Dates: March - October.
Location: Kerry- McGillycuddy's Reeks/Gap of Dunloe, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Duration: Two Days/ One Day Intensive
Skills Taught: Ice axe and crampon techniques, harness and rope techniques: fixed rope techniques: cravesse rescue and glacier travel all taught in the comfort of controlled, simulated weather conditions in Ireland, by Ireland's leading adventurers.
Grade: Easy to Moderate and for Beginners to Advanced. You will learn a lot more by doing the skills in the controlled conditions here, in good weather. You increase your knowledge and proficiency before going climbing in the harsh conditions associated with expeditions or winter mountaineering. This is highly recommended!
Price: €150 for 2 days
Learn how to be self-sufficient traveling on snow and ice…..(simulated training).
The aim of this course is to provide you with the basic skills you will need to summit in winter conditions in Scotland, The Alps, The Himalaya, Russia and other mountains that require snow/ice/ mountaineering skills. We train you to be proficient in the use of crampons, ice axes, ski poles and other climbing equipment. You will also learn certain techniques used in glacier travel, crevasse rescue, fixed rope techniques and abseiling. We include a practical lesson on climbing equipment and other gear required such as your climbing harness. This course is recommended for people who wish to climb in areas such as the Alps, the Andes, the Himalayas and all the great mountain ranges of the world.
Contact us for next available date
Meeting Point: Pat Falvey Walking and Adventure Centre, The Mountain Lodge, Beaufort, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Additional Info: Equipment hire/purchase available for those who have not yet bought ice axes/crampons/harness etc.
Experienced instructors, demos and presentations!
Price: €150 per person for two days, €100 for intensive one day.
Accommodation not included.
Group discounts available - contact us
Meet at the Pat Falvey Walking and Adventure Centre (located at The Mountain Lodge, Beaufort, Killarney) at 09:00hrs. Ready for action!
Skills covered: This is a general list and can be tailored to suit specific requirements for any expedition. Let us help you prepare for your adventure!
Use and fitting of equipment: Boots, Helmet, Harness, Emergency Pack, Ski Poles, Ropes, Ascenders, Slings, Prusicks, Chocks, Cams etc.
Belaying: Securing yourself and others to the mountain, lowering and taking in using slings and other devices.
Glacier Crossing: Safe use of Ice Axe and Crampons.
Rope Work: How to tie in, safely move as a team, quick belay using an ice axe etc.
Crevasse Rescue: Self Rescue, Assisted Rescue, Pulley and Z methods.
Gear Talk: what you have and what you need to succeed.
We reccommend that you pack as per our list for the expedition to Mt. Elbrus, this way you can test any new equipment and ask us any questions you may have regarding your current clothing and equipment.
Below is a basic clothing and equipment list:
35 Litre Rucksack
Waterproof trekking boots
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Warm top, hat and gloves
Lunch & snacks
Camera and case
Personal ice axe & crampons
Here are a few positive pluses for going to the mountains, not alone are they beautiful, challenging, stimulating and exciting but the also hold benifits for your health. Below is an arcticle that will give you a few examples of this that I thought might be interesting for you to know. - Pat....
"The mountains are calling and I must go," naturalist John Muir famously wrote back in the 19th century. And while he set off to create and protect one of today's most famous wilderness parks, Yosemite, all of that time spent in the mountains may have also led him to happiness and health. From Mount McKinley to the Matterhorn, snow-capped peaks and foggy summits have a lot more to offer than breathtaking views.
5 Ways Mountains Can Help You Lead A Happier, Healthier And Longer Life
The Huffington Post | By Abigail Wise
Altitude may fight obesity
Before Sir Edmund Hillary summited Everest, mountaineers spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to maintain enough calories to sustain their journey to the top. "We've known since the 1920s that if you go to really high altitudes you will lose weight," Robert Roach, director of the Altitude Research Center, told The Chicago Tribune.
