In this webinar we discuss the upland flora of Ireland. Starting in the valleys (Lowland Zone) and working our way up the slopes to the exposed and harsh mountain tops (High Montane Zone). Ireland has a number of ecological zones in its upland terrain, from temperate rainforest to blanket bog, heath and montane plateau. Here we look at the characteristics of these ecological environments and introduce some of the strange and interesting plants that may be found there. Produced by Russ Mills of mountaintrails.ie

Long established with trainers and mountain professionals alike, using the five D’s at the beginning of each navigation leg, particularly when first learning these vital skills, ensures that no essential information is missed and adds structure to our decision making process when navigating in the mountains. Mountain navigation is often complex and difficult, with steep and rocky ground and with the possibility of poor visibility. To make our navigation easier in this challenging environment it is important to break our journey down into a series of manageable shorter sections called ‘legs’. We can then navigate each leg in turn and

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mountaintrails will ensure that all events will be carried out in line with the advice from the Irish Government. This will be reviewed in the light of government policy. We will be taking all possible precautions to keep everyone safe whilst participating in our activities. CANCELLATION – In the event of any activity being cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government, if you contract Covid-19, or if you are deemed a close contact of someone infected and must restrict your movements you will be offered a transfer of date or a full refund.

Glendalough sits in the Wicklow Mountains are a range of granite hills a short drive south of Dublin on the east coast of Ireland. Shaped by the glaciers that covered this land more than 12,000 years ago, they are now a series of rounded mountains and ‘U’ shaped valleys that rise to a high point of 940 metres but are more typically 600-800 metres high. The poor nutrient levels of the thin soils and the dense peat that covers much of the hills, coupled with the high rainfall that leaches out what nutrients remain and forms an impenetrable ‘ironpan’, results

Understanding contours and being able to interpret the shapes they make on a map is a very powerful navigational tool. However, all too often contour interpretation is overlooked in favour of more obvious features such as streams and forests. An experienced and competent navigator will look at the contours early in the process and use the information they provide to make good navigation decisions. What are Contours? A map is a 2-dimensional representation of the 3-dimensional world. To be able to depict three dimensions on the flat surface of a map the cartographers employ a number of techniques. The most

I’m a bit of a winter glove obsessive. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s that I suffer with cold hands but I am constantly on the search for the perfect winter gloves and dip into outdoor stores regularly to check out the latest offerings. So, what are the important features I am looking for when trying on new designs? The gloves have ideally to be waterproof (though that is always difficult when there is a gaping hole where your hand goes in) be quick drying, have good insulation to keep your fingers warm, and have a reasonable amount

This week sees the first significant snow of the season. With winter closing in perhaps it’s time to consider the plans we need to make to safely explore the winter mountains. The winter mountains can be a magical place and offer some great rewards, crisp frosty mornings, misty valleys, long reaching views and snow topped hills are but a few of the wonders to be experienced at this time of year. However, the Irish mountains can be an unpredictable place in winter too. With uncertain weather, they can also bring inherent risks such as strong cold winds; boggy and slippery

I regularly get asked by clients if using hiking poles is a good idea and my answer may sometimes sound noncommittal, ‘well maybe yes, maybe no’. In reality it is down to the individual to determine whether hiking poles are for them. To help with making that decision I have laid out the major advantages and disadvantages below. But first it is important to use the right technique when using poles, otherwise many of the advantages are lost. I see far too many hikers using poles incorrectly, to the point where they are doing more harm than good. Adjust the

Lake District Hiking Weekend Here is a great opportunity to climb the highest mountain in England (Scafell Pike) and other iconic Lakeland peaks on our August Bank Holiday weekend trip. Numbers are restricted to 18 participants plus our lead guide, Russ Mills. You will need to be a competent hillwalker with experience of climbing some of the higher tops in Ireland. We will be staying at the Borrowdale YHA in 2 person private rooms with bunk beds, using shared bathrooms. The hostel is self catering, but they do provide breakfasts and evening meals to order (not included in the price),

Scotland Winter Skills & Ben Nevis Weekend Here is an exciting opportunity to sample some Scottish winter walking (mountaineering), with awesomeness guaranteed. Learn the skills of hiking in the snowy Scottish hills, use of a walking ice axe and the correct use of crampons, then use these skills for a guided ascent of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. A superb winter outing..! Numbers will be limited to 12 persons and there will be 2 instructors for the 3 days of mountaineering. Winter hiking clothing will be essential, e.g. good winter gloves, goggles and waterproof pants and winter