Tuesday, 16 September 2014 09:16

Colour me Purple – The Kilimanjaro Dream



Kilimanjaro 2014 - The Dream Team: Michael Healy, Leone Levis, Noirin Doyle, Eilish O’Boyle, Laura Murray, Eimear O’Sullivan, Samantha Heaton, Grace Moloney, Karen Cronin, Denise Cullinane, Eimear O Grady,  Anne Dowley Spillane. Raising funds for The Girls Club, Cork (cancer support service). www.thegirlsclubcork.ie

“Heart pounding and lungs screaming - Purple Mountain was the finish of me - but it was also the beginning”… Anne Dowley Spillane couldn’t make it to the top of Purple Mountain when she travelled down to Killarney, County Kerry, for a training weekend with the ‘Dream Team’.  The team of eleven hardy souls were heading to Kilimanjaro later in the year, to raise funds and awareness for The Girls Club, a cancer support group and drop-in-centre, run by volunteers in Cork.

After being diagnosed with inoperable cervical cancer in 2010; Anne had never intended climbing Kilimanjaro with the rest of the team but she was going along as part of the support crew and had turned up to support them during their training in Kerry.  However something happened when she was forced to turn back on the beautiful but steep ‘Purple Mountain’ - named for the lavender hue of its rocky slopes. Hobbling back down into the Gap of Dunloe while the rest of the team pushed ahead up the mountain, Ann decided to walk The Gap.  Striding out past the lakes and through the Black Valley, sweating in the heat of the sun; a stubborn determination kicked in.  She refused help from the passing Jarveys driving their horse-and-traps and kept on walking, right to the end of the valley and back. On this day, the Black Valley was Anne’s Purple Mountain, it was her Kilimanjaro, it was her Everest; and she made it.

Ann has that fighting spirit. Anyone touched by Cancer can imagine what life has become since her diagnosis; Chemo, Radiotherapy and Brachytherapy or ‘internal radiotherapy’. The tumour had affected the nerves in her leg, hip and back and she walked with the help of a stick and morphine.  At one point Ann begged for her leg to be amputated. It wasn’t; and Ann never gave up – the way she tells it? “I got cancer, but cancer never got me”.

Ann talks about the power of the mind and admits to running away from fear by being busy. She set up the Girls Club to offer support, shelter and a place to ‘be’ for other women affected by cancer – knowing intimately the experience of that touch. “Cancer takes everything” says Ann; “It takes your hair, your boobs, your childbearing years, your career, your income, your means to make a living. It violates your body and your mind. It makes you live with fear and it’s not just you. When you are diagnosed with cancer, your whole family gets cancer, it violates the whole family.”

The Girls Club brings joy and laughter, but volunteering to help run it is by no means easy or painless. “You love people, you hold their hand while they suffer and often, you lose them”. Ann talks about former members as ‘flying high on the bravest wings’ and believes they will be flying along with the Dream Team on Kilimanjaro. They are bringing the hopes and dreams and fears and love of many, many people with them.

After walking the ‘Gap of Dunloe’ Ann felt sick and went for a check-up and tests, fearing the worst.  The test results brought a shock – she was cured – there was no trace of cancer. Stunned, Ann struggled to absorb the news. Fear had become a habit and her mind raced. It didn’t take long for her thoughts to turn towards the heavens and Kilimanjaro. In a few months the Dream Team would be making their expedition to Africa and the fighter in Ann decided to launch another battle and go with them, not just as part of the support group, but all the way to the summit.

For those who have climbed mountains and for those who haven’t, the scale of what Ann was embarking on seemed impossible – to fail at climbing Purple Mountain and aspire to climbing Kilimanjaro just a few months later defies physics and reason. But Ann has faced impossible odds before.

March, June and July of this year saw the team in gyms and out on the hills.  “I thought TRX was a dinosaur before I joined the gym” says Ann, as she kicked off a 6 day a week training regime which included spinning sessions and the ‘dinosaur’ TRX. She changed to a healthy diet, went gluten-free, swapped cakes for salad, discovered juicing and lost a whopping 22lb in a remarkably short period of time. She walked everywhere, trained on the Galtee Mountains and went hiking in the hills at night with her dog.  Walking with the rest of the team was stressful at first. “I’m afraid of holding them up and slowing them down” says Ann, with the dread of every ‘newbie’ starting on a new challenge for the first time. Anne is frequently tough on herself and talks about ‘kicking herself in the ass’ and ‘getting on with it’.  Walking at height doesn’t come easy to her either:  “With Morphine patches holding you together, you’re so stoned you fear you could fall” she comments wryly. Ann has a wicked sense of humour and the ability to laugh at cancer appears to be knitted deeply into the fibre of the Girls Club, which is as much about fun as survival.

A trip back to Pat Falvey’s Mountain Lodge in Killarney sees Ann reach the summit of Purple Mountain. Over to Mangerton Mountain and she vomits the whole way up but makes it to the top. Then there’s Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. “Jesus” says Ann, “My worst nightmare right there.  I read about the Devil’s Ladder, I Googled the Devil’s Ladder, I talked about the Devil’s Ladder and I dreamed about the damned Devil’s Ladder.” Finally the day came to meet it. Ann’s cousin took her up. “I thought about my Girls and silently cried ‘guys I need your wings’. It was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. Each step was painful and the pace was fast.  But we made progress; moving higher and higher and I met lovely people along the way. The sun was shining brightly, it was truly an amazing day and finally in the distance, I spotted the cross that marks the summit.  I knew I was going to make it.  The sight of that cross had so many different meanings for me. Reaching the top I kneeled down and kissed the ground and said many things to many people, quietly in my mind.  I rang my mum, my husband and my son in Australia, before galloping down ‘The Devil’s Ladder’.  Cancer down – Devil down – Kilimanjaro ahead”.

