Location: Keeper Hill, Tipperary
Date: 27th January 2018
Number in party: 9
Leader: Barry Kennedy/Neil Ryan
Weather: Misty & Windy
Height Gain: 534m
I’m pretty sure Keeper Hill was one of the first hikes I ever went on as a young Scout around 18, 19 years ago. I remember the weather was far from ideal and nearly put me off hiking for life. Thankfully it didn’t. This weekend I got to bring a group of Scouts up to the summit of Keeper.
There’s a trail from the Doonane Forest Car Park all the way to the Summit (694m) which is marked by a trig point. The poor weather meant my camera stayed safely tucked away in my rucksack. The summit was particularly windy and we took shelter just below the trig point but didn’t stay long.
Along the way the Scouts practised their navigation skills, comparing the route cards they prepared the previous Thursday to see if they got their timing right and identifying their position/direction as they travelled. The Scouts are working towards their Stage 4 Hillwalking badge. To earn this award, they need to complete 3 hikes (including an overnight) as well as knowing what personal and team gear they need to do, how to follow their route on a map and how to deal with emergencies on a hike.
The conditions and a faster pace than they might be used to made it a challenging trek for the Scouts but they pulled through and made it to the summit back and back. Well done guys.