2017 Walking Season

Welcome shade at Glounreagh booley
Lunch under Dawson`s Table - Galtymore

Brenta Mountains

Dolomites Trip

Trip Update
Everyone should have received their boarding cards and up to date itinerary by now. If you look at it you will see that there are a few changes to last year`s one e.g. now on day one the walk is to Lago Nambino rather than to Lago Malghette. Also on day three we head for the large valley of Val Genova to the west rather than to Val Gelada to the east. Not sure about what`s happening on last two days - looks like we wont be going to Lago Ritorto.

Geography of the Dolomites
The Dolomites are just “down the road” from where we were last year. Cross the Brenner Pass, one of the most important passes in the Alps, and you go from the north Tirol and its Germanic culture to the south Tirol and its Italian culture. When a nationalist movement began in Italy in the mid 19th century to win independence from the Hapsburg Empire and once and for all stop interference and invasion by the French, south Tirol was very much to the forefront. It took most of the 19th century for the various city states of the Italian peninsula to be united into the new nation state of Italy. And it wasn`t til after the First World War that south Tirol was given to Italy. It is here that we find the Dolomites (Dolomiti in Italian).

The Alps are Europe`s greatest mountains, occupying significant chunks of France, Switzerland, Austria, northern Slovenia and northern Italy. The word “dolomite” originates from the name of the French mineralogist Dolomeiu who discovered this type of limestone which is made up mainly of calcium magnesium carbonate.
Pietra Grande - limestone feature near Madonna
The Dolomites are part of the Southern Limestone Alps and stretch west to east across northern Italy from the valley of the Adige north of Milan to the valley of the Piave where they meet the Julian Alps near the Slovenian border. They stretch south to north from lakes Garda and Iseo almost to the Austrian border. The Dolomites have many north-south running valleys, two of the most prominent being those drained by the Oglio and Adige (Val Trentino) rivers. The highest peak is the Marmolada in the north east at 3343 metres.

There are many individual ranges within the Dolomites. Madonna di Campiglio where we will be staying is situated in the south west. The village lies at the northern end of the 20 kilometre long Val Rendena which is drained by the river Sarca.
Adamello Glacier
The valley separates the Brenta Dolomites to the east from the Adamello-Presanella Group to the west. The rocks here are the typical “pale white limestones” of the Dolomiti. To the west, in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park, the limestones give way to granites. Here too the Adamello-Presanella Mountains are adorned with a number of small glaciers. The Val Rendena has a number of interesting tributary valleys which rise high into the mountains, notably Val Nambino, Val di Canton and Val Nambrone to the west and Val Gelada, Vallesinella and Val Brenta to the east.
Nardis Waterfall
There are numerous lakes and waterfalls like Lago Ritorto, Lago Delle Malghette, Cornisello lakes, Nardis and Lares waterfalls etc.

The Dolomites were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2009 because of their outstanding natural beauty. Like all limestones dolomites evolved as organic sedimentary rock layers on the bed of shallow tropical seas. Then in the last 50 million years or so the great Alpine orogenesis caused these ancient sedimentary layers to form huge fold mountains.

Passo Del Grosté
Karsification (solution of limestone by water) and glaciation have combined to create many incredibly shaped mountain features in the Dolomites. The peaks here are gigantic – chiselled monuments to the power of ice. Examples are Cima Grosté and Cima Brenta to the east and Cima Palu and Cima Presanella to the west. Mountain passes are everywhere e.g. Passo Del Grosté between the Pietra Grande Massif and Cima Del Grosté to the east of Madonna di Campiglio.
Wild Flowers near Pietra Grande
A striking feature of the Dolomites is colour. Weathering has helped create an amazing variety of hues – white, rosé, grey, yellow, rising in sheer spires of fantastic form above the green meadows below.

Madonna di Campiglio
Madonna di Campiglio is a small village with a population of about 1000 within the commune (administrative unit) of Pinzolo. It lies at about 1520 metres above sea level and is situated in Val Rendena in Trentino-Adige.
Madonna di Campiglio
The village lies about 60 kilometres north of Lake Garda and about 70 kilometres north-west of Trento on the Adige River, capital of the Trentino. Just north of it lies the pass of Campo Carlo Magno (named after Charlemagne). Just to the south lies the bigger town of Pinzolo.

Malgas and Rifugios
  Originally a malga was an alpine building used in the high meadows in summer to house the shepherds.
Tuckett Hut
Similar to the Austrian Tirol, these mountain huts or rifugios are a significant feature of the Dolomites and many are located in hanging valleys, often close to the gondola stations, and some offer fine grub. Some of the ones we may encounter are Stoppani Hut, Vallesinella Hut, Tuckett Hut, Graffer Hut, Ritorto Hut, Viviani Hut.

