Ben Crom, Divis and Black Mountain - 15 November 2018

Click on pic to enlarge

Mike led a small group on a big mountain walk starting at Meelmore Lodge and eventually arriving at Ben Crom where low flying cloud prevented their final ascent. The group returned safely via the col between Meelmore and Bearnagh. A great walk but with the cloud compromising views.

Click on pic to enlarge

The rest of us walked our traditional routes on Divis and Black Mountain enjoying a dry and blustery day although it was wet and slippery on the Heath Trail for those that put their trust in John - luckily everyone arrived back safely. Total distance walked for those who completed the Lough, Ridge and Heath Trails was about 8 miles. For a map showing where we walked click HERE. For a leaflet showing the various loop trails click HERE.

Click here to view more photographs of the walk.

Helen's Tower and Chimney Rock Mountain - 08 November 2018

We had two super walks on Thursday 08 November.

Gordon led a walk from the Somme Centre, Conlig taking in the famous Helens Tower (pictured above) where the group stopped for the obligatory photo opportunity. It was (as promised) a perfect day for walking with lovely autumnal colours. Click on pic above to view more photographs of the walk courtesy of Cecil R..

For those seeking a greater challenge Mike led a walk up Chimney Rock Mountain, enjoying fabulous atmospheric views of the Mournes and successfully locating the remains of an American aircraft which crashed on the side of Chimney Rock in World War II - click on pic above for more photographs courtesy of Siobhan.

Chronicles of Mourne

The final episode of BBC1 NI's great series on the Mourne Mountains continues at 7.30pm next Monday night, 19 November, when the Mournes are transformed by the arrival of spring - click HERE for a preview of episode 4, Spring. You can watch previous episodes and this preview on iPlayer by clicking on the links below:

Gortin and Clare Glen - 01 November 2018

While Ruth led a shorter walk at Clare Glen Mike, John and Gordon led two great walks at Gortin - one starting in the village and the other at the forest park - both reached the summit of Mullaghcarn although some had doubts about John's GPS when he took them for an adventure in the woods. John and Gordon had great fun with the walkie talkies and proved that they could be used even when they are separated by no more than six feet!

For some pics of the walk (with thanks to Cecil R., Millie, Joan G. and John T) click HERE.

Walkie Talkies

We have taken delivery of four Motorola T80 Extreme walkie talkies and sucessfully trialed them for the first time on the ascent of Mullaghcarn. They have a 10Km range so they should cope with most eventualities and will be especially useful when we don't have mobile phone signals.

Initially we will be operating the walkie talkies tuned to channel 2 sub-code 22. We hope, rather like carrying umbrellas, that we won't be having to use them in earnest. For the present maybe we can have a bit of fun with them as we get familiar with their use.


Hallowe’en at Gosford – 25 October 2018

Our annual event at Gosford was in aid of the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team. We have twice had to rely on the services of Mountain Rescue for our walkers and it's always reassuring to know they are there if you get into difficulties. They are all volunteers and generously give up their time to come to the assistance of others in need.

We had great walks round Gosford Forest including a special guided tour by Phyllis of some of the 16Km of new tracks currently being completed. Afterwards we had a great lunch with a fabulous selection of soups - well done to everyone and special thanks to Martine who organised everything so well and only had a couple of sleepless nights along the way. It was worth it. If you would like the recipe for John's sizzling chorizo and chickpea soup or Joan's delicious celery and cashew nut soup click on the pic (right).

Thanks to the generosity of our walkers, we have raised almost £1,000 so far for Mourne Mountain Rescue - with one or two more donations expected we hope to have £1,000 shortly for this good cause. Thank you.

Casual Strictly comes to Gosford

If you would like to see where Phyllis led us today you can view her route by clicking HERE. Total distance was 5¼ miles. It was a delightful walk but next time, like Hansel and Gretel, I'll bring a bag of breadcrumbs to ensure we don't go over same track more than once. The ViewRanger app works on iPhones and Android phones - although maybe not well on very early versions. I would be happy to organise a training/experience-sharing exercise on use of ViewRanger, maybe during week commencing 12 November, if anyone is interested. You can find out about ViewRanger at their web site where, if you type in "Tollymore" at Discover your next outdoor adventure you will be presented with 317 options - maybe more by the time you try it.

