper weatherproof clothing is essential.
Click here for recommended walking gear: Hillwalking Gear
Prior to the commencement of a walk you are advised to alert the Walk Leader of any medical condition you have, for example, asthma, diabetes etc..
Note: Walkers participate at their own risk.
The following walk grade descriptions are guidelines only. Please be aware that the time taken for a walk will be influenced by other factors e.g. the weather conditions, terrain, numbers on the walk etc.. In general, all walks will be of a shorter duration during the winter months.
“D” Walk: Easy – Medium
These are at an easy pace with frequent breaks, a total ascent of 300-600m and distance of 6 to 8 kms. The terrain is normally tracks or paths with gradual ascents and descents. Duration 3-5 hours.
“C” Walk: Medium – Moderate
A reasonable pace with regular breaks covering an average distance of 12 kilometres with a height gain of 800-900m (approx). The walk takes place in the mountain environment and does require a reasonable level of fitness. Duration 4-6 hours.
“B” Walk: Moderate – Strenuous
Good pace with few breaks, total ascent of 700-1000m (approx) and a distance of 12 to 16 kms. This walk requires a good level of fitness. Duration 5-7 hours.
“A” Walk – Advanced
Strenuous, fast pace, a total ascent of 1,000m or more and a distance of up to 18kms. This grade of walk requires a high level of fitness. Duration 7-9 hours
Please observe the leader’s instructions
If you do tend to walk a little ahead of the main group please be aware that you may be leading the group off the intended route; this can be very dangerous in poor visibility! You are not only responsible for yourself, but also for anyone who may go off with you!
Walk Check in on Sunday Mornings
When you arrive at the South Mall on Sunday morning, please check in with your Walk Leader. If you intend meeting the group at the walk start or the coffee stop on the Sunday morning, please take note of the stated meeting time on the sign up form, so as to avoid any unnecessary waiting around for walkers on the Sunday morning and kindly check in with their walk leader as soon as possible. It is the walker’s responsibility to check in with the walk leader and not the other way around. Adherence to this will save a lot of time and confusion at the start point/coffee stop. Car sharing is the normal means of transport. Each passenger sharing a car is asked to contribute €10 to the driver as a contribution towards fuel.
Please inform your Walk Leader if you have any Medical condition or injury which may affect you during a walk. e.g. asthma, diabetes, sore leg etc.
Bank Holiday Weekends
On most of the major Bank Holiday Weekends the club organises a “weekend away” to places such as Dingle, Westport and Glendalough. The format of the weekend usually consists of a choice of walks on the Saturday, with the option of a further walks on the Sunday. Other members might choose to go for a cycle, do some kayaking or simply visit the various sites in the area that we are staying in. If you enjoy the active as well as the social side of things you will probably find yourself pretty tired by the end of the weekend!!
Socially the club is also quite active and holds a Christmas party and summer barbecue as well as the occasional pub quiz and Friday night out etc. Every September there is an Annual General Meeting, At the AGM members elect a new committee to run the club during the year. Members are encouraged to assist the club whenever possible and to volunteer to join the committee.
Each year the club organises trips abroad including places such as Camino de Santiago de Compestello in northern, Spain, Snowdonia in Wales, the islands off the coast of Croatia etc. Members have completed climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and ascents to the base camp of Everest.
You can apply for membership by clicking the button here:Membership
The Club is affiliated to Mountaineering Ireland which confers a number of benefits. These include:
- Civil Liability and Limited Personal Accident cover insurance policy
- A personalised membership card
- Ten percent discount (on production of membership card) in all good outdoor shops and a variety of other related retailers
- The Irish Mountain Log magazine delivered quarterly by post to your home address
As the Cork Backpackers Club is a not for profit organisation, any monies remaining are used to cover the running costs of the Club.
Backpackers Club Equipment
The Club has purchased the following equipment for use by members:
- 2 tents
- Climbing rope
- GPS Units
Members will pay a deposit for the use of these items and they will receive a refund on the safe return of the equipment.
For further details contact Donal O’Donovan.
Club E-mail List
For those of you with e-mail, the Club now has a mailing list. To send an e-mail message to everyone on the list, send the message to email@example.com. Please note that this is NOT a mailing list on an internet server; the club stores the e-mail list on a private computer.
NOTE: The e-mail list is strictly for Club messages, for use by Club members only.