Dolomeet Card
  The Dolomeet Card is the services card of Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo and Val Rendena and allows you to use the chair lifts and gondolas in the area for free.
5 Laghi Gondola Station
Examples include the Grosté, Spinale, Pradalago and 5 Laghi Cableways in Madonna di Campiglio. The Pinzolo-Campiglio Express Gondola travels the 5 kilometres between the two towns in 15 minutes. A free shuttle bus is also available between the towns in the Val Rendena. The Dolomeet Card also offers reductions on certain visitor attractions in the area.

Vie Ferrate
  A Via Ferrata is a protected walkway on very steep rock and cliff faces. It is essentially a steel cable running along the route periodically fixed to the rock.
Via Ferrata - cables and ladders
Ladders and iron steps are regularly encountered on a via ferrata. It is very definitely a step up from ordinary mountain-walking and requires a good head for heights.

The Walks
Topflight has arranged for five guided walks (Wednesday will be a rest day). They will probably be quite similar to the ones followed last year in the area. These are:

Lake Nambino

1. Lago Nambino – This walk is located  just a few kilometres west of  Madonna. It is one of the famous Cinque Laghi.

Vallesinella Waterfall

2. Giro delle Casacate – East of Madonna, follow the path from the village to the Valesinella waterfalls, Valesinella hut, Orso path back to village. 5 hours graded easy to moderate, with about 300 metres of ascent and descent.

Stoppani Hut on Passo Del Grosté

3. Val Genova – Head south west to a lower elevation but to a seriously impressive valley with many waterfalls such as Nardis.

Limestone Towers near Rifugio Brentei

4.Giro dei Rifugi Tuckett – This walk is located to the south east. Take the Groste cablecar - graded moderate to difficult with 700 metres of ascent and 800 metres of descent.

Lago Ritorto

5.Giro dei Refugi Brentei – Again located to the south east.

We will be accompanied by two guides each day and the group may be divided to allow for an easier option if some members are suffering! The walks` program is flexible and may be changed because of weather. A via ferrata walk can be arranged on arrival. This will incur an extra cost and club members/participants should make themselves aware of the added risks involved and will have to arrange their own insurance specific to this activity.

Map of Madonna di Campiglio Walks

It is up to us all individually to check out and arrange our travel and health insurance policies. We should all bring our European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with us as this covers treatment in all public hospitals. Most policies do not cover mountain rescue should that be required. The British Mountaineering Council`s Trek policy does - at over 40 euro for the week.

Our Travel Arrangements 
We leave Dublin Airport (Terminal 1) on Saturday June 24th at 18.00 p.m. on Ryanair Flight FR4844 and arrive in Bergamo Airport at 21.30 p.m. Hand luggage allowance is 10 kg and check in luggage allowance is 20 kg. We will be transferred by coach from Bergamo to Madonna di Campiglio, the trip taking about 2.5 hours.
Spinale Hotel
We stay in the Spinale Hotel – this is a 4 star sister hotel of the Hotel Cristal Palace where we were originally supposed to stay. We stay on a half board basis (breakfast and dinner each day). The hotel has a good range of facilities including bar, restaurant, spa, heated indoor swimming pool. We return home on Saturday July 1st on Ryanair Flight FR4845, leaving Bergamo at 21.55 and arriving in Dublin at 23.30.

Weather will obviously dictate what we wear but we need to be ready for all eventualities from shorts and sun cream to raingear and woolly hat. Probably advisable to bring walking boots and trekkers!

To find out more information on the area we visit click on this link www.campigliodolomiti.it/lang/EN/pagine/dettaglio/map_of_hikes,123/hiking_and_paths,596.html

Also this link


To find out more about our hotel click on


New Members
New members are welcomePlease contact Emily (club chair) at 086-6784094 or Mick (club walks` coordinator) at  087-2927077. Club rules allow 2 walks with the club before making a commitment to joining. Suggest intending members start with a couple of easy/short walks to acclimatize. Club rules and guidelines are posted on the site.

Grading of Walks
Grading walks can be very subjective. For our club purposes they are:
Grade A: 5-7 hours – to the plateaux and ridges. Strenuous. May be some scrambling.
Grade B: 3-5 hours – to the coums and lower hills. Rarely above 600 metres.
Grade C: 1-3 hours – on forest paths and back roads. Rarely over 10 km long.

Meeting Points and Times
All walks will start at approx 10.30. Meeting time is usually 10.00. Car pooling is encouraged for environmental reasons. If we meet for car pooling we will allow for travelling time. Most walks will be looped/horseshoe walks. Posted on the site using this formula: Date/Grade/Area/Meeting Point and Time and Leader.

Walk Changes due to weather etc.
Check with the designated leader  - Mick 0872927077 or Irene 0872359598 or Rens 0860473150 or John 0863398759 or Vernon 0863059830.

