Mountain Skills Courses
Mountain Skills courses are provided by Mountain Training accredited providers and designed for anyone looking to develop their personal and confidence in mountainous terrain. A basic level of hillwalking and hill fitness is required. The syllabus is delivered in two blocks - MS1 and MS2, typically each delivered over two days.

Skills learned include: planning, walking skills, weather, navigation in mountains, enviornment and hazards and emergency procedures. 

More info on the course and the Mountain Training Association can be found here on the Mountaineering Ireland website.

More information on the individual courses can be found on the 'Book Now' link on the screen.

What is Mountain Skills, & what's the difference between MS 1 & 2 ?

The Mountain Skills scheme is a personal proficiency award accredited and organized by Mountaineering Ireland; the governing body for hillwalkers & climbers in Ireland. The Mountain Skills Scheme consists of 2 weekend courses out on the hills and then an assessment. A Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for people interested in exploring mountainous terrain and want to develop their confidence in the mountains.

Participants should have some hill walking experience and a reasonable level of fitness. 

Topics covered over the weekend on Mountain Skills 1;

- Maps

- Mountain Hazards

- Personal Equipment

- Contours

- Mountain Environment

- Access

- Pacing/Timing

- Responsible Recreation

- Route Planning

- Intro to Compass

- Grid References

Topics covered over the weekend on Mountain Skills 2;

- Compass work

- Compass Bearings; Grid & Magnetic

- Grid, True & Magnetic North

- Navigation Techniques

- Route Planning

- Night Navigation Exercise

- Emergency Procedures

- Moving on Steep Ground

I’m a complete beginner, I’ve never looked at a map before. Is this course for me?

Yes! This course is for anyone who's interested in learning more skills whilst out hiking, gaining confidence and meeting like minded people interested in learning the same skills. A good level of fitness is a must to be able to spend all day out on the hill. 

Do I need my own map and compass?

No, We will provide a map & compass for everyone, if you have your own map and/or compass bring it along.

What are the requirements for the course?
A good level of fitness and an interest in hiking and learning more about the hills. Also you must have registered with the Mountain Skills Scheme on the Mountaineering Ireland website. Its €22 or an optional additional €30 to become a member of Mountaineering Ireland for the year as well.

More info on this here

I love hiking, but mostly stick to the same trails as I hike alone. Will I gain confidence from this course or is that something else?
Mountain Skills 1 will give you more confidence in navigating and map reading, the course is designed to teach you the basics skills and tools for navigation, for you to then go out and practice and consolidate those skills yourself. As well as learn new skills and gain confidence you could meet like minded hikers on the course and explore a new area that you may not have hiked before whilst practicing navigating skills.
Do I have to do the Assessment?
No, not if you don’t want to. Doing just MS1 &/OR MS2 as training courses is fine & a lot of people do this, there is no pressure or obligation to go on to do the assessment. If you are hoping to continue your journey to go on and become a Mountain Leader then a prerequisite is having completed your Mountain Skills Assessment.
What do I need to bring?

Typically the same as what you would carry on a day hike;

  • Good waterproof boots 

  • Waterproof jacket & trousers

  • Warm Layers

  • Enough Food, snacks & water for the day

  • Weather dependent items ie gloves/hat or sun cream and sun hat. 

  • Map & Compass if you have one

When & where are the courses run?

Go to to see when Kathryn has courses running, in 2024 she will be in Wicklow, Dublin, Mournes & Connemara running Mountain Skills.If you have a group of 4-6 and would like to enquire about putting on a course for you group please get in touch at OR

Check out the Mountaineering Ireland training calendar for a full list of providers,dates & locations;

Who is the course run by?
Mountain Skills can only be run by approved Mountaineering Ireland providers. These are all fully insured & qualified Mountain Leaders.
I'm already a member of Mountaineering Ireland, does this help?
You must still register for The Mountain Skills Scheme even if you are already a member of Mountaineering Ireland, your Mountain Skills training details will be added to your MI Dlog & Account. You do not have to be a member of Mountaineering Ireland to register for the Mountain Skills Scheme however you are offered a discounted rate at MS registration if you choose to do so. 
More information at
Is this course suitable for my 15 year old?
Yes! Mountain Skills is available for 10 years and above and free to register for under 18’s 

How much does it cost?
When booked with Two Rock Outdoor Mountains 1 or 2 courses run in Dublin or Wicklow Mountains cost €140 per person, courses in Connemara & the Mournes cost €150 per person. There is a discount when 2 people booked together available via our website  There is also a fee of €22 to Mountaineering Ireland to register onto the scheme this is done on there website;
Are dogs allowed on Mountain Skills Courses?
Unfortunately, we can not allow pets on any courses. The reason for this is that we often enter farmland where dogs are forbidden, especially during lambing season. We also wish to leave as much space as possible for wildlife in the more remote areas we visit, we do everything possible to reduce our disturbance where possible. Thank you for your understanding on this.
Mountain Skills 2