A group of about 50 hillwaklers got a little bit more than they bargained for at this year’s Cross Cooley Challenge, when they became disorientated by treacherous mists.
The committee of “Cross the Cooley Challenge” was delighted last Saturday when the challenge they issued to trek across a 15 kilometer hike from the Lumpers to Carlingford to raise much needed funds for the North Louth Hospice Home Care was met in massive numbers.
Approximately 150 people answered the call and turned up to register for the walk already armed with sponsorship cards hoping to fill them with promise of funds.
However the weather had a major say in the walk with heavy rain for 3 days and a low mist with visibility at 20/25 yards the mountain was a treacherous place. A lot of the walkers found the terrain difficult. At one point in the walk almost 50 hikers took the wrong turn and extended their walk 20 kilometers. Thanks to the good work of the Order of Malta who had two fully equipped units on the mountains and the constant phone contact of the committee all walkers got off the mountain all be it tired, wet but happy that they had completed it.
Fergus McArdle a committee member said “the numbers are 30% up of the 2013 trek with a great mix of enthusiastic people looking forward to the trek. I expected that the €19,000 raised in 2013 will be well exceeded and we will announce the funds raised on the 3rd of May 2014”.
The day had a wet carnival atmosphere about it with “goodie” bags containing Horseware hats, Ovelle creams, Fyffes bananas, Mace Mars Bars etc.
Eventually all the hikers completed the challenge and had well deserved drinks in Carlingford before been bused back to Dundalk courtesy of Bus Eireann and Anchor Tours.
Aoife McCumiskey after completing the extended walk was among the 50 hikers missing she said “it was a great idea of combining the walk and a fun day out and at the same time knowing a great cause such as the North Louth Hospice is been supported to continue its great work. However next year I will be more prepared to face the elements”.