This is what our clients have to say about the Vertigo Outdoor:
A review of Kalymnos ’14 review. By Michael Slattery.
Expectations: I wanted to improve my climbing technique, climb somewhere new to get inspiration for route setting ideas, and learn some anchor/rope skills while doing multi pitch. Swimming, some nice photos and working on a tan were propping up the bottom of the list.
Day 1: Abseiling into Dolphin’s bay crag with spectacular view of the sea, had quite the grin on my face. Rob identified my over reliance on my upper body strength as I struggled on a hard(ish) climb. Both Rob and Jindra demonstrated good foot placement on the same climb moments later. For me, watching my instructors demonstrate what they say is one of the best motivators to progress.
Day 2: Kastelli rock was so sharp I could not pull up on it with my fingers, forcing me to focus on my footwork. This emphasis on small accurate steps set the tone for the week.
Day 3: Rob and Jin’s knowledge of the crags allowed some welcomed respite from the sun, climbing in the shade was pleasant. Video playback (icoach app) of our climbing was extremely useful, if somewhat painful to watch sometimes 😀 Rob used it well to make his point about centre of gravity, using outside edge etc
Day 4: Symplegaides crag; could have called route setter’s heaven, so many different features to climb on. Great place to practice climbing advice/feedback. Really enjoyed the day and the culmination of technique implementation. Also inspired to see Karol’s progress after few days of learning to lead.
Day 5: Half a rest day, took scooter for spin to stunning view of Arginonta bay. Got some decent climbs in (magic circle, Irox crag), pleasant day across the water on Telendos.
Day 6: Multi pitch on ‘wings for life’. Not sure what to say about this. Epic. A day I will never forget. After 2 hrs+ trek back down jumped into sea for refreshing swim before tasty meal and boat back to main island. Doesn’t get much better than that
Day 7: Paid homage to ‘Grande Grotto’ cave before leaving. If you want to get inspired to train hard just be here.. watching great climbers on steep stuff, setting the bar on entry level 7a, breathing in the atmosphere that place creates is quite something. The view of Telendos isn’t bad either.
Conclusion: A rejuvenating experience for many reasons. The days were stacked very well, each learning experience complimenting the previous day’s climbing. Both instructors offered a lot and had a great local knowledge. Was pushed to my limits some days, other days relaxing with smooth technique on easier climbs, all in all a very nice balance to the week. While the cost seemed initially expensive the hotel chosen and the cuisine sampled on the island was splendid. We were very well catered for throughout the week. I wasn’t accustomed to that kind of luxury. Two expressions which summed up the week nicely was Rob’s- it’s all part of the experience, and Jindra’s- life is good
Advice for others:
Try to do some training/get in shape before the trip, you will be pushed hard some of the days! Take some time to watch the instructors climb. Expect to experience a lot in the 7 days, to be encouraged, to be challenged, to be inspired. Expect to eat well, sleep well, climb well. Good value for money and then some. Any questions or concerns were answered comprehensively, just ask. Renting scooters, sea swimming, boat trip highly recommended also. Bring a camera, sunglasses and a chalk bag
Michael Slattery. Kalymnos Climbing Week, April 14.
I would like to thank you for all your encouragement and support at the ML assessment last weekend. It was a real pleasure to work with you and observe your professional approach to the assessment.
You kept a wonderful balance between your role as an assessor and encouraging, supporting attitude in pointing out our mistakes and in helping us learn from them.
Thanks to you and the other assessors I certainly learned a lot and despite the terrible weather I managed to enjoy myself.
Thanks for everything,
Michael Power, ML Assessment, Oct 2013.
Hi Rob, Well, what can I say? Danny and Dean were unbelievable! I couldn’t have asked for two better leaders. The lads absolutely adored them and I know they will still be talking about them this time next year. They were super professional, highly trustworthy, caring and a great laugh. Thanks again for organising a good price for us. It is very much appreciated. We simply could not have gone had the price been any higher and the boys come from north side inner-city area so for them this really was a very different and special experience. The weather just added to the challenge! We had an unforgettable time and I really cannot praise the two lads enough. I hope you have a busy and safe summer season. All the best, Sorcha
Sorcha Hackett, School Bivvie trip, May 2013.
