Climbing, Scrambling and Mountain Skills Courses - An Overview
The Rock Climbing Company offer a comprehensive range of flexible mountaineering courses that are always customised specifically to your requirements.
We base our climbing instruction and guiding in two fantastic areas; between Spring to Autumn we run courses in Snowdonia, North Wales and during the Winter we offer climbing courses from a small town in southern Spain that lies in the hills between Malaga and Granada.
We tend to keep our instruction to these two main areas because we know them well and this helps us deliver effective courses that get the most out of the available time and conditions.
Why Use a Climbing Instructor?
Climbing with a professional, qualified and fully insured instructor lets you learn new skills efficiently in an intensive and enthusiastic environment, knowing that you are being taught best practice in the safest possible manner.
You’ll also gain personal confidence as you rapidly widen and deepen your whole spectrum of climbing skills through observation, practice and discussion.
Importantly you will enjoy the local knowledge that a climbing instructor has acquired over many years. Bad weather? We won’t waste a day; we’ll just change objectives. Route too crowded? We’ll move over here; this route’s even better. Feeling pressed for time? Don’t worry, we know the shortcut home.
All in all, your climbing experience will be improved with local knowledge, professional skills and enthusiasm for the adventure at hand.
Pricing and Instructor/Client Ratios.
Instructor/client ratios are kept low to increase safety and maximise contact time for learning. It may be tempting to reduce costs by looking for higher ratios, but you don't learn as much and it is much more difficult to get the course fine tuned to your requirements.
Maximum instructor-client ratios can be found in each course section.
We run both private and open courses. Private courses are arranged with a single client or clients who want a specific course for themselves or for their party - private courses enable us to work with you to create unique courses that suit you. We only run the more advanced courses on a private basis because at this level your demands are likely to be quite specific.
Open courses are courses that we arrange for specific days and people can enrol on them as required - we arrange our open courses into quite tight categories to ensure that we minimise the spread of abilities within a group. Our open climbing courses are a great method of getting into the sport and meeting other climbers.
There is not much difference in prices between private courses and open courses.
Prices can also be found in each course section.
Taster sessions normally last between 0.5 and 2 days, whilst all other instruction can be any length from 1 to 5 days or more. Many clients find that there is a great benefit in having at least 2 days of instruction because it allows them reinforce all the newly learning skills whilst still allowing time to enjoy the adventure.
We love climbing, scrambling and being in the mountains. We know the areas we teach in well and can help you climb your dream routes, whether it be a classic scramble in the Glyders or Right Wall on Dinas Cromlech. Guiding and instruction are easily combined, so if you would like to learn new skills whilst climbing classic routes then this can easily be arranged.
We are a small, independent company run by Silvia Fitzpatrick and a lot of the instruction is delivered by Silvia. Silvia holds the Mountaineering Instructor Award and is a full member of both the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Leader Training Association.
We are recognised as accredited outdoor activity providers by Visit Wales and North Wales Tourism, who are the two main tourist bodies serving Wales
In the event that Silvia is unable to personally instruct the course she may be able to offer an alternative instructor; all our associate instructors are professionally qualified to the relevant national qualification. In addition we only use instructors who we know and share our passion for the mountains. We will always ensure that the client is fully aware of the situation and that the use of an alternative instructor is acceptable to them.
Pricing and Instructor/Client Ratios.
Instructor/client ratios are kept low to increase safety and maximise contact time for learning. Maximum instructor-client ratios can be found in each course section. Prices can be found on the panel to the side.
What is included in the price:
- All instruction.
- The use of all technical equipment such as ropes, harnesses, karabiners and helmets.
What is not included in the course price:
- Travel to and from the course base or venue.
- Personal insurance (illness, accident, cancellation and personal equipment/possessions).
- Personal equipment such as waterproofs, walking boots and rucksack.
All specialist equipment will be provided by the Rock Climbing Company. As detailed above you are responsible for providing your own suitable clothing, footwear and rucksack. Further detailed info can be found in the specific course sections and the main equipment section.
What if the weather is bad?
Snowdonia has a wide range of venues to choose from and often it can be raining at one and sunny at another. The same is true of Spain - it can be horrible in the mountains, but there will be blue skies over the coast at Malaga or it can be too hot on the coast and plains, but pleasantly cool in the mountains above Villanueva del Rosario.