Indeed, recent research has also confirmed a link between altitude and weight loss. For instance: One 2013 study showed that living at sea level is associated with a four to five times higher risk of obesity, compared with people living at the highest altitudes in Colorado. Another study showed that even visiting the mountains for as short as one week can spur weight loss. With these findings, it's no surprise that mountain states -- like Colorado, Utah and Vermont -- hold some of the lowest obesity rates in the country.
It also lowers the risk of heart disease
Those who live at higher altitudes also have a lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, according to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. "Lower oxygen levels turn on certain genes and we think those genes may change the way heart muscles function. They may also produce new blood vessels that create new highways for blood flow into the heart," study researcher Benjamin Honigman, M.D., director of the Altitude Medicine Clinic, said in a statement.
The mountains inspire physical activity
There's a long list of mountain sports that just wouldn't be possible without, well, mountains. And these sports sure do the body good -- an hour of hiking burns around 500 calories and an hour of mountain biking torches nearly 600, for instance. Skiing burns more than 400 calories and rock-climbing burns around 750 calories an hour. Plus, of the 10 most active states in the U.S., four are Mountain States and two feature at least one of the 50 highest mountains in the country.
Mountain smells zap stress and promote sleep
Not only does the fresh air on mountaintops mean less pollution, fewer cases of acute respiratory symptoms and easier breathing for those with asthma, but one of the more prevalent scents at high altitudes -- pine --also has its perks. One study, for instance, showed that walking through pine decreases hostility, depression and stress. And if a day spent tramping through the mountains isn't enough to tire you out, a whiff of lavender that often grows at their base has been shown to lull smellers to sleep and even ease depression.
Research shows mountains may even help you live longer!
Yes, living on or among mountains could actually have an impact on life span. We certainly have anecdotal evidence, such as 132-year-old Hafeezullah and his fellow centenarians who live in a remote part of the Lower Himalayan Range's Kashmir. Data also points to an association between longevity and mountain living: Of the top 10 U.S. counties for longevity, seven were high-altitude ones in Colorado, according toThe Chicago Tribune.
So, as Muir himself once wrote, "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings".
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 a packed 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!
Alpine Training Techniques in Kerry
This week we ran one of our simulated Alpine Training Courses at The Pat Falvey School of Mountaineering at The Mountain Lodge.
Bad weather: Even though the weather was bad, the conditions were ideal to get all of the participants, who worked as a team, to complete their tasks that were set up 'under pressure' to work together and to show the importance of being knowledgable, swift and apt in the execution of the skills learned.
Our team of skilled trainers have developed these courses to teach the skills required to participate in climbing in the Alps and further afield in the higher ranges.
The weekend courses include:
• Use of ice axe and crampons
• Techniques on glacier travel
• Crevasse Rescue techniques and simulated practice on cliff face.
• Rope work
• Moving together on glaciers
• Clothing and equipment
The weekend also entailed climbing Corran Tuathail, Ireland’s highest mountain at night and putting into practice all of the skills learnt in a simulated way.
MT. Blanc Group:
This weekend we had a charity group, who are preparing to climb Mount Blanc, go through their paces of pre-training before arriving in the Alps. Congratulation to Teena Gates, Andrew Forde, Ronan Friel, Joseph Kearney, Jonathan Fitzpatrick on the completion of our Alpine Beginners Skills Course.
We also wish them the best on their task to raise money for Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children's International Fund who are now celebrating their 25th anniversary by climbing Mount Blanc in September.
Theses courses are aimed to enable individuals and teams to make a successful safe ascent and descent of high altitude peaks around the world and they are ideal training for any group or individual wishing to brush up on techniques or for anyone interested in expanding their climbing skills to the higher, colder, snow-capped and icy mountains around the world. For further information please contact our office or book one of our many courses. We also run specific courses to cater to the needs of teams and individuals and to the skills required for the objective in mind.
Ideal training for major expeditions and trekking climbs around the world.
