The North-West Walking and Mountaineering Club is primarily devoted to walking the mountains and hills of Donegal with occasional forays to other mountain ranges. A few members also rock climb with all the associated equipment.
It is not all about mountains, we have a mix of walks, some of which are coastal. Coastal walks are generally easier, with perhaps not as much ascent. Donegal boasts a varied and beautiful coastline with long golden beaches, rugged rocky outcrops, steep high cliffs, amazing inlets and headlands. The sea can be seen in all its forms from tranquil blueness to the wildest waves the N. Atlantic can muster. There’s always the chance of seeing the varied bird life, seals, otters and occasionally dolphins. In summer we try to include a swim.
We have a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy and try to adhere to the guide lines and regulations laid down by the governing body Mountaineering Ireland (MI) of which we are a member.
There are many aspects of the natural world to experience. Rare birds are often seen, deer, foxes and the Irish mountain hare. Unusual flora and bog loving plants are part of this upland landscape. Geographical, geological and archaeological features (old wall steads of long abandoned dwellings, booleys, megalithic tombs etc.) add interest and variety to the hill walking experience.
Fitness and Aerobic Exercise:
Hill walking is one of the best ways of keeping fit. For strength, nearly all the muscle groups are used, and for aerobic fitness, there is nothing better than walking up a steep mountain incline. The combination of exercise, fresh air, and uplifting views help reduce stress, and are beneficial to mental health. Hill walking can be continued well into old age. Some new walkers may struggle for the first few weeks, but fitness develops, and getting to the top (and going far beyond) almost becomes an addiction. It is a joy to see their expressions when first seeing the spectacular vistas across Ireland’s highlands.
There is also a social aspect to the club, coffee after the walks, away weekends, house parties and a Christmas dinner followed by member lead entertainment.
If you think hillwalking with NWMC is a pastime you are interested in please browse the website, read the news and view the gallery on flickr.
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