Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Learn to Lead Climb Courses. Sport and Traditional Climbing
in North Wales and Snowdonia










Lead climbing course in North Wales











Learning to lead climb on Milestone buttress in North Wales












Jumaring alongside clients on a learn to lead course



















Start Lead Climbing - Sport & Traditional Climbing


Coaching and Instruction






Learning to lead climb is one of the biggest and most important steps that rock climbers have to make. Lead climbing requires more commitment, more skills and involves greater risk, but the rewards are worth it. -independence and an amazing sense of achievement.


Whether you wish to start leading sport or traditional climbs -or both of them- this course will help you to make the transition to becoming a lead climber easier and it will give you the confidence and skills to start leading your own rock climbs in safety.



What will you learn?



Rates per person -full day & half day session-

full day session

1 person: £190 - 2 people: £95 - 3 people: £75 -

4 people: £65


1/2 day session

1 person: £130 - 2 people: £65 - 3 people: £55 -

4 people: £45


In order to book, you first need to contact us via email with your availability and aspirations. Once we agree on the dates, you will need to fill in a booking form and pay a 50% deposit (or the full fee), either by bank transfer -free of charge at our end- or via Paypal subject to a 4.5% fee.


When we receive your e-mail we will get back to you to confirm our availability for the dates you request. Please make sure you contact us before and after submitting the booking form and payment so that we can schedule your course and email you all the details you will need.


Additional Information on the Learn to Lead Course in North Wales and Snowdonia


A lot of your early lead climbs will be done with the instructor moving on a fixed line alongside you and helping out as required. The additional confidence gained from leading your first rock climbs with a climbing instructor close by makes the experience exciting and fun rather than nerve racking -and potentially dangerous-.

The course content and duration will depend on your experience and what you want to learn - leading sport climbing, leading trad climbs or both disciplines.

If your aim is to learn to lead on bolts, there are several sport climbing crags on the North Wales coast and also in the slate quarries in Llanberis

These two great sport climbing areas are ideal to learn how to climb on bolts outside. You will be able to sport climb anywhere in the world. If you haven't lead climbed indoors, the skills you will get will also allow you to lead climb indoors safely.

If you also want to learn how to climb with traditional protection (nuts, wires and cams) we can give you a good insight of what is involved in the same course

Learning to trad lead placing your own protection involves a relatively big jump in terms of climbing skills, but once mastered allows you to climb independently on many classic routes throughout the UK.

It is also quite possible to mix together parts of the Climbing Outdoors course with parts of a Learn to Lead Climb course for those who have a good indoor grounding and want a fast, thorough introduction to climbing in a traditional environment outside.

On the course itself, we will normally spend a lot of time looking at the practical side of lead climbing: placing bomb proof gear, constructing safe top anchors and managing rope systems. However, we also try to cover the tactical and psychological aspects of leading - so we look at planning the route, choosing the rack, reducing rope drag, resting and relaxing so that you can move fluidly with safety and confidence.

We normally base our trad climbing courses in the Snowdonia mountains, the sea cliffs at Gogarth or Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey - we use these dramatic settings to make your first leads as memorable as possible.

We can teach lead climbing on any style of route - bolted sports climbs, single pitch traditional routes where you place your own protection and multi pitch trad climbs.

This is a relatively advanced course and in order to get the most from it you should ideally have experience of roped climbing outside and know how to belay a climbing partner in both top-roping and bottom-roping situations.

All the climbing instruction is based on progressive teaching and we normally try to spend both days climbing on single or multi-pitch crags. The instruction ideally runs on a 1:2 or 1:4 ratio and the days will be carefully tailored to suit your abilities and aspirations. There will never be any pressure to lead routes out of your comfort zone.

If you prefer warmer weather we also offer Learn to Lead Climb courses in Spain where we can also provide accommodation and hopefully a bit of sun.

The content and duration can be totally structured to your needs.

Private courses are easy to arrange - just let us know what you would like to learn, when you would like the course and the number of people attending and we will get back to you with an itinerary. Prices and booking information for private courses is set out below followed by some useful information on placing nuts and cams.


