A beautiful place... but dangerous one
YESTERDAY’S deaths come just days after the Mournes won a host of awards for offering Northern Ireland’s favourite hikes.
The mountain range took six gongs in the Walk NI Awards, including favourite walking destination. It was also named the best place to watch a sunset.
Although beautiful, danger is never far away, and bad weather can descend quickly.
The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team was called out 52 times last year.
In August 2017 children as young as 12 were stranded in the Mournes after the weather turned treacherous. They were part of a 70-strong group, 10 of them adults, from the Cleveland Army Cadets Force, who were taking part in a camp. Eight children had to be stretchered off the mountain.
Internal Army reports on the rescue, released under the Freedom of Information Act, discuss how the incident “could easily have been more serious”.
George Acheson, secretary of the Mournes Rambling Group, said: “If there is dampness, the slopes can get quite greasy, making it very easy to slip.
“Most walkers in the Mournes are well-equipped with clothing that is able to keep them warm.
“If you slip or can’t move and have to wait for the mountain rescue team, you need to be well-equipped if you are not to get hypothermia. But your navigation skills have to be good or you can quickly get into trouble.”