On rock climbing and scrambling courses we will always use our local knowledge to try to choose a venue best suited to the prevailing conditions, whilst for navigation courses poor weather can provide realistic conditions which will enhance the learning experience. We will do everything we can to make each day happen, so please arrive prepared for both warm and cold weather because you will be in the mountains.
We will determine on each morning of the day or course if it has be canceled due to inclement weather causing conditions likely to endanger members of the course (extreme cold, torrential rain, or snow). If it is canceled, you may transfer to another course on an alternative date.
Safety and duty of care towards our clients is of the the highest priority to the Rock Climbing Company. Many of our activities are hazardous by their very nature and all participants, parents and guardians must accept that there are risks associated with these activities. We manage and minimise risk in the following ways:
- All instruction is undertaken by professionally qualified instructors who all have many years of experience.
- The safety equipment we supply and use is of good quality, well maintained, in good condition and regularly inspected.
- We instruct and teach to guidelines set by the Association of Mountaineering Instructors.
- We instruct and teach in groups with low client to instructor ratios.
- We constantly evaluate risks throughout a course and if a level of risk is deemed unacceptable, then the activity will be altered accordingly.
Activities will always be conducted in a manner compatible to your current level of experience and competency.
How fit do I need to be?
All our courses involve physical activity and most are wholly suitable for anyone who is healthy and of average fitness. Our instructors will take your actual level of fitness into account and ensure the activities are conducted at a comfortable pace.
If you do have a medical condition, please use the space provided in the Booking Form to let us know; it is important we know of any and all medical conditions or allergies that affect you because if anything does happen then we are likely to be in a remote area and your health and safety will be in the hands of your instructor. All of our instructors have a valid REC first aid certificate.
Any medical information will of course, be treated in the strictest confidence. If you have any doubts or require clarification, please contact us via email
What experience do I need ?
Our courses cover the range of experience from the absolute beginner to those having substantial experience. Please check the course notes for your particular course for details.
Do I require insurance ?
We strongly recommend that you take out insurance to cover course cancellation or curtailment. This should also cover you for accidents or if you have to cancel due to reasons beyond your control such as illness. If you are a member of The BMC then you can take advantage of their insurance services via The BMC web site or the company Snowcard provide insurance for outdoor activities.
You should book accommodation to suit your budget and preference be it hotel, B&B, bunkhouse or camping.
Snowdonia has a host of options to choose from and you may wish to visit our accommodation pages for accommodation recommendations and suggestions.
If you are coming on a Spanish course we can arrange appropriate accommodation for you either at our base or in a local hotel,
Client satisfaction is very important to us. It is one of the bonuses of running a small company that we regularly receive compliments from clients on the courses that we have run.
Just wanted to say a big thank you for fitting me into your busy mad week. I really do appreciate it so much. I had the most amazing time, I loved the climbing days plus the crazy activities that you made me do!
You made me feel so welcome. I thank you so much for everything. Please please do feel free to stay here with us in Scotland if you ever want to do some climbing here, or even if you just want a rest!
Take it easy, I hope you have the most wonderful time climbing in Morocco and a quite day tomorrow.
DT - Climbing Outside - April 2011
Dear Silvia. F.... and I would both like to thank you so much for the expert tuition on our recent rock climbing course with you. The course content exceeded our expectations in every respect. The amount of detail you imparted and the thoroughness of the safety elements was amazing. Although I may have been slightly tentative at times, it was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The photos you took show me smiling a lot so it must have been good. We are delighted that we chose to come to Spain and to engage your services rather than find a course at home. I cannot believe we could have found anyone so enthusiastic and encouraging as you were.
S+FM - Climbing Outside - April 2011
A quick email to say thank you for organising last week's course. Sam was a fantastic teacher, excellent company and truly inspiring.
Thanks to her encouragement and confidence in me, I achieved much more than I thought possible in 3 days and I cannot wait to get out there and try out my newly acquired skills!
DK - Climbing Outside - April 2011
just back from Wales. We had an exceptional time, and it has completely given me a new lease of life in the mountains. Thanks to Rory for superb leadership and instruction.
................ Thanks for providing us with a great experience.
AS - Custom Scrambling + Navigation Course - April 2011.
