Gallery5 - NICS Ramblers

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SPELGA SKYLINE 7 JULY 18

Nine members met at the car park at Spelga Dam and took the track leading around Slievenamuck and on to Butter. The group descended from Butter, crossing the Slievenaman Road and taking the Ott track towards Ott and Cairn. Following a brief "banana" break, we followed the wall to the summit of Muck. The group descended Muck, crossing the Kilkeel Road and ascending Pigeon. Following lunch on Pigeon the group headed across to Cock Mountain. At this point we divided into two groups with one group scaling the summits of Cock and Slievenamiskin and the others traversing around towards the dam wall. The general concensus was that those taking the summit route had the easier path whilst the others battled through waist high reeds. A fine walk was completed by crossing at the foot of the dam wall and returning to the car park where a welcome ice cream awaited.(thanks to Cowan for the photos and text)

DINGLE WAY 10-17 JUNE 18

To enable the circular route to be completed in 7 days, the Ramblers started and finished The Dingle Way at Camp. The peninsula was circled clockwise with overnight stops at Annascaul, Dingle, Dunquin, Cuas, Cloghan and back to Camp. The route took in road, lane, boreens and beach sections, with a challenging section around Brandon. For the most part we were blessed with fine weather although the group did suffer the full impact of Storm Hector as we undertook the Slea Head section. The guesthouses provided comfortable and friendly accommodation with fine food. The pubs and restaurants provided fine food and ales. Our thanks to John Holmes for organising another fine trail walk and well done to all for completing the Dingle Way! (thanks to Cowan for the photos and text and to Jim, Peter and Cowan for taking on the daily organisation and walk leading roles in my absence)

PIGEON AND EAGLE 19 MAY 18

Fifteen ramblers gathered at the Pigeon Rock car park on a fine spring day with the option of two alternative routes ahead. The first leg of the ramble took us from the car park to the wall, close to the summit of Pigeon Rock Mountain and then to Slievemoughanmore. At this point the group split with 7 continuing on to Eagle Mountain, across to Slievemageogh and back to the car park via Pigeon Rock. The remaining eight ramblers descended to the Windy Gap and followed the quarry track down the valley before crossing to Slievemageogh and following the path from the summit back to the car park via Pigeon Rock.
Our thanks to Norman for leading the high level walk and to Colin for leading the group which took the "low level” route. A challenging low level is probably a more accurate description!
(thanks to Cowan for photos and text)

BLOODY BRIDGE TO NEWCASTLE(HL/LL) 21 APRIL 18

Thirteen club members gathered at Donard Park in beautiful sunny weather where the group car-shared to Bloody Bridge. The low level walkers arrived first and headed up the Brandy Pad towards the Mourne Wall. It did not take long for the high level walkers to catch up and we arrived as one Group for the regulation “Banana break” at the quarry. From there, it was onward to the Mourne wall where individuals decided on which route they would take. The high level walkers followed the wall up and over Donard and then to Commedagh before returning to Donard Park via Slievenamaddy. The Low level walkers followed the Brandy pad to the col between Donard and Commedagh and waited for their fellow walkers to join them. Those who chose not to do Commedagh, returned to Donard Park via the Glen River path. The decision to include a low level Mournes option proved popular. This route offered low, high and higher options! Thanks to all who participated, a fine day was had by all.(thanks to Cowan and Ivan for photos and text)

HAPPY VALLEY, SLIEVELOUGHSHANNAGH 7 APRIL 18

Ten ramblers met at the  Happy Valley carpark in fine walking weather. Under the leadership of Colin and Orlagh, the group headed up on to the Mourne Way, in the direction  of Fofanny Dam. We took the high path around Meelmore and Meelbeg and then on to the summit of Slieve Loughshannagh. Following a short “banana” break, the ramblers descended to the saddle and then on to Meelmore and Meelbeg, where lunch was called for. The return journey took us down to the saddle between Meelmore and Bearnagh and then on to the path leading back to the stile at Slieve Loughshannagh. From there, it was back along the track to Happy Valley carpark. Low cloud and mist masked the scenery and whilst the weather gods were kind, it was decidedly damp underfoot. Our thanks to Colin and Orlagh for organising and leading the walk.(thanks to Cowan for photos and text)

