31st May 2020: In 2019 TMC members went to Connemara and stayed in Recess and over two days walked the Maamturks Challenge route from near Maam Cross to Leenane.
Photos taken by Lily & John
TMC hiking & climbing in Scotland June 2019 , Photos taken by Michael, Lily, Des, Amanda , Sharon &Pat
TMC members hiking in Castletown Bere 2018. Photos Geraldine
10th May 2020 : TMC member Catherine hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand in March 2020. Also some photos from Bernie with TMC hiking in the Mourne Mountains:
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a world renowned trek through the Tongariro National Park on New Zealand's north Island. The 19 KM hike is described as New Zealand's most popular and greatest one day hike. Catherine took a shuttle bus to the start of the hike at Mangatepopo. The beginning of the walk was through gentle rolling hills in the glaciated Mangatepopo valley , taking in the beautiful colored alpine plants , totara trees and the large mountain daisies. As the trek became more challenging, the views became more stunning. There was volcanic boulders strewn across the landscape approaching the Devil's Staircase followed by a steep climb to the South Crater (1,650m). The scramble up to the Red Crater Ridge was steep, strenuous and dangerous with huge drops on either side of the ridge. The trail became rough underfoot with loose rocks and gravel. The climb to the summit of Red Crater (1,886m) revealed the most truly spectacular views of the Red Crater, the Emerald Lakes, the Oturere Valley, Mt. Doom and even Lake Taupo off to the north. After a steep decent down a volcanic rock scree track to the Emerald Lakes, steam vents can be seen rising from the ground in many places indicating an active volcano. The views here are amazing in sharp contradiction to the rotten smell of the sulfuric air . As the trail leaves the barren volcanic terrain and descends down into the Rotopaunga valley the track passes the Ketetachi Hut. The Ketetachi hut is no longer used as a shelter after the Te Maari crater erupted in 2012 ripping holes through the roof and floor of the hut. Then the track drops into the tress and provides a shaded woodland walk down several wooden steps and over several bridges through a dense Forrest that is typical and unique to New Zealand. While the volcanoes are behind you, the warning signs are not. almost seven hundred meters of track pass through the Lahar Hazard Zone advising you to turn back if there is noise coming from upstream, and to move quickly through this section of the trail. The Tongariro Alpine crossing passes through an amazing landscape , combining beauty and a potentially violent landscape in the same place.
Down on the South Island in Wanaka Catherine climbed Rob Roy's peak (1,300m) a 16km trek with no shade taking about 4 and a half hours. She also hiked The Kepler track: Fiordland National Park in Te Anau (1,400m) a 60km trek taking 3 days. Catherine says the South Island has so many walks it could be easily described as a playground for trekking , unbelievably beautiful.
TMC hiking in The Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland in march 2020. Photos taken by Bernie.
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