Last Bank Holiday weekend a group of 16 Scouts, Venture Scouts and Scouters took on an ambitious fundraising challenge that saw them sleep in a cave and then sleep on Ireland’s highest mountain on consecutive nights.
On the night October 28th the High & Low Challenge began as 15 members of Scouting Ireland abseiled down into a large pothole just a few miles outside of Lisdoonvarna. At the bottom of the pothole lay the entrance to Poll na gColm, Ireland’s longest cave system.
The group entered Gunman’s Cave, where they slept for the night. The cave was dark, damp and cramped but it didn’t stop the scouts having fun. The group stayed there until 8am the next morning when they emerged from the cave and climbed back up the rock face to the main road during a downpour. After a quick meal of sausages, rashers, bread and tea, the group headed back to their Scout Hall in Limerick.
However that wasn’t enough for these Scouts. After a quick stop in Limerick they were on the road again, this time heading to Killarney. The second challenge was to climb Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. The route chosen to go up the mountain was quite challenging especially for the first timers in the group, and included some hiking in the dark but several hours later the group made it to our campsite for the night, an impressive 750 metres high. To make it even more interesting, we decided to go without tents for the night and instead relied only on our sleeping bags and orange plastic “survival bags” to keep us dry and warm.
In the morning, the weather was less than ideal, so the decision was made to split the group – one group would go for the summit, while the other would return to the valley below by the climbing route taken the night before. Both groups met at the ford in Hag’s Glen later that morning, and tired and weary, walked out to the car park at Lisleibane, for the drive home.
Thanks to all the Scouts who participated in the event, their leaders Mark, Neil, Barry, Aaron and David, the support team of Ger, Ger and Mike and the home base team of Laura and Catherine. And a special thanks to all our friends, family and local businesses who sponsored us.
This fundraising activity was to raise funds to send three of the Caherdavin Scouts on the inaugural Tom Crean Challenge Expedition which will take place in Iceland next February. The three Scouts – Conor Hempenstall, Michael Quigley and Andrew O’Neill – were amongst only 15 scouts from across Ireland selected to take part in this once in a life time trip that will see them try hiking in difficult conditions, ice climbing, cross country skiing, building ice caves (igloos), sledging and much more.
A table quiz will be held by the Scout Group on November 17th in Na Piarsaigh GAA Club, Caherdavin Lawn (just off the Ennis Road, opposite the Greenhills) at 8pm, as part of the fundraising efforts to facilitate opportunities like the Crean Challenge for the youth members.