Had posted this in the Soapbox section but in hindsight think it should be in here.
Need some advice please...
Please read the scenario first...
I headed into the mournes yesterday...supposed to be for a few nights but Im back and all for the following reasons....
The mountains were devoid of visitors but I met 4 DOE groups...
Yesterday...I had been resting at Hares Gap...its was rubbish free...DOE group of about 12 and 2 leaders arrived so I made my way up Slieve Bernagh (and on towards Lough Shannagh) then doubled back later to camp lower due to nasty wind brewing...back at Hares Gap...rubbish everywhere and a few does of human **** with browned wipes blowing about in the wind. Moved down Trassey Track to set by the stream for the night...more fresh human **** and the same wipes lying about. A trail of rubbish the whole way down the track.
To be honest I was almost ready to come off the hills as it was pretty disgusting but pitched for the night anyway.
Today...passed 2 DOE groups at Brandy Pad...eventually passed their trail of fresh litter and gues what...spotted more Human **** scattered at base of Slieve Donard with more fresh rubbish blowing around Donard Bog.
It was disgusting!
Then I came across 2 lone DOE teenagers that looked pretty miserable so I gave them my flapjack supply and my water. They had been left well well behind and were not best clothed for the persistant 'fog drizzle.'
So by 11am my supplies were diminished so I decided to come off the mountains and walk to Newcastle Town to resupply but by the time I got there I was knackered as I had covered 33 miles walking since yesterday.
Surely the leaders are supposed to be responsible enough not to allow this? Who would I contact regarding this?
Oh and just to top it off...on my decsent from Donard Bog towards Bloody Bridge I came across a group of foreign walkers...Mum, Dad, Young Son...dressed in jeans, trainers and sports tops...trying to find their way to try to summit Slieve Donard...in 20m visibility, constant cold drizzle and a pretty icy wind!!! They were completey lost but still determined to continue...Mum asking me if the Mountains were signposted!!!I refused to give them route directions and persuaded them to follow me down to Bloody Bridge Carpark. The little lad was so cold I had to give him my Jack wolfskin Microheat & Paramo Core...I really thought he looked to be getting on the verge of hypothermia...I mean, I was feeling the chill from the constant wind and rain...and I was dressed for it!!! But Dad was furious...I swear he was cursing me in his language but I couldnt say for sure.
Buy anyway...is DOE regulated or is there a bodie to complain to???
I sure their is, how you'd find out I dont know, you could try asking a local school, scout troop or girl gides troop.
A friend of mine runs a guide group. I'll try and find out for you.
The littering is bad enough but leaving human cr*p everywhere, not buried, I'm speachless.
As for letting some of group lagg far behind!! Should never be allowed to take ANY sort of group into mountains ever again.
I was there last weekend putting nav. markers out for my friends troop. I know if she had seen her group littering, never mind the other, she'd have given them an earfull and mde sure they pivked it up!
Sorry to hear that you didn't have a good trip. I'd agree with others that it may not have been DofErs doing a poo, as I know from experience how much some people avoid having to do one in the wild. However, it is absolutely disgusting to come across human waste - people should know better than to just go in the open, but unfortunately it happens.
If the group of people were with leaders it's even worse although the leaders I've known have been very strict about littering and going to the loo in the wild. It's worth mentioning to different organisations, but be aware that DofE isn't the only time that young people go into the hills. Also, you didn't have to give them food or your water, although it was considerate of you.
Process of elimination group of 12 = 2 groups + leaders
having previously been an assessor and instructor (yonks ago) I normally ask groups if they are doing D of E and say I was involved so I am not seem as a dirty old man
If they were my groups and I found out, firstly, they wouldnt be leaving any S%%t behind of any sort,
If they had - they would be failing the expedition and take them back to clean it up.
RE: Groups that the use the Mournes.
On many trips, I've come across groups of youths from Young Offenders Centres.
How I know this is because I've recconnised some of the people in group. They seem to be able to get away with doing what they want, as leaders are not allowed/can't discipline them.
As for the tourists, I've unfourtunatly came across than problem on far, far to many times. Even in the middle of the week.
Explorer wrote (see)
Sorry to hear that you didn't have a good trip. I'd agree with others that it may not have been DofErs doing a poo, as I know from experience how much some people avoid having to do one in the wild. However, it is absolutely disgusting to come across human waste - people should know better than to just go in the open, but unfortunately it happens. If the group of people were with leaders it's even worse although the leaders I've known have been very strict about littering and going to the loo in the wild. It's worth mentioning to different organisations, but be aware that DofE isn't the only time that young people go into the hills. Also, you didn't have to give them food or your water, although it was considerate of you.
Ok that seems fair enough for peoples comments suggesting I am making assumptions and if I am I apologise and can only say that I posted this immediately upon arriving home and was feeling pretty disgusted. So sincere apologies if I appeared to be ranting...honestly didnt mean to rant.
Ok should have mentioned...I assume first group were DOE as overheard some conversation between the group which suggested they were. I left Hares Gap and it was immaculate, came back and the rubbish and human waste was 'fresh.' I can be positive there were no other groups in the area. Plus the same 'wipes' were apparent at intervals throughout their route...I spotted them from a distance a few times. So fair enough I cant offer up 'caught red handed' evidence regards this group but I can be postive enough to bet a weeks wages it was them.
