Venue Donard Forest
Date Sat, 10th Aug 19
Starts 07:00 to 09:00 iCal file iCal
Entries Open 1st April to 20th July 2019
This year the event will use online entry and there will be no entries on the day. There will be a limit of 400 walkers. If need to withdraw your entry, please give us as much notice as possible so that we can reallocate your place if the event becomes oversubscribed. The Entry fee is £30 (includes £10 non-refundable deposit). Minimum age 18 years old on the day. The entry link is at the bottom of this page.
It is important to note that this site is for the Challenge Walk only. If you want to enter the mountain race which is run as a separate event then you should consult the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) website http://www.nimra.org.uk/.
Registration opens on Saturday morning at 06:30 in the playing field beside Donard car park, Newcastle. The car park is free but please car share if possible in order to reduce our environmental foot print and not inconvenience other users of Donard Park.
You will need to hand in the Registration Form (link TBC) with details of your car registration, walking companions (if any), contact details, etc. These details will only be used for event admin or emergencies on the day and will be securely disposed of after the event. (Please print out and complete this in advance so as to save queuing time).
The Start – of the walk is at the end of the car park and is open between 07:00 – 09:00.
You will be given a set of green plastic tabs and one small white tab with your entry number on each of them. For convenience they will be held together on a string. You will also receive an electronic timing chip (aka dibber) which will be fastened to your wrist using a Tyvek strap. You will be charged £30 for a lost dibber.
How to use plastic tabs and electronic timing gear: When ready to start the walk, go to the start marshals who will activate the timing chip (dibber). At each summit you will find an electronic SI Control Box on a white post with an orange and white flag. Insert your dibber into the hole in the SI box and wait till you hear a beep. The dibber will now have recorded the time you arrived at the top. (Click here for more info on the timing system)
There are five marshalled positions on the route in cols between summits. Remove one green plastic tab from the string and hand it to the marshal at each of these positions. At the finish, hand in your dibber and the last – white – plastic tab. You will receive a print out of your progress around the route with split times for each summit plus a certificate of completion. The white plastic tab is our way of checking that you are off the hills, so even if you fail to complete the walk please make sure that you come to see us at the finish and hand in any remaining tabs and the dibber.
Route: The start and finish is in Donard Car Park, Bryansford Road, Newcastle BT33 0HL. The route is anti-clockwise around each of the seven summits which must be visited in the order stipulated below plus the marshaled checkpoints (denoted MCP below).
This Challenge Walk is not guided or way-marked along the route. Navigational skills will be required, especially if weather conditions are poor so participants must have the ability and experience to use both map and compass. (Navigation using only a smartphone app is not allowed).
|Checkpoint||Grid Ref *
||Manned / Timed|
|Start – Donard Car Park||J 373 305|
|Slieve Donard 853m||J 357 276||Control Box|
|Col Donard-Commedagh||J 349 279||MCP 1|
|Slieve Commedagh 765m||J 343 284||Control Box|
|Hares Gap||J 322 286||MCP 2|
|Slieve Bernagh 739m||J 312 280||Control Box|
|Slieve Meelmore 687m||J 305 287||Control Box|
|Col Meelmore-Meelbeg||J 303 281||MCP 3|
|Slieve Meelbeg 708m||J 300 279||Control Box|
|Ben Crom Dam (Cut-Off Time 2.30)||J 315 254||MCP 4|
|Slieve Binnian 747m||J 320 234||Control Box|
|Col Binnian-Lamagan||J 320 255||MCP 5|
|Slieve Lamagan 704m||J 328 259||Control Box|
|Finish – Donard Car Park||J 374 306|
* Exact locations will be confirmed at registration.
Cut-off time: There is a firm cut-off time of 2:30pm at Ben Crom dam. This is to ensure walkers complete the route before dark. Walkers missing the cut-off will be retired from the walk and should return directly to Donard Park. N.B. Retirements are marked RTD on the results with no times.
Retirees at any stage of the event must report as soon as possible either to a marshal or via text to base and return directly to Donard Park to register that they are safely off the mountains and to return their dibber and tags.
Equipment, food and water: The event is not supported along the route. Participants must carry all the equipment and supplies they need for the day. Participants must have the following kit:
- hiking boots or fell shoes (no trainers)
- waterproof coat with hood
- waterproof trousers
- survival bag
- 1:25,000 map of the Mourne Mountains
- compass & whistle
- plus food and drink sufficient for a long day hiking
These items are required regardless of the weather forecast as mountain conditions in Britain and Ireland can change dramatically with little warning. Refreshments and showers will be available at the finish after 2pm.
The Wall – Please do not walk on the Mourne Wall. This is to protect our national treasure from damage. Stiles should be used to cross the wall where available or if necessary the wall can be climbed over with care where it is sturdy.
Dogs are not allowed on the walk, since large sections of it cross land grazed by sheep.
Disclaimer: Hillwalking is an activity with a danger of personal injury, death and loss of or damage to property. Participants must be be over 18 years old and must be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement. Neither Lagan Valley Orienteers, nor any of its individual members, can be held responsible for any injury, loss or damage (to individuals or to property) howsoever sustained by participation in the event. The club reserves the right to refuse entry to the walk to anyone deemed unprepared for the event on the day and to force retirement from the event of anyone breaching either the rules of the event or the NI Countryside Code.
Withdrawals, Changes and and Cancellation: Withdrawals are allowed via email to us (see address at top of page) up until 20th July and a refund of £20 will be given. Name changes can also be made via SI Entries (at no charge) but please be sure to amend all the required details. In the event of the Walk having to be cancelled the refund will be £25. We will not be liable for any incidental costs incurred by the Participant, including (but not limited to) travel, accommodation, food or equipment.
More Info: For more information see our Seven Sevens FAQs
When entries are full there is a Waiting List system which allows us to offer withdrawal spaces to the next person on the list.
Accommodation: Details of accommodation in the Newcastle area are available at www.discovernorthernireland.com or VisitMourneMountains.com and also Visitor Information Centre in Newcastle, Tel 028 43722222, Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transport: This is a “circular” walk and therefore participants may leave their cars in Donard Car Park which is open to the public at all times. Ulsterbus operate a “Mourne Rambler” service during July and August which circles the Mournes and may be useful for retirees. The timetable is available at http://www.translink.co.uk/ . The club cannot provide transport for walkers who withdraw from the event during the day.
Other Events: The Maam Turks Challenge Walk on 6th April is another of Ireland’s great outings and if you’re interested in a longer event you may also wish to try the 2-day Mourne Mountain Marathon held on 21st -22nd September 2019 for pairs. Many of the 77’s organisational team are also involved.