Mourne Mountain Adventure (MMA)
Terrain. The Mourne Mountains can be hazardous. The terrain can be treacherous, the weather inclement and swift to change, water courses unsafe, assistance remote and mobile phone coverage patchy. Group leaders are advised to consider these and other hazards when preparing for the MMA. Please note that those participating in Expedition Route should be aware of subsidence along the edge of track at reservoir and teams should stay on higher path. Please also note the introduction of the summit of Slieve Bearnagh, participants must take extra care during both ascent and descent.
Weather. Group leaders are advised to obtain a weather forecast before venturing into the mountains so that they can make adequate preparations. The regional weather forecast is available on The Meteorological Office website and can provide warnings of severe weather.
To assist Group Leaders and teams a map has been prepared for participants, which includes a basic Mountain Code, together with an indication of the action to be taken if casualties are sustained and other safety advice. It also contains maps and contact numbers. It may be reproduced by Group Leaders.
Care of the Countryside
We ask that all groups show respect for the countryside and leave everything as you find it.
Please use car parks available at Silent Valley, Tollymore Forest Park & Carrick Little.
Actions in the Event of an Emergency
Teams are to carry at least one mobile phone, sealed in a waterproof bag. Phones are only to be used for communications associated with the MMA (such a co-ordination with Group Leaders) and the management of an emergency. In an emergency call EXCON on 07900 365184; if no response call 999.
All those taking part in the MMA must be between the ages of 12 and 18 on the date of which the MMA takes place.
Composition of Teams
Each team of 6 entrants may include any mix of male and females.
Group leaders are to register their teams with provisional names to Newry & Mourne DC by 29 Jan 16. Changes to the team list will not be permitted after Monday 4th April 2016.
EXCON will be staffed by the NIFRS and PSNI and located at Silent Valley. They will be tracking information about the progress of groups on both Challenge and Expedition levels. If you have a query regarding your group go to Council staff not to EXCON as they are very busy locating groups.
Group Leaders are to ensure teams are at start locations 15 minutes prior to starting to get appropriate information and prevent delays. The first start will be at 0700 hours on Saturday 23 April 2016 for Expedition teams and teams will be set off in 5 or 10 minute intervals from then onwards. Challenge teams will start from 0800 hours on Saturday 23 April 2016, teams will be set off in 5 or 10 minute intervals from then onwards Teams will have been allocated their start time by 8 April 2016. Only Group Leaders are to accompany the teams to the start.
The route allocated to a team must be followed and walked in the order set. There will be staffed checkpoints at up to 3 locations throughout the mountain phase which the teams must pass through to successfully complete the adventure. Each team must be checked through and will not be allowed to proceed until every member is accounted for.
Teams must complete the MMA without outside assistance. Each team must carry all its requirements for the event and must be completely self-contained. Group Leaders must check kit and route cards before the start.
Suitable footwear and weather proof clothing and a change of clothes are essential – please see Kit List.
Teams should carry enough water for the mountain phase.
Rubbish bins are available at Tollymore Forest Park and Carrick Little prior to departure. Rubbish on the mountains must be kept with the team and disposed of in Silent Valley. Staff at check points have noted that some teams have left their litter on the mountain which is unacceptable.
Toilets are available at Tollymore Forest Park, Carrick Little Car Park & Silent Valley Reservoir
The teams are to carry at least one fully charged mobile telephone. Each phone must be sealed in a waterproof bag and labelled with the emergency number to be used. It is only to be used to call for assistance in case of emergency.
Some teams will be issued a GPS tracker which will be monitored by EXCON.
The safety of participants in the MMA is critical. The routes through the forest and mountains are marked and safe, but slips and falls could cause minor injuries. Each team should have a basic first aid kit and members should be instructed as how to deal with blisters and what to do with a more serious injury.
All participants should bring a change of clothes as they are likely to get wet during the different phases of the event.
A barbeque will be served to all participants and group leaders at Silent Valley on Sat 23 April 2016.
All individuals that finish the MMA will be awarded a medal and there will be individual completion certificates and T Shirts.
Dealing with Problems and Injuries
Fall Outs (injury, disagreement, altercation)
Participants who cannot continue because of illness, fatigue etc may fallout at a checkpoint or a staffed location. They will be transported to the nearest vehicle access point where they will be taken to Silent Valley. Their Group Leader will then collect them at a pre-arranged rendezvous. Teams of fewer than 4 persons will not be allowed to continue and will be transported to a pre-arranged rendezvous with their Group Leader before moving to EXCON.
Group Leaders are responsible for the safety of each member of their team. Should a member of a team become a casualty during the hike and be unable to continue, the team leader is to ring EXCON on 07900 365184 or if no response 999. If telephone communication is impossible, 2 other members are to remain with the casualty while the other 3 seek assistance from the nearest staffed location. (If a team has already suffered one or more fall-outs, a minimum of 1 is to remain with the casualty.) The team’s equipment must be divided between the 2 parties.
If a team is so far behind schedule that it has no chance of finishing by 1700 hours they can phone EXCON to arrange collection by the Group Leader.
Group Leaders are responsible for the well being of every member of their team from arrival at Tollymore Forest Park and Carrick Little Car Park, to the start of the MMA right through to the finish at Silent Valley. They will be assisted by the MMA staff and will have a list of contacts to call upon if they need assistance.
In the build up to the MMA Group Leaders are responsible for:
Notice to Parents / Guardians. Ensuring that parents / guardians complete the form.
Registration. Certifying the team’s fitness to participate and forms completed and returned by 29 January 2016, changes to team personnel will only be permitted up until 4 April 2016.
Checking Personal and Team Equipment. Checking that the teams have the required kit.
Route Cards. Checking that the route has been understood and planned correctly by the teams.
Confirmation. Confirming team composition on the morning of the MMA 15 minutes before their team’s scheduled departure time.
Group Leader Availability
The Group Leader must remain at the MMA and be available throughout the event as the focal point for any communication regarding their teams. The Group Leader(s) must attend a morning safety briefing at Silent Valley and accompany their team to each activity and carry out safety checks at harbour.
Fall Outs (injury, disagreement, altercation)
When requested, the Group Leader is to collect fall-outs from the appropriate collection point and then look after them until they can be reunited with the rest of the team at the end of the event.
If teams fall out or finish incomplete, Group Leaders are required to inform Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to confirm that all members of a team have returned. Groups will be invited to complete an Evaluation Form before departure.