Rates per person -full day & half day session-

full day session

1 person: £190 - 2 people: £95 - 3 people: £75 -

4 people: £65


1/2 day session

1 person: £130 - 2 people: £65 - 3 people: £55 - 4 people: £45



In order to book, you first need to contact us with your availability and aspirations.Once we agree on the dates, you will need to fill in a booking form and pay a 50% deposit -or the full fee- either by bank transfer -free of charge at our end- or via Paypal subject to a 4.5% fee.


When we receive your enquiry, we will get back to you to confirm our availability for the dates you have requested. Please make sure you contact us before and after submitting your booking form and payment so that we can schedule your course and email you all the details you will need.




Learn to Lead Climb Courses - Sport & Traditional Climbing

Snowdonia and North Wales


Sorting out the Lead Rack

The Learn to Lead Climb course will get you leading your own rock climbs independently and safely. The course normally lasts between two and four days depending on your personal level of experience and on whether you wish to learn to lead sport climbs, trad climbs or both disciplines.

This climbing course is best run on a ratio of 1:2. However,it is perfectly feasible to run it at 1:1 and 1:3 ratio. Sometimes, it can be also run with a ratio of 1:4 for example on sport climbing courses.

This instructor/client ratio is used because the climbing instructor often needs to be ascendng on a static rope alongside the leader, advising them on the options available, checking the correct ropework and gear placements and be ready to step in if the leader finds the route too difficult. This means that, ideally, the leader should have a separate, competent belayer looking after his/her ropes.

We are based in the Snowdonia National park near Betws Y Coed and can run the course at a variety of venues depending on the weather and the type of climbing and routes you want to do - the North Wales coast, the Ogwen Valley, the the Llanberis Pass, Moelwyns, Tremadog and Holyhead Mountain are all great climbing areas .

Initially, we will make sure you have the core techniques needed to keep yourself and your partner safe whilst leading and seconding climbs; we will run cover in depth ropework, teamwork (such as the correct climbing calls), belaying partners in various situations, setting up safe top anchors and stance management.

This also allows us to look at placing climbing protection and building bomb-proof safety systems - knowing that you have clipped the carabiners and quickdraws correctly together with knowing how to set solid nuts, slings and cams placements are key factors that increase confidence and, more importantly, keep you safe when on the lead.

We will then run through the various scenarios that can occur when leading your first pitches and together we will choose some routes for you to climb from the local guide books.

We'll check out the climbs from below and try to "read" the route to gain some insight into the moves, rests and equipment needed to climb it. Once we've checked out the route we should rack up the harness.



When the leading starts we will normally be alongside you on a static rope, staying by you as you make your way up the route. We will double check your gear, offer advice and suggest alternative solutions so that you get a broad base of climbing knowledge to build on.

Once at the belay stance, we will ensure that you build a safe anchor with bombproof gear before bringing up your partner. Once both climbers are at the stance and safely tied into the anchors we will then look at methods of either retreating off the route or swapping the lead to the second climber safely, so that the new leader can continue up a multi-pitch route.

The content on a Learn to Lead Course can vary depending on your aspirations and level of experience, but it normally includes:

  • Choosing routes and understanding guidebook terminology.
  • Getting ready to lead the climb - the importance of choosing the correct climbing equipment, 'racking' your gear correctly on your harness and evaluating the climb. The 'rack' is the collection of climbing hardware carried on your harness or bandolier (wide sling across your shoulders) that you use to protect the climb.
  • Communication - ensuring that both members of the team can communicate effectively, even in adverse conditions
  • Clipping the rope efficiently and safely into carabiners and quickdraws.
  • Anticipating problems and avoiding them.
  • Buiding and managing safe top anchors.
  • Falling safely and in control.
  • Retreating down a crag: abseils and basic problem solving.
  • For Trad Climbing: placing protection - using cams (4CU's, Friends and Camalots), wires (Wallnuts and Rocks) and hexes and how to make a climb as safe as possible. There are several different ways of placing climbing equipment to make the most of the rock features and your gear.
  • Reading the route - looking ahead, checking out possible gear placements, plan which footholds you will use, evaluate the various sequence options, look for the resting positions and move confidently between them.

