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 two fantastic areas; between Spring to Autumn we run courses from our base 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. 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 El Chorro, Loja and Archidona.

We tend to keep our instruction to these two main areas and Pembroke because we know them well and this helps us deliver effective courses that get the most out of the available time and conditions.

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

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 Credit/Debit Card, BACS or Cheque

We ask for a 50% deposit for all courses.

What is included in the price:

What is not included in the course price:

Hire Equipment

Course Lengths.

Taster sessions normally last between 0.5 and 1 day, whilst all other instruction can be any length from 1 to 4 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.

Longer courses can be tiring and it is worth coming to the course fresh and fit to get the most from it.

A half day course will last around 4 hours and a full day course with normally last 7 - 7.5 hours. Courses will normally start around 0900hrs depending on travel arrangements and the chosen venue. The finish time tends to happen at a natural point around 1600 - 1630hrs.

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.

Booking

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.

Guiding.

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 a small, independent company run by Silvia Fitzpatrick and many of our courses are delivered by Silvia. Silvia holds the Mountaineering Instructor Award (1369) and is a full member of both the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Leader 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.

Equipment.

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 ropesWhat if the weather is bad?

Our bases in both Snowdonia and Southern Spain have a wide range of venues for us to choose from - when it is too warm we can head into the hills and if it is cold or rainy we can head down to the coast.

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 cold rain, or snow).

In the last 2 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. We do 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.

If a course is canceled because of dangerous conditions, you may transfer to another course date, or if this is inconvenient, we will refund any amounts paid toward the course cost.

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:

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; 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

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 British Mountaineering Council then you can take advantage of their insurance services via The BMC web site or the company Snowcard provide insurance for outdoor activities.

Accommodation

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.

 

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