7 December 2007

New Year's Hiking

Spend this New Year's hiking the glaciated valleys and high hills around Killarney. Explore secluded trails through Glencar, enjoy breathtaking views over the Lakes of Killarney or climb up through Carrauntoohil's steep corries.

Dates: 30th, 31st Dec & 1st Jan.
Book for one, two or all three days.
Price: €75 per person, per day.
Transport Included.
Qualified Experienced Guides.

Sun 30th Dec: Hike along the Kerry Way, through the oak woods of Killarney National Park and Torc Waterfall, past 18th century Muckross House and 15th century Muckross Abbey to finish with a pint at Molly Darcy's Pub.

Mon 31st Dec: Climb Carrauntoohil - Ireland's highest mountain, rising to 1039 metres above sea level.

Tues 1st Jan: Hike through the lush, wooded valley of Glencar, following an ancient penal mass path, climb through the Windy Gap and descend into the village of Glenbeigh, to finish beside the warm fire at the Towers Hotel.

Contact us for more details.

Click here to download booking form.

25 November 2007

Kerry Winter Training

Are you planning on venturing into the Irish Mountains over the Winter or taking a trip to Scotland? Do you want to become more self-sufficient?

Spend one day's training in the Kerry Mountains, covering the skills you need to deal with bad weather, darkness, steep ground and emergencies. Mountain Efficiency, Equipment, Emergency Procedures, Steep Ground Skills, Navigation & Night Hiking will all be covered.

Sun 20th Jan
Sun 3rd Feb
Mon 18th Feb

The price is €75 per person.

Contact us for more details.

17 November 2007

Hill Walking Equipment

Now the winter months are here, what equipment should you have in your backpack?

  • Liner / Bin Bag
  • Waterproofs
  • One or Two Spare Fleeces
  • Hat & Gloves
  • Spare Hat & Gloves
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Torch & Spare Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Food & Drink
  • Spare Food
  • Hot Drink
  • First Aid Kit
  • Survival Bag / Bivvy Bag
  • Phone

Remember, carrying too much equipment can be nearly as bad as carrying no equipment!

Mountain Skills Courses

Scottish Winter Skills

Spend a long weekend in the Highlands of Scotland, in Glencoe & Ben Nevis, near Fort William.

Learn the skills for Winter Walking and Climbing in Snow and Ice, using ice axes and crampons.

Collection & Drop Off at Glasgow Airport & Train Station.

Price is €550 per person.

Price Includes:

Four Days Walking

Qualified Instructors

All Equipment (Ice Axe, Crampons, Harness & Helmet)

Collection, Drop Off & Transport

Chalet Accommodation

Food not included.


22nd - 25th Feb

29th Feb - 3rd March

14th - 17th March

Contact us for more details.

1 November 2007

Free Intro to Mountain Skills

This is a one-day course, based near Killorglin, Kerry, open to any hill walker with an interest in progressing their hill walking skills and becoming more self-sufficient in the mountains. The aim of the day is to give hill walkers information about different training courses available and to introduce hill walking skills such as; map reading, navigation techniques and mountain safety. The day will be spent outside in the mountains.

I am running this Promotion to launch a new
Mountain Skills & Leadership Training Package.

Mon 3rd Dec
Mon 21st Jan
Sat 2nd Feb

Mon 11th Feb
Sat 16th Feb

Location: Red Fox Pub, Killorglin to Glenbeigh Road

Price: FREE

Time: 10am - 3pm

To book your place please contact me.

Climbing Carrauntoohil

Hands and knees near the summit!

26 October 2007

NEW! White Water Kayaking for Beginners

Want to try White Water Kayaking but not sure where to start?
These one-day courses are suitable for all levels of experience, from complete beginners upwards. Spend a day learning some basic skills, bouncing down rapids and paddling down a moving river!
All equipment is provided.
Price is €75 per person, per day.
15th Nov
17th Dec
22nd Dec

Rock Climbing in Kerry

Learning to Rock Climb in the Gap of Dunloe

White Water Kayaking Promotion

18 October 2007

Kayaking on the Lakes of Killarney

Paddling underneath Swallow Island, on a kayaking trip across the Lakes of Killarney.