Firstly, thanks very much for organising it all for me.
I certainly achieved my objective for the day and much more besides.
Catrin was absolutely great and very professional with endless knowledge . But also she was a great teacher . Once she had assessed my ability on rock she cut me loose(no pun intended) but kept a close eye on me and made suggestions along the routes while I led. I feel much, much more confident regarding gear selection, placing protection, belaying, anchors, abseiling techniques both retrievable and not and more. I,ve already started to update my climbing rack.
I think I,ve caught the climbing bug which is why I would like to take my skills to a higher level and book another session (With Catrin) the next few weeks or sooner.
MH - Advanced Scrambling - March 2011
I just wanted to say thanks for an awesome time climbing, it was fantastic to spend 3 days climbing and
I really feel like I am improving and learning lots of new things. I really enjoyed climbing with Coen and Ashwin too.
You'll be glad you didn't drive into Málaga on Sunday, traffic was a disaster with lots of roads closed but the bus was ok.
Please pass on my thanks to Simon, it was great to learn a little about the technical side of making the equipment and also
have him pass on tips about my climbing.
Hasta la próxima
MF - Climbing Outside - Feb 2011
L...and myself just want to say thank you to Rory and the team for helping us arrange this, we had a fab day.. Shame about the weather but you can't win them all!
........P.s... The book is great!.. We will most defiantly be back
K + LC - Guided Climbing
Thanks for a great couple of days. Really enjoyed the course and it was great to meet you. Please do keep me in mind for any further courses with other groups - you never know what I might be able to squeeze in around work and I would love to come back and do more.
Have a lovely time in Morocco - hope your holiday is as good as mine's been!
HH - Lead Climbing - January 2011
Just a quick note to say thanks so much for the weekend - we both really enjoyed it and hope to catch up with you again very soon.
D + SB - Advanced Climbing - Feb 2011
We just wanted to say once again, thank you for an incredible experience!! The Camino del Rey was all that we expected and so much more and we know it was in large part because we had you as our instructor.
Also, a big, big thank you for arranging our stay in the beautiful town of Villanueva del Rosario. You were right, it was truly worth it to stay. And of course, please pass our thanks along to your friend who so graciously offered us his home. Kaileen and I both couldn't be happier with the entire experience.
If we're ever in Spain or the UK and looking for more courses, we'll be sure to get in touch.
KS - Camino del Rey - August 2010
We returned from Spain this weekend, and wanted to thank you again for our wonderful three days with you. We all really enjoyed your company and are very grateful to you for sharing some of your great skills, knowledge and experience with us. I am sure we will always remember it. Victoria is looking forward to getting back to the climbing club at school, where she will perhaps demonstrate some new-found confidence!!
With thanks and love from us all,
J, S, A and V McB - Climbing /Scrambling in Spain - July 2010
I just wanted to say hello and thank you again for 4 great days. I got back safely, last week was pretty crazy at work - but I feel still pretty relaxed !
Hope you had a nice Sunday afternoon with alot of climbing with Ale ? And a good week ... even if it was very busy.
I will be thinking about coming back, maybe to El Chorro in Dec or Jan, lets see ...
All the best and have a good week,
BW - Guided Climbing - July 2010
Just back from our holidays and thought I would let you know what a fantastic day Seb had with you.
Many thanks for making his holiday perfect. He enjoyed both the climbing and bouldering and is busy telling all his friends at climbing all about it.
C F-S Performance Coaching - August 2010
We arrived home yesterday evening. Thanks for arranging our training, Rory was excellent. We met as arranged and Rory showed up spot on time. We all appreciated his friendly, easy going and professional manner. Rory's training methods worked really well for us. I particularly learn well with 'monkey see;monkey do'! We covered all that I hoped to and I am definitely now confident to take my sons out scrambling. We are all looking forward to increasing our experience.
AM - Custom Scrambling - August 2010
I have paid the rest of the money by paypal!
we had a really good time, thanks a lot!
FK - Climbing Outside - July 2010
I hope you are well. Many thanks for a great couple of days climbing instruction. I feel that under your guidance we made a lot of progress from our very basic starting level. Your whole approach was very methodical and clear - as well as a lot of fun!..............
I have spoken with my family and we would like to visit you and do some climbing over the Christmas/New Year period in Spain.............
