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Tollymore’s Geckos & Lizards Club

Tollymore’s Head of Mountaineering, Kieran O’Hara is developing The Geckos Club (13-16 years) and The Lizards Club (9-12 years) and the ethos of this programme is to offer motivated young climbers the opportunity to experience more advanced situations and develop their skills on the mountains and crags leading to greater independence as climbers and mountaineers in their own right.

Course Summary:

We will take full advantage of the seasonal variations to ensure we maximise our time on the hills, crags and wall. The year might look something like this:

Autumn                      Mix of outdoor climbing, bouldering and hill skills inc navigation.

Winter                        Focus on indoor lead climbing and bouldering

Spring/ Summer     Hill based rock climbing, bouldering and scrambling.


Who is the course for?

These programmes could be the one that unlocks the door to many exciting adventures of your own.

If you are aged between 9-12 years (The Lizards Club) or 13-16 years (The Geckos Club) and have previous climbing experience (see pre-requisites below) then sign up.

Course pre-requisites

This long term series of coaching sessions is geared to young people who have made a commitment to rock climbing and mountaineering and who want to continue to improve and develop as independent climbers and mountaineers.

Students on this programme will need to be competent climbers currently lead climbing at a reasonable standard on an indoor wall or outside on the rock.

Anyone applying for The Geckos Club (for those aged 13-16 years) should meet the following pre-requisites:

  • Have led a minimum of 30 routes on an indoor wall, sport rock or trad.
  • Be competent belayers (bottom rope or lead belaying)
  • Be a member of Mountaineering Ireland
  • Submit a successful completed application form
  • Have a level of long term commitment to rock climbing and mountaineering.

Anyone applying for The Lizards Club (for those aged 9-12 years) should meet the following pre-requisites:

  • Have climbed a minimum of 50 routes on an indoor wall, sport rock or trad.
  • Be competent belayers and capable of tying into their harness.
  • Be a member of Mountaineering Ireland.
  • Submit a successful completed application form.
  • Have a level of long term commitment to rock climbing and mountaineering.

Course Outline

  • Training sessions will normally be arranged in 6 week blocks except for July and August when there will be a one week (5 day) block of training.
  • Sessions will normally avoid Bank and Public Holiday periods.
  • Participants will meet at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre unless otherwise agreed.
  • Indoor sessions begin at 6pm and finish at 8pm and outdoor sessions 6pm – 9pm.
  • All dates are inclusive

Course Dates:

Block 1 11th September -16th October 2016
Block 2 23rd October – 27th November 2016
Block  1 4th & 11th December 2016 & 15 January – 5th February 2017
Block 2 12th February 2017 – 26th March (no session March 19th  2017)
Block 1 2nd April – 21st May 2017 (no session 16th April & 30th April 2017 )
Block 2 4th June – 25th June 2017 (4 week block)
Block 1 14th – 18th August 2017

Course Fee

  • £10 per session  (please note these are 2016 prices.  2017 prices to be confirmed)
  • There will be a separate cost for the Summer Camp in 2017. Prices to be confirmed.

What does my course fee include?

The course fee includes equipment, in course transport and instruction from some of our qualified and experienced instructors.

Important Information to be considered

  • These Club climbing sessions will take place at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.
  • These programmes aim to develop the skills of boys and girls aged 9-12 years  and 13-16 years who have shown an interest and commitment to climbing and mountaineering.
  • These Club climbing sessions will generally take place on a Sunday evening. Participants are expected to attend all sessions and will each have their own logbooks which must be kept up to date.
  • These Clubs will also run a summer camp which is likely to be held in August and all participants are encouraged to attend. (Venue to be decided). The summer camps provide selected young climbers the opportunity to consolidate their climbing and mountaineering skills under the watchful eye of Tollymore instructors.

Note for Parents/Guardians

Tollymore National Outdoor Centre uses only suitably qualified and experienced staff. All sessions will be staffed by carefully selected instructors all of whom are currently active rock climbers and mountaineers. They will motivate and inspire your children to be independent, safe climbers and mountaineers.

There is an option within GCSE PE to select hillwalking and/or rock climbing. All of the practical elements within the syllabus will be covered within The Geckos Club Programme. We would encourage you to contact your child’s school to discuss whether this is an option for your child. In order to ensure that topics are being covered within the GCSE timescale, please check with Tollymore staff.

Places on these programmes are limited and priority will be given to participants who commit to long term involvement in the training.

If you are interested please complete The Geckos Club Application Form (13-16 years) or The Lizards Club Application Form (9-12 years) and ensure they are returned to the Centre no later than noon on Wednesday, 31st August 2016.  Once  the application forms have been reviewed you will be notified of the decision. If successful the programme will then be ‘live’ on our website for you to book online. You will only be able to book 6 week blocks at a time. We will notify you of the process in due course.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss this please do not hesitate to contact the Centre on         +44 (028) 4372 2158 or alternatively email us at




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……