The Kalymnos trip was excellent. It was a revelation to see video footage of me climbing and with the help of well explained instruction I was able to take on board some of the advice about improving footwork and body positioning. Most days I was leading at the limit, or sometimes a little beyond the limit :-), of what I was capable of, which is exactly the level I wanted to climb at – and then as a result of the instruction I was able to climbing a few grades harder than what I would have normally expected. The hotel was perfect and it’s location in Missouri makes for easy access to the town and also to plenty of crags. Rob, and Gerwyn were great to climb with and were great company too. Hats off to Rob and te team for a really well run course and an enjoyable weeks climbing. If you are considering this trip in the future and are looking for quality instruction then you won’t go wrong here. Kalymnos is a fantastic place to climb…. I’ll be back for sure.
Austin Cagney, Kalymnos Week, April 2013.
Hi VO Team, Thanks a million for what was a phenominally successful trip. Your staff were unbelievable, we learned so much from them and the boys that attended were crazy about how much they learned. I am very sore and tired today but couldn’t be happier with the outcome and will be in touch in the furure. Very much appreicated.
Sorcha Hackett, School Bivvie trip, May 2012.
The course was great. I got to do leads that I wouldn’t have imagined doing before now – with the benefit of a really experienced climber hovering beside me discussing the pros and cons of each gear placement (and occasionally magically producing just the right piece of gear). I also learned a great deal – I finally feel that I can tell when gear is well placed and when it isn’t (that horrible, gear ripping away from rock, sound has been one of the major factors putting me off lead climbing). Low and behold, after 2 years of avoiding it, I’m finally starting to lead climb!
Thanks to Rob and Eugene for a great weekend
Áine O’Reilly, Learn to Lead Climb, October 2011
Looking at the photos again and again…. It was fabulous week 😉
The whole area in Arco / Riva del Garda is idyllic. Amazing place for people who love all kind of sports from water sports through mountaineering to gliding.
It was a truly amazing experience and I am absolutely delighted I signed up for week of hot rock climbing in the Alps with Debbie and Rob. They were extremely helpful, flexible and made this a very memorable time. I can recommend them to anyone who wants to spend few days in the mountains. They are very professional and experienced. They also made such a huge effort to look after us and made these holidays safe, challenging and enjoyable in the same time.
I have been back for one week now, but I still dream about it!
Thank you Debbie and Rob for this brilliant time!
Anna Kubiak, Italy Hot Rock, October 2011
I’ve just completed the 2 day Learn to Lead course with Rob. I’d become comfortable top roping a number of routes in Dalkey Quarry and was looking to progress to leading. I’m delighted that Rob was recommended to me as someone who could help me take this big step!
In the 2 days Rob gave me the building blocks I needed to start leading by myself. Along with the practical instruction I’d expected (gear placement, abseil, setting up a belay, etc…) Rob got me safely planning and preparing for a climb, breaking down and thinking through each decision I made from the base to the summit whilst gently directing and critiquing the decisions I took.
Armed now with new found knowledge and a fundamental shift in the way I see climbing I feel totally confident to make this progression and am looking forward to leading some new routes very soon!
Thanks Rob for your patient approach and unerring eye on safety…it’s rubbed off!
Matt Larmer, Introduction to Lead Climbing, Dalkey, May 2011
The Learn to Lead Course with Vertigo was first rate. I feel like I have made a significant step forward in my climbing. Up until now, top roping and experimental indoor wall leading was as good as I could muster, but I would now feel confident to get out and lead single pitch climbs to severe grade. That’s a big jump in 2 days. Not only did we cover all the essentials, but what really made the difference was that Rob is an excellent instructor who clearly spends a lot of his time training people in the outdoors and knows instinctively exactly how to pitch a course to ensure the candidates get the very most from it. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Vertigo Outdoor for your next outdoor skills course.
Andrew O’Connor, Introduction to Lead Climbing, Dalkey, May 2011
We took two evening Moving Outdoor sessions with Vertigo Outdoor. With our indoor climbing experience the goal had been to gain essential skills that would release us from the confines of crowded climbing walls. We got all that and more. We had two marvelous evenings under the supervision of an experienced and proffesional instructor. All the time we felt really secure which is very important to us. The knowledge was presented in a structured and approachable manner that allowed us to greatly benefit from the sessions. And on top of that, the atmosphere was great and we had loads of fun. Many thanks to Vertigo Outdoor!
Piotr and Natasza, Moving Outdoors for Indoor Climbers, Dalkey, April 2011
Thanks Rob for the very enjoyable and very well structured learn to lead rock climbing course.
