Ireland’s biggest all-female mountaineering meet takes place in Donegal this weekend. Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre (OETC) will host the annual Women With Altitude weekend from Friday 13th – Sunday 15th, May. Open to women of all ages and abilities, Women With Altitude encourages women to take on greater challenges in mountaineering.
Established in 2011 by Mountaineering Ireland, and run in conjunction with Gartan, Women with Altitude is co-ordinated by a group of female volunteer members. The initiative aims to promote and facilitate women’s participation in mountaineering by providing support with skills’ training, leadership development and inspirational role models, as well as creating opportunities to network.
This is the second year that organisers will host the event in Donegal. Jane Carney is Training Officer with Mountaineering Ireland and a member of the Women with Altitude organizing group. She says the group is looking forward to the weekend: “We’re delighted to be taking Women With Altitude back to the Hills of Donegal. For the past six years, we have been bringing together women with a shared love of the mountains. We want to encourage women to take on greater challenges in mountaineering, whether they are personal, technical or leadership ones and the Donegal landscape provides the perfect backdrop to meet those challenges head-on”
Adding to this, Ursula MacPherson, Gartan OETC, and former President of Mountaineering Ireland, said: “While we provide this annual weekend in a different mountain area each year (last year in Kerry), we had the pleasure of hosting Women with Altitude in Gartan OETC in 2012. We’re now looking forward to welcoming this highly active event back to Donegal in May. The weekend kicks off with a rock climbing session on Gola Island and we’re encouraging women from all over Donegal to get involved”
“Gartan is a superb base for events like this – we not only guarantee the highest standard of instruction, we offer excellent accommodation, first class equipment and facilities, delicious catering, and 87 acres of rambling, woodland lakeshore estate. We provide an extensive mountaineering programme throughout the year, alongside a host of other land and water based adventure sports, making best use of the rugged and beautiful mountains, crags, sea cliffs and islands of Donegal.” Ursula added.
With a strong focus on independent mountaineering and personal responsibility in the hills, the Women with Altitude weekend features a comprehensive programme at all levels of training in rock-climbing, hillwalking, understanding the mountain environment, and generally developing skills to ensure good planning and rewarding days and expeditions at home and abroad. This year also sees a strong emphasis on youth mountaineering, following on from the success of the recent Youth Alpine Initiative, in which Gartan played a very active role.
A supporting programme of guest speakers and presentations is also planned to inspire broadening of horizons, both as mountaineers and as leaders within governance of the sport, and guardians of the mountain landscape. Two events have been organized for Friday 13th May: a mountain environment walk led by Mountaineering Ireland’s Access and Conservation Officer, Helen Lawless, and local resident Lorcan O’Toole of the Golden Eagle Trust and a rock climb on Gola Island, led by Gartan OETC staff.
To register for the upcoming Women With Altitude weekend event visit www.womenwithaltitude.ie Accommodation can be booked with Gartan by emailing email@example.com or calling 074 9137032. For additional information contact Mountaineering Ireland on 01 6251115, or firstname.lastname@example.org