Walking fest runs for a week


GO NICHE: FOR ANYONE who thought walking was a simple matter of putting one foot in front of the other, the 53 Degrees North Walking Festival is sure to set you straight.

The event, which runs from April 11th to 17th, takes place at the outdoor specialist’s Carrickmines and Blanchardstown stores.

It kicks off on the Monday evening with a Walking Expo in Carrickmines. Running from 6pm to 9.30pm, exhibitors will include walking clubs, walking awareness groups, walking holiday providers and outdoor gear experts.

Among the organisations taking part are Mountaineering Ireland, Dublin Mountains Partnership and Dublin Mountain Rescue.

The “how-to zone” will give practical advice on topics such as boot fitting, pack fitting, navigation and trail running as well as sessions on first aid.

The following day will see talks from tour operator Roland Monsegu of Camino Ways about the Way of St James and about the Alps from Alun Richardson of Mountaineering Ireland.

Wednesday is given over to a session on outdoor photography by professional snapper Torquil Fleming-Boyd followed by, on Thursday, an adventure film night.

A form of armchair adrenaline,  this event comprises a 90-minute medley of the best of adventure films from ShAFF (the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival) which promises to leave viewers on a virtual high.

Mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington – who, legend has it, gained his love of peaked places on the Little Sugarloaf in Bray – will be in town to deliver his lecture Everest at 50on Saturday.

Finally, and to cap it all off, on the last day 24 walks are being organised in the Dublin mountains, based around a variety of themes including local history, navigation, photography and family. All in all, a healthy week’s worth of activity.

* 53degreesnorth.ie