Thursday, August 13, 2009

Walking routes initiative aims to attract four million visitors...

TOURISM leaders hope to attract nearly four million extra visitors to Ireland over the coming years by upgrading walking routes and rolling out special facilities for hikers.

The Walkers Welcome initiative is signing up 150 businesses who will adapt their shops, accommodation and facilities for walkers, particularly those travelling from abroad. Walking in Ireland attracts some of the largest numbers of visitors each year, with more than 517,000 overseas visitors taking part in walking activities here in 2008.

Under the plans, local communities have signed up to guarantee regular maintenance and upkeep of local walks. These will include developing forest tracks and shorter looped off-road walks. The majority of walking visitors to Ireland seek looped walks of up to four hours with good scenery, says Fáilte Ireland. By the end of 2009, more than 130 looped walks in 26 counties will be completed, with trails off to facilities such as car parks, map boards and picnic areas, under the plans. Fáilte Ireland says it is providing expertise and materials to upgrade trails and walks free of charge to communities. Other parts of the initiative will include putting up mapboards and signage, identifying Walkers Welcome-approved accommodation and arranging friendly services in shops and pubs such as packed lunches and spaces for walking boots and gear. Up to 11 rural recreation officers have been appointed with responsibility for rolling out the walks in their areas in conjunction with community leaders.

Five areas and popular walking regions have signed up to help perfect popular hiking spots, including: the Burren, Co Clare; Donegal town and surrounding areas; Tinahely, Co Wicklow; The Slieve Blooms, Co Laois and Offaly; and the Glen of Aherlow, Co Tipperary.

According to Fáilte Ireland, there are potentially more than one million British residents who would get involved in walking here in the next three years. This is followed by 900,000 German visitors, 800,000 visitors from the US and 700,000 from the Netherlands...........Irish Examiner, Aug 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

BBC News...Danger on South America's highest peak

"Jolting along a mountain path in a park-keeper's jeep in Argentina's Mendoza State, we are surrounded by a series of beautiful, dry sand-coloured mountain ranges.
Pinks and violets, greens and blues emerge from the shadows in the landscape around us.
We've come to see South America's highest mountain, Aconcagua, in the park of the same name, which lies just ahead up the valley in full sunlight, its summit wreathed in snow.
The mountain, in the Andean range not far from the Chilean border, hit the headlines back in January..........for the full story, visit the
BBC News website. "

John Desmond..........BHC webmaster

Friday, May 8, 2009

Concerns about Carrauntoohil route...

From the Kerry Mountain Rescue Website...(May 2009)
Concerns have been raised about about the current condition of the Devil's Ladder. Recent rains have caused some movement of rocks and scree in the gully and there are a number of significant sized rocks which appear to be a little unstable at present, particularly in the upper section. Extreme caution should therefore be exercised on the Devil's Ladder at the present time. Whilst many people are still using the route safely, some have suggested using alternative routes as a safer option.
In addition a similar situation exists on the 'Heavenly Gates' track, where a large rock has tumbled to a precarious position at the top of the steepest section of the track at the Heavenly Gates itself. Extreme caution should also be exercised here as it would appear to be only a matter of time before there is further movement and this rock will certainly tumble down the track itself.

.....John Desmond, BHC

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sierra nevada mountains Andalucia 2008

Club trip to Southern Spain in April 2008. Picture shows the start of a walk to top of Mulhacen 3485m. Tha walk was 25km long, ascended 1400m and took 7 hours - excellent walking given the difficult snow conditions especially at the summit with drifts of 6 to 8 feet. Further photos of the complete trip may be viewed on Flickr on the following (click here)

......Michael Carey

Carrauntoohil via the Devil's Ladder...

I came across this well made video clip on YouTube and it shows a winter ascent of Carrauntoohil via the Devil's Ladder. While BHC do not usually use this route, it is still of interest.

.......John Desmond

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First post to the new club blog...

This new blog has just been started and it's purpose is to replace the old BHC News page that used to exist before. Updating that page was a very time consuming process and it should be a lot easier now with this blog.

If any club members come accross any items of news that they may think would be of interest to other members then why not share it? You can find my e-mail address on the following webpage......

John Desmond............BHC Webmaster