“I don’t know” says Ann when you ask her what she thinks of the challenge ahead. “I’ve had nightmares about it.  I keep doubting myself, but I don’t do failing well.  I’m not good at giving in. I’ve done chemo, done sickness, done agony.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to say I’ve done Kili. I don’t know what’s going to happen.  But I’m going, and I’m fighting, and everyone with me has battled to be here too. They’ve all been touched by cancer and they’ve all made massive sacrifices. Their own families have been put on hold while they worked full-time, trained hard and still managed to fundraise. When we get to the summit we will place a plaque with the names of our loved ones who have passed. That will be the hardest moment.” Will they make it? “We’ve already made it” says Ann. “We’ve supported each other, formed new friendships, laughed, cried and raised thousands for the club. The journey to get here was as important as the journey ahead. In my eyes, the Dream Team are already winners, so let the next journey begin.”

Freddy Tarimo (Africa) Chief Guide

Freddy was born in 1964 and has been working on Kilimanjaro since 1986 when his first job was as a porter. He became a fully trained guide on Kilimanjaro in 1988.  He trained initially as a cook and has completed courses on first aid and high altitude medicine.  

Freddy has climbed Kilimanjaro over 315 times and has worked with Pat since 1996. Freddy is recognised as one of the world's leading guides on Kilimanjaro.

Heis married with three sons and two daughters; two of his sons, Goodliving and Emanuel, also work on the mountain with him and Pat.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 14:08

Kilimanjaro over 1250 successful summits.

Kilimanjaro news: We are now one of the world's leading adventure company's working on Kilimanjaro with over 1250 people having reached the summit over the last 12 years. Below is another one of this year's group who had 100% summit success.

July 2014: We laughed our way to the summit. As usual we had all of the trauma of climbing a high altitude mountain but the team weathered them all. Summit night was cold and with the wind chill was -17 degrees. Luckily, all had equipment to weather the conditions. All the team are safely down.


Also see another one of our teams success on the August by going to 100% summit August 17th 2014

Expedition Leaders Pat Falvey and Freddy Tarimo


Photo: Kilimanjaro news: 100% success with a great team. We laughed our way to the summit. As usual we had all of the trauma of climbing a high altitude mountain but the team weathered them all. Summit night was cold and with the wind chill was -17 degrees. Lucky all had equipment to weather the conditions. All the team are safely down. Sorry about updates but we had difficulty posting from the mountain. I will follow up with further reports and pictures over the coming days.

Our route is one of the most scenic on the mountain and is known as the Machame route. 

There are five different climatical zones as we make our way to the Roof of Africa.

Zone 1: The coffee and banana plantation. This area is full of life and where the locals that work on the mountain mainly live. 

Zone 2: The rain forest. Popular question is - does it rain?! It is humid, beautiful with amazing plantation but has very little wildlife. 

Zone 3: The moorland/alpine region. 

The plantation is more alpine with beautiful flowers and from our entry to this region we will be living above the clouds. Usually warm during the day and cold at night. 

Zone 4: The lunar desert. This is an amazing rocky desert with little or no growth or life. The rock is brownish red and feels as if you are walking through a moon-type landscape. Warm during the day but gets cold if the wind picks up. By night the temperature really drops and at time goes below 0 degrees. 

Zone 5: The depleting Arctic region. The days can be warm and we go through a vast difference in temperatures in this region. It can go from +25 degrees and down to -25 degrees depending on the season. 

All the team are ready to take on this amazing challenge. 

Picture: Our team at our hotel briefing. Checking out their home for the next 7 days
Photo: Now briefing on our climb of Kilimanjaro the team are excited and can't wait to get onto the mountain. We are at the starting blocks and the adventure has begun.  I have included information on our itinerary below.   Today we are settled into our hotel below the mountain, we are making final preparation and packing for the journey ahead.   Our route is one of the most scenic on the mountain and is known as The Machame route.   There are five different climatical zones as we make our way to the Roof of Africa.  Zone 1: The coffee and banana plantation. This area is full of life and were the locals that work on the mountain mainly live.   Zone 2: The rain forest. Popular question is does it rain!!! It is humid, beautiful with amazing plantation but has very little wildlife.   Zone 3: The moore land/ alpine region.   The plantation is more alpine with beautiful flowers and from our entry to this region we will be living above the clouds. Usually warm during the day and cold at night.   Zone 4: the lunar desert. Yes this is an amazing rocky desert with little or no growth or life. The rock is brownish red and feels as if you are walking through a moon type landscape. Warm during the day but gets cold if the win picks up. By night the temperature really drops and at time go below 0 degrees.   Zone 5: The the depleting arctic region. The days can be warm and we go through a vast difference in temperatures in this region. It can go from +25 degrees and down to -25 degrees depending on the season.   All the team are ready to take on this amazing challenge.   Picture: Our Team at our hotel briefing. Checking out their home for the next 7 days