Ramblers` Walking Schedule 2016-17

Date              Grade     Mt Range          Meeting Pt      Leader   

Sat  June 24th - club trip to Dolomites
Sat July 22nd A       Trip to Lugnaquilla in Wicklow. More anon.                 
Rathgormack Ramblers
Rathgormack is a small village situated in County Waterford in the foothills of the Comeraghs about 10 kilometres south-west of Carrick-on-Suir on the R678. Rathgormack Ramblers Hill Walking Club was founded in 2008. The club provides it`s members with an opportunity to partake in rambling and hill walking, mainly in the Comeraghs and Knockmealdowns. The club particularly urges it`s members to be aware of the need for safety on the hills and of the need to respect the communities and environments of the mountains.
We are a small club with a membership of about 40. We are affiliated to the Mountaineering Council of Ireland. All our members are insured both for personal accident and personal liability insurance. The personal accident cover is limited to very serious injuries and members should have their own more comprehensive cover.
Rules/Guidelines for club members of
Rathgormack Ramblers

1 Introduction
Rathgormack Ramblers Hill Walking Club is totally committed to the safety of its members and
considers it good practice to operate in accordance with the following guidelines.

2 Club Activities
(A) Club activities are recognised as being those which:
Are published at a club meeting.
Are published on the club website.
Are funded by the club.
Require group transport through the club.
(B) Organisers of Club Activities are bound by the conditions of the Club`s Constitution and Rules.

3 MCI Warning
(A) The Mountaineering Council of Ireland recognises that mountaineering and climbing are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants should be aware of and accept this and be responsible for their own actions.
(B) Each club member is insured under the same insurance as all MCI affiliated clubs. If you require further information please contact the MCI.

4 Grades of Walks
Grading walks can be very subjective. For the purpose of our club walks:
Grade A Walks: 5-6 hours duration and over 12 km in length. Will reach 700 metres in elevation and traverse ridges and mountain tops and may involve some scrambling. A good level of fitness required.
Grade B Walks: 3-4 hours duration and 8-12 km long. Usually on lower hills or to the mountain lakes, rarely reaching over 500 metres. A reasonable level of fitness needed.
Grade C Walks: 1-3 hours duration and less than 10 km long. Usually on forest tracks,minor roads or along river banks with the odd moderate climb.

5 Club Rules/Guidelines
Car pooling is advised.
Respect private property and observe the Country Code.
Park carefully and don`t obstruct laneways, gates, traffic etc.
Members are responsible for their own actions.
Members are advised to select a walk that matches their fitness level.
If you are on medication or suffering from any condition that might affect you on the walk, you must inform the walk leader before the walk starts.
Walkers should bring with them the following essential items:
strong walking boots with good ankle support; gaiters; a hooded waterproof coat with waterproof trousers; plenty warm clothing including gloves and a hat (don`t wear jeans); sufficient liquids and food.
Walkers should consider the following recommended items:
relevant map; compass; whistle; watch; torch; first aid kit; some form of personal I.D. and the name of someone who can be contacted in the event of an accident.
All members must comply with club rules.
All members must sign walk registration form prior to each walk.
All members must follow instructions of leader at all times.
For everyone`s safety the group should stay together for the duration of the walk. A group should travel no faster than the speed of its slowest member.
Accidents should be reported to the leader immediately.
The leader has the right to refuse anyone not adequately equipped.
The leader may extend, curtail or alter the route. He/she sets the pace and walkers are expected to follow at this pace.
If you go ahead of the leader you are no longer considered to be part of the group and you are responsible for your actions and for those who follow you.
Inform the leader if you are feeling tired or if the pace is too fast for you.
Inform the leader if you wish to stop for whatever reason.
Prospective members may participate as guests on two walks.
By signing the Walk Registration Sheet at the beginning of each walk, participants-both members and visitors-agree to abide by these rules.
The Committee of Rathgormack Hill Walking Club asserts that no walk leader can be held responsible for the welfare of individuals who ignore these rules.
Week-Ends Away: Only members and their families and friends may take part in our club weekends away.

6 Insurance
As a members of Mountaineering Ireland all members of Rathgormack Ramblers have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance in Ireland and Britain and within the European Union. This gives protection to members from being sued for negligence.
Members also have some Personal Accident Insurance - 75.000 euro to cover permanent loss of a limb or an eye, permanent loss of hearing in one ear, permanent loss of speech, permanent and total disablement from employment.
However, members do not have accident and emergency cover under our MI Insurance. We are advised to get this insurance if travelling on a walking holiday. The MI does organise a Travel and Activity Insurance through the British Mountaineering Council. At the very least members should carry their European Health Insurance Card with them on holiday within the E.U. This entitles you to free emergency and medical care in any public hospital in the E.U.