Friday, 09 July 2010 15:42

Rock Climbing / Scrambling/ Abseiling



Rock Climbing/ Scrambling/ Abseiling

Course: Rock Climbing/ Mountaineering Skills. Summer activities.

The Gap Of Dunloe is renowned for it’s spectacular climbing routes and the sandstone rock makes for some ideal climbing conditions. Climbers have travelled here from all over the world to climb some of these spectacular routes. Our guides have selected climbing, scrambling and abseiling routes routes to suit all levels, from the beginner to the professional. WE can also introduce you to fix rope techniques and the use of Jumars for the larger mountains ranges. This course also pending the team can introduce you to cravesse rescue on the cliffs in the gap.

Date: All Year- weather dependent. The Skill learnt are also part of our learning for snow and ice techniques.

Duration: Half Day / Full Day

Location: Gap of Dunloe, Macgillycuddy's Reeks

Grades: Beginner - Advanced

Price: €50 for half day, €80 for full day, group minimum 4.

Please note that the price includes all ropes, climbing equipment and instructors.

Additional Info:

Equipment provided

Wear fitted clothing and runners/climbing shoes

Mountaineering Skills

Course: Abseiling

Abseiling is a great way to explore remote locations in The Gap Of Dunloe. Choose from 10 – 20m abseils and hang out in the beautiful valley and take some amazing photgraphs! Our instructors have chosen a variety of crags in which you can abseil on and see this amazing landscape form a different angle, and one you will never forget!

Date: All Year- weather dependent. Please contact office for details 064 6644181 or email.

Duration: Half Day / Full Day

Location: Gap of Dunloe, Macgillycuddy's Reeks

Grades: Beginner - Advanced

Price: 50 euro for half day, 80 euro for full day,group discounts available

Please note that the price includes all ropes, Helmets, climbing equipment, Harness and instructors to give you advice and tips on better technique.

Additional Info:

Equipment provided

Wear fitted clothing and runners/climbing boots.

Pat Falvey School of Mountaineering. Ireland Leading Adventure company.

Head Guides: Pat Falvey- Pemba Gyalje Sherpa- John Higgs

Published in Skills Training

Find out more how you can challenge your group, team or company on one of our new range of Bootcamps and visit the new outdoor training facility in Cork.

Contact us for more details or go to out Irish training section for more details

Thursday, 01 July 2010 15:18

Tony Nation

Tony Nation, Trekking Guide & Trainer

Tony's love for adventure has taken him to many regions of our planet,  he enjoys leading groups in Africa, Russia, Nepal and South America.

Like many of our adventure guides and trainers his passion is that of communication and instilling the culture of the places we visit to those that join in our our adventures and courses.

He is also one of our leading Irish guides with special knowledge in the Cork and Kerry hills and mountains.

He is a father of  four Sean, Damien, Sara and Timothy and from a very early age to instill adventure to his children became involved with his wife Mary as a leading light in Scouting Ireland, giving of his time voluntary for over 20 years to promote the adventurous spirit in children.

He is a County Commissioner for Cork South and heavily involved in training new Leaders and delivering Mountain Skills training to all Leaders and Scouters.

Tony is a good story teller, has a passion for the outdoors, enjoys good food and after a hard day on the hills a few pints in good atmosphere.

Tony is also a manager/trainer in our Health, Safety and team-building Corporate division

Let us introduce you to Tony in a short video

The video (Video ID: 67) is not published



Moving Mountains - Carrauntoohil 3414 feet- With Teena Gates 98 fm Also listen to podcast Moving Mountains

Pushing over the top of the ridge I gasped in surprise "you kept this a secret" as the grey slatted rocks that I'd been climbing up like stairs fell away to a ridge that slipped over the edge of the world - with green and grey and golden waves rolling off into the clouds below to crash on rocks as old as the world itself.