We can provide all the technical climbing equipment for the course and have an extensive collection of hardware from the main climbing brands if you want to try different climbing equipment during the course.

There is an overview of our courses and their content on the General Information page and this also includes the answers to some common questions. Plus we have a Tips and Advice page with information on climbing equipment and techniques.

If you need information on where to stay then the Accommodation in North Wales page might be useful.





Climbing Protection in traditional climbing - Choosing the right equipment


Choosing and placing climbing protection is a key skill that must be mastered if you are considering leading trad (traditional) routes.

Protection is a generic term for the climbing equipment that a climber places in the rock to act as a temporary anchor point in the event of needing to sit on the harness to rest or a fall. There are three main types of protection:

  • Slings
  • Passive Protection - wallnuts, wires, nuts + hexes.
  • Active Protection - camming devices.


1. Climbing Slings


Small cam in a pocketThese are normally commercially manufactured from high strength tape that is sewn into an open loop sling with multiple bar tacks binding the two ends together. The slings are used by climbers in two ways - used as a direct anchor by being threaded through or around rock features or being used as a connector to extend a safety system.

The most common lengths of slings carried by climbers are:

1. 60cm (4ft) - These slings have a linear length of 60cm and a circumference of (about) 4 feet and you will often hear them being referred to by both names. This length of sling is great for extending runners on long pitches and for connecting yourself quickly into anchors before setting up the main rope belay. Very skinny versions of this sling are brilliant for using as extendable quickdraws.

2. 120cm (8ft) - Probably the most popular and overall most useful length. Great for rigging belays, slinging over spikes and generally linking items together.

3. 240cm (16ft) - Really useful for setting up belays, but generally too long to haul up routes.

Slings and their properties

The most common slings carried by climbers today are generically referred to as "dyneema" slings. Dyneema is the registered trademark name of an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre that is manufactured and licensed by the company DSM. There are other producers making very similar UHMWPE fibers with different trade names - Honeywell's Spectra being a key example.

Slings that use UHMWPE fibres in their construction have gained in popularity because of their low weight and bulk combined with high tensile strength. UHMWPE slings used in climbing always have a second component - normally nylon - that is used to add durability to the finished product. Dyneema fibres are very hard to dye and so the vast majority of dyneema thread is white in colour. Thus when you look at a dyneema sling the coloured fibres are (generally) nylon (very occasionally polyester) and the whites fibres are dyneema.

The other main material used for making climbing slings is nylon.

Each material has advantages and disadvantages.

Climbing slings sold within the EU countries have to be able to hold a force of 22kN as defined in EN566:2007. Nylon tape can not hit this minimum value consistently unless it is 15 -16mm wide, whereas dyneema slings can meet this value at widths as low as 6 - 8mm; thus dyneema slings can be dramatically narrower, lighter and more compact than a nylon sling with equivalent strength. A narrow sling allows the climber to thread it through narrower constrictions / gaps and this is a considerable advantage.

The durability of any sling will depend on the exact composition of its fibres and how those fibres are woven together, however it is fair to say that nylon slings are generally more durable than dyneema slings - resisting abrasion better and being more resistant to fluffing/pulled threads. Always look for a nice tight weave on skinny slings.

The other disadvantages with dyneema / spectra slings are mainly related to their physical properties that makes them less tolerant of user error / poor practice.

These properties are the relatively low melting point of UHMWPE fibres (144 - 152 degrees Celsius), low friction (similar in value to Teflon) and an innate inelasticity.

Low melting point is often cited as a disadvantage of dyneema, however you would need to be fairly dumb to get a failure caused by melting. Key things to avoid would be using dyneema slings as prusics ( they wont work very well either) and avoid larks footing skinny dyneema slings and then bouncing on them directly or indirectly via a top rope system.

The low friction of UHMWPE fibres leads to poor knot-holding ability so don't ever think about constructing your own dyneema sling - even with a super-duper-ultra safe knot. It will unravel when you least want it to.

