Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Challenge Walks

There are no shortage of Challenge Walks in the Country. There’s something for everyone in the walking calendar, depending on your level of fitness and ability.

As a relative newcomer to the hill walking game it’s hard to decide on which ones to do, especially when your mountain skills knowledge is pretty basic. You tend to rely on others to walk with or, in some cases, a good clear day.    

As I live in the ‘middle’ of the Galtee, Knockmealdown and Comeragh ranges I’m more familiar with these mountains, as club walks tend to focus on these three. I’m cool with that as there’s plenty of walking on all of them, you can make the route as easy or hard as you like.

What I’m trying to do is create challenge walks out of the ranges that are close to me, leaving aside the ones that are already on the Challenge calendar. You can then gauge whether the ‘hard’ ones are within your fitness/ability and how long they should take you.   

In a previous post I wrote about doing the 4 local peaks (Fauscoum, Slievenamon, Galtymore & Knockmealdown) in the one day. On the 27th of April it was the turn of the ‘Glencush Horseshoe’ (in reverse), with a twist.

The distance for this walk is 14 kms and the height gain is 1,100m. The route starts at Clydagh Bridge and takes in Knocknanuss, Slievecushnabinnia, Galtymore, Galtybeg and back to Clydagh over Cush. The challenge for me was to do the route twice.

It felt a bit odd walking those mountains twice in the one day but there was no rain, the wind wasn’t too bad and the mist had lifted the second time round so the views were better. How bad?

If any reader has DIY challenge route suggestion or has done any themselves in and around these three mountain ranges, please post below.