For more information - please contact us here at www.patfalvey.com
50 Staff from the Merck Sharp and Dohme OPS1 Manufacturing plant in Cork assembled at Kate Kearney’s Cottage in Killarney at 10:00 on Friday morning 17 June 2011 for a team building and bonding active day out in the beautiful surrounding of Ireland most spectacular landscapes of mountains, lakes and valleys. The day included a variety of activities the stimulated the mind and body. Incorporating Get up, get out, get fit with team building activities that was incorporated throughout the day to include communication, process, listening and thrust skills all with the goal in mind of an enjoyable team day.
Brief on day:
The weather forecast was not good but luckily several hours of downpour had passed before the company arrived, maybe the gods are looking down on us today. After tea and coffee in Kate’,s Pat Falvey Ireland's leading team building facilitators gave an introduction to his team and the schedule for the day before a brief presentation on his life as an Entrepreneur- Adventurer- Explorer and the challenges that faced him throughout his life of success, failure, learning and the challenge of change. Following this the group got their first challenge which divided them up into teams.
Outside Kate's the fun begins as the next challenge was to subdivide the groups into two and then to do a challenge game called Traffic Jam. This involved team members getting across steeping stones and exchanging their side for the other side starting the day learning communication & cooperation and process with an element of frustration built in.
All teams then started their walk through the majestical Gap of Dunloe to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. The day was glorious and the pace just fine as we weaved our way through one of Irelands best examples of a glaciated valley. Apart from meeting local horsemen, sheep and the odd tourist they had to find locations on their map which gave clues to a Murder Mystery. This is to introduce the group into the concept of “Why, What, Where, When, Who”. On reaching Lord Brandon’s lunch was served just as the 1st rain shower of the day approached.
After lunch the group had to complete four more challenges. One was to get people to walk around a rope which was supported by team members. The object of this game is all about trust and how we as a team support we can each other. The stick game was next on the agenda and the object of this is to get the team working together. A Navigating game was used to introduce people to problem solving and if an answer was wrong to direct them back to the last correct known answer. Using a printed image, another game was to introduce the group to the concept that as individuals we all have some of the picture but together we can see the big picture. Throughout the tasks there was confusion, discussion, frustration, laughing and plenty of fun.
When all had completed their tasks, Pat gave a talk on following your dreams and that its not enough just to want something but you have to do something to make your dreams come true.
Many thanks to the boatmen, staff at Kates & Lord Brandons and especially to the Merck team who travelled down for the day to participate, it was a great day throughout!!
Report: Tony Nation & Niall Foley
If you are interested in a company away day, teambuilding activities or personal development be sure to contact us.
View some photos from the day in our gallery
Pat Falvey features on RTE1 'This Sporting Life' tomorrow night at 7pm.
The second series of This Sporting Life tells the story of six of Ireland's most eminent sportsmen. It looks at their greatest achievements in sport but also chronicles the all too human stories behind some of Ireland's great sporting headlines. The six talk candidly about their successes and failures in arenas where so much is expected by their fans and the public in general. In telling their own story, each profile gets to the heart of the subject.
This years series has already featured Ken Doherty, Michael Carruth, Éamonn Coghlan, Tony Ward & Seán Boylan. Further details can be found here.
Producer Niall Mathews visited Pat at the Mountain Lodge in Kerry a few months back to get inside the mountain man to see what makes him tick. He also liaised with Niall Foley for fine tuning details and coordinating Pat's archive material for the production.
For those without RTE1 or abroad, the show will feature on RTE Player in a few weeks.
On return, Martin sent in some great shots of the boys and himself on Mount Kilimanjaro
This evening they will return to Moshi for their last overnight before leaving for the airport in the morning.. All reports are of a 'healthy & happy' group and we, no doubt not a fraction as much as mom, Joan, await their safe return and further reports of their adventures in Tanzania.
6th January 2011 - Lake Manyara National Park
After a eventful New Year on Kilimanjaro, Martin, James, Alexander & Marcus are enjoying an overnight at Serena Luxury Lodge taking in 2 days Safari in the spectacular Lake Manyara National Park within the Great Rift Valley with its infamous tree climbing lion!
