Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Rock Climbing Instruction, Guiding and Coaching
in North Wales and Spain


Sea cliff climbing on Castell Helen Gogarth.


Silvia Fitzpatrick at Frey Refugio, Bariloche, Argentina


Rope work, rescues and problem solving


El Chamizo summit





Rock Climbing Company

- General Course Information -

There is some general information below on various aspects of our courses - click on the topic title to go directly to that topic:

General Information

The Rock Climbing Company offer a variety of flexible mountaineering courses that can easily be adapted to your own personal requirements.

We specialise is tailoring courses specifically to your requirements. The pages on this web site will, hopefully, outline the variety of mountain skills instruction that we can offer along with descriptions of the most commonly requested topics; however these are just outlines and we are more than happy to build custom courses to your specific requirements.

If you are unsure which course is the most appropriate for you or if you have a specific agenda in mind that you do not see advertised then please get in contact and we will work out a suitable itinerary.

Silvia on El Oroculo El Chorro - 8b at MakinodromoWe are very fortunate to be able to base our instruction and guiding in some fantastic areas; In Spain we can run courses and Via Ferratas in Malaga, Valencia Barcelona and Asturias

In the UK, we are based in Snowdonia, North Wales. We are situated near Betws y Coed in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and have the best mountain areas and crags on our doorstep, allowing us to offer a full range of climbing and scrambling instruction.

In between October and April Silvia runs courses in Andalucia, Southern Spain, Barcelona and Chulilla. The Spanish climbing holidays can also be offered with accommodation as we have just finished renovating a lovely house in the mountain village of Villanueva del Rosario in Andalucia. The village is surrounded by fantastic crags, hills and mountains with easy access to Malaga and Marbella, El Chorro, Loja and Archidona.

We have been climbing in all these areasknow all these areas very well and this helps us deliver effective courses that get the most out of the available time and conditions.

Frequently asked questions - FAQ

We are often asked the following questions about our climbing instruction:

What if the weather is bad?

All our climbing bases in Spain and North Wales have a wide range of venues for us to choose from - when it is too warm we can head into the mountains and if it is cold or rainy we can head down to the coast.

We can often deliver the course under 'rock roofs' inside big caves. There are climbing routes of all grades. Apart from steep climbing, they have good warm up routes with good holds and shelterd from wind and rain.

We do very occasionally - on multi-day courses - use the climbing walls if it is very wet as we can still transfer across a lot of information in this environment. We will always talk all this through with you to ensure that you are happy with the plan for the day.

In the last 10 years we have not had to cancel a single course because of bad weather - we do generally go out in the rain on skills based courses because a bit of rain by itself does not stop the learning process.

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/dry and cold/wet 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 constant rain, or snow).

If a course is canceled because of dangerous conditions, you may transfer to another course date for a near or distant future or to another person of your choice.


Where can I stay?

If you are coming on a Spanish course to Malaga we can usually arrange or suggest appropriate accommodation for you either at our base or in a local hotel or villa. We also have close contacts with the Olive Branch at El Chorro. The Olive Branch can offer a variety of accommodation to climbers and is situated directly below the climbing sector of Las Encantadas and within easy walking distance of all the other climbing sectors at El Chorro.


f needed you should book accommodation to suit your needs be it hotel, B&B, bunkhouse or camping.

Snowdonia has a host of options to choose from and you may wish to visit our Snowdonia accommodation page for accommodation recommendations and suggestions.




Do I require insurance ?

it is not compulsory but 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 British Mountaineering Council, you can take advantage of their insurance services via The BMC web site or the company Snowcard provide insurance for outdoor activities.



How fit do I need to be?

Our activities will always be conducted in a manner compatible to your current level of experience and competency. 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; all such information will of course, be treated in the strictest confidence. If you have any doubts or require clarification, please contact us via email



Why Choose 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.

Montefrio cragAll 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.

Prices can also be found in each course section.

Course payment can be made by Paypal (subject to a 4.5% fee) or Bank WireTransfer (BACS)

We ask for a 50% deposit for all courses.

What is included in the price:

What is not included in the course price:


Can we hire climbing equipment or Via Ferrats kit?

All the other eqipment can only be hired if we are not usin git, so please contact us with your individual enquiry

How long is my course?

Taster rock climbing sessions and Via Ferrats normally last between 0.5 and 1 day. All other instruction can be any length from 1 to 4 days or more.

Many learners find that there is a great benefit in having one rest day after 3 days of instruction. We can be flexible and arrange a schedule that includes one or more rest days because it allows you to recover and reinforce all the newly learnt skills, allowing time to enjoy your trip and course.

Longer courses can be tiring so we can include some rest days as it is and it is worth coming to the course fresh and fit to get the most from it.

A half day course will last around 3.5/4 hours and a full day course with normally last 7 - 7.5 hours. Courses will normally start around 10:00hrs depending on travel arrangements and the chosen venue. The finish time tends to happen at a natural point around 17:00 - 18:00hrs.

There will be exceptions - sometimes we start earlier or later to get the most out of the conditions or to fit into your plans; sometimes we will run a really long day so that we can do a big route and then start a bit later the following day. The key thing is that we will try to give you an enjoyable, informative course that meets your expectations and requirements.


The normal way bookings happen is that a potential client contacts us with an enquiry and we then supply information on courses, prices, dates and instructors. Once we have agreed a course outline, price and dates then you can book the course by filling in a Booking Form and paying a deposit.



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 that can easily be arranged.

Mountaineering Qualifications

We are an independent company coordinated by Silvia Fitzpatrick and most of our courses are delivered by Silvia together with a grea team of fully qualified insructors.

Silvia holds the Mountain Leader (ML), Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) and Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA,(1369) and is a full member of both the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Training Association. Association of Mountaineering Instructors LogoMountain Leader Training Association Logo






In the event that Silvia is unable to personally instruct the course we will try to find an alternative instructor - all our associate instructors are professionally qualified to the relevant national qualification and fully insured. In addition we only use instructors who we know and share our passion for the mountains.


All specialist safety 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.

Coiling ropes

Dangerous Activities

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:


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.



If needed you should book accommodation to suit your needs be it hotel, B&B, bunkhouse or camping.

Snowdonia has a host of options to choose from and you may wish to visit our Snowdonia accommodation page 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 or villa. We also have close contacts with the Olive Branch at El Chorro. The Olive Branch can offer a variety of accommodation to climbers and is situated directly below the walls of Las Encantadas and within easy walking distance of all the other climbing sectors at El Chorro.






About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2008 Rock Climbing Company

Rock Climbing Courses | Mountain Scrambling Courses | Mountain Skills & Navigation Courses