3 October 2007

Mountain Skills & Leadership Training Packages

I have designed three training packages, specifically for walking clubs; both for people looking to become a little more self-sufficient in the mountains and also for people looking to take on more of a leadership role within a club.

My courses cover Navigation, Steep Ground Skills, Emergency Procedures, Environmental Skills, Rope Skills and Leadership Skills. Some of the courses are nationally recognised official courses and some can be designed specifically for your requirements.

Package 1 - 4 Days Training - €260 per person
Mountain Skills 1
(Two days training, covering Map Reading, Navigation Techniques, Hazards & Equipment)
Mountain Skills 2
(Two days training, covering Compass Bearings, Steep Ground Skills, Night Navigation & Emergency Procedures)

Package 2 - 8 Days Training - €520 per person
Mountain Skills 1
(Two days training, covering Map Reading, Navigation Techniques, Hazards & Equipment)
Mountain Skills 2
(Two days training, covering Compass Bearings, Steep Ground Skills, Night Navigation & Emergency Procedures)
Navigation Workshop
(One day's training, improving on Navigation Techniques, such as Timing, Pacing & Tick Off Features)
Steep Ground Workshop (One day's training, improving on Steep Ground Skills, such as Route Choice, Group Awareness & Spotting)
Mountain Skills Assessment
(Two days assessment to confirm that you can navigate safely through the mountains, dealing with any unplanned situations as they arise)

Package 3 - 2 Days Training - €130 per person
Leadership Skills (
Two days training, covering Navigation Techniques, Steep Ground Skills, Group Awareness, Hazards & Equipment)

Additional 10% Discount available to MCI Members.
Scheduled dates throughout 2008 for individuals or groups of less than six.
Private dates to suit for groups of six or more.
Full residential courses available.
We will run courses in your local area.

Other Add-On Courses Include:
Rope Skills
(Two days training, covering Emergency Rope Skills on Steep Ground)
Environmental Skills
(One day's training, covering the skills needed to leave the mountains with no trace that you have been there)
Mountain Leader 1
(Two days training, covering Group Management on Steep Ground, Night Navigation, River Crossings & Emergency Rope Skills)

I am happy to travel to your club to meet with you and discuss different options.

Contact me for more details.

20 September 2007

October Bank Holiday

Do something different this Halloween!

Mon 29th Climb Carrauntoohil - Ireland’s highest mountain - €50 per person

Tues 30th Kerry Way Hike - Explore a Penal Mass Path and Hike over an ancient Butter Road, deep in Glencar Valley - €50 per person.

Book for either one or two days.

Extra hikes also available throughout the week.

For more details contact me.

Outdoor Adventure Gift Vouchers

Give someone a present with a difference! A gift voucher for a day of rock climbing & abseiling, a kayaking trip or a hike into the Kerry mountains! Personally designed, day and half-day, gift vouchers. Prices from €50.

Gift Voucher Ideas for One Person
Climb Carrauntoohil - Ireland’s highest mountain - €50
Rock Climbing & Abseiling - €75
Half Day of Kayaking - €50

Gift Voucher Ideas for Two People
Kerry Way Hike - Explore Celtic Trails, Mass Paths & Butter Roads - €100
Half Day of Rock Climbing & Abseiling - €100
Kayak Trip through the Lakes of Killarney - €150

Gift Voucher Ideas for a Weekend Away, for Two People
Spend a Weekend Hill Walking and Kayaking, staying in Kerry Ocean Lodge, Glenbeigh. Healthy packed lunches provided each day and two gourmet evening meals in the nearby Towers Hotel - €650

We can design outdoor adventure gift vouchers for your specific requirements, including guesthouse accommodation, packed lunches and gourmet evening meals.

Gift vouchers are valid for one year from date of issue.

For more details contact me.

