Saturday 23rd July was a night to remember for 210 intrepid walkers who took up the challenge to raise funds for the Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team“Summer Night Walk” proved to be an even bigger success than we had hoped” reported Heidi Wickham , Rescue Team Member and walk co-ordinator.

The Rescue Team needs funds , and  are often asked about safe routes up the mountain , so it was decided to instigate a guided walk to the trig point and the very top of Benbulben at 526m to give people the opportunity to experience climbing one of the country’s most iconic land marks at night and helping their local Rescue Team too.

A three and a half hour route was planned and the 210 walkers were split into three groups each guided by experienced Rescue members. After a fairly tough ascent , the first 100 or so made it to the trig point, with the two other groups following on at half hour intervals.

We all met at the summit in a blaze of torch lights , and sat in awe and wonder at the spectacular view , chatting and munching sandwiches , this was at about 11.30 pm in dark, dry and calm conditions with a blood red quarter moon peeping out from the clouds.
The photo above  (courtesy of Ciaran Davis ) shows the descent. The walk raised over €2,505 for the Rescue Team, and we hope to make it and annual event.

There were no accidents , a few wet feet and muddy backsides as the grass was slippery in places – but nothing to worry about and a lot of very smiley faces as we had hot tea and biscuits back down at Lukes Bridge at around 1.30 am.

The Team’s funding has taken yet another blow as our annual grant was slashed again this year , making a 40% cut over two years and leaving us with only around €7k as a yearly operational income. From this the Team pays insurance, has to buy kit and medical supplies, maintain two vehicles and other expenses. It is a completely voluntary organisation , and members clock up hundreds of hours of service each year in aiding others on Ireland’s uplands.

A huge thank you to all those who took part in this truly historic walk –  a real  ” I was there”  moment – and many thanks to all the Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue Team on the mountain.

More Photos

Comments are closed.