KILBRONEY, SLIEVE MARTIN 24 MARCH 18

Another Saturday, and another walk in the Mournes, this time in the little-visited southern mountains. Our leader Norman had promised good weather – not like two weeks ago when the rain almost washed us back to Belfast - and so the sun beamed as ten walkers gathered in Rostrevor’s Kilbroney Park to begin the trek. But first, the traditional ritual of a coffee and scone – or in Den’s case a sausage roll – in the revamped coffee shop in Kilbroney Park. Then it was off, an easy slog up to the Cloughmore Stone, a 50-ton glacial erratic – from here there are great views over Carlingford Lough. The area was very busy with lots of runners, walkers and cyclists jostling for space. The rounded contours of Slieve Martin beckoned, then it was down the other side and a lunch-stop fornenst the forest. A wrong turn took us down a slope and through the wettest bog imaginable until we found the right path through the forest and a pleasant – and dry – dander back to the car park. A splendid day out.(thanks to Jim for the photos and text)

SEEFINS 10 MARCH 18

On a very wet and windy Saturday, eight intrepid walkers set off from Dinnywater gates. Guided by the redoubtable Denis Hamill,  we first easily ascended Round and Long Seefin before heading through the granite workings of Rocky Mountain- so far so good. Crossing the Bog of Donard, we headed up and over Chimney Rock which was not very pleasant as the wind increased blowing rain and sleet into our faces. The low mist meant visibility was very limited and it was of course very wet underfoot requiring much effort not to slip. The ridge to Spence’s Mountain was next and the plan was to drop down and follow the usual route back to Rourke’s Park. Unfortunately the wind had blown us slightly off course and we finished at a different spot necessitating a lift back to Dinnywater. The rain had not ceased and everyone was soaked through. We have had better days in the Mournes.
Before setting off, we handed over a cheque for £150, raised at our AGM,  to Ronan McBride from the Mourne Rescue team. Ronan commented that the team was most grateful for the donation.
(thanks to Helen Magill and Jim for the photos and to Jim for the text)

GORTIN WEEKEND 2-4 MARCH 18

Text to follow(thanks to Helen Magill for photos)

BRANDY PAD 17 FEBRUARY 18

15 walkers met on a glorious morning at Meelmore Lodge and were transferred to Bloody Bridge car park by hired minibus (thanks to Sinead and the Club for organising). Our route followed the Brandy Pad to the quarry below the Mourne Wall at Donard. At this point we split into three groups.
The A group pushed on along the Brandy pad towards the Hares Gap and from there to Bea
rnagh and Meelmore before returning to Meelmore Lodge via Spellagh. The B group followed closely in their footsteps, taking in Bearnagh before returning to Meelmore Lodge via Pollaphuca and the Trassey Track. The C group took a leisurely walk along the Brandy Pad to the Hares Gap and from there back to the Lodge via the Trassey Track.
A day of unbroken sunshine accompanied by splendid views of the helicopter as it continued its work aiding the restoration of the Mourne Wall. Those in the A and B group had a closer encounter with the machine and crew on Bearnagh. Those in the C group had to be content with a friendly circle overhead! A grand day out!(thanks to Cowan for photos and text)

DOAN, CAIRN, OTT 3 FEBRUARY 18

Ten Ramblers gathered at the carpark at the foot of Butter Mountain for the walk  led by Colin and Orlagh. The route followed the Ott Track to the saddle between Slieve Loughshannagh and Cairn Mountain and from there followed a somewhat indistinct path across wet bog land and heather to Doan. The group contoured around Doan before climbing to the summit from the Silent Valley side – a tough but interesting ascent. Poor visibility spoiled the views and it was decided that given the poor weather conditions, crossing to Ben Crom would be avoided. Under Colin and Orlaghs expert map reading, we headed for Cairn Mountain and from there to Ott Mountain before descending once again to the Ott track and back to the carpark. A fine walk with some challenging conditions under foot but mercifully the rain stayed away until we were all safely back in our cars! Thanks to Colin and Orlagh for organizing and their fine leadership. (thanks to Cowan for photos and text)

LUKES MOUNTAIN 20 JANUARY 18

Thanks to Orlagh and Cowan for the photos and Cowan for the text on the Photos page.

AGM 19 JANUARY 18

The NICS Ramblers AGM was held at the Stormont Pavilion, commencing with the necessary business matters which saw Imelda(Secretary) and Helen(Treasurer) step down and be replaced by Sinead McCartan and Norman McElhinney respectively. A welcome meal followed accompanied by a slideshow of the 2017 walks and holidays. After the meal Den conducted a raffle which raised the excellent sum of £140(rounded up by the club to £150) for the worthy cause of Mourne Mountain Rescue. The evening concluded with musical entertainment provided by Victor. Thanks to the members who attended, contributed raffle prizes and helped make the evening a success.

 
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