What makes a QUALITY MOUNTAIN DAY (QMD)?

 

 

ANDREW MAP  ANDREW WALK STATS

 

 

These images record the TMC Level 3 Walk led by Andrew Kelliher on Feb 11, 2018. The route took us from Lisleibane, up a spur to Coomeenapeasta, across the Reeks to the Devil’s Ladder, out the Heavenly Gates and back to Lisleibane, a total distance of 13.39 Km, over 5 hours and 40 minutes, with a total height gain of 1184m.

The conditions were fantastic. The forecast (BBC) was for snow, which fell in bursts as pellets/graupel, and lay as powder snow. There was some pack on the ridges and a few patches of ice. The wind was light but gusting in snow bursts that reduced visibility on an otherwise bright and sunny day.

 

 

It was a fantastic day in the mountains and the question is this:

   does it qualify as a QUALITY MOUNTAIN DAY?

or

   would it be classed as a Quality Hill Walking Day (QHWD)?

 

A QMD matters if you wish to progress in the sport. The ML or Mountain Leader award requires that you log at least 20 quality mountain days. A QHWD, on the other handis the cornerstone of the award for group leaders. More about that in a later post.

 

DEFINING A QUALITY MOUNTAIN DAY:

According to the Irish Mountain Training Board, a broad definition of a QMD is one which presents new experiences and challenges. Such a day would generally consist of the following:

  • The candidate is involved in the planning and instigation.
  • The walk would last at least 5 hours and take place in an unfamiliar area.
  • The majority of time should be spent above 500m, distance should be over 16km with over 600m of height gain during the day, and cover a variety of terrain.
  • The use of a variety of hill walking techniques.
  • Adverse weather conditions may be encountered.
  • Experience must be in terrain and weather comparable to that found in the Irish and UK hills.

 

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Then there were six, approaching the top of the Heavenly Gates. Bertie is behind the camera. Connie and Billy headed for the summit.

 

Does Andrew’s walk qualify?

Six of us were involved in doing a recce with Andrew under very similar conditions, which qualifies as being involved in the planning and instigation of the walk. The conditions were challenging, cancelling out familiarity with the terrain, although there was still no need to navigate. The snow meant we had to carry extra  equipment, although the quality of the snow (pellet) meant that ice axes and crampons weren’t much use. That required other techniques. We were well over 500m for most of the day and our total ascent of 1184m was almost twice the minimum requirement of 600m. We covered 13.39Km, a good bit short of the 16Km recommended but we did have to use a variety of hillwalking techniques, especially going down the Heavenly Gates, which were full of powder snow.

 

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Generally speaking – and the Irish Mountain Training Board has given a broad definition  that generally includes the above – Andrew’s walk would have to qualify as a QMD. It certainly did present new experiences and challenges. That is why TMC has always  climbed in snow, and there is no better place for a quality day in the mountains than the Reeks on a snowy day.

For more on quality mountain days have a look at this forum or this blog.

 

Next: Far Away Hills Are White!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logging your walks and climbs

 

 

This short video records the ascent of Curved Ridge in the Scottish Highlands by members of TMC on September 28, 2017. It’s a good idea to log all your walks (lowland and mountain) or climbs (rock climbing outdoors and the wall indoors),  especially if you are considering submitting for an award like the Lowland Leader Award or the Mountain Leader Award (better known as the M.L.), the Single Pitch Award (in rock climbing), and the Climbing Wall Award  etc.

 

Recording a walk

It has never been easier to record your walks and climbs. Back in the day all walks were written up in the club’s log book, but, surprise surprise, things have moved on. Mike Slattery’s watch, yes watch,  gives a good impression of the approach, climb, and walk out on the day we climbed Curved Ridge. View Ranger is a great way of recording actual routes on  the OSI 1:50.000 maps that we use.  Most members will be familiar with the maps Bertie Hickey puts up on Facebook:

 

 

Berties Map
Route map/track by Bertie Hickey

 

 

This is the route of Andrew Kelliher’s recce for the Level 1 walk tomorrow, Sun 11 Feb, 2017, the long awaited return to the Reeks. Interactive maps like this are taking over from the traditional route card, but two points need to be made on this.

  • The first point is that you still need to be able to navigate from a map and interpret the terrain that you are walking in. We recommend that you have a ‘paper’ map (laminated) and compass with you and that you apply the navigation skills that you learned in Mountain Skills 1 & 2.
  • The second is that you will need to carry your phone, or whatever device you are using to access View Ranger, in a weather proof pouch and have a backup power source in case the battery fails. These are widely available but remember, they need to be weather proof as well. Water and electric circuits don’t mix.

 

 

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Andrew Kelliher leading the group from Coomeenapeasta to the the Bone.

 

 

The next step is to keep a record of the walk, not just the route.

  • You will need to decide on the type of walk, whether it was a walk amongst equals, a group walk with a leader, or a walk that you led.
  • You will also need to decide if it qualifies for a Quality Mountain Day (QMD).
  • You will need to describe the weather, including wind speed, direction, precipitation, and temperature.
  • Finally you will need to  include all details of your route, including map sheet number, start and end points, peaks summited, total height gain, and notable events.
  • You should have a screen grab of the route, if you are using View Ranger, and photos that show the conditions and/or challenges encountered during the walk.
  • It is also recommended that leaders record the name of everyone on the walk.

 

Writing up the log

Then you need to write up the log.  This can be done online on the Mountaineering Ireland website. Every member of Mountaineering Ireland has access to an online digital log. Simply log on and access the Digital Log menu on your Homepage.

 

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Then fill in the details.

 

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It’s as easy as that!

We recommend that you collect the information as you go, getting a weather forecast, making a route card and/or tracking your actual route,  taking photographs of conditions etc. It is handy to write up each section in Text Edit, Notepad or something similar and cut and paste the information into the online log.

 

That’s it.

 

Next post: what makes a Quality Mountain Day?

 

 

 

 

Píosa dramaíochta faoi chursaí sléibhteoireachta: in omós do Aodh Ó Domhnaill 1947-2018

 

From tuairisc.ie:

An scríbhneoir ildánach Aodh Ó Domhnaill ar shlí na fírinne

Choimeád éagsúlacht agus feabhas shaothar Aodha Uí Dhomhnaill spiorad agus nuálaíocht i ndrámaíocht na Gaeilge. Tá creathadh mór bainte as saol na Gaeilge agus saol na hamarclannaíochta tráthnóna ag an scéala go bhfuil an scríbhneoir ildánach Aodh Ó Domhnaill imithe ar shlí na fírinne.

Bhásaigh Aodh Ó Domhnaill go tobann Eanair 24, 2018 agus é i mbun na hoibre ab ansa leis ag a dheasc scríbhneoireachta.

Rugadh Aodh Ó Domhnaill i mBaile Átha Cliath sa bhliain 1947 ach, ag maireachtáil i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh i gCorca Dhuibhne a bhí Aodh agus a bhean chéile Máiréad Ní Chinnéide, arb as Ciarraí di, le roinnt blianta anuas.

Le fiche bliain anuas is leis an drámaíocht is mó a bhíodh sé ag plé agus luaitear go háirithe é leis an gcompántas a raibh a chroí agus a anam ann, Aisteoirí Bulfin.

 


Taifeadadh  an píosa seo in Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, ar an mBuailtín, i Mí na Samhna seo chaite, tar éis do comórtas a bhuaigh le linn Oireacthtais na Samhna, i dteannta le Noel Ó Maoileoin.