Skip navigation |

Rocks to Ridges Workshop

Mountaineering Ireland Environmental Workshop

Friday evening 20th & Saturday 21st May 2016 at

Tollymore National Outdoor Centre

The overall aim of this ‘Rock to Ridges Workshop ‘ event is to bring the subject of geomorphology to life, by giving walkers and climbers basic skills in understanding the physical landscape which surrounds us in the mountains. The event complements Mountaineering Ireland’s recently published Rocks to Ridges leaflet on the formation of the mountain landscapes of the North of Ireland. Rocks to Ridges


The Rock to Ridges Workshop will be based out of Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, which is located on the edge of the Mourne Mountains, not far from Newcastle, Co. Down.


Friday evening 20th May (tea and coffee from 7.30pm, starting promptly at 8.00pm) spaces available, no pre-booking required

8.00pm – Dr. Paul Dunlop – Ice ages and Glacial Landscapes

8.45pm – Dr. Peter Wilson – After the Ice

Saturday 21st May

Indoor session 9.15am – 10.15am

Overview of Mountaineering Ireland’s current work on access and conservation including how members can contribute to this work (Helen Lawless).


Field Trip (10.30am – 4.30pm) spaces limited, must be pre-booked, cost £15/€20

Field trip with Paul Dunlop and Peter Wilson to the Meelmore, Trassey, Luke’s Mountain area. Participants will spend the day outdoors as ‘landscape detectives’, gleaning evidence from the glacial features, rivers, rocks and soils to piece together the story of the Mourne landscape. Aspects of interest in the area include glacial, periglacial and fluvial features, blanket peat and podzolic soils. We will also see evidence of the Mourne’s industrial heritage in the disused granite quarries.

The number of people active in this part of the Mournes and the evidence of recreation impacts will likely prompt some discussion as to how we can achieve a balance between conservation and enjoyment of the areas where we walk and climb.

Minibus transport will be provided to Meelmore Lodge and the group will return to Tollymore afterwards for a brief wrap-up.


Dr. Peter Wilson has been teaching aspects of physical geography and environmental science at the Ulster University, Coleraine, for over 30 years. He is an individual member of Mountaineering Ireland and has combined his academic and hillwalking interests to focus on understanding how mountain regions have been shaped by glaciers, rivers, frost and gravity. In addition to his series of articles on mountain landforms for the Irish Mountain Log, Peter is author of the highly-acclaimed book Lake District Mountain Landforms (Scotforth Books, 2010).



Dr. Paul Dunlop is a Quaternary scientist who uses remote sensing and GIS to understand ice sheet processes and palaeo ice sheet extent and behaviour. He conducts research on the characteristics of sub-glacial bedforms (e.g. ribbed moraines, drumlins) with the aim of understanding the formative processes of generation and how these in turn influence ice dynamics and ice sheet stability. Paul also has an impressive CV as a rockclimber.



  • As places on the field trip are limited, priority will be given to Club Environmental Officers, Outdoor Instructors and Mountaineering Ireland volunteers. Other Mountaineering Ireland members are welcome to attend, however we are limiting attendance to two people from any one club with the aim of giving as many groups as possible access to this event. To enquire about booking a place, please email or call Rozanne or Helen in the Mountaineering Ireland office tel: 00 353 1 6251115.
  • As we will be outdoors for much of the day, on steep, rough and boggy terrain, participants should have suitable clothing and footwear, including a packed lunch and something to drink.
  • A camera and a notebook would also be useful as it is hoped that participants will afterwards share knowledge gained on this event with fellow club members, training course participants and others they walk and climb with.

Current situation

As you are probably aware the current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive, Health Promotion Agency NI and Health & Safety Executive NI, as well as our expert group within Sport NI is that we cannot deliver any face to face courses for our customers including use of the Hot Rock Climbing Wall.

We know that you and many others like minded folk are very keen to get back on track with your plans to attend and complete a range of personal skills training and qualifications in a range of disciplines.

Believe us when we say we are equally keen to get outside with you and help you reach your goals and complete that journey.

How do we know? Because every day we get emails and phone calls asking when will courses resume and with every NI Executive mention of easing of restrictions the emails and phone calls are more frequent……