20 November 2020

Weil's Disease

Weil's Disease is a bacterial infection, a form of Leptospirosis. It is caught by coming into contact with urine, blood or tissue from an infected cow, pig, dog, mouse, rat, and possibly bat. It is also caught from contact with contaminated water or contaminated soil.

Hill walkers and kayakers can be exposed to this; either through ingestion or transmission through a scratch/cut.

Four simple examples I have seen of infection:
1. Kayaker accidentally swallowing infected river water.
2. Hill walker drinking from a stream.
3. Hill walker putting their sandwich down on a stream bank.
4. Farmer fencing across boggy ground.

Flu-like symptoms develop approx two weeks after infection; however they can develop in anything from two days to thirty days after infection.

Initial Symptoms Include Any Of The Following:
Muscle Ache
Head Ache
Appetite Loss

Organ Failure And Death Can Result If Not Treated.

Recommended Approach:
1. Think prevention.
2. Be aware and vigilant.
3. If flu-like symptoms develop two to thirty days after outdoor sports, like hiking, climbing or kayaking, make a doctor visit and tell them you suspect weil's disease/leptospirosis.

Useful Links:
1. https://www.healthline.com/health/weils-disease
2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/leptospirosis

Nathan Kingerlee - Outdoors Ireland Training School

Click Here To See Our Outdoor Training Courses
Click Here To See Our Guided Kayaking Trips

13 November 2020

Course Schedule - Beginner To Mountaineer Fifty-Five Day Intensive Program

Course Schedule - Beginner To Mountaineer Fifty-Five Day Intensive Program

Click Here To See Course Details
Click Here To Contact Us

Next Dates:
Mon 10th Jan - Fri 25th Mar 2022
Eleven Weeks / Mon - Fri / Weekends Off

10th - 13th Jan : Mountain Skills 1
14th Jan : Mountain Day 1

17th - 20th Jan : Mountain Skills 2
21st Jan : Mountain Day 2

24th - 25th Jan : Scramble Skills 1
26th - 27th Jan : Scramble Skills 2
28th Jan : Mountain Day 3

31st Jan - 1st Feb : Scramble Day 1 - 2
2nd Feb - 4th Feb : Mountain Day 4 - 6

7th - 9th Feb : Remote Emergency Care 3
10th - 11th Feb : Learn To Rock Climb

14th - 15th Feb : Bushcraft Skills 1
16th - 17th Feb : Lowland Leader
18th Feb :
Mountain Day 7

21st Feb - 22nd Feb : Expedition 1 (Two-Day Exped Galway)
23rd Feb - 25th Feb : Learn To Lead Climb (Part 1)

28th Feb - 2nd Mar : Learn To Lead Climb (Part 2)
3rd - 4th Mar : Mountain Day 8 - 9

7th - 9th Mar : Expedition 2 (Three-Day Exped Wicklow)
10th - 11th Mar : Mountain Skills Assessment

14th - 17th Mar : Expedition 3/Mountain Leader 1 (Four-Day Exped Kerry)
18th Mar : Lead Climb Day 1

21st - 23rd Mar : Lead Climb Day 2 - 4
24th Mar - 25th Mar : Scramble Day 3 - 4

This Is Provisional And May Change, Due To Weather Considerations, In Order To Make Best Use Of Course Time

7 November 2020

Three Step Scrambling & Mountaineering Training Program

I am delighted to announce a three step Scrambling & Mountaineering Training Program.

Details, plus dates for 2021, are here: www.outdoorsireland.com/scrambleskills.php

The aim of these three courses is to give you the skills, techniques and safety awareness to become more adventurous in the mountains; tackling rocky steps, rocky ridges and mountaineering routes.

You can approach this by completing a two-day Scramble Skills 1, followed by a two-day Scramble Skills 2.

Or, as a complete beginner, you can book directly onto Learn To Lead Scramble In Six Days. This six-day mountaineering course takes you from beginner to safe and competent lead scrambler; including giving you two days of proper ridge scrambling experience.

5 November 2020

Scramble Skills 2 Syllabus

Scramble Skills 2 Syllabus
This is a non-official training course, only approved and certified by Outdoors Ireland and not Mountaineering Ireland. Course Directed By Nathan Kingerlee.

Harness & Helmet
Rope Carrying
Rope Flaking
Rope Coiling
Tying In
Body Belaying From Above
Body Belaying From Below
Leading A Step
Seconding A Step
Placing Runners
Removing Runners

Safe Start
Safe Wrap
Safe Communication

Sling Anchor
Hex Anchor
Wire Anchor
Moving Together
Emergency Lower
Emergency Abseil

Click Here To See Course Dates
Click Here To Book A Course

Converting Wind Knots To Beaufort Scale Force

 Converting Knots To Beaufort Scale Force:

1. Take your wind knots and add five
2. Take this new figure and divide by five
3. The answer is the approx beaufort scale force of wind

For Example:
17 Knots Of Wind
Add 5 to 17 = 22
Divide 22 by 5 = 4
So 17 Knots Of Wind = Force 6 (Approx)

Converting Beaufort Scale Force To Knots:

1. Take your beaufort scale and multiply by five
2. Take this new figure and subtract five
3. The answer is the approx knots of wind

For Example:
Force 3 Wind
Multiply 5 by 3 = 15
Subtract 5 from 15 = 10
So Force 3 Wind = 10 Knots (Approx)

2 November 2020

Nostoc Alge / Witches Butter

Nostoc Alge, or Witches Butter, up in the Burren Hills.
When it rains Nostoc absorbs water, forming gelatinous algae. When the pools dry up, it dries out to form a paper like substance.
Nostoc secretes an enzyme into the pools which increases the acidity of the water therefore increasing the erosion within the pools.
Apparently it can lie like dried out paper for up to 60 years. Then swell again with moisture, with it's cells undamaged.