I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
SW - Outdoor Climbing - July 2010
We had a great time despite the weather on Saturday. Cat was an excellent instructor and I think she covered exacly what we wanted. Our intention now is to return to N. Wales and practice what we were taught.
DH - Learn to Lead - July 2010
Just a quick line to say that we had a fantastic two days climbing with Pete.
I've managed to retain some of your equipment - a small screw-gate karabiner and two prusick cords - which I will
post on to you.
Thank you for all your help.
Best Wishes from D and MK - Scrambling/Climbing - July 2010
Some pictures follow once we’ve downloaded them all and chosen the best (you took some really good ones- thank you!) but I wanted to write as soon as possible to thank you very much for two great days.
It was exactly what we needed (even though I had not been sure quite what we needed beforehand) and you struck the perfect balance between making us feel comfortable enough to learn and then pushing us to do things we would not have attempted otherwise. I had not thought that anyone could have convinced me to step backwards off the edge of a bit of rock but you managed it – thank you!
We have been practising our knots and are looking forward to our next day off when we can go in search of some (easy!) crags and try out our new techniques. We are also determined to brave the climbing wall.
M+NR - Climbing Outside - July 2010
I wish to say thank's for a great days climbing. I was really
delighted by the cliffs at south stack. Please thank Rory
for making (it)such an easy climb(ing day). It was also my first
trad climb which has made me feel I would like to try leading
myself on a trad route. Who knows maybe I'll be back one day
and take a few tips from yourself or Rory.
Thanks again I really had a good time.
AT - Guided Climbing - July 2010
We had an excellent weekend with Pete, despite the horrible conditions on the Sunday. He’s a very clear teacher, as well as a good guy, and as a result it was a fun and highly constructive couple of days.......
SB - Climbing Outside / Learn to Lead - July 2010
Our thanks for excellent climbing - it proved great fun, instructional and hit the nail on the head for difficulty, height exposure etc for our group.
Particular thanks also for your flexibility matching to the weather to hit a lovely sunny day.
Great instruction - we will certainly recommend you to friends - Thank you
with very best
GR - Climbing Taster - July 2010
Hope you like this photo of you and KJ....Thank you so much for a wonderful experience.
RW - Abseiling - July 2010
I just wanted to thank you so much for the course: it really went above and beyond my expectations, and I shall most certainly be back for more! :-)
HJ - Climbing Outside - June 2010
All three of us really enjoyed our day with Pete. It was so useful and what a fabulous guy he is. A great assessment of what we needed and delivered in such a great way with his gentle manner. The boys really liked him – and so did I. Definitely worthwhile.
Please pass on our very best to Pete and feel free to use any of this to endorse your services. I will be recommending you to any of my contacts who are contemplating climbing in Wales without any hesitation.
DVS - Climbing Outside - June 2010
Thank you for a wonderful time on Saturday - and for the suggestion about mountain biking - we had a great time doing that on Sunday. And we jumped off the tree Monday morning - that was really scary and I had to be pushed! I can't believe it was only a few days ago - back to real life and it feels forever ago.
Thank you again for a wonderful experience.
AH - Learn to Climb - April 2010
Hi, The course was brilliant, we loved every minute! The equipment provided was of very good standard and there were loads of it!we both thought Will was a outstanding instructor, he was very informative and made us feel very safe. We would definitely enjoy climbing with will again sometime in the future!
DMcH - Climbing Outside - April 2010
........You were a FANTASTIC instructor. Thank you. i bought a GRIGRi and 5 quick draws last night when i got back from Malaga so am planning to try and get sport climbing this weekend!
Thank you again and hopefully i will see you again for another course.
RH - Climbing Outside - Spain - April 2010
.......We had a fabulous couple of days and the progress that we both made from significantly different starting points was great to witness. Cat was a fantastic tutor and delivered in a way that suited myself and Dean. At no point did we feel too out of our depth (just enough on the second day to ensure that we will always maintain huge respect for the climb and the importance of safety first!) and we remained reassured throughout the course that any difficulties could easily be resolved by Cats intervention...such is the calm and assured manner of her delivery.
