Killary Adventure centre was founded in 1981 by intrepid explorers Jamie and Mary Young. 

Over the years the centre has funded several adventure trips including kayak trips to Cape Horn, the South Pole and the Southern Ocean, sailing expeditions and also recently North of Disko; a  journey of exploration using a yacht, kayakers and climbers to explore the Northern reaches of Greenland. 

On the back of this successful expedition the idea was born to try and encourage and promote the growth of out there expeditions in Ireland.

The Killary Bursary is a  €1,000 award to an expedition that is designed to push the boundaries and explore different horizons. 

We are pleased to introduce the first recipient of our award Mike Dzikowski.


Mike has been living in the West of Ireland for 14 years and has fulfilled his lifetimes ambition of being a professional photographer, working for such brands as Lowe Alpine and Rab amongst others.  In 2016 Killary Gaelforce engaged with Mike for their event photos.

Mike is a born explorer in his own right. On previous trips he has been part of a Polish team (twice) trying to complete the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat.  He has also explored the Sahara and the depths of the Columbian jungle. 

His current expedition, which is part of a series entitled "Before it is gone"  is being done under the patronage of National Geographic Poland.  This expedition is called the Chadar Aztorin Expedition and will seek to document the disappearing  traditional way of life in the valleys and villages of Zanskar region.


The Zanskar is a river connecting two regions in northern India : Ladakh and Zanskar. Himalayan winters are one of the harshest on the planet. When the temperature drops thirty degrees below zero and mountain passes are covered with metres of snow the Zanskar region becomes inaccessible for the duration of the Winter. The frozen river becomes the natural and the only route connecting  the region with the rest of the World. Inhabitants of hundreds of tiny villages scattered across the mountains use the Zanskar to get to school, work or to see a doctor. It has been that way for hundreds of years - local people use the Chadar (ice road trek) but this will soon change forever.  The Indian government decided that in order to boost the local economy and to help people with their everyday lives, to build a road connecting Zanskar with Ladakh. In order to fully understand and appreciate the centuries old, traditional way of local people we will trek the whole length of Chadar unaided without any support from outside (apart from first few days when services of a translator will be needed). The main difficulties and dangers expected are extremely low temperatures (-30) and volatile ice surface. 

Mike heads off on this expedition on Monday the 23rd of January 2017               

Killary and Mike are excited to see where the expedition will go and we will try and keep everyone update as best we can however this will be difficult due to the isolated nature of the expedition.