After lunch at the Girl Guide House in Gosford we had some discussion about how our subscriptions are spent. Gordon explained the formation of Shankill Parish Caring Association (SPCA) and its vision "to promote the wellbeing of the inhabitants of Lurgan and its environs". SPCA has always been keen to ensure that Cedars leaders are properly trained and equipped - they have paid for the training of leaders and the purchase of most of the safety equipment carried by them including shelter tents, bivvy bags, foil blankets and first aid kits - plus some of the essentials like maps and compasses. They also pay for first aid training and the training of minibus drivers.

SPCA pays for our printing costs and provides (free of charge) accommodation and refreshments at Jethro for meetings and training sessions. They provide Public Liability insurance for the group and pay for our membership of the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs (URFC). Most of our walkers will have benefited from the use of their minibus and SPCA have also contributed on occasions to the cost of coach hire when payments made by walkers didn't quite meet coach hire costs. They pay for hosting the Cedars Walkers web site, currently £115.20 per year. And last but not least they are actively seeking to support the recruitment and training of more leaders to ensure that we can continue the success of the group into the future.


Mike's Topical Tips - preparing for winter

Mike gave some useful advice at Gosford on preparations for winter walking. It's not a time of year when you want to go out anywhere unprepared and it's particularly important that we don't tire at the end of walks when accidents are most likely to happen. A chocolate bar is a useful source of quick energy and if you bring a big one you'll be surprised how many friends you have. Nuts and raisins are also a healthy option for a quick boost. Somebody suggested that you might bring a tin of cat food - it's full of protein, you're less likely to nibble on it if you're peckish so it will always be there when you really need it. Not sure about veggie options for Mike.

Dry clothes are essential if you're out for a long time in cold weather. Make sure your outer garments are as waterproof as possible and use multiple layers rather than two or three thick warm garments to keep warm. Just in case the rain or the river get through it's a good plan to carry a dry tee shirt and socks in a sealed polythene bag; they don't take up much space but they do make you feel better when you put them on after a soaking on a cold day.

Mike also reminded us of the importance of carrying good hats and gloves as tempratures plummet and he sang the praises of the good old balaclava. Apparently it's not true that we lose half our body heat through our heads but heat loss is proportional to the amount of skin showing. Not only is the balaclava a "must have" fashion accessory out on the mountain, it minimises heat loss and keeps your ears, neck and chin warm in sub-zero temperatures. Heather models the latest style in balaclavas and proves that wearing one won't necessarily make you look like a bank robber. Click on pic to see more.


Leitrim Lodge/Slieve Roosley/Kilbroney - 18 October 2018

Lovely weather as per forecast - sunny intervals and light winds - another perfect day for walking.

Mike led 25 intrepid walkers on an 8 mile loop climbing a total of 460 metres and taking in Slieve Roosley and Wee Roosley, Gordon led a group of 11 to Kilbroney Park via the Red Bog while Ruth took the more direct route along the Ulster Way to Synge and Byrne's excellent café. The weather, the walking and the craic were mighty. A good time was had by all.

Did Dorothy cheat? Or was it Yvonne playing around with Photoshop? (click pic to enlarge)

For more pics of Mike's walk click HERE. For detail of walk from ViewRanger app click HERE.

North Down Coastal Path and Orlock Point - 11 October 2018

Our walk for 11 October was the ever popular North Down Coastal Path - not the familiar Bangor to Holywood option but the coastal walk from Bangor through Groomsport and on to the National Trust property at Orlock Point. We had hoped to catch the 10:55am No. 3 bus from Bangor to Donaghadee but delays to our train caused us to abandon this plan and do the walk backwards - no mean feat! Only 10 brave souls managed to make it to Orlock Point, keeping to the coastal path despite a high tide - thankfully the sea was very calm. On reaching eached the main road the walkers were delighted to catch the No. 3 bus back to Bangor. Hats off to the small group who walked back from Groomsport. Despite a spell of very heavy rain at lunch time and soggy sandwiches everybody seemed to enjoy the day.

