Venue Donard Forest
Date Sat, 6th Aug 22
Starts 06:30 to 08:30 iCal file iCal
Entries Open: Saturday 4th December 2021
Entries Close: Sunday 24th July 2022
THE EVENT IS NOW FULL – and has a waiting list of 50 people so we have closed it to further entries. Of course, there will be cancellations and if it seems likely that spaces will become available we will give reasonable notice before reopening the list.
The following information is provisional and will be updated closer to the event. 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.
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 minimum kit which will be checked at registration:
- hiking boots or fell shoes (no trainers)
- waterproof coat with hood
- waterproof trousers
- food and drink sufficient for a long day hiking
- 1:25,000 map of the Mourne Mountains**
- compass & whistle**
- First Aid kit**
- survival bag (a foil bags is good but not a blanket)**
**If walking in a group – the map, compass, whistle, first aid kit and space blanket may be shared between up to 3 people. Groups will need to do kit check together.
These items are required regardless of the weather forecast as mountain conditions in Britain and Ireland can change dramatically with little warning. Anyone failing the kit-check at registration will not be allowed to start. The Organiser’s decision will be final and there will be no recompense for this decision.
Dogs are not allowed on the walk, since large sections of it cross land grazed by sheep.
On the Day
Parking will be in Donard car park, Newcastle. Parking is free. Follow signs & tape from the SE end of the car park through to the Registration van in Shimna Integrated College. Please do not drive directly to the college.
Registration opens on Saturday morning at 06:00. You will need to hand in the Registration Form (download 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 minimise queuing time and Covid contact).
You will be given an electronic timing chip (aka dibber) on a lanyard. Please look after this – replacement cost is £30. You will also receive a numbered tag to attach to your rucksack.
How to use the electronic timing gear…when you are ready to start your 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 post with an orange and white flag. Insert your dibber into the hole in the SI box and wait until 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.
Starts are open between 06:30 and 08:30. The start of the walk will be a short distance from Registration (details TBC). Please maintain social distancing in the queue.
There are six marshalled positions along the route in cols between summits where you will be required to give your participant number.
The 2022 route is anti-clockwise around each of the seven summits which must be visited in the order stipulated below plus the marshalled 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.
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.
Order of Summits for 2022
|Checkpoint||Grid Ref *
||Marshals / Timed|
|Start – Shimna College||J 374 301|
|Slieve Donard 853m||J 357 276||Control Box|
|Col Donard-Commedagh||J 349 279||Manned Control Point 1|
|Slieve Commedagh 765m||J 346 286||Control Box|
||J 322 286||Manned Control Point 2
|Slieve Bearnagh 739m||J 312 280||Control Box|
|Slieve Meelmore 687m||J 305 285||Control Box|
|Col Meelmore-Meelbeg Cut-Off Time TBC||J 303 281||Manned Control Point 3|
|Slieve Meelbeg 708m||J 300 279||Control Box|
|Ben Crom Dam Cut-Off Time 14:00||J 315 254||Manned Control Point 4 & Control Box|
|Slieve Binnian 747m||J 320 233||Control Box|
|Col Binnian-Lamagan Cut-Off Time TBC||J 321 255||Manned Control Point 5|
|Slieve Lamagan 704m||J 328 260||Control Box|
|Col Donard-Commedagh||J 349 279||Manned Control Point 6|
|Finish – Shimna College||J 374 301|
* Exact locations will be confirmed at registration.
Cut-off times & Retirements
There are three checkpoints with cut-off times: Meelmore-Meelbeg Col; Ben Crom Dam and at the Binnian-Lamagan saddle. These are to ensure walkers complete the route before dark and that our marshals can also safely get off the mountains. Walkers missing a cut-off will be retired from the event and should return directly to Donard Park. N.B. Retirements are marked RTD on the results with no times and no certificate issued.
Time and Distance
If you look at previous years’ results you will note that the Ben Crom dam is consistently half way around the course for most people, regardless of their finish time. Slow or leisurely walkers take up to 14hrs to finish the course. If you fall into this category you need to be starting no later than 7am in order to reach the dam by the 2pm cut-off. The Meels Col is also consistently 2/5ths of the circuit and the Binnian-Lamagan saddle 3/4trs – so you should do the maths for your own particular walking pace and work out a start time.
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.
Download At the finish and hand in your dibber. You will receive a print out of your progress around the route with split times for each summit plus a certificate of completion. Finish times will be published online.
- Refreshments will be available at the finish after 2pm.
- Showers TBC
- Toilets are available at the NW end of Donard car park.
Coronavirus Safety Measures (TBC)
A number of measures may be in still place to protect against the spread of Coronavirus and ensure your safety throughout this activity. The 2021 measures are shown below for information and we will update these as required closer to closer to the date.
- Start Times are pre-allocated in 15min blocks so that we can minimise the number of people at the various stages of the event. Please time your arrival so that you can get to your start just in time
- During the event please use the hand sanitisers provided to maintain hygiene
- Do not touch the SI Control boxes except with the SI Card
- During the walk please be aware of who is around you and try to maintain distance especially when approaching Controls and using stiles
- Please be careful when socialising and maintain your distance
- If car sharing you are advised to wear masks and ensure good ventilation (if not in a household/ bubble)
You must not attend the activity if:
- You are unwell with a cough, fever or have had other Covid symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 10 days
- You have been in close contact with anyone who is suspected of or confirmed as having Covid-19 in the 10 days before this event
- You are supposed to be Self Isolating or are undergoing testing for suspected Coronavirus
- You have been outside of Northern Ireland or the Common Travel Area within the last 10 days **EXCEPT from exempted countries. See https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice for the current rules.
- Travel within the CTA is currently permitted but you should take a Lateral Flow test before and after arrival into NI. See Coronavirus (COVID-19): travelling within the Common Travel Area | nidirect for more info.
If you have a condition that makes you Clinically Vulnerable, please follow current government and medical advice before registering. If you need to withdraw your entry due to Coronavirus restrictions we will refund your entry fee (less £5) on request.
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.
This event accepts online entry only and there will be no entries on the day. If you 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 £35 (includes £5 non-refundable deposit). Minimum age 18 years old on the day.
Withdrawals & Changes
Withdrawals are allowed via email to us (see address at top of page) up until Sunday 24th July, and refunds will be offered as follows
- Up to 1st July – £30
- 2nd – 24th July – £15
- After 24th July – No Refunds
Name and start time changes can also be made via SI Entries (at no charge) but please be sure to amend all the required details.
If we are forced to cancel the event we will refund the entry fee less £5 to cover our non-recoverable costs. We will not be liable for any incidental costs incurred by the Participant, including (but not limited to) travel, accommodation, food or equipment.