Once again the ‘Glen Team’ will be holding the popular night-walk in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. This year it will take place on Saturday 17th November 2012. Teams must register in advance, and this can easily be done online at www.wicklowmountainrescue.ie or by ringing at – 087 1798404.
This year it was decided to vary the route from previous years, and to start at the Rescue Base and to follow (mostly) the Wicklow Way to Glenmalure, a total of 23km. This will take participating teams over Paddock Hill, around the shoulder of Brockagh Mt., up past Pollanass Waterfall, along the top of the Spinc cliffs above the Upper Lake in Glendalough, through the saddle between Mullacor and Lugduff Mts. and down into the magnificent Glenmalure valley.
In order to ensure that the event isn’t damaging to the uplands we strive to follow sustainable trails such as the Wicklow Way, and uniquely this year, the Way has been diverted along the top of the Spinc – a very dramatic cliff walk with superb views, really one of the best walks on the eastern side of the country.
The Wicklow Way is a long distance walking route which has been enormously valuable in encouraging visitors to explore the Wicklow Mountains and should be on the tick-list of all outdoors enthusiasts living or visiting the area.
As the brainchild of JB Malone (a memorial stone is erected in his honour on the Way near Lough Tay), it connects Marley Park in south Dublin with Clonegal on the Carlow/Wexford border, and as a sustainable trail it is perfect for this kind of large-scale outdoors charity event.
Mountaineering Ireland are presently drafting a policy document suggesting best practice for groups organising such events. The Glen Team has been following all advice to ensure that the impact of the challenge is not only reduced, but that the landscape is even cleaner after our marshals have completed removing the markers and collecting all litter encountered, whether it was there before the event or not. The Rescue Team genuinely value their reputation for protecting not only the people in the hills, but the hills themselves. To this end we implement ‘Leave No Trace’ principles: a programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation (see www.leavenotraceireland.org/).
Last year, when the final tally came in, participants on the 2011 challenge had collected approx. €40,000 – every cent going to the construction of the Rescue Base. To achieve this figure, participants registered collected a little over €100 each. The Mountain Rescue Base was officially opened by President Michael D. Higgins in May 2012. This could only have happened due to the huge fundraising efforts of all of our supporters. With the Rescue Base completed, any funds raised on Moonlight Challenge 2012 will go towards purchasing and kitting out two new rescue vehicles, and further development of the team, such as upgrading our communications equipment.
The Rescue Team is indebted to all of the participants who not only enjoyed themselves on the Moonlight Challenge (visit our facebook page for comments – wmr.ie/facebook), but took the time and energy to gather sponsorship before and after the event.
The continuing success of the event and positive feedback means that we will hold the challenge again on Saturday 17th November 2012.
Pre-registration is essential and can be done via our website at: www.wicklowmountainrescue.ie/moonlightchallenge or
send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The registration fee is €25 per person, and we ask people to raise €75 sponsorship (€100 total). Each year we have been fully subscribed before the closing date for registration, so please register early to avoid missing out.
All funds go directly to the running and development of the Mountain Rescue Team.