The course covered gear placement, preparing anchors, belaying a second, abseiling, and then putting this all into practice with my first leads on Dalkey quarry granite and on Barnbawn limestone. The course gave me enough confidence to go out the following Saturday and lead Pre-Alpina a Severe route in Dalkey quarry.
Colm McMahon, Introduction to Lead Climbing, Dalkey & Wicklow, March 2011
Vertigo Outdoor’s professional instructors organised a safe and extremely enjoyable day for our group of new climbers in Dalkey Quarry. It was an exceptionally positive experience for the students and I am sure that we will be organising another day out as soon as possible
Simon O’Donnell, Belvedere College, Climbing Taster Day, Dalkey, March 2011
I had a great two days on the ‘Learn to Lead’ course, thanks Rob – very informative and safe, yet still very relaxed and great fun. Would highly recommend to anyone.
Mark Dalton, Introduction to Lead Climbing, Dalkey & Wicklow, March 2011
Ever since reading as a boy about the expeditions of Roald Amundsen, first person to reach both poles, I have had a desire to experience winter hill walking and climbing. Luckily I did not have to travel quite so far to get my chance as Vertigo Outdoor were running a winter skills course based around the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. Right from the initial enquiry, I was really satisfied with the professionalism of the organisation. The area chosen (Aviemore) with its French like charm and the accommodation facilities where excellent. Rob as leader and instructor was tremendous – very knowledgeable of the area, informing, witty and down to earth with the theory and practice. The skills learnt were very relevant and were used daily over the entire course. The whole trip was fantastic, yes it was hard going at times but with the support of Rob and his team around I knew I would achieve my goals. I don’t know whether summiting Ben Macdui (1309m) in full winter snow conditions or my first multi pitch winter climb at Coire an t-Sneachda (1176m) was the highlight of my trip but what I do know is that it was only possible because of the level of training, ongoing guidance and support from Vertigo Outdoor. Even though this course is winter based, it has helped me back home in warmer conditions feel so much more confident heading to the hills, my navigation has come on leaps and bounds. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to experience winter conditions in the warmth of good company and great instruction. Many thanks for the amazing memories.
David Walsh, Winter Skills Course Feb 2011 / Cairngorm, Aviemore, Scotland 4 days course
I did an Intro to Rock Climbing course with the team from Vertigo Outdoor. The instructors were not only extremely knowledgable and helpful, but patient as well. For a first timer, I felt in safe hands and thoroughly enjoyed the day. I will definitely be booking to do some more climbs and would absolutely recommend it for a day of fun and adventure.
Debbie Ward, Intro to Rock Climbing, June 2010.
For someone who has a fear of heights, an introductory course in Rock Climbing was a daunting prospect to say the least. Not only did the team in Vertigo Outdoor make me feel like I was in a safe environment but with their knowledge and advice helped me overcome the challenge. The view from up there isn’t bad either!
Michael Walsh, Intro to Rock Climbing, June 2010.
I did a hill walking weekend in the Mourne Mountains which included an overnight camp! The experience of having the qualified instructors from Outdoor Vertigo meant piece of mind while also gaining valuable knowledge & Skills that I can take away and use myself. For a first time camper, I was very pleasantly surprised with the overall comfort of the weekend. The quality of the Kit provided was excellent. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to what the Irish mountainside has to offer and for giving me the confidence to develop a new hobby!
Marianne Coady, Hill Walking Weekend, May 2010.
After years of feeling uncomfortable around heights, 2010 was the year I finally decided to do something about this. From the initial phone call with the instructors from Vertigo Outdoor I was made feel at ease, they were incredibly understanding about my fear which feed my encouragement to succeed. The level of instruction and their in-depth knowledge of climbing and the equipment went a long way to giving me the confidence to try rock climbing. I had a fantastic evening with the instructors who were very patient with me while I tried the introduction to rock climbing. I enjoyed the evening so much that since then I have done a number of evenings and weekend training with them leading up to an amazing camping weekend away climbing in a spectacular part of Donegal. The skills and understanding I have received from the team at Vertigo Outdoor has truly made a huge difference to my love and pursuit of the great outdoors. Thanks to the team, I now regularly enjoy an evening’s climbing in Dalkey quarry with my fear! I highly recommend Vertigo Outdoor to anyone wishing to try something new, fun and exciting.
David Walsh, Intro to Rock Climbing Jan 2010 / Camping & Climbing Weekend, June 2010.