BY MY CALCULATIONS, or rather Google’s, the night of Saturday, November 17th, will have a “waxing crescent” moon. It’s worth knowing if you plan on taking up the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team’s Moonlight Challenge 2012.
The epic walk kicks off at 4pm at its new Mountain Rescue base at Trooperstown Woods, itself the result of previous Moonlight Challenge proceeds and officially opened earlier this year by President, Michael D Higgins. The route takes you over Paddock Hill, around the shoulder of Brockagh Mountain and up past Pollanass Waterfall.
Among the highlights will be the trek along the top of the Spinc cliffs, above the Upper Lake in Glendalough. Dramatic at any time of day, it will be spectacular at night.
The walk will be 23km, through the saddle between Mullacor and Lugduff mountains and into the valley of Glenmalure, where food awaits.
Some 400 people took part last year, raising €40,000. This year’s funds will go towards the purchase and kit-out of two new rescue vehicles, plus the upgrading of its communications equipment.
To participate costs €25 per person, plus a minimum fundraising target of €75 per person. Though fully stewarded and signposted, the mountain rescue people recommend you walk in a team of four.
The final teams are expected to finish by midnight and buses will be laid on to get you back to Trooperstown. However, in an indication of just how hardy these folk are, many are expected to camp out in Glenmalure. Whatever about the moon, fingers crossed it doesn’t rain.
See wicklowmountainrescue.ie/ moonlightchallenge