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Climb4Concern: Make your New Year’s resolution count
Harness your New Year energy and hike the peaks of Ireland and the UK with a Climb4Concern challenge.
A new year and a fresh stretch of twelve months lies ahead of us. Articles and ads tell us to quit, lose and reduce the bad and the burdensome from 2015. Instead of focusing on what you want to erase, why not consider what you want to embrace?
A Climb4Concern challenge will help improve fitness while raising money for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities as you take on one, some or all of seven of the highest peaks in Ireland and the UK.
In 2014, Dermot Magee was among the hikers who took on our Mweelrea challenge in County Mayo – a trek which culminates in spectacular, wild Atlantic views at the summit.
For Dermot, the expedition got his hiking juices flowing, leading to even more far flung mountain adventures.
"I’ve been to Kilimanjaro, Ben Nevis and started a mountain skills course - all with people I met on the Climb4Concern walks," he tells us.
"It's surprising how much fun you can have with a group of strangers when everyone sets out with the same goal: to get to the top of a mountain, raise some money for charity, and have a good time."
Hike the Three Glens
In 2015, Veronica Tindal was among The Three Glens challenge group in Wicklow that relished the opportunity to trek through the beautiful ‘Garden of Ireland’ from the Glen of Imaal, over Table Mountain, and down into Glenmalure, ending among the peaceful lakes and monastic ruins of Glendalough.
Warm sunshine during the day and a cheery table quiz in the evening added to the glow for the 2015 Wicklow challengers.
And this year, our Three Glens team can look forward to an extra twist as we replace Table Mountain with Lugnaquilla – Leinster’s highest peak.
"A huge thank you for such an amazing experience," says Veronica.
"I had such a wonderful weekend and I met so many lovely people while on the walks. Gutted to be back in the office now. I would much rather be up a mountain!"
Our volunteer fundraisers also took on the mighty Carrauntoohil – the highest peak on the island of Ireland.
Hardy hikers like Julie Dowd braved the elements in Kerry and savoured the experience in spite of Ireland’s characteristically inclement weather.
"The hiking challenges are always so well organised, such good fun and so well guided," Julie enthuses.
"The guides really are fantastic particularly on a bad day like last Saturday. They were constantly in good spirits and giving everyone useful advice."
Take on the UK challenge
Mandy Connaughton was among the group that took on this challenge in 2015, and the experience whetted her appetite for further expeditions.
"The weekend was a truly amazing experience," Mandy tells us.
"The lads were great, friendly but professional and still a good laugh. They were very supportive and patient with the slower of us on the mountain. I would love to do some more work for Concern in the future."
The mountains may sound daunting but first-timers need not fear – our hikers are usually a mix of different fitness and experience levels. In 2015, our groups included total beginners as well as veterans of Kilimanjaro and even Mount Everest. And whatever your fitness level, your efforts really will make a difference.
250 people took part in the walks in 2015 and raised €45,000 for our work with the victims of the Nepal earthquake in April.
Concern was able to send an emergency team on the ground in Nepal, responding to the humanitarian crisis with temporary shelter, water and sanitation programmes and working with local organisations to re-establish water supplies and install temporary latrines and bathing facilities.
If you volunteer, you will be supported by our team in your fundraising efforts and guided by experienced mountaineers and first-aiders throughout the excursion. And you won’t even have to worry about transport as Bus Éireann kindly provides a bus for all events.
If you’re more interested in participating overseas treks, cycles or marathons this year, you can consult our full calendar for an event that will suit you.