Rescuing A Kayak - X Rescue

You can use an X Rescue to empty a kayak of water and help someone back into the kayak, without coming to shore.
1. The person in the water is your priority. Make sure they are ok. Get them to hold onto the front of your kayak and get them to hold both their paddle and your paddle.

2. Get the front of the capsized kayak and pull it across the front of your kayak, keeping it upside down and against your stomach.

3. Rock the capsized kayak from side to side to empty all water. If there are extra people they can help you with the rocking.

4. Flip the capsized kayak upright and slide it into the water.

5. Hold both kayaks tightly, side by side, and help the person in the water to climb back in.

This should be practiced in safe, shallow water, close to the shore.


Timing is important for navigating in the mountains as it can tell you how long you will be walking for, or how long you should expect to walk before you arrive at a feature, such as a hill top or lake. Especially useful in bad weather.

The average hill walker walks at 5 kilometres per hour.

When broken down that is:
5km per 60 mins
1km per 12 mins
500 metres per 6 mins
100 metres per 1 min + 12 seconds (call it just over one min)

If you are walking for 2km it should take you 24 mins.
If you are walking for 300 metres it should take you just over 3 mins.

When walking uphill, count how many uphill contour lines you are climbing and add one extra min for every uphill contour line you climb.

If you are climbing fifteen uphill contour lines that is fifteen extra mins you need to add to your time.

When walking on flat ground or downhill, don’t count any contour lines.

If you are walking 1km, that will take you 12 mins; plus if you are climbing ten uphill contour lines, that is ten extra mins you need to add to your time – Total Time 22 mins.

27 August 2007

Rock Climbing Techniques

Use your feet flat on the rock, stick out your backside and keep your legs straight, using friction instead of footholds, to hold you on the rock.

Using your fingertips on small holds. Keep your fingers close together and you can lock your thumb over the top of your fingers to hold them in position.

Hand Jam
Put your closed fist into a crack and turn it sidewards, so it becomes stuck inside the crack.

While climbing up a crack or corner, put your hands into the crack, turn your body sidewards, so you are pulling sidewards away from the crack. Move your feet as high up the rock as possible, keeping straight legs. Walk your hands and feet up the crack.

While climbing up a corner, put your legs apart, one foot on either wall and push off each wall to get friction.

As you come up onto a ledge, reach up, put your hands onto the ledge and do a push up, pushing your body upwards, so you can climb onto the ledge.

12 August 2007

White Water Kayaking Promotion

Discover the fun and excitement of White Water Kayaking, in a safe location, with qualified instructors.
Learn strokes and techniques, during a two-hour session on the Laune River, near Killarney.

The aim of this promotion is to give flat water kayakers a taste of the next step, give complete novices the chance to paddle a section of river and also to let you know about the various Kayaking Courses on offer.

Date: Sat 20th & Sun 21st Oct

Location: Beaufort Bridge, Killarney to Killorglin road

Price: FREE

9am - 11am
11am - 1pm
1pm - 3pm
3pm - 5pm

All equipment will be provided.

To book your place please contact info@outdoorsireland.com or 086 860 45 63.

17 July 2007

Measuring Distance

Measuring Distance is important for navigating in the mountains as it tells you how long and how far you will be walking for.

All hill walking maps, such as the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series, are covered with a series of horizontal and vertical lines, which makes a grid of boxes.

Each box is 1 km from side to side and 1.5 km diagonally from corner to corner.

To roughly estimate distance between two points, look at how many grid boxes lie between the points. If there are two boxes then the distance is approximately 2 km.

To accurately measure distance between two points, use the millimeter ruler on the side of your compass to measure the distance in millimetres.

On a 1:50 000 scale map 1mm is equal to 50m.
So if you measure a distance of 6mm on your map that would be equal to 300m on the ground.

On a 1:25 000 scale map 1mm is equal to 25m.
So if you measure a distance of 6mm on your map that would be equal to 150m on the ground.

Learn to Kayak Course

13 July 2007


Lunch on the summit.