Irelands leading high altitude adventure company www.patfalvey.com -For further information on our Kilimanjaro trips This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or ring Pat or Abina Falvey 064 6644181
Kilimanjaro 100% success for our August team. on the 17th August we received a  text  from the summit from our renowned team leader Freddy. "The team are excited and emotional after their long night to the summit."
We are always delighted at basecamp in Ireland when we receive news from our teams from the Summit but we are always aware that reaching the summit is only half way there and realise that the team have a long descend.
Kilimanjaro is one of the most beautiful climbs in the world and a challenge most fit people can achieve.
Pat Falvey and Freddy will be leaving with two more teams on 1st on 30th August, a team of 9 and a they will be leading back-to-back group with 12 team members fromThe Girls Club in Cork on the 8th of September and hoping that September will be as successful as our August teams.
Summit picture below.
Well done to our August team. Emily Grace Dorota Biedron Fiona Nic Charthaigh Patrick Fannon Orla Leydon Alison Gallagher Fionnuala Scullion Also to all our guides and porters on the Mountain. Now Dorota, Fiona, Emily, Fionnuala and Patrick are heading on safari. Enjoy. I'm so delighted as they had a hard start with travel and bags been lost. But all worked out well. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
— with Millie Grace.
Team on Summit August 17th
Photo: #Kilimanjaro We have just received from our team in Africa a summit shot with them on top. Well done to all. I'll be leaving with two more teams on the 30th August a team of 9  and a back to back with 12 team member from Thegirlsclub Cork  on the 8th of September. Well done to our August team. Emily Grace Dorota Biedron Fiona Nic Charthaigh Patrick Fannon Orla Leydon Alison Gallagher Fionnuala Scullion Also to all our Guides and Porters on the Mountain. Now Dorota, Fiona, Emily, Fionnuala and Patrick are heading on Safari. Enjoy. I'm so delighted as they had a hard start with travel and bags been lost. But all worked out well. <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>/*<![CDATA[*/
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Picture of walking in the alpine region to Shira camp on the ridge. Day 2

Photo: Team Kilimanjaro update August 14th . All going well they have moved up through the Alpine meadow to Shira camp on day 2 and had a restful night before having a very hard day on route to Lava towers with some effects of headaches and slight altitude problems before descending to the Barrance camp. Today they will make their way up the 300 meter ascent of the Barranco wall.    Bag news. Alison and Orla hopefully will be re-united with their bag today, as we have a ported despatched specially to get it to them. Airlines an expedition nightmare.  Picture of walking in the Alpine region to Shira camp on the Ridge.   www.patfalvey.com or email <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>/*<![CDATA[*/
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document.write('</');document.write('span>');/*]]>*/</script> Ireland's leading adventure company. Leader August group Freddy Tarimo 314 Kilimanjaro Summits and working with Pat IWA since 1996.
Team porters moving through the rain forrest. Day 1
Photo: Kilimanjaro update for August team: The team are on the move and making their way to Camp 1 on the Machame Route and back on time for our itinerary. They will reach a height of 3000 meters tonight and this is where people start to get altitude problems.   We are disappointed with Turkish Airlines as they have cocked up, not alone with having three bags missing but they also bunked five of the team members for a day in Istanbul on route to the expedition. They have apologized and say that it was because of unforeseen circumstances!!. Our Nadir our ground staff in Moshi are now on standby to have bags delivered tonight and we will have them follow the team up the mountain.   All the team were lucky that we had recommended to bring trekking gear for two days in their day bags. The balance of what was needed was hired. Cross fingers that bags will come tonight.  We have two team members on the Marangu route who are just going to camp 1 before going on Safari and Zanzibar.   Keep posted. Ireland leading adventure company. www.patfalvey.com or email <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>/*<![CDATA[*/
var prefix='mailto:';var suffix='';var attribs='';var path='hr'+'ef'+'=';var addy74791='info'+'@';addy74791=addy74791+'patfalvey'+'.'+'com';document.write('<a '+path+'\''+prefix+addy74791+suffix+'\''+attribs+'>');document.write(addy74791);document.write('<\/a>');/*]]>*/</script><script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>/*<![CDATA[*/
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document.write('</');document.write('span>');/*]]>*/</script> +353 64 6644181.    Share for those following our team climbing this August. Our staff expedition leader Freddy Tarimo, Base manager  office Abina Falvey.   reports from the mountain.

Ireland's leading high altitude adventure company for mor information contact Pat or Abina Falvey This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or ring o64 6644181
Thursday, 12 June 2014 14:10

Pat Falveys June Newsletter

Telephone (064) 664 4181

News:- Pats Birthday - New Audio Book -Everest Irish Summits- 10th Anniversary - Suicide Aware Challenge - Cancer Research Walk- IAA Summit and lots more

The summer is here , the long days, the warmth of the sun, the flowers are blooming and with all of that brings, new hopes, new adventurers  and a sense of positivity is in the air.

I would encourage everybody to try and get out and about, take a walk, take a challenge, and absorb not only the beauty of the season but also the benefits of being in the outdoors. It is impossible to underestimate the mental and physical benefits of spending time outside, especially when the sun is shining and we have longer evenings.

I just read a report that shows  that those who walk are more positive more mentally alert and it helps people to avoid being depressed.  A walk even for as little as fifteen minutes a day can make you a happier person and clear all the negative thoughts from your mind. Of course if your looking for something more exciting and longer just give me a call. Lots happening here in Ireland and abroad.
Birthday Greetings to Pat!
I'm now 57  years of age on the 2nd of June and my son came to me recently and made me aware that in 13 years time I'm seventy. The body is getting older but the mind is staying young. Next month I'll be writing on what it feels to be getting older and my jest for adventure for the next twenty years. How life isn't a rehearsal it's a performance. I was also made aware that our average life span is 80. Well I intend to live till 100!! see what life has in store as we develop the "forever young club" for those of us between 50 and 90
New Audio Book on The Summit. You can now enjoy The Summit in audio while you drive, walk, run, trek, relax. Also out in hardback, to follow soon as e-book. Please pass on and share to those you think might like or use Audio books to listen to. The Summit by Pemba Gyalje Sherpa and Pat Falvey, narrated by Pat Falvey.

Thanks to all involved especially our audio director and producer Helen Shaw Editor Amy Millarof Athena Mediato our audio publisher Stuart Morgan Audio-Always for doing a great job to bring this to fruition. Click here to purchase
Carrauntoohil Summit all the team IAA.