Arriving at the Mountain Lodge of adventurer Pat Falvey, I wear my enthusiasm for the climb ahead like a badge, or a sheet of armour; as quaking in my climbing boots I wonder whether I can really make it to the top of Carrauntoohil, 3,500 feet and Ireland's highest mountain.  I dread the thought of slowing down the group going out.  Was walking in the Wicklow hills enough preparation, or will I be hopelessly outpaced, and mortified in front of strangers?  Listening carefully to the briefing, I spot the change of tone as the larger than life Pat switches gear from wise-cracks and fun, to sober comment, host turned leader, as he talks about the need to keep up when push comes to shove. There are only so many hours of daylight to climb a mountain. Another snatched, silent conversation with myself and what now seems like the lunacy of being here; I breathe deeply, commit myself, and we're off.

Walking past the memorials in the carpark at the foot of Carrauntoohil, I'm reminded that we're approaching a sleeping giant sweeping calmly up in front, glowing green and purple, serene in the sun but ready with a fickle flick to change the odds in a heartbeat.  Crossing the first of a number of bridges on the way up, our guides explain about flash floods that came off the mountain snatching the life from one young woman within sight of the very carpark we'd just left.  It's sobering, but we push ahead and despite being nervous, my spirits soar as my muscles warm and I break into a light sweat, learning more about the other climbers in the group, and feeling relief as I discover I'm not the only one here for the first time.  There is huge reassurance in that, company for the challenge ahead.   Approaching the first of 3 lakes, we stop to catch our breath, and catch up on more from the guides about the history and folklore of the hills around us.

Shortly afterwards we came to a halt at what, to me, seemed to be an impenetrable sheet of rock.   "3 points of contact - up" announced Pat, and he was up and climbing - no ropes, no carabinos, no clips, no dress-rehearsal... no way.  "Are you mad?" I scream silently, as I toy with the thought of running as fast as my walking boots will take me in the opposite direction.  Breathing deeply, another silent conversation with myself as I call on my personal mantra for tough times, 'one foot in front of another & breathe'.  I focus, find the foothold Pat points to and looking up, the rocks above begin to take on new images of hand-holds and potential grips.  Swinging up to my 'three-points of contact' I look again and see and find, and reach and stretch and find my feet.  Confidence growing I move again, switching weight, muscles engaging, responding, reacting.  My breath deepens and I find a rhythm; I'm 'scrambling' and a smile bursts across my face as I realise I'm loving it.

A couple of hours later, after climbing over rocks, picking through moss and heather, and the trudge of putting 'one foot in front of another' on tired legs, the seasons change again and bright sunshine gives way to biting icy rain and a piercing wind.  As the elements kick off, I rip out fleece and coat, and hat and gloves.  How quickly a warm body can turn to deathly chill on a mountain, a chilling nudge from the idle giant.   Measured breathing and a steady pace allows for conversation with my colleagues, it's nice; they're good people and we exchange tips about breathing and walking and I learn small, subtle things, that make sense on a mountain.

The mist closes in as we close on the summit. The light is creamy, silver and unusual.  With the dark rocks below my feet and hands, and the rain dripping from my nose and hair and stinging my eyes, I feel like I'm walking in a plastic bubble, that I can reach up and punch through to the daylight outside. Conscious again of the flow of my breath, of keeping a rhythm, of putting one foot in front of another.  Then a cross looms out of the mist and the wind whips my face, as I recognise the scene from photos poured over in recent days.  We've made it, I've made it.

Standing at the top, hugging, laughing sharing smiles and joy with other climbers coming over the edge, I'm humbled and proud, conflicted; torn between the contradiction of the power of the mountain beneath me, and the power of the body that brought me to stand on top of the highest peak in Ireland.  Without warning the mist clears, I'm bathed in sunlight and a sudden movement pulls my eye down off the peak to the rocks below.  Clouds are flying past at speed below me, and I wonder in amazement as I watch, feeling slightly dizzy, as if someone put the world on 'fast forward'.