The innate inelasticity of dyneema means that it does not take well to being shock loaded - i.e. avoid building direct belays using dyneema slings and especially don't 'shorten' them with an overhand knot or two.



2. Passive Climbing Protection


These are normally aluminium or soft metal wedges attached to a loop of steel wire, tape or cord that are placed in narrowing cracks or restrictions in the rock face. Nuts are manufactured in many different varieties.

They are often referred to as 'wires' and 'nuts'.

There are 3 general groups:

  • Micros - RP's, DMM IMP's and BD Swedges
  • Standard - DMM Wallnuts, DMM Offsets, WC Rocks and Metolius Curve Nuts.
  • Large - Hexcentrics (Hexes), WC Rockcentrics and DMM Torques

Micro wire placementa. Micros: These are the smallest nuts in a climbers arsenal, they are generally weaker than larger nuts because they can only be threaded/connected to thinner and, hence, weaker wire. They are invaluable in protecting harder climbs because they fit where nothing else will go.

Micros are either manufactured by silver soldering a 'brass' nut onto a stainless steel wire or swaging an aluminium alloy nut onto a steel wire. There is a lot of nonsense bounced around about silver soldered nuts being a lot stronger than swaged nuts - most of which is either exaggerated or based on falsehoods. The ultimate strength of a nut in a laboratory environment will depend on the thickness of the wire used - the thicker the wire the stronger the nut. On any given size of nut there is maximum size of wire that can be inserted into it - no matter whether soldered of swaged.

Add to this the fact that standard steel wire as used on swaged nuts has a higher tensile strength than the stainless steel wire that must be used on soldered nuts.

Thus an examination of rated strengths shows an equivalence between soldered and swaged nuts. The RP nuts generally are rated higher than other brands, but based on a knowledge of stainless steel wire strengths it may be that these strengths are based on mean rather than 3 sigma strengths. The RP 2 however is a clear winner - the ability to put a 2.0mm wire in a nut head of this size make the nut very strong compared to everything else.

There is a comparison table of micro wires on the Micro Nuts page.

The best micros currently available are RPs - small brass nuts with a slight, fairly regular taper that are silver soldered onto stainless steel wire. RP's were the designed by Roland Pauligk in Australia and every brass nut is still meticulously crafted by Roland in Australia. They don't have a CE certificate and so can't be sold in Europe, but sizes 2 + 3 are invaluable to any extreme leader.

BD Swedges are OK, but their high hardness (90 Rockwell) means they just don't bite into marginal placements as well as RP's (70 Rockwell), plus their wire is too stiff and can lead to them being dislodged more easily if they are not extended properly.

DMM also now have a couple of ranges of silver soldered micro nuts available and these look good - I have been using these DMM IMPs for the last 9 months and they are every bit as good as RP's.

The swaged alloy micro nuts (i.e. DMM Micro Wallnuts) offer greater, surface contact which is an important consideration as a common mechanism for failure in real life is the nut pulling through the placement. Once again the devil is in the detail - using a stronger 7075 aluminium alloy nut as on the DMM Micro Wallnuts gives extra holding power compared to a softer 6000 series alloy.

Micros in the greater scheme of things are relatively weak (2kN to 8kN), so always try to place them in clusters, tell your belayer to give a soft, dynamic belay in the event of a fall and use a nylon ripstop/screamer to slow down/limit the load applied to the nuts. ( Dyneema ripstops are pretty useless - they can't absorb enough energy - use nylon ripstops, but be aware that even they have a limit to the amount of energy they can absorb)

b. Standard Nuts

These are the mainstay of any climbers arsenal so choose wisely because although the may look similar there are significant differences in how they perform.

In general these nuts are manufactured by swaging alloy nuts onto steel wire. The shape of the nut head, the thickness of the nut walls, the alloy material used and the thickness and construction of the wire will together dictate the overall performance and characteristics of the nut.

In general the basic, slightly tapered wedges should be avoided - they just don't sit well in a lot of placements.

