The Clare Outdoor Club – which celebrated its 30 year anniversary last year – has organised an information evening for people interested in taking up hiking.
The event will take place on Wednesday 21 September at 7.30pm in the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis.
This will be an informal evening where members will be available to answer questions on how the club walks are organised, the type of clothing and gear required and lots of other advice.
The evening will include details of the next Try A Hike which is an opportunity for non-members to experience hill walking.
The Try A Hike will take place on Saturday 01 October and is suitable for beginners.
The Clare Outdoor Club was formed in 1985 by a small group of outdoor enthusiasts at a meeting in the Youth Centre in Ennis. In the early years water sports and caving were pursued in equal measure to walking and rock climbing. Today, the main emphasis is on hill walking, mountaineering and rock climbing. The club has grown from around 20 members in the early days to over 200 members today.
The Club, which is still Ennis based with members from all over County Clare and neighbouring counties, is run by a voluntary committee elected each year whose role is to promote and oversee the club activities for the year. A calendar of events is planned for the season which runs from the AGM in September until the Summer Party in June.
The calendar includes the dates of the hill walks, details of the length and elevation of the walk and an estimate of how long it will take along with details of the leaders and their contact details. Members make contact with a leader in advance of each walk to advise that they will be taking part.
The schedule of walks includes counties Kerry, Mayo, Galway, Tipperary, Waterford, Clare and Limerick. The destination and length of the walk depends on the amount of daylight at any particular time of year with the longest walks planned for April and May. This also gives members a chance to build up ‘hill fitness’ during the darker winter months when the walks are shorter.
Keeping in Touch
The Club emails a regular newsletter to members with details of upcoming walks and events and ‘trip reports’ chronicling the exploits of recent walks. In addition the club has a website – www.clareoutdoorclub.net – and a ‘Clare Outdoor Club’ Facebook page.
There is a strong emphasis on training in the Club and more than half the members have undertaken navigation training and/or first aid. In addition, seven members are fully qualified mountain leaders (qualified guides for Ireland and the UK) and one member is a Mountaineering Ireland qualified instructor. Throughout the year there are opportunities for members to sign up for training courses with the cost of many subsidised by the Club.