The descent is tough, weight thrown down on my haunches, but knees and ankles bear up, and nothing can wipe the smile from my face.  Buzzing, hooked, knowing it's the start of new adventures and challenges.  Carrauntoohil has not seen the last of me, and I have not seen the last of it.  In the weeks ahead working in the gym, grappling with the final few minutes on the treadmill, or groaning over floor exercises and stretches, this Kerry mountain will be flashing through my mind, a reward and a promise and a lure to pull the extra mile from the rowing machine.  That peak, that feeling of reaching the summit has left Kerry and travels back to Dublin with me on my journey.  Today, I have moved mountains.



March - October (winter for experienced walkers on request)

May 30th/1st June: July 19th/20th: August 16th/17th: September TBC

Kerry- MacGillycuddy's Reeks/ Beara Border/Dingle Peninsula/ Islands

Two Days of walking and camping in specticular scenery. This trip can be extended to a three or four day outing and traverse a Peninusla.

Approx : 12km each day

Trekking – Moderate to strenous over rough ground.

From €250 for 2 day @€125 per day  -

Learn how to survive in the Outdoors…..

Be self-sufficient while camping in the outdoors. We will discuss everything from the proper equipment to buy, how to pack , cooking with Gas and MSR stoves, camp layout and tents. Our guides will be with you to assist when needed. Please see the itinerary.

Please contact us:

Time: 09:00hrs

Meeting Point: Pat Falvey Walking and Adventure Centre (Kate Kearney’s Cottage)

Walk Duration: Aprrox 6 to 7 hrs per day

Distance: Varied Approximately 10 to 13 km

Additional Info: This course is ideal for anyone wishing to explore the outdoors, Just to have an exciting weekend, Learn skills for a major expedition, scout, or if your coming on an expedition with us. Also see Student Challenges for Presidents awards.

Include in other course

You may include camping in any of our walks or skills course, just ask and we will advise you on whats best!


Price includes:

Experienced camp craft Guides, demo’s and presentations on use of equipment and clothing.

Equipment: we Supply tents, stoves, and all equipment required including food for Breakfast, Lunch and evening meals.

Price: €250 PP minimum 4 or €125 per day campcraft.

book-now-button-smallest quick-enquiry-BUTTON


Day 1:

09:00hrs Arrive at the Pat Falvey Walking and Adventure Centre

09:15hrs Brief

09:30hrs Clothing and equipment Presentation/usage/packing

11:00hrs Begin trek

13:30hrs Arrive at campsite, presentation on tents and camp layout

14:15hrs Leave Camp for 3-4hr walk and return to settle in for the night.


Day 2:

07:30hrs Breakfast

08:30hrs Pack up and clear out

09:30hrs Begin trek (6hrs)

15:00hrs Finish

15:15hrs De-Brief

15:30hrs Questions and Answers

15:45hrs Course ends.


Rucksack, Waterproof liner, Gaitors, Waterproof Trekking Boots, Waterproof Jacket and Trousers, Warm Top, Hat and Gloves, sleeping bag, liner, water bottle, thermorest, food for course duration, eating utensils, camera and case, head torch, handgel, babywipes, wash kit.

Optional: Personal Tent, Cooking Stove

Course Leaders. Pat Falvey, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa, Tony Nation, John Higgs. Division: School of Mountaineering.

Published in Skills Training
Monday, 14 December 2009 16:21

First Irish Team North Pole Expedition

World renowned Irish adventurers Pat Falvey, Dr. Clare O’Leary and John Dowd will complete a historical and icy voyage as they navigate, walk, ski, and swim for two months on a 784 km expedition of endurance. Man-hauling their sleds across the rugged, broken, melting Arctic Ocean from Canada, they will be the first Irish team to reach the North Pole without the aid of dogs or any mechanical means.

Traversing the ice to reach the North Pole is now considered the most difficult challenge on earth due to the effects of global warming.  The all-Irish team will experience climate change first-hand when forced to negotiate thousands of open leads and cracks in the ice, and to climb erupting pressure ridges and tumbling ice blocks the size of four-storey houses, all while dragging sleds and gear behind them weighing 220 lbs each. They will also face the very real risk of polar bear attack.

