27 May 2014

Canyoning, Carrauntoohil & Sunset Kayaking This Week In Killarney

Canyon & Kayak Trip Through Gap Of Dunloe
Thurs 29th : 9am - 4pm : €75pp

Climb Caher Ridge & Carrauntoohil
Fri 30th : 9am - 5pm : €75pp

Killarney Lakes Sunset Kayaking
Fri 30th : 6pm - 9pm : €50pp

Click Here To Book With Us


Reflections in Lough Lein (Lake of Wisdom) on the Lakes of Killarney, while heading into Killarney National Park on a guided kayak trip.

26 May 2014

Howling Ridge, On Carrauntoohil

A fabulous still, swirling misty, day on Howling Ridge, reaching Carrauntoohil's summit after approx four hours or roped climbing.

23 May 2014

Rock Climbing, By Manchán Magan

Rock Climbing – Outdoors Ireland
Manchán Magan

There is something debilitating about Killarney: the vast hotels, inflated coaches and the avaricious jarvies and their jaunting cars causing tailbacks on every route through town. And yet beyond it lies such beauty: the renowned lakes of Killarney, Muckross House, and the Gap of Dunloe, a wild and rugged landscape forged by glacial flows during the last ice age.

On my last visit I remember the indignity of battling through queues of rotund Americans piling off coach tours to rent a horse and cart to take them through the Gap. I had plans to walk above it, along the edge of Killarney National Park on the crest of Tomies Mountain and Purple Mountain, until I heard that Outdoors Ireland were now offering rock climbing courses up the sheerest sides of the Gap.. It sounded too good to miss – a way of engaging with the MacGillycuddy's Reeks in a radically more elemental way that sitting in a pony and trap.

I had envisaged an easy introduction to rock climbing - a gentle slope with plenty of deep fissures and handy grab points. Instead, I found myself at the base of a sheer sandstone monolith with a rope suspended from high above which we were expected to tie ourselves to before attempting to scale the height – a flank of cliff-face on the western side of the Gap of Dunloe. It certainly galvanised our attention.

Outdoors Ireland appears to favour the sink-or-swim teaching method, and while it ought to lead to panic and mutiny, instead it sparks a heroic determination to climb up to that glinting aluminium carabiner far above.

The reward is not just exhilaration, or phenomenal views across Black Lake to Purple Mountain, but the relief of then being gently lowered back to earth by your belay partner (rope controller) who has encouraged you up and kept the rope taut on your way skywards. The motivational charge that propels even the most scrawny-bodied weakling up a sheer rock face is miraculous.

With a rope and harness ensuring safety, there is nothing to fear except lack of self-belief. On the first and second attempt, the mind’s self-preservation instinct holds you back, but almost immediately the brain begins to readjust. You realise that for once in your life it is okay to dare, to take big risks - the rope will keep you safe. You try for a few bold, brave grabs and, amazingly, they succeed. You become aware of all that extra potential at your disposal – all these resources that we fail to tap into in our daily experience because there isn’t usually a rope to catch us on the rare occasion we may overstretch ourselves.

Soon, you become swept up in an exhilaration of potential: you reach out for miniscule cracks and crevices to allow you climb ever higher. It’s an intoxicating experience. More than half our group (me included) couldn’t manage even one proper push up, yet somehow we were able to scale vertical slabs of rock, finding muscles in our chest, hips, knees, shoulders, fingers and thighs to make up for lack of biceps. The rock comes alive beneath your fingers and toes - crevices, gullies, shards of flint and lichen patches. It’s a thrill to engage so intensely with 350 million-year-old rock. You become intimate with the rusted, iron-oxide sparkles, lines of mica and pure crystalline quartz in the folds and strata formed by crumpled and colliding landmasses over eons.

I don’t know what I expected from a rock climbing course, but it wasn’t the life-coaching session it turned out to be. Climbing those cliffs changed my perspective on things. The presence of that multi-coloured, woven rope, securely tied to my harness from above and kept taut by a colleague on the ground allowed me take chances that I wouldn’t normally take. And when those chances pay off, it made me realise how much I underestimate my potential and the degree to which my surroundings will help me if I trust in them. It gets you thinking about the latent ability we all must have within us that we don’t tap into.

I am not sure if I will continue rock climbing or not, but those two days with the buzzards and ravens overhead, the jarvies calling from down belong and the stubborn heather dangling in mid-air from high crevices gave me an experience I won’t easily forget.

For More: www.outdoorsireland.com/rockclimbing.php

22 May 2014

Upcoming Kayaking, Sunset Kayaking, Mountain Skills & Canyoning!

Sat 24th
Morning Kayak Trip On The Lakes Of Killarney
9am - 12pm : €50pp

Sat 24th & Sun 25th
Galway Mountain Skills 1
€155pp : 1 Place Left!

Mon 26th & Tues 27th
Kerry Mountain Skills 1
€155pp : 3 Places Left!

Wed 28th
Morning Kayak Trip On The Lakes Of Killarney
10am - 1pm : €50pp

Thurs 29th
Canyon & Kayak Through Gap Of Dunloe
9am - 4pm : €75pp

Fri 30th
Carrauntoohil Guided Climb
9am - 5pm : €75pp

Fri 30th
Killarney Lakes Sunset Kayaking
6pm - 9pm : €50pp

Sat 31st
Afternoon Kayak Trip On The Lakes Of Killarney
2pm - 5pm : €50pp

For Details/To Book Please Contact Nathan:
+353 (00 86 860 45 63

Sea Kayaking Into A Small Cave On Dingle Bay

Sea Kayaking Into A Small Cave On Dingle Bay

20 May 2014

Some Last Min Guided Kayaking Tours For Killarney

We have an Afternoon Kayak Trip on the Lakes of Killarney today - Tues 20th - at 2pm; followed by a georgous Dawn Kayak Trip tomorrow - Wed 21st - at 8am!

Price is €50 per person. Beginners welcome and all gear provided.

Please Click Here To Book Our Guided Kayak Trip

12 May 2014

Photos From Muckross Lake, Innisfallen, Mountain Skills 1 & Map Reading Days

Looking across Muckross Lake towards the Gap of Dunloe
Hawthorn in bloom on Innisfallen Island

Map & Compass Training Course in the misty hills above the Gap of Dunloe

Handrailing Technique on a Map & Compass Course. Check out the fantastic old burnt trees

Mountain Skills 1 Training In Kerry Hills, On Mangerton Mountain

Torc Waterfall in early morning spring sunlight

8 May 2014

Deer On Innisfallen Island

Large Herd Of Deer On Innisfallen Island; While Out On A Guided Kayak Tour Across The Lakes Of Killarney

Remote West First Aid (First Aid & REC Training)

Big hello to our new first aid trainer, Marie from http://www.remotewestfirstaid.com/

If you're looking for any kind of awesome first aid training (especially our Mountain Skills/SPA students) check her out!

5 May 2014

Climbing Carrauntoohil With A Guide

Some shots I took last week guiding on Carrauntoohil, including looking back at the spectacular Heavenly Gates.

3 May 2014

Upcoming Extra Mountain Skills 1 In Kerry

We are running an extra Kerry Mountain Skills 1 due to extra demand, over the coming weeks. It will be a mid-week course. If you're interested in booking onto it please get in touch on info@outdoorsireland.com.

Click Here To See Our Mountain Skills 1 Syllabus