We like to congratulate all the team from Irish Aviation Authority who reach the summit of Ireland highest mountain. It was a very rough day and with great determination everyone reach the summit. For most it was their Everest. Well done and a great day with a great team. Www.patfalvey.com
Irish Everest 10th Anniversary today of our summiting at 6:45 am via the Nepal South Side of Everest. It is with great pride that Clare O' LearyPemba Gyalje Sherpa and our sherpa team look back at these great memories of crossing the highest gang plank on earth that was created from the great power of nature and to think one time this was the bottom of the sea.
Everest Base Camp 100% success. Picture of the team Another great trek through the greatest mountain range in the world following in the footsteps of our icons. A land where mountains reach to the Sky. Congratulations to and all the team. Expedition leaders Pat Falvey and Pemba Gyalje Sherpa

Tibet Irish summits 2014 - we would like to congratulate Derek Mahon and Noel Hanna on their summiting of Mt Everest via Tibet and the North side of Everest. Well done, brilliant achievement and adding to the success of the Irish on Everest.

Nepal: Irish Seven Summits team postpone summit attempt.

We were disappointed and sadenned for  Paul Devany and Niall Byrne as they had to postpone their summit attempt on Mt Everest due to the the controversy on Mt Everest. via the South Side and wish them the best on their attempt next year 2015.  We will be continuing to follow their attempt of our Facebook and news items here at www.patfalvey.com

Suicide Aware Challenge Success. Despite dreadful weather conditions 40 brave climbers took an alternative route on Sunday 5th May with Pat Falvey. It was too dangerous to try the summit but all 40 helped and supported by Pat Falvey and Martin Harvey and his crew spent five hours on a safe alternative safe route on the mountain.

Well done to everyone for making the day a great adventure despite the elements and thank you to all from Suicide Aware for your commitment end determination and support for Suicide Aware.  Pat Falvey is a patron of suicide aware and if you need help contact  Pat Beahan @  www.suicideaware.ie

Cancer Research Challange: The 9th annual Kerry Way Cancer Research walk in aid  the Cork Cancer Research Centre was launched by world renowned adventurer Pat Falvey and legendary Kerry footballer and sports pundit Pat Spillane. The pair are inviting you all to don your walking boots and join them in Kerry from the 25th to the 27th of July. This walked has raised over €650,000 over the last 9 years.

Worldwide- Adventures -Treks - Holidays - Expeditions - Challenges

Kilimanjaro Trips:
Limited places available for our August, September and October treks. Join us on the rooftop of Africa this summer. June is fully booked. Mt Elbrus fully booked for 2014, if you are interested in 2015 clickhere

Click here for more information on Kilimanjaro

Nepal Base camp trips

Next trek leaving on October 11th. See our April trip report here. 100% success rate for this trip.
Would you like to be part of the next one?

Click here for more information.

Ireland - Walking - Climbing- Courses- Training - Destress
Fitness Assessment weekends. June 7/8th and august 13/14th. Click here for more information. Lots of other adventures can start here

Take a walk on the wild side this summer and destress on the many walks available. Click here for more details
Corporate - Presentations - Speaking- Team building - Training
corporate speaking + motivational presentations + team-building + education +training courses+ corporate incentive breaks+ Bootcamps.
Information day's in Kerry on Saturday June 7th- August 2nd
KilimanjaroNepalMt ElbrusAconcagua-MoroccoMt Blanc
Courses ;
Navigation, Fitness assessment, Ice Skills, Rope Skills, Expedition Skills

Pat Falvey's Adventure Center - Kate Kearneys Cottage, Gap of Dunloe. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  064 6644181

The routes, the training, the altitude, the team, food, equipment, the dangers. It will make you prepared for your next adventure  Or speak to one of our Adventure Consultants about your trip. 

Dublin- Cork-Limerick-Galway-Belfast coming shortly.
Voucher Gifts- Walks - Treks- Gear- Books. The ideal gift
Vouchers . The perfect gift or present to get a loved one, a family member  or friend that is interested in the outdoors. Whether it's for outdoor gear or towards one of our many days walks, holidays, treks, expeditions or training courses. Click here to purchase
Regards from home base in the Gap of Dunloe in County Kerry.


Adventurer – Entrepreneur - Speaker

Ireland's leading adventure Company with some of the world's most experienced guides. 

Individuals-Groups-Charities- Clubs- Corporate- Families- Stags- Singles events.  For more information. Click here or mail us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can also join Pat's personal pages on TWITTER and FACEBOOK to keep up with his positive blogs from around the world.

Would you like to stand on the roof of Africa or trek to the heart of Himalayas?

For anyone interested in climbing Kilimanjaro or trekking to Everest Base Camp we have a free meet day. What better way to get your queries answered?

Meetings will take place in our office/shop at Kate Kearney’s Cottage in Gap of Dunloe, Co Kerry on the 23rd of February.

The meeting will consist of the slide show featuring photos from the route we use, our guides and other personnel etc. We will discuss all the health and hygiene issues, training and preparation goals. You will learn what type of gear and clothing you should wear and we show you how to pack your bag. There will be a time to ask the questions and talk to our team.

11am - Kilimanjaro trip.

3pm - Everest Base Camp trek

Optional free walks:

1. We will have an optional short hill walk after the Kilimanjaro talk. Trek is easy to moderate, route is weather dependant, time approx 2 hours. Do not forget your boots and waterproofs!!! Free for everyone attending meetings.

2. We have also organised a longer walk on Sunday which will take you to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Kerry. This walk is free of charge to those who have signed for any of the expeditions. Charge of €65pp applies otherwise. Boots, waterproofs, warm clothing, water and pack lunch are advised.

