23 January 2012

Mountain Skills 1 In Kerry Mountains

Photos & Video From Our Mountain Skills 1 In The Kerry Mountains Over The Past Weekend. The MS1 Course Was Run By Kilian Kelly & Nathan Kingerlee, With A Small Group Of Participants & Cold Dry Weather - Perfect Hill Walking Conditions!

13 January 2012

Expanding To Galway - Step 5

I have had little information to give out recently about progress towards having our Galway base operational. Things have been ticking over quietly in the background. I have also been caught up in a flurry of Kerry work, focusing on business planning, advertising planning, an exciting couple of days snow and ice climbing, plus some time off.

There has been constant behind the scenes planning (and amending plans) around having both a Kerry and Galway base. By this time next month I will be living in Galway, just outside Kinvara; although still spending a lot of time back in Killarney on the lakes and mountains.

We have recruited a fantastic instructor – Kilian Kelly – to run our Kerry operation, especially our guided kayak trips and kayak training courses. I was in college with Kilian years ago. In more recent years he assessed me on one of my kayak instructor assessments. He is one of the best instructors I have met or trained under, so I am really excited to have the opportunity to work alongside him. Kilian is going to bring a lot to the quality and value of what we offer, and he will be assisted by our current fantastic team of instructors.

We have also recruited an excellent freelance instructor and really nice guy – Henry – to assist in Galway; although it is a little hard to know at the moment exactly how busy or quiet our first summer season in Galway will be...

Like I mentioned a couple of months ago, we have run our first Galway Mountain Skills 1 and have a series of Mountain Skills 1 and Mountain Skills 2 Courses scheduled for Galway over the coming months. We are running some of our Learn To Lead Climb Courses in the Burren in Feb/Mar; followed by a Kayak Skills Course in May. Apart from these training courses, we will be focusing on three main products over the summer season; Guided Sea Kayak Tours Of Kinvara Bay, Galway Bay Sunset Kayak Tours and Galway City & Harbour Sea Kayak Tours.

By the end of Jan I need to have one, possibly two, storage trailers in the pipeline – this is currently our latest thought in terms of efficient storage of equipment. I need to have the office successfully moved into our Galway base and most importantly I need to have some great CDs for all of the driving I will be doing between Killarney and Kinvara!

A couple of other changes have happened recently. Ruth who ran the office with me (and in fact worked part-time with me since she was in transition year), will be doing less and less work as she recently qualified as a primary teacher and her teaching work is taking up more and more of her time. I will be sad to see Ruth leave, especially as she knows more about certain aspects of Outdoors Ireland than I do! Happily Aileen, who has a pretty amazing business background, will be stepping in to take on Ruth’s role, plus a whole lot more. With Aileen’s yoga business background also, we hope to run some Galway Yoga & Kayaking Workshops over the spring, with a morning’s Iyengar Yoga followed by a quick walk to Kinvara Bay for a relaxing afternoon’s sea kayak through the islands and inlets...

The other change is that Ferghal O Grady; again who has worked with me since the early days of Outdoors Ireland; has moved for the time being to Australia to follow another career. Ferghal always did an awesome job outdoors and put people quickly at ease, so we will miss him... Hopefully no more changes or losses for the time being!

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