Climbing & Abseiling in Snowdonia & North Wales
The climbing and abseiling taster course can be run either as a stand alone adventure or as part of a larger outdoor activity adventure.
The climbing and abseiling session normally lasts between 4hrs and a full day and we supply all of the technical safety equipment.
We can look after after parties of all sizes: individuals, couples and large groups
Prior to the course starting I will be in regular contact with the clients in order to ensure that the course meets their requirements - although the term 'Beginners Climbing' might seem a bit generic people have very different needs and expectations - some want an adventurous experience for their family with the emphasis on fun and excitement, others will want to concentrate on the technical aspects of climbing so that when they finish the course they have the core skills needed to climb independently and safely.
The night before the course starts I will check the weather and finalise a venue/meeting place for the first day. One of the great things about Snowdonia is the number of micro climates - it can be blowing horribly and throwing down buckets in one valley and yet 10 miles away in another venue it can be dry and fairly still.
We sometimes start the course at the wall, but climbing in Snowdonia is all about climbing outside and so most times we will head straight for the crag. On the first day we will go to a low level crag with relatively easy access so that people can concentrate on learning the core skills without feeling intimidated.
At the crag we will distribute the equipment and I'll explain the basics of how everything works together to create the safety system - I find passing on this knowledge of how strong everything is helps build confidence. It also keeps everyone involved whilst I set up the first 'top-rope'. All of the climbing on a beginners course is done on 'top rope' i.e. the client is always protected by a rope above them.
Once the rope is set-up I'll demonstrate the basic climbing movements and show how the route can be climbed.... then we'll start climbing ...initially I'll control the rope and demonstrate how the belay devices (rope brakes) work.
A key thing at this stage is to get everyone to have confidence in the rope; so at ground level I ask people to lean back on the tightened rope and commit their full body weight to it...once trust is installed then minds open up, learning becomes much easier and people move more fluidly.
Once climbing and with the basics covered we'll then start moving the course in the direction that the clients want at a pace that they are comfortable with. Thus for example on a recent 2 day course I had a 4 clients all with differ ant skill levels and reasonably different requirements, but by setting them different tasks appropriate to their requirements everybody came away from the course happy - the couple who wanted to learn about the more technical aspects of setting up belays and placing climbing equipment worked with an assistant instructor at the top of the crag for part of the day looking at these skills whilst the couple who were complete beginners did loads of climbing, learnt to belay and tried abseiling.
Above all this is an exciting, fun filled day to give you a taste of the world of climbing and hopefully it will inspire you on to join your local climbing wall or climbing club and gain more experience ... or you could come back and join us for the more advanced two day Learn to Climb Rock Course.
Dates, venues and duration of the courses are by arrangement and totally customisable. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Becoming A Climbing Instructor
There are several paths that you can take to become a professional climbing instructor. The route you choose will depend on what you want to teach, what level you want to teach at and where in the world you want to teach.
In the UK the MLTUK (Mountain Leader Training UK http://www.mltuk.org/index.html) is the co-ordinating body for all mountain training schemes and awards in the UK.
It supervises some schemes directly and works closely with the other supervising bodies - the four home nation boards: (MLTE, MLTNI, MLTS and MLTW) and the Association of British Mountain Guides (BMG)
The climbing qualifications available are:
i. Climbing Wall Award - stand alone award for working in climbing walls.
ii. Single Pitch Award - stand alone award for looking after groups operating on single pitch crags with top rope systems only.
iii. Mountain Instructor Award - Award holders can teach all aspects of rock climbing, mountain skills and scrambling in non-winter conditions. Needs the Mountain Leader (Summer Award) as a pre-requisite to application. The award for those wanting to teach rock climbing in the mountains of the UK. The MIA remit and insurance also allows them to work in several European countries.
iv. Mountain Instructor Certificate - Award holders can teach all aspects of climbing and mountain skills in both summer and winter conditions. Needs the Mountain Leader (Summer) Award, MIA and Mountain Leader (Winter) Award as a pre-requisite to application. The award for those who want to teach both rock and ice climbing in the UK and often a spring board for those who want to work abroad as a British Mountain Guide.
v. British Mountain Guide: A stand alone award run by the British Association of Mountain Guides that allows the holder to work internationally and covers all aspects of mountaineering, climbing and skiing. The award meets the standards laid down by the European Guides Commission (EGC) and is ratified by the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA), formerly referred to as the Union Internationale des Associations de Guides de Montagne (UIAGM).
There is also the International Mountain Leader award that lets holders guide clients on non-glaciated terrain in the mountains. This also needs the Mountain Leader (Summer Award) as a pre-requisite to application.
The Mountain Leader (summer and winter courses) are awards that cover the core mountain skills such as navigation and safety on steep ground.
Full details on the awards can be found on and via the MLTUK web site.
The awards normally involve a training course, a period of consolidation/gaining further experience and then an assessment; thus gaining the higher awards takes a long time i.e often between 3 and 5 years.
All of the awards place a lot of emphasis on gaining real-life experience and this can be quite demanding if you are holding a day job in the meantime.
All the higher courses (MIA and MIC) have to be done at a national mountain centre (Plas Y Brenin in North Wales or Glenmore Lodge in Scotland) thus living close to one of these areas gives you a real advantage as you will have easy access to the areas in which you will be tested. Plus in this small world it is inevitable that you will start mixing with other instructors who will pass on invaluable information.
Routes into becoming a Climbing Instructor.
i. Part-time: Hold down your day job and use (all) your leisure time to train and work up through the awards. Only viable up to MIA, but after this you should be able to find work reasonably easily.
ii. Go on an intensive course that will fast track you through the basic awards/experience so that you are then employable by an centre/can start to freelance. The Plas Y Brenin offers fast track courses .Fast, but not cheap.
iii. Some larger centres offer placements whereby you work for them for a pittance, but in return get to work alongside the instructors. A good way of learning a lot fast.The Plas Y Brenin offer this type of placement each year, but the places are normally hotly contested.
iv. Outdoor Education Courses: There are lots available - see Bluedome. Bangor University is also popular because of it's location to the Welsh Mountains and the Plas Y Brenin. You will need the access qualifications and, most probably, access to student grants/loans.
Equipment provided by the Rock Climbing Company:. We will provide all technical equipment for this climbing course, including ropes, climbing equipment plus a helmet and harness for each client.
What you need to provide:. You will need to provide suitable warm clothing for the time of year, a full set of waterproofs (top and trousers) and walking boots. We can arrange hire rock shoes if required. You will also need a rucksack (30 - 40 litre capacity) and food and drink for the day.
What is not included. Prices do not include, transport, accommodation, meals or insurance. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate insurance cover (obtainable from Snowcard / 01327 262 805 or The British Mountaineering Council / 0870 010 4878).
Ratios and course sizes. A Climbing and Abseiling taster course can be arranged for groups of virtually all sizes - from couples to families and larger corporate parties.
Prices. A list of all prices are found below: All prices include VAT
|Type of Course
4 hrs climbing indoors or outdoors
1:1 to 1:4
£90 all inclusive
8 hrs climbing indoors or outdoors
1:1 to 1:6
£150 all inclusive
£40 per person per day
We can run longer courses and in this case each additional day is charged at £125 per day on top of the base 2 day price above.
Dates, venues and duration of all of the climbing courses are by arrangement and totally customisable. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
The full terms and conditions are on the booking page
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information