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
Today in the Cork Examiner - The team claims they have reached their Everest after been swept from their goal on many occasions in rescent years! Just as they were about to reach their summit beaten by the Green and Gold avalanche of their neighbours Kerry. (insert smile here)
In reaching their summit today they contribute one of the elements to their success was their miliarty boot camp training in Bear Island last Easter on the 2nd of April.
The squad’s training camp in Bere Island off West Cork earlier this year – details of which were revealed in his All-Ireland diary in yesterday’s Irish Examiner by John Hayes – has been identified as a pivotal moment in their season.
This contributed to their belief of never giving up until the final whistle and that getting to the top was like eating an elephant that it was to take each stage of the game like eating the elephant and that was to take each stage bite by bite and to never give up until they had the elephant eaten.
Pat Falvey Boot camps for your next training session.
Contact us today - www.patfalvey.com
Date: All Year- weather dependent. The skills learned are also part of our teaching for snow and ice techniques. Contact us
Duration: Half Day / Full Day
Location: Gap of Dunloe, Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Killarney
Grades: Beginner - Advanced
Price: €50 for half day, €80 for full day, group minimum of 4.
**Please note that the price includes all ropes, climbing equipment and instructors.**
Additional Info: Equipment provided! Wear fitted clothing and runners/climbing shoes.
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 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 introduces you to cravesse rescue on the cliffs in the Gap of Dunloe.
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 photographs! Our instructors have chosen a variety of crags in which you can abseil on and see this amazing landscape from a different angle, and one you will never forget!
Date: All Year- weather dependent. Please contact us
Duration: Half Day/Full Day
Location: Gap of Dunloe, Mcgillycuddy Reeks, Killarney
Price: €50 for a half day, €80 for a full day and group discounts are available
**Please note that the price includes all ropes, helmets, climbing equipment, harness and instructors to give you advice and tips on better techniques.**
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.
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 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. From a very early age, to instill adventure to his children, he became involved, with his wife Mary, as a leading light in Scouting Ireland. He has volunteererd for over twenty 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 scouts. 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 a 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
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.
Location: Kerry- McGillycuddy's Reeks/ Beara Border/Dingle Peninsula/ Islands.
Duration: Two Days of walking and camping in spectacular scenery. This trip can be extended to a three or four day outing and traverse a peninusla.
Distance: Approx 12km each day
Grade: Trekking – Moderate to strenuous over rough ground.
Price: From €250 for 2 days at €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.
Meeting Point: Pat Falvey Walking and Adventure Centre, The Mountain Lodge, Beaufort, Co Kerry.
Walk Duration: Approx 6 to 7 hours per day
Distance: Varied – Approximately 10 to 13km
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, or if you're coming on an expedition with us.
You may include camping in any of our walks or skills course, just ask and we will advise you on what is best for your needs!
Price include: Experienced camp craft guides, demonstrations and presentations on the use of equipment and clothing.
Equipment: we supply tents, stoves, and all equipment required including food for breakfast, lunch and evening meals.
Price: €250 per person - minimum 4 - or €125 per day campcraft.
08:30: Pack up and clear out
09:30: Begin trek (6 hours)
15:30: Questions and Answers
15:45: Course ends.
Waterproof Trekking Boots
Waterproof Jacket and Trousers
Hat and Gloves
Sleeping bag and liner
Food for the duration of the course.
Camera and case
Hand gel, babywipes and a wash kit.
Optional: Personal Tent, Cooking Stove
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 784km 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-story houses, all while dragging sleds and gear behind them weighing 220lbs each. They will also face the very real risk of a polar bear attack.
“The journey is equivalent to 60 consecutive marathons,” says Pat Falvey, “through cold temperatures 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:
The Mountain Lodge
Killarney, Co. Kerry
'Thanks a million for the super days 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
For all your training and climbing needs, contact us today at www.patfalvey.com
4 lads headed off to Norway on our last winter training session for this year. Bjorn picked them up and headed North to Jotunheimen National 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