For some more great pics of the walk (with thanks to Cecil, Millie and John T) click HERE.

Angela

Barbara

Bertie

John

Hazel

Cecil

Ronnie

Valerie

Alex

We were delighted to meet a further new member at Leitrim Lodge - Alexander - so now nine have joined us on walks. Welcome one and all and apologies if you were captured not looking at your very best!

If you aren't receiving texts and emails about walks please let me know.
John

Lumpers, Ravensdale and Newry Greenway - 04 October 2018

We had three different hill walks starting at Lumpers with lots of adventures along the way and a warm welcome in Lumpers pub on our return. For some great pics of the walks from Lumpers with thanks to Millie, Yvonne, Ronnie and others click HERE.

Level headed walkers opted to walk the 5.7km stretch of the New Carlingford Lough Greenway from Dublin Road Bridge in Newry, through the Albert Basin site and along Middlebank as far as Victoria Lock. They were delighted to welcome Jim McKittrick back to join them. Thanks to Anne K for the pics.

Heavy rain held off until the last of us were on our way home. So once again it was a perfect day for walking.

North Coast - 27 September 2018

We returned to the Causeway Coast on 27 September 2018 having postponed this trip earlier in the year when dangerously high winds had been forecast. They were pretty strong on this trip but the rain stayed off most of the time and it was a bracing and very enjoyable day. Some took on the ultimate challenge walking the 19+Km from Larry Bane Bay (near the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge) all the way back to Bushfoot Golf Club, climbing a total of over 750m in the process - Donard is only 100 metres higher. Others opted for a more relaxed walk but everyone had a good walk and a great day's craic. We were rewarded for our efforts with an excellent meal at the golf club and enjoyed a comfortable and relaxing journey home thanks to Martin and Goldstar coaches.

Active Autumn on UTV

Paul Reilly of UTV conducted interviews with and filmed some of our walkers before our north coast walks and his edited interviews were screened on UTV's Live at Six on 08 October 2018 as part of a series entitled active autumn.

If you missed the broadcast or simply wish to see it again then click HERE.

Some of the hardy walkers at White Park Bay are shown below. For more pics click HERE.

On the rocks


Hen Track - 20 September 2018

We returned to the Hen Track on Thursday 20th September and offered a range of walks to suit most tastes. Big winds had gone and we enjoyed perfect weather for walking.

Below you will see some pics of the walk.

Hen Track - 20 September 2018

If submitting pics (not too many please) landscape mode is preferred i.e wide rather than tall.
Pictures may be reduced in size (clipped) or edited. They should be minimum of 1600x900 pixels.

Castlewellan - 13 September 2018

Cedars Walkers restarted after their summer break and 50 members turned up for marvellous walks at Castlewellan Park. The highlight for some of us was our brief exit on to the Bannanstown Road to visit the viewpoint offering a magnificent vista of the Dromara Hills - highly recommended. After our walk we had tea and buns in Castlewellan cafe. A great time was had by all


If you're new to the group or simply need a refresher click on the button below for some helpful walking advice. Feedback welcome.


NOTE: we are returning to Mill Park, Donegal for our residential from Monday, 06 May to Friday, 10 May 2019.


Cedars Walkers are affiliated to the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs (UFRC) which is the Governing body for Rambling and Hill-Walking Clubs in the North of Ireland. UFRC have negotiated discounts in outdoor shops and from other providers, ranging from 10% to 20% e.g. you can get 15% off your purcheses from Cotswold Outdoor and Trespass Boucher Road stores and 10% off purchases at Jackson Sports, 70 High Street Belfast.

Make sure to get your affiliation card from Anne Keville and bring this with you when making purchases. To find out more about what you can save and where click HERE.



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Looking for Cedars Walks in May/June 2018? Click HERE.

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Cedars: August to October 2017. Cedars: first half of 2017. Cedars: autumn 2016 .
XCedars: summer 2016. Cedars: spring 2016. Cedars: 2015 .