In my opinion the best nuts on the market at the moment are:

i. DMM Wallnuts - Great shape that allows really versatile placements, but also makes them harder to clean...but then that's the seconds problem and stopping a fall is the main priority. They are also light.

ii. WC Rocks - The other main nut used in the UK - good all round shape. The 'Classic' rocks should be avoided - heavy copies of the real thing.

Offset placementiii. DMM Offsets - The biggest surprise in existing equipment for me in the last 10 years - a totally brilliant shape that works so, so well - based on the HB design and a good reminder of the genius of Hugh Banner. It is just a pity that there are only 5 sizes.

iv. Metolius Superlight Curve Nuts - great nuts that work really well.

The Zero G and BD nuts are horrible - ignore them - basic shapes that really limit placement options and with bendy wire that makes over-head placements difficult on the larger sizes.

UK climbers usually choose Wallnuts or Rocks as their first set, but the key thing with these mid-size nuts is maximising placement options so always try to bring variety into your rack of passive protection. Thus if your first set of nuts is Wallnuts then, perhaps, choose Rocks as your second set and then supplement these with DMM Alloy Offsets or Metolius Curve Nuts.

c. Large Nuts - Hexcentrics

A small collection of large hexcentric nuts can often prove really useful, especially when you are starting out and have a limited selection of medium or large cams.

The best large nuts are the new DMM Torque as they lock /cam into placements really well, cover a wide size range per unit and can be fully extended using an integral double sling.

Wild Country Rockcentrics on dyneema are also good.

Large hexcentric nuts on wire are not as good as those on dyneema because they tend to lift out of placements more easily and offer a far more limited number of placements, although they do allow easier overhead placements.

The old style, classic Camp Hexcentrics work well, but are a bit heavy and need to be self-slung on 7mm or 8mm accessory cord.

There is more on large hexcentric nuts and how to use them effectively on the Learn to Lead Climb in Spain page

Plus there is more climbing and scrambling information on the Climbing Advice and Tips page.





How to Choose and Place Camming Devices when rock Climbing


Camming devices are an invaluable tool for protecting rock climbs, but choosing cams for your rack and using them in the safest most effective manner requires both experience and a bit of back ground information.

We'll start by splitting cams by size i.e. there are micro cams (cam range maxing out around 2.0cm) and mainstream cams (cam range from 2.0cm upwards).

Mainstream cams can themselves be split into 3 main types: single stem, dual stem and double axle.


Micro cams


Alien Cam in PocketAliens ruled the micro cam universe until recently when a continuous series of product failures has seen them being boycotted by climbers.

The success of the Alien was a largely due to a remarkable stem that allowed the lobes to be retracted easily and yet remained exceedingly flexible in all directions. Add to this a very narrow head width, durable construction and soft alloy lobes for extra bite and the result was an awesome micro cam that nobody else came close to challenging.

The picture to the left shows an Alien in a typical placement - a very small pocket - and the ease with which it bends into line with the applied load. A stiffer stem would not bend as easily and could possible apply a levering force to the cams twisting them out of the placement before they had time to engage fully with the rock.

There are many other micro cams - probably the best are the Wild Country Zeros and the Metolius Master Cams.

The Zeros are pretty good; the original models were too short, but that has been rectified now and they have a good flexible stem with a long reach.

The Metolius cams look very good, but the flexibility of the stem is slightly restricted in one plane plus - for UK use at least - there has been some silly penny pinching done on the axle termination as it has been made from carbon rather than stainless steel and the unit seizes up remarkably quickly when used in salty conditions and not cleaned/lubricated.

xThe other unit that is widely available is the Black Diamond C3, but despite having an impressively narrow head width the stem is far too stiff for this to be recommended.

Micro cams may seem like a luxury when you are starting out, but they are amazingly useful and end up being used just as much as any other cam on my rack. I tend to carry 3 Aliens as my micro cams - the blue, green and yellow - and am just hoping that they don't wear out....

The picture on the left shows a typical micro cam placement in a thin seam - nothing else will go in anywhere along the seam, not even RP's, but a small rock fracture allows this great placement.