More Reading Here

22 October 2020

Climbing Ropes

There Are Two Types Of Climbing Rope; Dynamic & Static.

Dynamic Rope has stretch in it, to absorb the impact of a falling climber. Dynamic rope is used for actual climbing.

Static Rope has no stretch, or very little stretch, in it. It is technically not safe for actual climbing. It is technically not safe for falling on. Static rope is used for abseiling, ascending, rigging and hauling.

Dynamic Rope Then Divides Into Three Types:
1. Dynamic Single Rope (Single Rope)
2. Dynamic Half Rope (Half Rope/Double Rope)
3. Dynamic Twin Rope (Twin Rope)

1. Dynamic Single Rope (Single Rope)
This rope is designed to be used by itself as a 'single rope', fit for climbing.
Single ropes are marked with a circled 1 at each end.

2. Dynamic Half Rope (Half Rope/Double Rope)
Two half ropes, or double ropes, are used on zig-zag/wandering climbs, especially multi pitch climbing or winter climbing. As ascending you clip one rope into all protection on your left hand side, and one rope into all protection on your right hand side. This allows the ropes to run pretty straight upward, minimising rope drag on long zig-zag/wandering climbs.
Half ropes are marked with a circled 1/2 symbol at each end.

3. Dynamic Twin Rope (Twin Rope)
Twin ropes are smaller in diameter, therefore lighter and smaller to pack. You treat them as a single rope, in terms of clipping both always together into each piece of protection.
Twin ropes are marked with a circled ∞ symbol at each end.

More Reading Here
More Reading Here

21 October 2020

Lightning On A Mountain

It takes the sound of thunder five seconds to travel one mile. Count the seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder.

If you count ten seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder; then lightning is two miles from your location.

5 Seconds = 1 Mile
10 Seconds = 2 Miles
15 Seconds = 3 Miles
20 Seconds = 4 Miles
25 Seconds = 5 Miles
30 Seconds = 6 Miles

Once lightning is six miles or closer; thirty seconds or less; from your location - you are in danger. Especially on an exposed mountain.

We have a 30/30 Rule. When lightning is thirty seconds or closer, take shelter/take precaution for thirty minutes.

What To Do On A Mountain:
1. Move off anywhere exposed (if possible) and take the best shelter you can. A hollow/gully/re-entrant/saddle can be good. You want to move off any peak/ridge/spur.

2. Move off wet/boggy/swampy ground.

3. Sheltering in a cave is fine, once you are deep in the very back. You do not want to be in a cave entrance, a shallow cave, or sheltering under an overhanging rock.

4. Separate your party by 50 meters apart. Lightning can jump from person to person if you are too close together. You see this happen with cows, where several are killed as that one lightning strike jumps from cow to cow.

5. Get rid of anything metal, anything with batteries, and your gps/phone.

6. Insulate yourself off the ground by sitting on your backpack. Your feet should also be pulled up onto your backpack. Head tucked down, eyes closed, and importantly - hands firmly over your ears to prevent an eardrum rupturing.

7. If you have no backpack adopt the lightning position. This is crouching down, on the balls of your toes, feet close together. Head tucked down, eyes closed, and hands firmly over your ears.

8. If caught in woods move into a patch of smaller/shorter trees; not into the taller trees.

9. If you have a lightning casualty, they may well not be breathing. In this case you perform cpr until emergency help arrives.

8 October 2020

Direct Belay & Indirect Belay

Direct Belay & Indirect Belay - Which Is Which, And Which Is Better?

A Direct Belay is when the climber is belayed directly off an anchor system. The rope runs straight from climber to anchor system.
See Photo 1. Anchor System Needs To Be Bombproof

An Indirect Belay is when the climber is belayed off the belayer's harness. The belayer is attached to an anchor system. The rope runs from climber to belayer. See Photo 2.

Benefits Of A Direct Belay:
Belayer is not in the system; not put under any pressure; and very easy to lock off and walk away - in case of incident/accident.

Benefits Of An Indirect Belay:
Your anchor system should always be bombproof, but in real life you sometimes end up in positions where that is not fully possible. By belaying off your harness belay loop; you put your body into the system. Your harness and your body absorbs some fall-load/shock-load; therefore some fall-load/shock load does not pass into the anchor system. Where you have dubious anchors - this protects your anchor system, and therefore protects you.

7 October 2020

Mountain Skills Steep Ground Work

 Six Questions For Mountain Skills Steep Ground Work

1. Could I Do It?  (ability-wise)

2. Should I Do It?  (sensibility-wise)

3. Can I see an onward route, or am I moving into a dead end?  (one person sent scouting can be useful here)

4. If I do it, can I backtrack easily if needed?
(always be able to backtrack)

5. Likelihood Of A Slip?  (low/medium/high)

6. Consequences Of A Slip  (low/medium/high)

Three Questions For Mountain Skills Spotting

1. Am I spotting properly here; properly positioned and dug in; or am I simply putting myself and the other person at risk?

2. Can we backtrack whatever I am spotting?

3. Am I happy with the amount of time that will be lost by spotting?