Introduction to White Water

Throw Rope Rescues on Laune River.

8 July 2007

Low Brace

The Low Brace is used to prevent your kayak capsizing.
To practice it you need to be sitting securely in your kayak.

1. Hold your paddle across your stomach.
2. Point your elbows up towards the sky (like a gorilla).
3. Lean your kayak towards the water, as if you’re capsizing.
4. Splash the paddle down onto the surface of the water, on the side that you’re capsizing onto.
5. Using your knees and hips, flick the kayak upright away from the water.
6. As you splash the paddle down, also push it forwards and out of the water.

The hip flick is just as important as the paddle splash. To practice the hip flick sit in your kayak on the water and rock from side to side doing bigger and bigger rocks.

14 June 2007

Aug Bank Holiday Hill Walking & Kayaking

Sat 4th Aug Climb Carrauntoohil - Ireland's highest mountain.

Sun 5th Aug Kayak Lakes of Killarney
- Explore the inlets and islands of the Lakes of Killarney.

Mon 6th Aug Kayak River Trip
- Kayak down the Laune River, through woodland, gentle rapids and ruined castles.

  • Come as an Individual or as a Group.
  • Book for One, Two or all Three Days.
  • No Experience Needed.
  • All Equipment Provided.


Sat €50 per person.

Sun €75 per person.

Mon €75 per person.

Special Weekend Price, Three Days for €180 per person.

Accommodation and food are not included.

For Guesthouse Accommodation contact Kerry Ocean Lodge, Glenbeigh on; www.kerryoceanlodge.com or 066 9769666.

For Hostel Accommodation contact Aghadoe Hostel, Killarney on; www.anoige.ie/hostels/killarney-international or 064 31240.

On Sat we will be starting at 9am. On Sun and Mon we will be starting at 10am.

For further details contact me on www.outdoorsireland.com or 086 860 45 63.

1 June 2007

Paddle Skills

Sit On Top - Paddle Skills Course

31 May 2007

A Fit Body Kayak Club

Kayaking across Caragh Lake.

15 May 2007

Rock Climbing Promotion Photos

Kerry Rock Climbing Courses

Evening Climbing Classes read more
Evening climbing classes, during the week, in association with A Fit Body, Fitness & Sports Therapy Centre, Killorglin. Non-members welcome. Kayaking and Hill Walking evenings also available. For details contact 066 9790680 or info@afitbody.ie.

Learn to Rock Climb read more
Two-day course, covering the basic skills of climbing. Learn to use different pieces of climbing equipment, tie knots, climbing techniques, abseiling and belaying.
Price: €160 per person
26th & 27th May
18th & 19th June
23rd & 24th June

Improve your Climbing read more
Two-day course, covering a range of techniques and ropework skills. Learn to set up climbs and also try sea cliff climbing.
Price: €160 per person
21st & 22nd July
30th & 31st July
18th & 19th Aug

Introduction to Scrambling read more
Two-day course, covering scrambling skills and ropework. Scramble rocky ridges, steep arĂȘtes or narrow gullies, surrounded by magnificent views.
Price: €160 per person
Contact me

Multi Pitch Climbing read more
Two-day course, based on sea cliffs and the MacGillycuddy Reeks. Introduction to larger, longer climbs.
Price: €160 per person
Contact me

I can also design a course around your specific requirements and at a location that suits you.

14 April 2007

Outdoor Clubs

I am running Outdoor Clubs in association with A Fit Body, Fitness & Sports Therapy Centre. Chose from Kayaking, Rock Climbing & Hill Walking, in the evenings, each week over the summer.

A Fit Body is a new Fitness & Sports Therapy Centre, in Killorglin, Kerry, providing Easy & Fun Fitness Training. Facilities include a fully equipped gym, aerobic room, spin room, sports therapy, fitness testing, revitalising steam room and sauna.

Kayaking Club
Learn how to kayak. Explore hidden inlets, deep lakes & gently flowing rivers.

Rock Climbing Club
Discover the excitement & skills of rock climbing on mountain crags & sea cliffs.