I gave the young fellas I came across food and water as they were pretty beaten up and had not a bite or drop of water between them...they appeared in far worse shape than me and I remember getting in a similar situation years ago and I didnt envey them! Thats why I fed and watered them...those kids were beaten...to be honest they needed to be in a tent getting warm and dry. They said they were part of DOE group (I passed what I assume was the rest of the group quite a way on round the Brandy Pad). I didnt conjure up much else as the wind and rain were fierce and I was in a hurry to get supplies as initially planned to head back up afterwards. But I would say this...as a parent I would not be happy to think my kids were allowed to get in that state and left so far behind agroup in thick fog and poor weather.
Just to finish off...I dont mean to come across having a problem with DOE. I think its great to see kids out in the mountains instead of locked up with games consoles etc. Its tricky sometimes to say stuff in text format without being misinterpreted...didnt want to offend anyone.
huskyman wrote (see)
RE: Groups that the use the Mournes. On many trips, I've come across groups of youths from Young Offenders Centres. How I know this is because I've recconnised some of the people in group. They seem to be able to get away with doing what they want, as leaders are not allowed/can't discipline them. As for the tourists, I've unfourtunatly came across than problem on far, far to many times. Even in the middle of the week. Paul.
Paul I couldnt believe these guys were taking their kid up there with no wet weather gear, no walking footwear, no supplies of any sort...in such poor conditions...it was crazy!!! I mean Im not an outdoors expert or a super fit mountain athlete...Im just a guy that enjoys getting outdoors...but even when starting my first little solo day trips into hills of any sort..I knew to at least have some wet gear and supplies...the mind boggles...especially as they were actually going to ignore me and proceed...I really had to talk them down...but to honest I think it was Dad who was spurring everyone on as Mum was the one who approached me and didnt look too enthusiastic...but the little fella looked on the brink of disaster...when will it end eh!
GOF wrote (see)
chewie...I've been involved with DoE for years..have been known to do a litter sweep, catch the group up and hand them it all back. Its even better if I have been able to clock who has been eating what and then hand them their own personal wrappers. I have also made groups walk back to the break stop to clear up.Wildpooing..it is in the same league as not having waterproofs or food. No reason, no need and no excuse. as for "intervening" with joe public - the problem is hardly limited to the Mournes. Worst I have had was a family of four on Ben Nevis. I rarely intervene now.
jeepers...what goes through peoples minds?????
The worst one I've came across was a group of three "going" to summit of Binnian from Carrick Little. A brother, sister and a mate. the two males where in bad enough states, but the girl was really bad.
The boys at least had coats and trousers, the girl, crop top and shorts. She was literaly 'blue' and of course no food, map, clue where they where, as fog had come in.
To cut a longer story short, I ended up following them up. when they could go no further, because girl collasped. I had to 'step' in, got boys into tent, cooker on, and girl into bivi bag, with sleeping bag inside. It still wasn't getting her warm, her brother would not get in to bags to help warm her up!!!
So it ended up I had to. Eventually she got warm, the weather cleared and sun came out enough to get everone off and back to carpark. I told them to get the girl to a hospital, if they did I don't know.
Paul I reckon people must think that smaller compact ranges such as Mournes etc pose no threat...but as we all know the weather can get nasty anywhere where you might find yourself a few hundred metres above sea level.
I dont know...I mean it was cool enough in Newcastle town today with a steady light drizzle, and the Mournes were in a blanket of fog...visible from a distance...so why anybody would set off in such meager clothing really baffles me.
It's easy, they are not hill goers, or are in EU countries and think that weather conditions, etc. will be the same as there. Routes will be waymaked and shelters/huts are close by.
They can also be used to Ski Lifts beening near by, which they don't realise we don't have.
An other problem is that the Tourist Office in Newcastle, have leaflets of routes to summits from different places. With times of say 2.5hrs. What they don't say as that this is only one way!! and the time a fit hill walker could do it in. Not general public.
And sometimes things aren't what they seem.
Last year I met a family near the summit of Pen y Fan. The clag was down, it was chilly, late afternoon and not particularly nice; there were very few others on the hill - I'd just popped up there for a stroll after SARDA training. The family, mum, dad and an 8 year old, were dressed like they'd just walked off the high street, cotton dress on mum, slacks and a shirt on dad, cottons on the daughter. We got chatting, mum and daughter were clearly a bit chilly but 8 year old was delighted she'd just done Pen y Fan. I told them next time they were up there to look out for the ripples in the rock from when the summit of Pen y Fan was once a beach.
Mum in turn was utterly horrified that I was walking on my own. She was seriously concerned about my safety and was hardly reassured when I explained that I was a fairly experienced hillwalker (I was wearing hillwalking gear and had a daypack with me, unlike family who had nothing with them).
Very true Stephen,
Except the popular routes, tracks marked on maps can be bloody hard to find, or don't exist anymore.
The only routes that are waymarked are normally low level and lead to points/towns of interest.
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