Mainstream Cams


There are lots of factors to weigh up when choosing cams apart from their underlying method of construction - weight, camming range, camming angle and variability of camming angle head width, head material + finish, stem flexibility, versatility of the trigger system.

The end objective is simple: protecting a climb as well as possible whilst carrying as little weight as possible; the problem is the lighter units tend to be single axle units with a lower range, whilst the units with larger ranges are relatively heavy. So the question arises - carry a greater number of lighter units with a more restricted range or less, heavier units with each one having a greater range. There is no correct answer and your rack will be built on individual preferences and personal experience. My personal preference is to use light, single stem cams on long routes because having more units means I am able to sew up routes more thoroughly.

A - Weight: Obvious, but lighter is better if it has not compromised safety. Cams are relatively heavy and saving the grams here is critical to keeping your rack light.

B- Camming Range/Angle: Climbers naturally want as much range as possible on each cam so that they cover a wide range of placements. There are several ways of doing this - the simplest method of increasing the range is done by increasing the camming angle, however increasing the camming angle decreases holding power. The generally accepted compromise is that 13.75 degrees offers the best balance between holding power and range.

DMM and Wild Country use this angle, Metolius admirably put holding power first on a lot of their cams and use a lower camming angle.

The other methods involve adding/offsetting axles and cams - the Black Diamond Double Axle C4 Camalots are the most popular big range cam and are very good. The previous generation of Camalots were really far too heavy, but the C4's are a lot lighter. The camalots do seem to still be a bit greedy on camming angle - a study in October 2008 calculated they were using an angle of 14.6 - 14.9 degrees and BD themselves reckon they use 14.5 degrees.

3CU in a small pocketC - Head Width: A narrow head width can be useful at times so that the cam can fit into pockets or pods, but this is generally more relevant to smaller/micro cams. Conversely it is also important not to make larger units too narrow and to to keep the range / width ratio within certain parameters otherwise the unit becomes unstable. One way of reducing head width is to use three rather than 4 cam lobes.

The image to the left shows a typical 3CU placement in a small pocket that would not take a standard 4 lobed unit.

D - Head Material/Finish: Using a softer alloy for the cam lobes can improve grippiness and is a potentially advantage on smaller cams (i.e. Aliens), but on larger cams there is greater risk of cams collapsing if the material is not strong enough - especially if you want to reduce weight and panel the cam lobes. Thus most larger cams use 7000 series aluminium alloy whilst smaller cams can potentially use a softer, weaker 6000 series alloy.

In all cases I always remove any anodising from the biting faces of the cam lobes as this seems to improve its holding power.

E - Stem Flexibility: This roles into the single / double stem argument quite well.Technical FriendDMM 4CU Cam

Wild Country Friends are single stem units - see left - whilst DMM 4CU units are double stem units - see right.

These units are good to compare because they both use exactly the same cam lobes as they are both manufactured by DMM. In my experience there is not much difference in versatility, action or holding power in sizes 1.0 upwards. Under size one I prefer a flexible single stem device such as the Alien or the larger WC Zeros. Even the standard single stem devices tend not to work optimally here because the axle termination are often too long.

I find both units easy to operate with and without gloves and equally good as each other in both shallow horizontal and shallow vertical cracks.

Good cam placementxShallow crack placements are the key test of any cam because this type of crack often does not allow the stem of the cam to be orientated in the direction of a potential fall. In this situation a cam should ideally be able to bend freely into the plane of the fall to avoid any leverage being imparted onto the cam head.

The images of the grey DMM 4CU show a good placement in the LH image with the stem running parallel to the rock face. The key thing here is to extend the cam so that the rope does not move the cam from it's optimum position - the double sing system on the DMM cams proves very useful here and also saves on quickdraws.

The actual cam head placement in the RH image is good, but the stem of the cam is sticking out a long way from the rock - it is in this situation that you need a flexible stem that will bend with the load rather than lever the stem - if the frame/stem can not bend then the stem could be damaged or the cam lobes could be levered out of the placement.

DMM 4CU bending under loadSolid stem friend tied offThe third picture shows the cam under load - the cam frame is flexible enough to distort and the axle terminations are short enough not to suffer a levering moment. Perfect.