The National Park offers an amazing experience - At the Southern end of the park are hot Sulphur Springs known as Majimoto. Further along the forest the area opens up into woodlands, grassland, swamps and beyond, the soda lake itself. Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. Wildlife at Lake Manyara is not restricted to birdlife only. Many game animals such as buffalo, elephants, giraffes, impala ,hippos and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.
Lake Manyara is renown for its tree-climbing lions which spend most of the day spread out along the branches of acacia trees six to seven metres above the ground. The park contains the most pachyderms per km sq. in Tanzania. As you enter the gate, you pass into the lush forest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. Buffalo and hippo lurch in the adjacent Hippo Pool. The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland where, in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees - a habit prevalent to Manyara lions.
Along with these amazing tree-climbing lions there are the usual browsers and grazers as well as the curios-looking banded mongoose. Two thirds of the park is dominated by the slightly alkaline lake which is home to a huge variety of waterbirds.
4th January 2011 - 13.00hrs Irish time
Family climb Kilimanjaro
Just got a call from Martin, "We all got into the final campsite on accent yesterday at 4pm. With excitement and everything about the summit push last evening, the lads only got a 2-3 hrs sleep before leaving at 11pm for the long summit push. James was sick a few times but had no other AMS symptoms. We got toGillman's Point (5681m) at 7am this morning with all ok apart from Alexander having zero juice left in the tank. The guides helped in the decision for Alexander, who knew he couldn't go any further as he had not enough energy to get him to the summit and back toGillman's Point."
"With a guide holding with Alexander at gilmans, James, Marcus, myself and the remaining guides headed for the summit. After an hour and a half or so we could see the summit sign in the distance, which encouraged us. We got to Uhuru summit (5,895m) at 9.15am, James and Marcus were very excited and got the photos etc. done before heading back down. The guides were brilliant and when we got back here to gilmans, Alexander was asleep which was good he must have been knackered earlier this morning. I sent James and Marcus down ahead and I will wait for Alexander for a while longer before we also head down. Amazing feeling to get there with my sons, they all did extremely well"
Well done lads and hope you all enjoy the fun on the way down. Best of luck on the rest of the trip from all at the expedition office down in Kerry.
If climbing Kilimanjaro is a dream or challenge of yours please view our Africa travel section or contact us for advice on our 2011 and 2012 treks.
Latest Report - 2nd January 2011
The Haydens and their guides acclimatised to 4300m today and are now back to 3720m for the night. Martin reports that the boys are doing well, apart from some adjustments to the food etc., Martin said: "James has some music with him, Marcus is reading and Alexander is getting plenty of stories from dad, they are all sleeping well and eating ok considering, the weather is absolutely amazing providing stunning scenery views, hopefully it will last for the next couple of days"
We expect a push for the summit on the 5th or 6th january, lets see how they get on today, Stay tuned.
Trek Start Report - 31st December 2010
While we celebrate New years here in Ireland, Martin Hayden and his threetrustysons James, Marcus & Alexander are now on Mt. Kilimanjaro,located in Tanzania,and have started their trek. They flew out on the 29th of December to fulfill an ambition to climb the highest mountain in Africa. The climb will take them through five different ecological zones as they ascend toward the5,895m summit over the next eight days. Happy New Year lads - Over the next few days we will endeavour to report as much as possible. They are just finishing day one and these are photos of the start.
Training began back in November when we put them through their paces on Purple mountain beside the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry. The cold weather had just started 2 days before the lads came down, roads were bad in Meath where the lads are from and tentatively made the journey to the montain lodge in Kerry. On arrival we met Con Moriarty, who advised them on the gear they had and also the gear needed for their training and climb in december. Temperatures were low on the evening of the 27th with severe cold conditions forecast as low as -10C. Later in the evening wewere joined by camerman Mark Watson who was down to get a feel for mountain filming, he will be editing footage under our direction for the haydens on their return.Following a quick briefing on the plans for the dark start early in the amby guide Tony Nation, we all headed to bed for some rest.
