The Maamturks mountain range is known for its harsh and unforgiving weather conditions. For over 40 years, our students have stood on the highest points of the mountain range and ensured the safety of the public come wind, rain, hail or sun.
Along the 26km of the challenge, our students staff eight mountain check points, and another three low land finish points. On a good day, they could spend between six and eight hours on the checkpoints. Unfortunately the wild barren landscape that draws people to the Maamturks, is not the most ideal place to be standing for eight hours with a clipboard in yours hands.
Since the first challenge in 1975, various forms of shelter have been employed by our students. From plastic bivvi bags in earlier years, to summer beach tents, and to Vango field tents. Our organising committee has always struggled to repair and replace tents following the challenge.
In 2017, NUI Galway students’ union awarded the club a grant for the purchase of suitable mountain tents. Following a consultation, the club is delighted to have purchased six brand new Mountain Hardware Trango 3 considered by many to be the standard issue for mountaineering expeditions year-round. This purchase was made possible by a donation from Great Outdoors Galway who sourced and offered us a very good deal on the tents.
From this year onwards, all mountain checkpoints will be now be issued with those distinctive orange and white mountain tents. Those tents will proved a new level of safety for our students, as well as our participants in the case of an accident. Built to stand up to whatever the Irish weather can throw at them, they will dramatically reduce the amount of work our organising committee puts into tent repairs each years. Additionally, their large front porch will allow extra space for our volunteers to work in poor weather.
If you’re attending the challenge this year, why not stop and take a quick look?