If you would like to join us for this day, Contact us now to book your place.

We look forward to meeting you on the day


Monday, 03 September 2012 11:13

Kilimanjaro September Group updates

100%Team Summit kilimanjaro: This is just a fast message to all Family and friends of the team.

At 08:00 Kilimanjaro time all team members reached the summit. As usual it was a hard climb and some team members suffered more then others at Altitude. All however pushed through and made a dream a reality. We did one of the worlds highest Flash mob and sang some songs on the summit.

Everyone is now back at high camp at Barraffu for an hours rest before packing up to descend another 1600 meter. No one is looking forward to the descent. Some of the team are very tired.

Great news Pat and big HURRAY to the rest of the gang, well done and enjoy the elation this evening!! from all at the office


High camp Barraffu and all the team ready for summit attempt tonight. Sept 7th - 13:00

It's snowing, cold and cloudy on arrival at high camp. We are going to have some lunch before doing an acclimatizing trek to rise another 150 meters before we descent to high cam for early dinner at 17:00 before we retire for a few hours rest to rise at 23:00 for our summit attempt . Tonight and tomorrow is going to hardest day ever for nearly all the team. We rise at 23:00 and get ready to climb at 24:00 . Then it will take between 7 and 9 hours to reach the summit then a three hours descent to our high camp and after an hours rest we descend for another four hours to Mweka camp site. We will be up to 17 hours on the go. Cross fingers for all the team tonight.
en route to karranga camp
Barranco wall, after all the apprehension this morning every one in the team really enjoyed the climb. A highlight for most. All safe and now making our way to our next camp site at Karangu 4000 meters. Tomorrow we make our way to high camp.


When we arrived at camp last night the mist was in and no one got a chance to see our obstacle of the 200 meter high Barranco wall.

This morning the team woke to the view ahead of the climb today and it always amazes the comments when people see it.

Karen "we have to climb that, are you serious"

Ronan " I thought it was going to be vertical, I'm relieved"

Gary: I'm staying here with the bags.

James: can't wait, it will be a step closed to the summit.

Mark; big hi to Julie and Luke. It a great climb looking forward to today.

Maura: can't wait to get over today, the summit is within reach.

Greg: looking forward to the climb today and getting closer to the summit.

Lil: O my what a challenge

Paul: I can't wait to scramble up that, it's exciting.

Trevor; A walk in the park!! Big hi and kiss to Anusia and lauryn xxx !!!!!! I'm shitting it !!

Eric: no problem, it's great to just be here.

Pat G. Holy shit!! Everything is great.

All in very positive form and having great fun .



Shira camp September 5th 13000 feet To 15200 feet Lava Towers.

All the team suffering from a little sleep depravation due to altitude, cold, snoring and stomach wind which increases at altitude. All getting use to the camping and getting lots of rest once in camp. The good news is that all the team are doing well. The pace is great and being set by Greg who is being paced by Alfred.

Today it a lot colder with treating clouds sweeping in from the valley below and even though the sun is up there is a biting wind. All the team are geared up with warm wind gear and gloves. It's amazing how fast the weather can change up here. Today will be a hard altitude day as we rise to 4650 meters to lava towers which will test our ability to acclimatize. It's going to be a long day as we ascent to 4650 m before a long descent to our camp at Barranco wall at 3950 m for the night. We rise high and sleep low. Today's walk took all of 8 and a half hours including beaks. All the team are feeling good.



Tuesday 4th September - Trek day 2 : Machame to Shira camp

Rain Forrest 3rd sept and moorland 4th sept.. this has been one of the finest days I have been in the rain Forrest since I started climbing Kilimanjaro in 1994. Not a cloud in the sky and for the 1st time in 28 ascents I have had the perfect day in the Forrest. Ronan and Mark are excited at the idea of sleeping in a tent as they have never in his 35 years stayed in one.We had a beautiful night with full moon a start studded night and woke to the signing of birds from the Rain Forrest and moore land.

Wake up call 06:30 with James and Amadeus woke all the team to serve tea in the tent. Most of the team got a good night sleep and are ready for the day ahead. We are now at 3000 meters 10000 feet all the team are good with a few slight headaches. Today we push to 3950 meters to Shira camp where the altitude will start to click in. Beautiful morning, weather good and sun is up. Can you believe we are down to t-shirts, sweating, a full moon still in the sky, no clouds and sun high in the sky. All smiles and positive as we make our way across the moore land traverse to our camp site. Keep posted.

We have 22 trips for next year to Kilimanjaro. For further information contact office or Travel webpage. Also trekking and expeditions to all major climbing regions of the world.



Monday 3rd September 2012 - Trek day 1

Kilimanjaro start for our September group. A great day with good weather.

It a fantastic morning with little cloud and the team have their first sight of the full scale of the mountain as we leave Moshi to go through the banana coffee plantation. The are in awe of the height of it from here. It's the first time in a while that we have got it this clear on our approach. Lots of the team are in d
isbelief that in a few days that we will be standing on the summit of which they now see. It an amazing sight pushing skyward from the Africian plains below. Glistening like a polished diamond our team approach the mountain in anticipation of the days ahead. Hopefully we will have a nice day in the rain Forrest. The trek to the top of Africa begin.


Saturday 1st September 2012


Kilimanjaro international airport.

All the team for our September climb have arrive safely, excited but tired. I have just met them with my driver Hamis for the hour long journey to our Secure hotel in Moshi. This months team are below.
The energy of the team feels great. All bags have arrived, always a major relief for myself and all the team.