Night climb of Purple Mountain - 28th Nov 2010
We got a little breakfast into us and headed off at 4am. The drive up the gap was surreal and slippy with icy conditions. We adjusted our gear and headed off into the night, which was brigthened at times by the moon. As we got our pace and temperatures regulated we were approaching the glas lake, which was very surreal in total darkness and head torches. We had a break and some banter with lads who were doing just fine. after the gully from the lake we started onto the steep scree section which was tough work as the wind was a lot stronger. Martin got James, Marcus and Alexander to stay close in a line as conditions were now more severe.
At 7.30am we reached the shoulder and made our final push across the summit section to the main cairn in near total whiteout. We had already decided to spend only 3 minutes there as there was no visibility for sunrise although we could see that light was approaching. On our decent toward the central peak heading toward tomies temperatures were very low and wind was strong, with frost forming on our eyebrows, hair and clothing. I would say it was minus 15C windchill approx. At our next stop our water was now slushy and hard to drink, bring out the hot drink Tony!! The lads were elated at this stage and we found some snow to bum slid followd by some great icicles!!
On decent we headed into the Gap behind the cottages, once we decended below the cloud we got our first glimpses of scenery toward the sea over snow peppered stricin mountain. We stopped to admire the views and our final stop before the road. The boys were holding strong and dad Martin coaxed the final leg down. When we got to the road it was time to do much needed filming as the visibility was good now for the first time all morning.
We got back to the lodge after 10.00am for a fuller than Irish breakfast with no leftovers.The lads had a great time apart from being wrecked tired and after speaking to Martin a couple of days later theyhad a great time in Kerry and hadn't stopped talking about it. We wish them the best of luck!!
Martin and his boys were featured on RTE's Colm Hayes show on the 23 December, below you will find a link to download the attached podcast.
Report by Niall Foley
Travel Coordinator & Camerman
Scrambling Course Report:
I climbed Howling Ridge last year with Pat and Clare and really enjoyed it. Howling Ridge is regarded as one of Ireland's finest climbing routes and I was itching to try it again! I booked the two day scrambling course to coincide with my birthday on the weekend of 30th & 31st Oct. ... as Lorraine in the mountain lodge said; 'what better way to celebrate your youth than to hang off a rockface somewhere in the Reeks.'
I met up with Michael O'Connell and instructor John Healy at Lisleibane. John went through what we would be doing over the two days and advised that it would be better to climb Howling Ridge straight away due to the weather forecast. A good decision because the weather on Sunday was terrible! We made our way to the Heavenly Gates and after a drink and bite to eat we put on our gear and roped up. We started climbing quickly and steadily in a series of pitches with John leading and putting in protection along the way. Michael and I followed maintaining a tight rope as John belayed from above and gave excellant instructions. We felt confident and at ease at all times even when it came to the steeper more exposed sections! I certainly found the climb easier than when i did it last year despite the cold windy conditions.
The ridge is roughly 460m of climbing/scrambling and we completed it in about 2.5hrs. Quick enough i thought until two climbers caught and passed us near the top. They were freeclimbing without ropes and made it look so easy! We packed away our climbing gear and scrambled the last few meters to the top. I have climbed carrauntoohil many times but it is always a pleasure to reach the Cross, especially when you pass the 'Turn Back Now' sign on the way up!
We descended towards O'Shea's Gully and then across the Beenkeragh Ridge. This is easier scrambling but still very enjoyable and exposed in places, especially when you stick to the ridge top. As always we received excellent advice and instruction from John as we went. We reached the top of Beenkeragh and then scrambled down towards Stumpa na tSaimhe.
The next day Sunday the weather was bad and unfortunately Michael had to rush to Dublin at short notice. John and I decided to go to the Gap of Dunloe for some hours of instruction on ropework, belaying, abseiling, placing protective gear, etc. I certainly gained a lot of knowledge and experience this day and got exactly what I wanted from the course. John was very friendly, patient, helpful, enthusiastic and gave great instructions throughout. We spoke of other scrambling routes around the country and abroad which I will surely seek out in future!