Hill Walking Club
Explore glaciated valleys, gentle hills, high ridges
& enjoy breathtaking views.

The Outdoor Clubs are available to all A Fit Body Members and Non Members. All equipment is provided. FIRST EVENING IS FREE! For details contact Aine on info@afitbody.ie or 066 9790680.

Free Rock Climbing Promotion

Gap of Dunloe, Sat 12th & Sun 13th May

Come and try Rock Climbing FOR FREE, on the cliffs of the deep, glaciated Gap of Dunloe.

Discover the fun and excitement of Rock Climbing. Learn to Tie Knots, Belay and Climb, with a qualified instructor.

Two Hour Sessions, running from 10am to 6pm each day.

Contact me for details and to book your place.

Kayaking on the Lakes of Killarney

The Lakes of Killarney, three lakes, one river and thirty-two islands make up this unique part of Kerry.
Last week we took a kayak trip down through the Lakes. We began on a sunny spring morning on the Upper Lake. A gentle paddle took us to The Long Range. This is the section of river which joins the Upper Lake and Muckross Lake.
As we paddled down the river we rounded a corner to see two small stags swimming across the river. With barely a splash, only their heads and antlers visible, they glided through the water and disappeared into the thick rhododendrons.
Further down the river the roaring of rapids reached our ears. This was the Meeting of the Waters, where all the water is funnelled under an old stone bridge and turns into an exciting white water rapid. We bounced over the waves, down the rapid, and emerged into the sunlight of Muckross Lake. Overlooked by Muckross House, we kayaked through limestone islands, carved with fantastic caves and tunnels.
We passed under Bricin Bridge into Lough Leane, the largest of the lakes. Here thick oak and yew woods grow to the water’s edge. Among the trees are dotted ancient copper mines, dating back to the Bronze Age.
Rounding Governor’s Rock and Mouse Island we passed the ruins of 6th Century Innisfallen Abbey, nestled on the largest of the islands, and landed our kayaks on the stony shore at Ross Castle.
This fantastic trip took us about five hours, including time exploring the islands and inlets and a relaxing picnic lunch on the shores of Muckross Lake.

It is also possible to make this into a two-day camping trip, by continuing across Lough Leane and kayaking down the River Laune, to Killorglin, on the second day.

Focus Ireland's Four Peaks Challenge

Focus Ireland’s Four Peaks Challenge is taking place this June. The Challenge involves climbing the highest mountain in each province in Ireland, for charity. Carrauntoohil, Mweelrea, Slieve Donard & Lugnaquilla will be climbed in just three days. Approximately 450 people will be taking part.

Myself and my team of instructors are providing safety cover for the Carrauntoohil stage of the Challenge.

The route for Carrauntoohil begins near Lough Acoose, at the Hydro Track. A steep climb up a track leads to a long spur. A long, gradual climb leads to the summit of Caher, 1001 metres high. The path then runs along the crest of the high, spectacular Caher Ridge, with fantastic views into the Black Valley and Coomloughra Glen. The ridge finishes with a final ascent up the flank of Carrauntoohil, to the summit, 1039 metres high. Return along the same path. The route should take five to seven hours approximately and covers a distance of 12 kilometres.

The aim of the Four Peaks Challenge is to raise money for people who are homeless. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Focus Ireland on www.focusireland.ie or 01 881 5900.

14 March 2007

Mountain Skills Syllabus

Ordnance Survey Maps.
Scale, Symbols, Grid References & Contour Features.
Map Setting, Feature Recognition & Self Location.
Distance Measurement.
Time Calculations for Distance & Height Gain.
Timing & Pacing.
Compass Bearings & Compass Resections.
Navigation Techniques.
Navigating using Map only.
Navigating using Map & Compass.
Route Planning.
Night Navigation.

Personal Equipment
Personal Clothing.
Personal Equipment.
Emergency Equipment.

Moving on Steep Ground
Route Finding & Route Choice.
Safe Havens.
Moving on Steep Ground: Ascending, Descending & Traversing.

