We walk every second Sunday starting from the Gap o' the North pub in Jonesborough at 10AM. There is a strong local focus on the Cooleys and the Ring of Gullion with occasional trips to the Mournes and further afield. As far as possible we try to combine each walk with some local knowledge of history or archaeological sites and interpretation of landscape to show farming and community development over the centuries.
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Many of our panoramic viewpoints on the Ring of Gullion are highly recommended by British Military Intelligence
Walks last 4-5 hours and most are suitable for reasonably fit beginners,but,
Hillwalking is totally different to roadwalking. Please note safety considerations below - and wear boots with a deep tread, runners are never safe in the mountains and people
wearing them cannot
come out with us.
Après-walk socialising back in the pub is not
essential but we
guarantee you will
enjoy the stew,open
fire ,craic and a well earned pint !!!!
· Our mountains are not inherently dangerous; the main danger is presented by the extreme changeability of our weather where all four seasons can be experienced within a couple of hours.
· The first rule of safety is to have a clearly designated leader and to accept his/her leadership, then for everyone to act as a group and put group safety first.
· The leader has to have a planned route including any alternatives and an outline timing, especially in the short days. The leader must take account of available hours of daylight and visibility and have necessary mapping and compass skills.
· The leader’s first duty is to count the walkers going up and make sure the same number come down.
· The leader does not have to go first, in fact most good leaders spend a lot of time in the middle of the group encouraging and advising. Good practice is for the leader to nominate a front person (fast walker) and rear person (slow walker) and secure their firm agreement that they will keep each other in sight at all times. Nobody goes ahead of the nominated front person or behind the rear person. At every fork in the path the front person consults the leader for directions.
· Most accidents happen on the way down, and particularly at the very beginning of the descent. Muscles and tendons which warmed and stretched and became very flexible on the way up may have cooled and tightened during the break. Best practice is to find sheltered places for the break, keep it short and avoid beginning the descent on very steep ground. It is also good practice for walkers to have a warm drink and extra fleece with them.
· Most accidents are a result of slipping or stumbling on wet ground or wet rocks and upper-limb fractures are the biggest danger. More serious are lower-limb fractures or sprains which prevent a person walking. Accidents are extremely rare among people who use walking poles.
· On steep or rocky descents keep a couple of meters between you and other walkers. We all have a deep instinct to grab another person if we stumble and the result can be two people injured.Everyone can contribute to safety by learning more about mountain areas. For the Mournes there is a large-scale (1:25000) map, otherwise we use the Discovery 1:50000 series, OSNI (Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland) sheet 29 or OSI (Orndance Survey of Ireland ) sheet 36.