Mid Tipp Hillwalkers have been in existence now for 26 years, founded by John G O’Dwyer back in 1991. Over these years, hill walking has fast become one of the most popular pastimes in Ireland.
The best, safest and most enjoyable way to enjoy the mountains of Ireland is to join a hill walking club. By joining our club, you can benefit from the guidance of experienced hill walkers and, at the same time, meet and make friends with like-minded people.
Hill walking offers breathtaking views of valleys, snow-capped peaks, and corrie lakes. The tranquility that you will find in the ruggedly beautiful Irish mountain ranges is second to none. You cannot help but be relaxed in and inspired by the exhilarating fresh air and the peaceful surroundings, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
From an exercise point of view, hill walking is a great way of getting fit and offers a good general workout. It can be a very strenuous activity, so it is very important to start off slowly and build your fitness up gradually. All beginners are welcome and we offer guided walks suitable for all fitness levels; from low-level rambles to challenging high-level mountain routes and rock climbs.
Our group organises several away events each year including two annual charity challenges to the best of Ireland’s mountain ranges. There are also regular winter climbing trips to Scotland, a June meet to the UK a visit to the high mountains of Europe later in the summer.
The club has four grades of Sunday walks, A, B, C walks in mountain terrain and Sunday Rambles mostly on track. There are walks most Sundays of the year. Exceptions will be late July and August, and the weekends of the Upperchurch Walking Festival, and the Kerry and Autumn Challenges.
A Walks every Sunday (except late July/August)
These are high level walks leaving Cashel at 11am every Sunday. High level walks are approx. 4-5½ hour in duration. They will take in the highest summits and may include some scrambling or easy / moderate gullies.
B Walks every second Sunday (except late July/August)
These are hill walks of 4-5 hour duration on mountain terrain, perhaps reaching high peaks but at a slower pace than the A walks. They leave from Cashel at 11am every second Sunday.
C Walks every alternate Sunday (except late July/August)
These are hill walks of 3-4 hour duration on mountain terrain, but will not be aiming for high mountain summits. They leave from Cashel at 11am every second Sunday (alternate to the B walks)
Sunday Rambles every fourth week, September – May
The Sunday Rambles leave at 10am from the Slievenamon Road car-park in Thurles every fourth Sunday. These are low-level walks, mostly on forest track, and are approx. 2-2½ duration. The aim is to be home by 2pm. (Sunday Rambles will not take place during the summer when they are replaced by the Friday night walks)
New walkers are always welcome to come along and join us. Just bring boots, suitable clothes and a packed lunch. A change of clothes and particularly footwear for after the walk is also strongly advised. You are advised that hill-walking carries risks and that every walker is responsible for their own safety. The leader’s responsibility is simply to lead the walk. We hope that you enjoy the experience and will come again. On the third walk, we would ask you to become a member of the club by paying the €10 annual membership fee.
Other Sunday activities
Occasionally on a Sunday, an additional walk taking in a challenging gully will be organised. This will require helmet and harness (which it may be possible to borrow) and may involve rope-work.
There will be no regular Sunday walks from Cashel after 17 July or during the month of August. Instead, walks may be organised to different parts of the country (e.g., Kerry, Wicklow, Galway etc). If any club member would like to organise or lead any such walk, or has an idea for such a walk, please let us know.
Sunday Walks Organiser is Willie Fahey (087 2228062)
Previous Sunday Walks
Friday Evening Walks May to September
These are low level walks, from May to September of 2 – 3 hrs duration, mostly on forest track. If you want to get out and about in the countryside, meet new people, and make new friends. We explore paths and trails off the beaten track and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday. We offer an easy introduction to off road walking for anybody considering taking it up.
All we ask is that you come prepared with sturdy footwear, rain jacket, drink and snack. Everyone welcome, old friends and plenty of room for new comers. The walks are very sociable and usually we end our Friday evening walk by heading for a cup of tea and sandwich.
We meet every Friday evening at Slievenamon car park in Thurles at 620pm and leave at 630pm sharp.
Walks are organised by Carmel Needham, Tina Bourke and Brid Ryan Bourke.
The Friday walking season begins on May 26th, 2017
Our rock-climbing season this year begins in Ballykeefe Amphitheatre on Tuesday, 09 May. This contains one of the finest quarry climbing walls in the country, with sport and trad climbs at all levels. Departure point (weather permitting) is from opposite the Horse & Jockey Hotel on Tuesday evenings at 6.15. New climbers are welcome (we do have some spare equipment for those new to the activity, but they may need to share it with others during the evening). While we do not offer formal training, we will introduce newcomers to the use of basic climbing gear, safety matters and climbing techniques.
We also organise an annual day-trip to the Burren which can include climbing, walking and caving.
NB: Good practice makes climbing quite a safe practice, but risk is never totally eliminated, and climbers must be willing to be responsible for accepting this risk.
Mid-Tipp Hillwalkers support the annual Kerry Charity Challenge Weekend which takes place in March or April each year, and the Autumn Charity Challenge Weekend which takes place each October. In each of these, six different walks are provided, with levels to suit everybody, with our club providing leaders for most walks. We also support the annual Upperchurch Walking weekend in November. No Sunday walks are organised from Cashel during these three events.
The club also organises occasional day or overnight trips to places like Kerry, Wicklow, the Burren, Galway, Mayo or the Mourne mountains for walking, scrambling or climbing. These are notified to members in advance. Members have also been involved in the Pilgrim Path walks, and quite a few have completed the ‘Irish Camino’
The club organises a number of international trips every year, with activities to cater for everybody. The 2017 trips are to walk the West Highland Way with a group of 18 in June. In August, we will walk, climb and do via ferratas with a group of 19 in the Dolomites in North-East Italy. While there, we hope to climb Marmolada, the highest peak in the range. In 2016, we had a winter mountaineering trip to the Sierra Nevada in Spain in February, to the Yorkshire Dales in June and to Seefeld in Austria in August. In 2015 we were in the Scottish Cairngorms in February, then walking Hadrian’s Wall and visiting the Pyrenees in the summer. Other notable trips in recent years included ascents of Mont Blanc by about 14 club members; the trip to Morocco where we climbed Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa; and the ascent of Pico d’Aneto, the highest point in the Pyrenees.
Meanwhile, other groups from the club have completed sections of the Spanish and Portuguese Camino, as well as walks along the Cornwall Coast and in central England.
Other outdoor activities are organised on occasion by the club. These include the annual orienteering day, usually in April, which is a fun day out for all with the bonus of observing and taking part in map reading and navigation. The annual Holly Walk takes place shortly before Christmas and is an easy, very sociable event for all. Every summer, an opportunity is provided to members to climb some of the finest ridges in Ireland, e.g., Howling Ridge, the East Ridge, FM Ridge (in the Mournes) and Carrot Ridge (in the Twelve Bens). Our annual visit to the Burren usually includes a caving expedition which is very exciting for anyone who has never tried it out. Night walks are also organised from time to time. We have a “Long Walks Sunday” each summer where each walk is much longer than the usual Sunday walk; e.g., in 2017, the A walkers crossed the full length of the Comeraghs, taking 10 hours. Some years, a “Carry on camping” night is held and is great fun – this event, however, is weather permitting.
Finally, the club offers training in navigation and mountain leadership to all interested members. There is also instruction in basic techniques and safety in rock climbing.