“The journey is equivalent to 60 consecutive marathons,” says Pat Falvey, “through cold down to -60 degrees Celsius.”  The team must travel in order to train in similar conditions, having already completed several trips over the past year.  December ’09 will find them testing gear and equipment in Canada, returning again to Canada in February for training, leading directly to an expedition start March 1, 2010.

For both Falvey and O’Leary, reaching the North Pole will mark the distinctive completion of the 3 Poles Challenge.  The 3 Poles is an adventure challenge to reach the three most extreme poles on earth: Everest as the highest pole, the South Pole, and the North Pole.  If successful, culmination of the 3 Poles challenge for Pat and Clare will place them among only 15 people in the world to complete this grueling achievement.

Pat Falvey is a veteran of over 65 worldwide expeditions while Clare O’Leary is a veteran of 22, and John Dowd a veteran of 12 expeditions.  Both Falvey and O’Leary have already completed the Seven Summits Challenge, reaching the highest peaks on the seven continents.  Dowd has completed five of the seven summits to date.

Further information and daily blogs will be available in the coming weeks. In the mean time, if you have any queries or would like to find out more, Contact:
Pat Falvey
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The Mountain Lodge
Killarney, Co. Kerry

Lorraine Gordon
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064 6644181

Niall Foley
Published in North Pole 2010
'Thanks a million for the super day's climbing and great experience on Howling Ridge recently! We are very grateful especially since you both took time out of your normal training schedule to fit us in.
We've had a huge desire to climb Howling Ridge for some time and Pat kindly agreed to guide me and my friend Clare O'Sullivan up Howling on Saturday 5th Sept. Pat asked if it would be ok if Clare O'Leary could go along also as they were both training for their upcoming North Pole expedition. Of course that was an extra bonus for us and we were delighted to have met and climbed with Clare!
Howling ridge is easily one of the best climbs i have done. It was even more challenging on the day because of the rain making the rock slippery in places. Looking forward to doing this climb many times again in future!
We were impressed with the way the day was organized especially at such short notice. You were both very friendly, helpful, enthusiastic and gave great instruction. Good luck with your training and upcoming expedition and chat soon!'- Joe Macken & Clare O'Sullivan
Friday, 08 June 2007 00:00

Fantastic Glacier week

4 lads headed off to Norway on our last winter training session for this year. Bjorn picked them up and headed North to Jotunheimen Nat. Park, 6-7 hrs away.

In stunning landscapes they went through their gear learning to snow-shoe, crampon, Self arrest, crevasse rescue while hiking and camping across and glaciers and also up some 2,000m snow caps.

Mark Keenan described a great week and said the only thing that slowed them down was the intense sun early in the week and mist toward the end. They all had a great time, thanks Bjorn.

John Ward, Mark Keenan, Ken Delaney and Joe Ward.

photo:Fram Expeditions AS

Published in Greenland 2007
Wednesday, 06 June 2007 00:00

Team head to Finse for Kiting

The team have headed out to Finse in Norway once more to get some training in on Kites and ski's from Ronny Finsås.

Pat is equipped with Exweb Contact software on his iPaq which he will test using the Iridium Sat phone to update a test page on the website. All going well we will be training all team members how to update the website themselves every day with a report and image, sound clip or video clip.
Published in Greenland 2007
Sunday, 25 March 2007 00:00

Ski training in Norway

With the logistics taking up alot of time at the office getting everything ready and checking all scenario's for greenland and the South Pole this year, Skiing is a skill that needs to be second nature on these trips.

Pat and Shaun headed out in Blizzard conditions to Sirdal where they were instructed by their new team member Dave Bolger whose father is Irish. Dave has vast experience in ski training and will be getting the lads up to speed over the coming months.
Published in South Pole 2007-08
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