Mourne Rambling Group

Contact

George Acheson,
26 Ballymena Road,
Doagh,
Ballyclare,                                                                         
Co. Antrim.                                                                        
BT39 0QR.                                                                         
Tel: 028 93340642                                                                           
Web www.mourneramblers.org.uk

About

We are a hill walking club, even though everyone knows us as “The Mourne Ramblers”. Founded in 1969, the hills we walk are mainly, but not exclusively, the Mournes. We are unusual in that we walk every Sunday of the year, offering up to three walks. While all groups leave from the same place each Sunday, we have a range of starting points over the year to give a wide variety of walks. Our club has members from Doagh, Belfast, Craigavon, County Meath, County Roscommon, and of course from around the Mournes. The background of our walkers is varied, ranging from hill walkers and mountaineers, through to skiers, runners, cyclists, and kayakers There may even have been the odd couch potato. What unites us is a love of the hills, and all the associated activities such as wildlife, photography, star gazing and travel. Members have trekked, not just in Europe and Africa, but from the Himalayas to New Zealand, and the Canadian Rockies to Peru.

The committee decides on the programme of walks for the entire year, specifying the grid reference of the start point and the leaders for each of the groups. This programme is distributed to members at the start of the year.

Our regular walks

  • are led walks, with a maximum of 15 in any group
  • start at 10.30 a.m. throughout the year, with a couple of exceptions
  • vary in ascent from approximately 2,000 feet to 3,500, depending on which group you chose and usually last between 4.5 to 5.5 hours
  • do not involve contacting anyone in advance. Once you are a member; you just turn up on the day. You can even decide which walk you are doing on arrival.

Our trips away

  • tend to have 3 days walking, especially in Ireland. Recent ones in Ireland have been to The Galtees, Kerry, and Donegal
  • may be longer if we cross the water, and recently have included Lochaber, the Crianlarich Hills, Glen Clova, the English Lake District and Wales

We have approximately 120 members, and always welcome new faces such as

  • active hill and mountain walkers, those with limited hill experience and those new to hill walking.
  • experienced walkers may join us for a couple of walks, before deciding whether they wish to become members.
  • inexperienced walkers and if so we will lay on a taster walk

Membership is available for those 18 and over. We have two new members’ officers, who will help you decide which group may be appropriate. They will provide you with detailed advice sheets on recommended gear and safety procedures. We do not allow dogs on the walks.

In addition to enjoying the company of others, and the built in social dimension of trips away, we have each year

  • a club picnic
  • an annual dinner
  • a digital imaging show and meal
  • regular newsletters
  • special walks, such as the star trek and sunrise walks, which have a social dynamic of their own.

We encourage all members to do some leading, although we appreciate this is not for everyone. Some of our leaders are qualified as mountain leaders, and lead for other organisations. We provide training on a fairly regular basis, covering

  • basic skills of navigation, and route planning
  • group management, including emergency procedures
  • advanced navigation, which has included night navigation for the romantics amongst us.

We also have experienced leaders as mentors, and encourage the uptake of places on the excellent UFRC courses, such as, outdoor/ hill First Aid and Navigation including GPS.

Finally we are, of course, members of UFRC, provide insurance through them to protect leaders, and make an annual contribution to the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team.

You will find more details on our new web site (launched Jan 2011), with lots of advice and useful links.

Web site: www.mourneramblers.org.uk

Email: [email protected]