Older cams often had solid stems - these have the advantage that are very durable, but they are generally poor for shallow horizontal placements, because the stem sticks out too far and will be either bent in a fall or will lever the cam out of the placement. In this situation it is good to be able to tie off the cam close to the head - as in the image to the right.

It is also worth bearing in mind when placing cams that they are handed i.e. the cams on one side of the head are closer together than on the other side. This allows the security of some placements to be altered radically depending on which way round the cam is placed.

In the pictures below the same cam has been placed in the same pocket, but in one orientation (right hand image) only 3 of the cam lobes engage with the rock creating an unstable placement.

Cam placed correctly in a crackCam placed incorrectly - twist 180 degreesHowever you only have to turn the cam through 180 degrees and all 4 cams engage and the placement becomes good.

In this placement a 3CU with a narrower head width would also have fitted well. The right hand image also shows the relatively short axle terminations on the 4CU. Short axle terminations are good because they are less likely to suffer bending damage, allow the cam to flex more easily and allow more load to be directed onto the head in a direct line.

In general when placing cams you should have each side of the cam evenly closed and the cams in the completely closed to 3/4 closed position. The cam will still normally hold well in the completely closed position, but if you push an over-cammed cam in too far then you may well have trouble getting it out later.

The image of the green 2.5 cam in the horizontal break shows a cam that has been placed well - both sides are evenly closed, the cams are in the mid position and there is plenty of contact with the rock. Thus even with the break being slightly flared the placement is solid and would hold in most falls.

Cam - good placement in flared break Cam - over-cammed, but solid

The next size up - a DMM 4CU 3.0 fits into the same break but needs to be over-cammed to fit. This does not affect the security of the placement, but could lead to problems removing the unit if the break was deep and the cam walked further in - in this case the crack bottoms out almost immediately and so this is not a problem.

There is more on large hexcentric nuts and how to use them effectively on the Learn to Lead Climb in Spain page

Plus there is more climbing and scrambling information on the Climbing Advice and Tips page. You can have a more detailed look at small camming devices in the Technical Information section







Pricing and Booking

Prices. A list of all prices are found below and all prices include VAT.

Rates per person -full day & half day session-

full day session

1 person: £180 - 2 people: £95 - 3 people: £75 -

4 people: £65


1/2 day session

1 person: £130 - 2 people: £65 - 3 people: £55 -

4 people: £45


In order to book, you first need to contact us with your availability and aspirations. Once we agree on the dates, you will need to fill in a booking form and pay a 50% deposit -or the full fee-, either by bank transfer -free of charge at our end- or via Paypal subject to a 4.5% fee.


When we receive your enquiry we will get back to you to confirm our availability for the dates you have requested. Please make sure you contact us before and after submitting your booking form and payment so that we can schedule your course and email you all the details you will need.


Complete a Booking Form

Booking Details + Conditions

Equipment : The Rock Climbing Company will provide all the technical equipment for the Learn to Lead Climb courses including single and half ropes as required and a full and comprehensive range of climbing hardware.

Thus if you want to compare wire gate carabiners against solid gate carabiners then let us know and we bring a selection along or if you are not sure which nuts you prefer then we can let you play with a selection of DMM Wallnuts, WC Rocks, DMM Offsets and Metolius Curve nuts.

We also provide a helmet and harness if you need them, although once you are thinking about leading your own climbs it is definitely time to have you own harness - it makes racking easier and consistent so that when things get tough you know exactly where to find your kit.


What you need to bring

You should come well prepared and ready for both rain and sun - it is part of our job to choose the venue to get the best weather conditions, but forecasts can be wrong or change quickly in the mountains - so bring warm, synthetic clothing and a full set of waterproofs (top and trousers), hat, gloves and suitable approach footwear.

Ideally, you will need your own rock shoes as well, although 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.

There is more information on what kit to bring on the Equipment for Courses in Snowdonia page.

What is not included: course prices do not include transport, accommodation, personal insurance or meals.

Ratios and course sizes. Learning to Lead Climb is best taught at a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 clients to 1 instructor.







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