Overall, I really enjoyed the course and was delighted to climb Howling Ridge again. Thanks for everything guys, take care and chat soon! - Joe Macken.
Check out our Scrambling courses in Ireland in our Training Section if you would like more information for beginners, advanced or we can customise a course to your required level.
Contact us for your climbing neeeds - www.patfalvey.com
Skills weekend for Island Peak at Pat Falvey's Mountain Lodge in Kerry.
This weekend has seen all of the Hope Foundation team do their final preparation for their Everest Challenge and their climb beyond base camp to the beautiful 20,000 foot peak of Island Peak right in the heart of the Himalaya.
The weekend presented them with the final skills training required for the glaciers, head wall and narrow ridges that they will have to negoatiate to reach their objective of summiting Island Peak.
They went through, gear, cramponing with 12 spikes attached to their boots, ice axe training, including the art of falling, ice axe arrest, fixed rope techniques for dummaring up a 600 foot head wall and crossing the mountains narrow ridge. They also learnt the skill of abseiling for descending the exposed head wall as they retreat to base camp.
Their course was carried out at Pat Falvey school of Mountaineering at The Mountain Lodge based in the foothills of Ireland's highest mountains in Kerry and practised their skills on the steep head walls of the Gap of Dunloe as well as climbing along the narrow ridges of Coimin Na Peiste Ridge, the Big Gun and Cruach Mhor in what was demanding weather conditions.
Their was also gear review and the importance of team work on challenging mountain.
This weekend was attended by. Teena Gates head of news 98fm : Jenni Kavanagh actress in Fair City, Rob Ross RTE presenter: George McMahon actor: Philip Grey extreme artist: Rosaleen Thomas hope foundation: Ed O Donnell support team: David Walsh Support team.
The weekend was facilitated by worlded renowned adventurer Pat Falvey with his technical guides Con Moriarty and trekking guide Tony Nation.
See courses training
Lots of new adventures are coming up in the next twelve months as we expand our programs throughout the world. Contact us today at www.patfalvey.com
At Pat Falvey Army Boot Camp we have put a number of teams through this rigorous weekend training program specially designed to help in the areas of communication, focus, attention to details, planning and following through on objectives set.
Bear Island: This weekend our island boot camp was help on Bear Island and Highfield Rugby Club went through their paces on last weekend 17 to 19 September.
Outside the comfort zone:
They were met by the instructors at 19:00 hrs on Friday night. No sooner had they disembarked they were made to run 4km with bag in hand to the camp. There they were given their bed in the tent. First on the agenda was night navigation around the island. They returned to a welcomed cup of soup and sandwich. The team went through the briefing for the weekend. Then retired to try and sleep for the night.
Up at 05.00, given a map and coordinates they had to search out their food for breakfast. Some were lucky, others were not, but everyone shared what they had found. After all were fed it was down to business. Each was given 25kg packs and made run the 5km run to the first tower. When they got there they thought they had finished but this was not to be, they had to run to the other tower as well. Next evaluation was the water confidence training instruction. This was to build up there confidence in tough and hostile environment. After this was the assault course, stretcher run, and finished up with some close quarter combat.
Dinner was bush craft style with rabbit, pigeon, and deer on the menu. All had to be skinned, butchered and cooked by the team. After dinner they did more navigation and finished with some field play. Lights out at 24.00 were they tired.
Up Sunday morning at 08.00 for 8km run with 25kg sandbags to White Cross. There they took part in a debriefing and self evaluation on the weekend. After this there were then ran back down to camp to a surprise full Irish Breakfast. The camp finished with a march back to the ferry at 12.00.
“It was agreed by all that if they fail in their goal they would be back and it would be tougher”
Objectives for the weekend were, Improve Communication, Discipline, Fitness, Teamwork, Self belief.
Terry Healy Boot Camp faciliator/ Instructor.
Pat Falvey Boot Camp Division - www.patfalvey.com