Cat delivered in a completely bespoke way which was exactly what we hoped would happen and the days were continually changing as cat reassessed our abilities and suggested a variety of climbs that would challenge us but would also excite us. We were able to select climbs for day 2 that gave us the options to try different rock, climb a classic or just embed skills with some supported top roping work. We both felt that having a female instructor worked in our favour as it removed that 'top dog'/'male ego' challenge environment that can be created in a male group and instead we were able to work co-operatively and hit our course objectives in an effective, safe yet challenging way.
I must also thank you for your continuous promptness on e-mails and your work in identifying us such a good instructor. This follow up e-mail just confirms in my mind how professional your company is and I would not hesitate to recommend you, the rock climbing company and also Cat to any people who are interested in developing their 'outdoor skills'.
LT and DM - Outdoor Climbing/Lead Climbing - Snowdonia - April 2010
just wanted to say we had a great day with pete (and will), they were really excellent and totally tailored the day to our requests. we covered loads and did some great climbing. can't wait to visit again.
CH - Climbing Outside - March 2010
thanks again for the great week! I think I really made considerable progress and, even more important, had lots of fun.
I hope weather is stable in Spain, business is good, and all your clients are nice and keen :-)
MF - Learn to Lead Climb - Spain - April 2010
........ I’d just like to reiterate what we said in Spain. We found your instruction to be utterly professional with a meticulous eye to detail. The four of us both learned a tremendous amount and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I must bring tape and super glue to repair fingers next time!
PR, RW, JJ and Phil - Custom Lead Climbing/Performance Coaching -February 2010
Thanks so much for a fantastic week, for all your encouragement and expertise, and also for the lovely chats at the crag and for showing me your beautiful area. I have learned such a lot, and climbed some hard grades... for me! You've been a great companion too.
I cant wait to get outside again and put everything into practice.
Would love to think that I might come back next spring - I've really had a great time. Please keep in touch. I've attached some photos
IMcK - Performance Coaching - Feb 10
"Many Thanks" again for a great week. so much to remember and good fun, I was quite nervous and apprehensive when I arrived wondering if I had made a mistake...but it turned out to be excellent, really enjoyed it.
SW - Custom Fast Track Instructor Course - Feb 10
I’ve been putting off contacting you for a while as I know you said you get lots of emails and I know it takes a lot of time to plan your schedule etc.
I wanted to say thank you for all your help on the course and for parting with your experience. I enjoyed it very much and I’m focusing on putting a lot of it into practice this year.
CH - Learn to Lead - December 09
here are some pictures I made in the cave and the mountains on the second day...:-) I hope you are fine and everything's ok?!? As I really enjoyed climbing with you (...and speaking/hearing spanish)
I would like to come another week (5 days) in december. Is that possible and what week/time could that be, if so?
All the best from rainy Germany and my best wishes
UH - Lead Climbing - October and December 2009
Wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for a great week climbing. My objective of gaining confidence to independently climb outdoors was more than met.
RS - November 09 - Climbing Outdoors-
Well done on completing Golpe de calor – what a great route.
Since I left Spain training and climbing has been going well. I successfully completed the CWA assessment last week and flashed a 7a at the Westview wall in Preston.
I’m just starting the next 3 week phase of maximum strength training having concentrated on doing lots of long routes at Stockport and other walls to improve stamina throughout November. Footwork and resting has definitely improved.
I had a great time in Spain – thanks again.
MM - November 09 - Performance Coaching
Myself and my friend Joe did a scrambling course with you
last year, which was great, we both really enjoyed and learn't so much,
and we have been out doing as much as we can, and we are both still
So, next year we want to come and do a 2 day outdoor/lead climbing course, with yourself, so we can start doing some trad routes. When do you start your course's in wales next year?
LB - Rebooking for 2010 after a course in 2009.
Just wanted to let you know we had a great time on Saturday, Martin was great and we both learnt a lot. Thanks for your help
CK - October 09 - Climbing Outside
Hi Silvia and Alun,
I just want to pass on a HUGE thank you for a fantastic day! Paul was really impressed by the experience and has left him hungry for more! I want to also stress how brilliant Alun was too, we raved about him the whole way home...he was informative, patient, gave really good advice and generally a fab instructor...so thank you Alun! Also thanks for endeavouring to give Paul a great experience and the 'hard climb' he so persistently wanted once he got a little more confident towards the end of the day...I know it was a tricky situation when all the other climbers had nabbed the hot spots, but with diligence you found the perfect spot for our last climb, and he really appreciated that...so thank you so much!
