Project Mountain Goat – Taking Hillwalking to a ‘Baadass’ New Level!

Simon Byrne, Project Mountain Goat taking a 'Delphi Selfie' over Killary Fjord

Simon Byrne, Project Mountain Goat taking a ‘Delphi Selfie’ over Killary Fjord. Photo by Simon Byrne, 2014.

It was an exciting week last week at Delphi Adventure Resort as we met a young man on a mission to break an all time record across Ireland. Simon Byrne, an adventurer, rock climber and hill walking enthusiast from Castletownbere in Co Cork, set an impressive task for himself..one which hasn’t been done before: to climb every summit over 500m in Ireland (454 in total) in under 365 days!

The Twelve Bens from the Maam Turks, Connemara. Photo by Simon Byrne, 2014.

The Twelve Bens from the Maam Turks, Connemara. Photo by Simon Byrne, 2014.

On his journey through Connemara, Simon popped into our Wild Atlantic Café for a warming cup of tea after scaling the famous summits of Connemara, such as the Twelve Bens, the Maamturks and Mweelrea (to name a few). It was then that we got to know the insights into Project Mountain Goat (PMG), why Simon started it and what obstacles had he encountered through his journey so far.

Project Mountain Goat became Simon’s personal challenge on the 10th of January 2014 when he sat at his computer and pondered over the next big adventure challenge. After finding a list of mountain summits in Ireland made up of the Arderins list of 405 mountains over 500m with a prominence of 30m and the Valdeleur-Lynam list of 269 mountains over 600m with a prominence of 15m, a combined list of 454 summits in total, the concept of PMG came to fruition – to climb everything on the list. It was certainly doable to walk each one over a lifetime but that wasn’t challenging enough for Simon, and so he set a completion deadline to just 365 days – a year to fulfill his goals.

On the side of Teevnabinnia hill on the way to the summit of Mweelrea! Mweelrea in the background and Killary Harbour down to the left. Photo by Simon Byrne, 2014

On the side of Teevnabinnia hill on the way to the summit of Mweelrea. Mweelrea in the background and Killary Harbour down to the left. Photo by Simon Byrne, 2014.

The challenge began from that day on wards and so far, Simon has reached 393 summits (probably a few more by now on this lovely Tuesday morning!), with 61 summits to go before the 27th of December! To date, Simon has accomplished 99,335 meters in ascent – amazingly, that’s like climbing Everest 12 times!!

The mountains of Connemara were met by Simon’s footprints and determination between Monday 3rd and 17th of November. He reached 68 PMG Summits plus 27 other summits, walked a total of 333.7 km, for a total of 79hrs 10mins, and ascended 19,994 meters in total with 19,796 meters in descent.

In the last three weeks Simon’s travels have consisted of:

  • 19 days of walking
  • 2 rest/planning days
  • 3 hot showers
  • 4 proper home cooked meals
  • 1 night in a bed
  • 3 nights on a couch
  • 16 nights sleeping in the car
  • Clothes washed, twice!
  • Soaked through from rain, twice!
  • Cooking Gas canisters used; 2.
  • Broken; 1 walking pole, 1 lace from the hiking boots, 1 cooking pot, 1 plastic clip on my hiking bag!
  • 1 Night Navigation session

and he’s still going strong..

We wish Simon all the best in fulfilling his goals and we have every faith that he will complete Project Mountain Goat within his set deadline. It was a pleasure to meet him and we are so lucky to be a part of his amazing journey. Some of Team Delphi are hoping to join in on Simon’s pinnacle final summit climb before the end of the year and we look forward to welcoming him back to Connemara in the future for some more insight into his amazing story.

Follow Simon’s exciting daily updates of the Project Mountain Goat Challenge on the Adventure Burn Facebook Page here.

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