1 Paul Maher
2 James Brodrick 3 Lil rogan
4 Trevor Deady
5 Mark O Connell
6 Eric O Leary
7 Pat O Gorman
8 Mary Stilvern
9 Gary McGullagh
10 Karen Roche
11 Greg Butler
12 Ronan Guilfoyle

Follow the team over the coming week on Facebook and news on www.patfalvey.com for another exciting adventure as we climb to the summit of kilimanjaro.

Saturday 1st September 2012


Africa Kilimanjaro September: I'm excited Greg Butler has arrive and the rest of the September team is arriving tonight for the Kilimanjaro Climb. is arriving tonight. They are now on route from Amsterdam. All going well we will be leaving for the mountain on Monday. The weather is stable today and great views of it from our hotel in Moshi. This will be my third time climbing the mountain in the last few weeks. It is one of my favourites and I never get tired of working with my teams that come out here to fulfill for them a life long ambition.

Thursday, 16 August 2012 08:43

Kilimanjaro August Group ready to go

August 30th 2012

Today the sunrise as I approach Ngorongoro Crater on the top of the Rift Valley.


August 30th 2012

Africa, Tanzania crop Maize failure causing huge problem.
For the last two weeks as I traveled around Tanzania it was obvious that the poorer people of the country is about to face a major food crisis because of once again the failure of the Maize crop, The stable diet for most of the country, It is soul destroying to see an 80% crop failure which has risen the cost of Maize by 100%. The poorer people of this country will suffer greatly. Lets hope things get better.

29th August 2012

Africa: I'm now in Karatu Village at the beautiful Tlimo Lodge on the top of the Rift Valley with 12 of the Kilimanjaro team having a wonderful time. The rest of the team of about to finish their Safari and head home later this evening. This Kilimanjaro trip has been very successful and I'm really looking forward to the team coming out on the 1st of September. Stay tune in to see how our september team gets on. — at Plantation Lodge, Karatu, Tanzania


AUG 24th -19 on summit, 1 turned before - back in low camp now all in great form - more later pat

Congrats to all the team - hope you all let the hair down after...


Best of luck to all as they enter their summit push tonight!! From all the team back in Ireland Safe climbing!!



karanga camp 2012

Karanga Camp 4035 meters - All happy and fed for the night and all in great form for summit attempt tomorrow night. An army marches on its stomach. All team having dinner at the Karanga 4035 meters on Kilimanjaro . All feeling great and ready for summit tomorrow Thursday night, after a 3 hr climb to Barrafu in the morning.

en route to karranga camp


Scrambling on Barranco wall to Karango camp. 22th August 

Today im going to leave the description to a few of the team to give you a perspective of the Climb through their eyes. 

Ronan Curran.

" never seen anything like it before the word is definitely scrambling and it's not for the faint hearted or those afraid of heights. My respect goes through the roof for the porters that carried our gear over these steep inclines. "

Gerry Gallagher.
"it's the best scrambling I have ever done. I'm glad we have come up this way"

Liam Lynch:

"it's brilliant, it gets ever muscle in your body moving. "

Fiona Kelly.
It's the highlight so far, I've got great photos. 

Everyone has had a thrilling morning on the wall and then slowly we have made our way to Karanga camp site at 4035 meters our staging point for heading for high camp tomorrow. 

All the team are feeling great apart from two slightly twisted ankles, but these are presently in hand and should not deter the team members involved. 

The next 48 hours are going to be testing as we make our way to high camp and then the summit.



Shira camp to Lava Tower to Barranco wall camp.Tuesday 21st August

It was freezing cold last night in the mess tent, but it true irish style a great sing song started. It was joined in by some of our African staff.

All the team had a restless night as high winds shook the all our tents. It had been the worst I have experienced in recent years and had blown down some of the other team tents. The temperatures were not so cold and wind eased by 07:00 and have given way to bright sun and warm conditions.

Most of the team are tired from being awake with the wind but they are all well rested and enthusiastic and ready for the high rise in altitude today to lava towers 4650 meters. The pressure is on today and all the team is just plodding along in a quite pace taking in the spender of being above the cloud. Words from the team to describe their surrounding. Spectacular, fantastic, awesome.

Everyone have done well to get to our high point which will be the same height as out high camp. Now the long descent to our camp for tonight.

A fantastic end to a great day everyone are exhausted so hopefully all will sleep well tonight before tackling the impressive Barranco wall tomorrow.



Monday August 20th - Shira camp 3950 meters.

It was an interesting day today as we broke loose from the rain Forrest and made our way into the alpine/ moor land region. The temperature fell giving us a temperature that at times fell to 0 degrees. ...The team is going well and no one is suffering from altitude sickness. It took us 7 hours to get to Shira. All the team are relaxing for the afternoon and acclimatizing for tomorrows push which will see us to to Lava towers at 4650 meters before descending to the barranco wall camp site.


Wet night in the rain Forrest.

After a reasonably dry ascent through the rain Forrest which took 6 hours in a magical setting we arrived to our camp site where it rained for the entire night. Most of the team had a restless night as for most it was there first night ever under canvas. The snoring, the human other sounds both amused and distracted them to enjoying the experience. Early morning call, the rain stopped and the team have risen to a glorious morning to the sound of signing rain forrest birds and the view of Kilimanjaro. Cameras out and now the talk of the days ahead and how we are going to get over the obstacles.

07:00 and breakfast being server. And all ready for the next rise through the moore land. The days begins. We rise today to 3950 meters. The altitude will start to kick in.machameaug2012


3pm Sunday 19th - Machame Gate, Tanzania

Machame gate 1900 meters to machame camp 3000 meters, this is the region where the altitude begins.