Emergency Procedures
Likely Incidents / Accidents.
Incident / Accident Procedure.
Mountain Hypothermia.
Mountain Rescue.

Mountain Skills Assessment

Attend BOS Recognised Mountain Skills Training 1 & 2.
Completed Logbook; with 14 Quality Hill Walks in the year prior to Assessment.
First Aid Certificate (Preferably Rescue Emergency Care 2 or 3)

Day 1
Written Test.
Day Navigation.
Night Navigation.

Day 2
Steep Ground Work.

Equipment Needed
Normal Hill Walking Equipment.
Waterproof Backpack Liner.
Spare Clothing.
Map & Compass.
First Aid Kit.
Survival Bag.
Emergency Food.
Hot Drink.
Head Torch.
Spare Batteries.

Howling Ridge

Looking back at 'The Fingers' on Howling Ridge.

22 February 2007

Copper Mine

Abandoned Copper Mine, near Allihies, in West Cork. One of many mines in this area in use during the early 1900s.

Famine Cottage

Ruined Famine Cottage on the Kerry Way, between Kells and Glenbeigh.

21 February 2007

Laune Mountaineering Club

Laune MC doing a day of Navigation Training on Seefin, with Caragh Lake in the distance.

11 January 2007

Walking Club Promotion

To launch the second year of my Outdoor Training Business I am running a Promotion for Walking Clubs.

Six people from your Walking Club are invited to do a Free Day of Navigation Training in Kerry.

The day is COMPLETELY FREE. All you have to do is travel to Kerry. I need between four and six people to run a course for you.

I am hoping this Promotion will promote Safety, Training and Self Sufficiency in the Mountains. I am also hoping that it will encourage participation on Mountain Skills Courses.

Promotion Dates are limited so early booking is vital.

For further details contact me on 086 860 45 63 or www.outdoorsireland.com.

Canoe Club Promotion

To launch the second year of my Outdoor Training Business I am running a Promotion for Canoe Clubs.

Six people from your Canoe Club are invited to do a Free Day of White Water Training in Kerry.

The day is COMPLETELY FREE. All you have to do is travel to Kerry. I need between four and six people to run a course for you.

I am hoping this Promotion will promote Safety, Training and Self Sufficiency on the Rivers. I am also hoping that it will encourage participation on White Water Training Courses.

Promotion dates are limited so early booking is vital.
For further details contact me on 086 860 45 63 or www.outdoorsireland.com.

Hag's Tooth Ridge

This is a stunning and exciting ridge, which climbs steeply up to Beenkeragh, in the Macgillycuddy Reeks, giving great views of Carrauntoohil.

It begins with an easy scramble up a grassy gully to the base of The Pinnacle. The Pinnacle is a towering buttress of rock, 650 metres high. There are five pitches of rock climbing to reach the top of the Pinnacle. The climbing is challenging in places and involves some delicate moves! The top of the Pinnacle is the size of a table and can fit two or three people.

There are one or two abseils or traverses beyond the Pinnacle, as you descend 50 metres. Beyond that the Hag’s Tooth Ridge climbs again steeply up a series of rock steps and broken rocky ground to the summit of Beenkeragh.

8 January 2007

Level 2 Kayak Proficiency

Level 2 Kayak Proficiency Course on Caragh Lake, near Killorglin, last weekend. This was an official Irish Canoe Union Course, covering all the Basic Strokes, Rescues and Group Awareness needed to kayak safely on Flat Water as part of a group.

5 January 2007

Curve Ridge

Curve Ridge, in the Macgillycuddy Reeks, is a fairly steep rock climb on the north face of Carrauntoohil. It climbs up a rock buttress, which separates Curve Gully and Central Gully.

The climbing on Curve Ridge is very good, although there are a lot of large loose rocks to be aware of. It is a series of steep or slightly overhanging walls separated by easier scrambling. There are four or five pitches of climbing; surrounded by amazing views of tall peaks and a great feeling of exposure.