EM - October 09 - Climbing Outside
I did want to express my profound thanks for your help and support in helping me achieve a ten year long ambition to walk Crib Goch....throughout you were extremely kind patient and encouraging yet firm when required.... I do not believe that I could have done it without your knowledge, skill, support and experience....I hope and believe I will meet you again on one of your courses.
CS - September 09 - Snowdon via Crib Goch
Hope you had a great weekend and made it to Spain!
I just wanted to say thanks for a great few days climbing last week, we really enjoyed it and learnt so much!....
RS - September 09 - Climbing Outside - Snowdonia
Thank you very much for your patience and explanations on safety and step by step procedures for climbing.....You are a fantastic instructor and i learned a lot from you. Please enjoy the Swiss treats...
SK - August 09 - Learn to Climb in Spain ( Plus a big box of Swiss choccies!)
could you pass on our thanks to Martin and Darren for an amazing and memorable day - enjoyed by all.
Thanks. I'm sure we'll be back for more.
SR - August 09 - Climbing Taster Snowdonia
I am sorry that it has taken me weeks to send you this email. I have thought of you often since my return home and have wanted to tell you how very much I appreciated our time together. You are a fabulous guide for not only climbing, but also for living life. I feel that it’s been a blessing to know you, to learn climbing with you, to laugh together. It was a great time!
Since returning to the US, I have managed to find a few climbing groups in my area and have been out for several days of climbing here. It’s been wonderful to get back into the sport. I’ll look forward to climbing with you again in the future –and hopefully, my skill set will be greater when that happens J
Take good care of yourself.
CS - August 09 - Learn to Climb Spain
Gracias otra vez por un dia fantastico de escalada! Te mando 2 fotos de tu que son buenas. Suerte en todo, y llamame cuando vienes a los EEUU para escalar.
KK - Climbing in Spain
I just wanted to say what a wonderful time the girls and I had last week with climbing and abseiling. I appreciate we were spoiled with having 2 instructors to the 3 of us, however, we had a great time. Please pass on our thanks to the guys, they were very patient, extremely helpful and their instructions were really clear (very helpful with 2 girls under 10 that rarely listen to their mum!), no doubt we'll be back again next year, although my daughters now have the climbing bug!
SB - August 2009 - Climbing Taster
A late note to thank you both and say that me and the boys had a wonderful time last week and thoroughly enjoyed our climb. I hope to see you next year for another session.
JO - August 2009 - Climbing Taster
We had a fantastic time on our two day scrambling course with you in July....Our via ferrata holiday in Italy is early September and I feel that I need another day with instruction...... I would be really grateful if you could help us out in any way.
DK - July 09 - Advanced Scrambling
I left a message on your answerphone, but just in case you don't get it ... Thank you for a wonderful couple of days. We had a really good time both walking with Martin and doing the climbing work with Tom. We will definitely recommend it!
KK - July 2009 - Mountain Skills
The following is from an Introduction to climbing course in February 09 in Spain:
I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for an amazing break...I really enjoyed myself...
Silvia received the following note of thanks after a 2 day Learn to Lead course that took place in September 2008 at Tryfan Bach in Ogwen and Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey :
Just like to say thank you again for a fantastic weekend, it was great to meet and learn from you. We both came away feeling energised and excited, and we look forward to putting into practice everything we have learned (except how to get out of trouble) Julie found the climbs on Holyhead a little scary, and thanks to your constant encouragement and help was able to complete them.
All sports should have a Silvia to help and encourage new comers, and promote their sports with enthusiasm and passion.
I hope to travel to Spain in Oct 2009 to attend an improvers course, I am very interested in technique, being small it is essential to move to higher levels.
Look forward to meeting you again, thank you very much for your patients (sic) and guidance.
The following is from a Learn to Lead Climb held in December in Spain:
THANK YOU so much for our two days of climbing with you. We really
loved it, both of us got so much out of it, despite our different
previous experience. We really appreciated all your effort and
especially the help with the extra cold weather. We couldn't believe
how hot it was the last two days before we left.
Anyway, it was great to meet you, thank you and we hope to be back
Thanks too for being photographer as well!