20 irish 1 Chinese, 1 Kiwiang and 66 Africans all now bound together as a team to challenge Africa's highest. The caravan of team members, guides, porters, cooks are ready to march, the objective is the top of Africa. " the snows of Kilimanjaro" The atmosphere is electrifying as the tension rise for the challenge ahead. Thoughts of "will I get to the summit" ponders in the backs of the mind as we enter the 2nd climatic zone of the mountain already we have today driven thought the coffee and banana plantations. It hot and sticky as we gather for a team shot at the Machame Gate. The rain Forrest just ahead of us and we begin the long journey summit bound. Who will or will not get to the summit will be known in the next 7 days. Proper Acclimation is crucial to success.

Gerard Gallagher is like a child at Christmas about to get to visit Santa. Amy Clavin our youngest member only 16 is ready for the challenge, she is here with her father Brian.

The climb to the summit begins 11:30 and we are on the move.



6pm Saturday 18th - Moshi, Tanzania

The team has landed in Tanzania. It's great to be back in Tanzania as its a place I love. The landscape, the culture, the color and my friends. Fredrick, Nadir, sharrifa, her daughters and all my ground staff. All the team are excited, kili now looms above our heads up somewhere in the clouds. The anticipation for all of the team of what lay ahead is infectious. The smiles, the comments and the sheer joy of getting here is always intriguing to listen to, to look at. It's all part of what I love about coming here, And the good news, all our bags arrived.

A few hours sleep now and the challenge begins. All the team retiring after a long journey.

kilimanjaro briefing moshi 2012



9pm Friday 17th - Frankfurt, Germany

Dublin flight delayed by 30 minutes and we had to be taken from one plane to our flight for Addis abba. Fears of our bags missing connecting flight. At least most of the team have enough gear in there travel on to at least do the first day on Kili. Well all part of expedition travelling. Now the guessing game begins. Will all the bags arrive in time — at Frankfurt Airport

kilimanjaro group 2012 august pat falvey

Preparations are now finished!! Pat Falvey & Gerry Walsh are heading out tomorrow friday the 17th to Moshi, Tanzania for our August climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. With 20 adventerous trekkers undertaking the 5895m challenge to the roof of Africa, they are in good hands with it being Pats 27th time and Gerrys 10th time successfully climbing to its top. We will be updating on their progress over the next few days here and on our Facebook page.

The Group consists of:

Brian Clavin
Liam Lynch
Liam McNally
Fiona Kelly
Laura Wiltshier
Eoin O'Ferrall
Rory O'Ferrall
Noreen O'Halloran
Jessica Ferguson
Jodie Yan
Amy Clavin
Michelle Moore
Siobhan Moloney
Fiona English
Sinead Healy
Carmel O'Brien
Ronan Curran
Sinead Keogh
Gerard Gallagher
Gerard Keogh

Our next group trip out is 1st of September, then last few places available for January 2013. We have options available throughout the year, See our Travel page for more details and prices for Climbing Kilimanjaro.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 11:48

Kilimanjaro June 2012 Update

Summit push

12 midnight all the team left Barrafu and made a slow but steady pace. It took 8 hours to summit we had an amazing team of my African guides. Fredrick my head guide as well as his two sons Godiliven and Emanuel as well as Gasper, Alfred, Oktavian,and Livingston. All highly motivated to have all of the team to the summit. The unsung hero's of the mountain. We had 100% success.

For all the team it was they said the hardest thing they have ever undertaken. We are all down safely angd making our way to Moshi and looking forward to a big party tomorrow night with all of the team. Congratulations to Kathy, Carmel, Phil, Joe, Jim, James, aisling, John, Sean, Louise, Laura, Tony and Colette.  We will post some pictures and video once back to civilization.

Day 6 kili - All team Summit !!
Short sms received at 11.30am Irish time from Pat:
"All team reached the summit 14 Irish and 7 Tanzanian guides, full blog later"
The team should be arriving back down to Barrafu camp around 1pm Irish time for rest and replenish water / food. Fantastic success again for another team on Kilimanjaro. Well done Pat!!

Day 5 kili - pre summit at Barrafu.
Today we rose from Karanga To Barrafu camp site. All the team were in great form and all of the altitude problems of the previous few days are under control. Laura, john, Kathy and James have recovered from there problems of altitude and overheating which cause them some problems. Colette is having some small problems with her back but provide we can keep the weight down she has a great chance.  The atmosphere at breakfast was positive and all now confident of being healthy enough fora good attempt on the summit. I believe we will all reach it if we can keep the team focused and confident. It took up four hours to get to Barrafu which is at 4700 meters. We left at 09:00 and arrived at 13;00. The pace was pole - pole, slowly - slowly. We will have some lunch here before going for acclimatizing trek for an hour after lunch. Dinner will be at 17:00 tonight and the team will try and get a few hours sleep before our ascent at midnight.

Stay posted and I'll update either later tonight or tomorrow early to let you know how all the team gets on. This is it the summit looms overhead and by this time tomorrow we will be on our way down. Cross fingers for Kathy, Carmel, Phil, Joe, Jim, James, Aisling, John, Sean, Louise, Laura, Tony and Colette.
If I summit this will be number 26 for me. I'm really looking forward to the August and September trips also with two more great teams.
Talk again soon. Pat

Weather: The temperature dropped to - 4 degrees over night last night and by 8 am had risen to 1 degree, by the time we climbed the wall the sun was baking down and temperatures rose to 24 degrees and Kathy and Laura suffered from heat exhaustion but once all had lunch all are now acclimatized and now the talk is all positive.The next 48 hours are going to be hard for all the team as we make our way to the Barrafu camp site tomorrow where we rest for a few hours and then leave for the summit.
Cross fingers that all the team will remain healthy and acclimatized. It's still a long way to the summit....

