Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Maumturk Challenge Walk
I'm taking part in the Maumturk Challenge Walk next Saturday (April 3rd). Its arguably the most challenging of challenge walks on the Irish Walking Associations calendar.
They describe the route as "one of the strongest tests of endurance in the years calendar", "for very experienced walkers only". I've mentioned before my love of Connemara and its rugged and demanding hills. It's a part of the country largely unexplored by me. Last year I completed another demanding walk nearby, the Joyce Country Challenge which, despite misty and rainy conditions, proved to be a wonderfully arduous 31km trek and I'm busting to get back again.
The Maumturk challenge is 'only' 24km in comparison but what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in its steep inclines and variation in terrain. Adaptability, a robust temperament and a truck load of stamina are required for this test, the attributes most of us hillwalkers have in abundance.
A local weather system around the Twelve Bens and Maumturks mean conditions can change rapidly throughout the day so navigation skills and having your 'homework' done are essential. These things all make for a most interesting Saturday. If the weather holds, be prepared for some of the most fantastic mountain vistas in all of Ireland.
The walk is organised by the NUI Galway Mountaineering Club, they have registration and route info here.