The Countrywide Hillwalker’s Association is Dublin based. We walk every Saturday, and most Saturdays there are 3 grades of walk, each meeting at different places and taking different routes. Most of our Saturday ‘A’ and ‘B’ walks take place in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, while ‘C’ and ‘D’ walks would be on the more level areas of these counties.
CHA members receive a Walks Programme covering all walks for each 4-months period. As it is produced in a neat foldable credit card sized format for convenience, it only contains very brief details of the route and meeting places.
Typically, a meeting place and a time are chosen where people can arrive by public transport and cars can be shared to travel to the parking place at the start of the walk. Bray and Terenure are frequent meeting places. See Sharing Costs below.
During a walk we will stop for about 30 minutes for lunch, and on longer walks a mid afternoon break will be taken for a cup of tea. Walks in winter time tend to be shorter than summer walks.
At the end of a walk the walkers have the option of gathering in a local restaurant for ‘tea’, before heading back to the meeting place if cars have been shared.
Rules and Regulations.
One rule that is worth mentioning at this time, is that we cannot allow dogs to be taken on our walks.
Our Different Grades of Walks
Grades of walks cater for different abilities, from the fit and experienced to those who prefer a gentle ramble in the countryside. We regularly issue a programme of walks in which there are 4 grades as follows:
Grade A are hill walks or hikes with an ascent of up to 1000 metres and from 10 to 20 kms long (6 to 12 miles). Meeting time is usually 10.30 a.m. (10.00 a.m. in winter) and finishing time varies between 4.30 and 7.00 pm. Because of the distance to be completed, a steady pace is maintained
Grade B hill walks are less strenuous. The total ascent may be up to 650 metres and about 10 to 15 kms long (6 to 9 miles). Meeting time is usually 10.00 and finishing time varies between 3.00 and 5.00 p.m.
Sometimes our walks are additionally graded with a '+'. This serves to indicate that the walk will definitely be at the upper level of walks in that grade.
Grade B- are more moderate than a full B grade walk and would be over hill & moorland with a cumulative ascent less that 450m. The distance might also be a little shorter and the pace more gentle.
Grade C walks are fairly easy over hill and moorland, but may include a cumulative ascent of up to 200 metres. Meeting time around 11.00.
Grade D are easy half day walks.
Easi-Bees. We also cater for members who enjoy a visit to cultural centres, including museums, exhibitions, fine old houses, gardens and to the theatre. These visits are every second Tuesday.
Occasionally walks are arranged so that they end at the same place. This allows club members who walk at different grades to meet together, at a club barbecue for example
Take a look at our photographs in the gallery. This should give an impression of the kind of paths and tracks, and sometimes lack of either, that we encounter on our hill walking.
Hill-walking and hiking are adventure pursuits and as such have an inherent risk of personal injury or death. Each walker on a CHA walk is responsible for his or her own safety at all times. A leader will guide walkers and may change the walk or even abandon it if conditions are unsuitable, especially in bad weather. Walkers may leave a walk as long as they advise the leader in advance. Once they leave, however, they will not be covered by our insurance policy.
Where cars have been shared to get to the start of a walk, the club suggests that the passengers make a contribution to the driver to cover the cost of fuel. A suggested amount depending on distance, is indicated in the programme.
There is a tradition ( since c. 1922 ) to pass a hat around during our lunch stop to collect money for a worthwhile related cause, such as supporting holiday charities. In recent years these contributions have been extended to include Mountain Rescue, Keep Ireland Open (KIO) and Mountain Meitheal.
Walk Leaders can submit their walks online here.