Mountaineering Ireland in connection with the Mountain Training board announced the addition of Rock Skills courses in 2019 after much feedback from rock climbing instructors and trainers over the UK and Ireland. Climbing on rock is an addictive, enjoyable activity that has many benefits, both physical and psychological. Our new Rock Skills courses are designed to provide structured training opportunities for people who want to learn more and become independent climbers. There are three different levels so that complete beginners and those with more experience can choose the most appropriate starting point. 

Rock Skills Introduction (8 hours) - The key to getting started on the right foot. This is a an 8 hour course which can be delivered over one or two days, providing an introduction to climbing outside on boulders and friendly crags. The focus will be on maximum climbing time, how to move on rock, finding balance and using feet. Basic rope-work and belaying will also be included. Minimum age: 12. No previous experience required. If you do have some experience of climbing but aren’t confident about using the equipment required, finding the crags, locating the routes you want to do and how to stay safe on the crag then a Rock Skills Introduction course is an ideal way to learn.

What’s covered -

  • Background and planning - awareness of where you can climb, using guidebooks, etiquette and the work of the mountaineering councils

  • Climbing Skills. Fundamental movement skills and climbing styles

  • Footwear and Equipment. Footwear and equipment selection and how to use the kit you choose

  • Technical Skills. Tying into a harness, belaying, spotting and how to abseil

  • Environmental Knowledge. The impact of climbers at the crag, ethics, access and environmental considerations for climbers

  • Hazards and Emergency Procedures. Identifying hazards, managing risk, understanding common injuries, how to get help and the role of Mountain Rescue and associated emergency services

Minimum Age - 12

Cost €65 per person based on a minimum of 2 people (group discounts available)

We supply all the ropes and equipment needed. If you have your own gear bring it along and we can chat about it


Rock Skills - Intermediate


The main aims of this course are to learn how to be a safe belayer, how to second routes competently and how to belay a lead climber. You will develop your climbing movement skills and learn how to place protection and construct belays.

  • Background and Planning. Choosing a suitable venue, how to use guidebooks and mobile devices to find crags and routes, crag etiquette and the work of the mountaineering councils.

  • Climbing Skills. Warming up and injury avoidance, developing your movement skills and widening your repertoire of climbing moves

  • Footwear and Equipment. Rock boot fit, selecting the right equipment for improved performance and an introduction to climbing protection

  • Technical Skills. Building anchors, selecting runners, ropework, belaying, holding falls, lowering, seconding a route and personal abseiling

  • Environmental Knowledge. The impact of climbers at the crag, ethics, access and environmental considerations. Hazards and Emergency Procedures

  • Identifying hazards, managing risk when climbing, abseiling and bouldering, understanding common injuries, how to get help and the role of Mountain Rescue

By the end of a Rock Skills Intermediate course, you can expect to: Have covered the course content in a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment and classroom-style setting; Have climbed outside for a good proportion of each day on an accessible crag; and Be in a strong position to second a lead climber on natural rock and participate safely in a climbing session. Progression from this course could involve gaining further climbing experience with friends or through a climbing club.

Experience required - Attendance of a rock skills introduction course or 10 outdoor climbs logged and 10 belays of a climber at an outdoor crag

Minimum age - 13

Max ratio - 1:4

Cost €150

Learn to Lead Sport or Learn to Lead Trad courses are the next step in the Rock Skills pathway