Day 3: 26th June. Early rise 6:30 some of the team have had a restless night while some have complained of slight headaches but all are in good and positive form. Even though apprehensive about going up another 850 meters today before descending. We headed in an easterly direction from camp site to gain the ridge to connect to the upper path under the imposing face of kili to traverse over the mountain. We made our way to lava towers to a height of 4650 meters . The altitude was affecting most of the team today and that is to be expected. We rested for a hour at lava towers to give everyone time to acclimatize while there a few of the team scrambled up on the tower before descending to high camp. It was a long day leaving camp at 08;30 and arriving at Barranco camp Six o clock. It's been a long day for all the team. All now at camp relaxing and recovering from a hard day and looking forward to tomorrow.

The Mountain Lodge says: Great news Pat !! - The team will enjoy a different and interesting day tomorrow as they ascend the Barranco wall for 2-3hrs offering dramatic views of the valley and campsite below. Its a nice break from the meandering pathways and you get to use your hands as you scramble up. Then to Karanga Camp where hopfully they get some clear weather underneath the mighty Kibo. Pat confirms tonight they are getting mixed visibility, cloudy in afternoons, and dry overall today.

Day 2: 25th June. After an early rise of 06:30 we had breakfast and made our way from from our damp campsite at Machame at 3000 meters at the top of the rain Forrest into a new climatical change of scenery today into the moorland and alpine meadow. This was a hard four hour push to our lunch break through a steel incline through spectacular landscape. All the team were feeling good but a little tired. We were hoping for sights of the upper reaches on route but mother nature cloaked the summit from us. Even through disappointed all the team were over the moon as none were yet suffering any effect of altitude, mainly due to the pace and drinking water. After lunch we  traversed the upper reaches of the moorland and alpine region to arrived tires but excited to have now risen to 3850 meters and all feeling great. We arrive in camp at 15:00 for a well deserved rest before dinner. Tomorrow we head into the lunar landscape as we try to acclimatize to 4650 meters. This will be a hard day and a test of the altitude for the team.

rainforest240Day 1: 24th June. All up for breakfast and the team were in great form excited at the adventure ahead. Then a 45 minute drive to the gate to sign in. Sorted all our porters and guides a total of 39 in total. Porters, cooks, helpers as well as our summit guides. All of whom have worked for me over the last 15 years. We then started our trek through the rain forest which was overcast with our enlarged caravan. After 5 and a half hours we were now wet and sweaty after the journey while we settled in for the first night. The day was warm and humid with temperature reaching 28 degrees with humidity of 86%,  however the night temp dropped to 2 degrees. All the team had a hard but interesting day and settled down to their first nights camping on the mountain. All the team were feeling tired but in good form.

Louise, Laura, Sean and John Quirke 
Jim, James and Aisling Ronayne 
Joe and Phil Byrne 
Colette and Tony Doonan 
Carmel Hughes
Kathy Killgallon

Team leader: Pat Falvey
Our head local mountain leader: Freddy Tarimo

Local administration office: Nadir
For more info on our 2013-2014 trips to Climb Kilimanjaro and dates for training days contact us or visit our Travel Section. We also have 2013-2014 trips to Everest Base Camp, Island Peak, Aconcagua, Morocco.
Friday, 27 April 2012 13:16

Carrauntoohil to Kilimanjaro

climbing carrauntoohilWith Kilimanjaro in their sights, two families arrived down to Kerry once again for more training on the 12th April as they prepare to travel on our June departure. Following a briefing at the lodge we left for the Hags Glen joined by Wesley and Tom to climb Carrauntoohil. The day was bright and cool, with wintry clouds looming over the peaks around us from 7-800m upwards. We chatted about the upcoming trip to climb Kilimanjaro for the Quirke and Ronayne families, a mountain I had the pleasure to guide back in January. Training and getting gear sorted out were going well for them. With a sense of understanding about how to train achieved from our Meet day they are now focused on strengthening up the team and finalising gear selection.

Our walk in the valley was quiet because we started around midday. We got a taste of winter with a downpour of rain, not far of sleet as we left the main track at the ford and headed toward O'Sheas.Our gradual pull up the path with the 2 scrambles up steep ground proving adventurous for some of the group. After lunch the the pace was and when we started to climb the bottom of O'Shea's gully, we were reminded once more of winter with an intense shower of hard hail stone pounding our faces for 10mins and then stopped.

photo of summit Carrauntoohil

Exhilarated we put on an extra layer before heading toward the summit. There on top also were a few others in cloudy grey cold conditions although dry. After a few photos and congrats we left to descend toward the devils ladder. Half way down the cloud lifted and gave us brief views out to the sea in Kenmare bay. The decent was wet and took some care weaving a way through the loose gravel and rocks before we walked out the valley back to the cars.

Later the lads from Cork departed for home and the two families made for town to eat before getting up again at 2.30am for a night climb.

Starting from the top of the gap at 3.30am the head torches were bouncing around in a line as we started purple mountain. We adjusted our clothing with conditions being good and dry for now. We had 2 small breaks for water and snacks before we caught glimpses of the moons reflections on the upper lakes of killarney. As we crested the col nearing the summit the light was approaching but only just. we wrapped up a little more and slowly got to the summit for 6am. summit of purple mountainThe decent was easy at the start due as you feel good following the summit but then tiredness that feels like youre in autopilot mode. That's when accidents and stumbles happen but luckily everyone was concentrating and we got back to the cars around 8am.

This fitness assessment course is ideal for setting a mark on physical and mental training required for trekking holidays and climbing Kilimanjaro. We recommend all groups to undergo this process and find out about gear selection along the way. Contact us to discuss options and dates for upcoming meet days and courses. The success rate is much better when you prepare well.

I wish the Quirke and Ronayne families the best, keep up the preparations.

Guide report: Niall Foley

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