Mountaineering Ireland

Mountaineering Ireland is the representative body for walkers and climbers in Ireland. It is recognised as the National Governing Body for mountaineering, hillwalking, rambling and climbing by both the Irish Sports Council and Sport Northern Ireland. Founded in 1971, Mountaineering Ireland exists to represent and support the walkers and climbers of Ireland and to be a voice for the sustainable use of Ireland’s mountains and all the places (coastline, crags, forests) we use.

 Mountaineering Ireland has a number of sub-committees, including an Access and Conservation Committee that supports Mountaineering Ireland’s environmental initiatives and a Mountain Training Board that supports the delivery of personal skills and leadership awards such as

P1110773Mountain Skills, Lowland Leader Award, Mountain Leader Award, Climbing Wall Award, Multi Pitch Award and others. These schemes and awards are used by both club members and as vocational awards for those working in the adventure activities and outdoor education sector.

There are ten members of staff at present based at offices in Irish Sport HQ, Dublin 15 and Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Co. Down.

Membership:  11,509  

Number of Clubs: 168

2013 Highlights:

Competition climbing is growing hugely across the globe and over the past 5 years it’s growth in Ireland has been significant. This has seen the development of new national climbing centres (Gravity and Awesome Walls) and more regional climbing centres (Cork, Belfast and Derry) opening shortly. Other local walls (Kilfinane, Upperchurch, Artane, etc.) have also developed recently. This greater access to better facilities has raised the profile of young Irish climbers and one of those, Dominic Burns, is the 2013 European Youth Cup Bouldering Champion and he is ranked number 1 in the World.Mountaineering Ireland  developed a new strategic plan through significant engagement with our members. The plan (SDP 2014-2017) will see Mountaineering Ireland work to deliver on 7 key objectives:- supporting participation in our sport, improving personal skills and standards and encouraging adventure opportunities for everyone.

 mountain1Get Ireland Walking is an Irish Sports Council initiative led by Mountaineering Ireland. Get Ireland Walking exists to support people to get walking in their communities for health, wellbeing and fitness. A focus of year one has been to bring all interested stakeholders together, build the base of walking groups throughout Ireland and support groups and stakeholders with appropriate services and resources. See


Fact File

  •  52% of members are female
  •  Ireland boasts a world number 1 ranked climber


Key Programmes that Mountaineering Ireland run:

Access and Environment

Most walking and climbing activities in Ireland take place in the natural environment, therefore access to the outdoors is absolutely fundamental to the sport of mountaineering. An appreciation and understanding of the environment can greatly enhance our enjoyment of our activities in the outdoors. Mountaineering Ireland’s work on access and conservation is focused on two core objectives:

  • To secure continued access to mountain areas and crags
  • To promote the conservation and responsible use of the mountain environment.

In 2013, this has involved developing, with other stakeholders, initiatives such as Helping the Hills, Club Environmental Officers’ Programme, the National Uplands Working Group, contributing to the Irish Uplands Forum, Comhairle na Tuaithe, and other regional upland forums.

Mountain Training

Mountain Training on the island of Ireland is supported by two mountain training boards; Bord Oiliúint Sléibhe, which is the training sub-committee of Mountaineering Ireland and Mountain Training Northern Ireland. Currently, a process is ongoing to integrate both training boards in Mountaineering Ireland. Mountain Training can be summed up as the provision of personal skills and leadership training schemes and awards. These schemes and awards support both participation in our sport and also those that work in the outdoor industry.


euro youth comp 3Youth and Talent Development

Mountaineering Ireland’s youth programme includes both support through Mountaineering Ireland’s affiliated clubs and also through other youth organisations, including Scouting Ireland. The Youth Climbing Series is a series of fun climbing competitions specifically for young people with the emphasis on enjoyment. It attracts hundreds of entrants across Ireland. The Aspirant Mountaineers programme focuses on students and young people between the ages of 18 – 23 and provides development opportunities in Ireland’s mountains before taking part in a winter skills programme in Scotland.

Mountaineering Ireland’s Talent Development programme provides a pathway for talented young climbers to progress into national development squads and the national climbing team.

Girls Outside and Women with Altitude

The Irish Sports Council’s Women in Sport programme has allowed Mountaineering Ireland develop the Girls Outside and Women in Sport programmes targeting long term female participation in our sport. Mountaineering Ireland’s membership is now 52% female with greater participation of women in all aspects:- leadership, competitions, etc..


What are the key events to look forward to in 2014?

Calendar of Events

Mountain Training Conference 28-29/11/2013
Irish Bouldering League – Round 2 30/11/2013
Lynam Lecture 2013 – Stephen Venables 12/12/2013
Irish Bouldering League – Round 3 11/01/2014
Train The Trainers Workshop 25-26/01/2014
Irish Bouldering League – Round 4 1/02/2014
Irish Bouldering Championships 08/02/2014
Scottish Winter Meet 2014 16/02/2014
Youth Climbing Series Jan – May 2014
Spring Gathering (Sligo) 07-09/03/2014
Snowsports Week (Austria) 15-22/03/2014
Women with Altitude (Connemara) 16-19/05/2014
Summer Alpine Meet (Ailefroide, Au Pays des Ecrins, Hautes Alpes) July 2014
Autumn Gathering 24-26/10/2014
Club Training Officers workshop 08-09/11/2014

Club challenge and hillwalking events take place throughout the year and dates of those events are available closer to the event date.


How can people get involved in ?

To find a club close to you or to join as an individual member of Mountaineering Ireland, go to

Our website has lots of infiormation on accessing hillwalking and climbing, equipment and skills and the options of training schemes and awards that are available.

Also, please visit some of other sites;

 Social Media Channel Links: