Harvey Maps Superwalker : Mourne Mountains
The moment you open up this map you know it’s designed for Mourne walkers. 1:25000 scale, printed one side only, in landscape mode, with the principal fold made vertical. Open one way and you are looking at the Eastern Mourne, open the other and you are looking at the West. Most popular walks fall between a couple of folds.
The second thing that strikes you is the use of strong and bold colour, and then you immediately realise that the mountains and bogs are clear and uncluttered, the critical detail legible and explicit on a white background.
Eventually the feel of the paper between your fingers, seems a little curious, so you check out the web site and it tells you it’s printed with a hi-tech process designed to resist damage from wet.
And your confidence about going somewhere fresh and new, starts growing…
Accuracy, Clarity & Durability
Not so much ABC as ACD – Accuracy, Clarity and Durability. They are my three expectations of a map for walking in any mountains. So obvious they don’t really require any elaboration. Although it’s worth understanding that they all fit together. For example, the size of the map is going to impact both its clarity (such things as scale) and its durability (folding and unfolding, and workable squares). And even accuracy gets impacted by scale, when a saddle in a ridge may fail to appear in the contours, or a spur has its shape maligned and easily-read spot-heights become important.
Here then is my list of pro’s and con’s of the Harvey Superwalker Mourne Mountain Map, written with those three qualities in mind…
Even on your first walk it will quickly become clear that this map is designed for easier use and easier reading when you are out on the mountain. And I explored this in some detail with a Twitter Quiz: What makes “this” map easier to read. Here’s my summary from the quiz answers:
They’ve thought about:
- How many lines should go on the map and what they should be used to represent. Making sure there are enough to give you adequate information, but not so many as to clutter your view. The same approach has been taken with text and reducing the naming of features in the landscape. It’s all about reducing clutter.
- There has been a careful consideration of the use of colour. Block colours identify lowland areas, forestry and water. But the more hazardous mountainous areas are left white, to allow emphatic and bold use of contours. And coloured patterns too, used to illustrate some quality of the landscape underfoot. Whilst the technical opportunity to change the colour of a contour is used to show a change in conditions.
- Even the best manner of folding the map. And using the folded map, has been considered. But especially important, is the ability to see the Eastings and Northings figures of the 1km squares of the Irish map grid. Great for those who thumb their way along the map as they walk, and for when the wind makes it impossible to open up your map and take readings from the edges.
- You can find the examples of these features and the full explanation here
Of course, as you’d expect from a map manufacturer of this quality, it has all the usual features, map key, distance scale for miles and kms, GPS compatible grid, grid references and magnetic declination (variation) and rate of change for a given date.
Don’t think of this as something that you buy and keep. It’s not a long-term investment. It is a “consumable”. It’s designed to be used, and it will wear out – though not as quickly as others you might own. So use it. Treat it like a good pair of wool walking socks. Once it’s begun to acquire holes, expect to replace it.
- Learning to read a map for walking in the hills
- Winning freedom from the tyranny of the footpath or your pal who “knows the way”.
- Finding new routes with it’s uncluttered presentation of the landscape.
- It’s also ideal for planning exploration over open mountain.
Harvey Maps home web site
Harvey Maps product page for the MOURNE MOUNTAINS SUPERWALKER map
All Harvey Maps – Map Specifications
Download the Harvey Maps Map Legend (Map key)
The Best Walks Twitter Quiz – Questions only
The Best Walks Twitter Quiz – Questions & Answers