Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Mountain Skills Courses in North Wales and Snowdonia

 

Silvia Fitzpatrick at Frey Refugio, Bariloche, Argentina

 

trekking into the base of trad routes in Colmenar, Malaga

 

El Chamizo summit

 

Waliking in the Jobo hills above Malaga

 

 

Mountain Skills Training

Snowdonia landscape - view across Glyders

 

Climbing and hiking in the mountains is exhilarating, but to do so in safety one needs a solid foundation in the core mountain skills of navigation using a map and compass, staying comfortable and moving over steep ground.

The navigation and mountaincraft courses are for those who want to move more independently in the mountains, exploring the more remote regions of our mountains whilst whilst having the skills to look after themselves in adverse situations, whilst the Mountain Leader refresher courses will help those who wish to gain the ML Summer award from the Mountain Leader Training Board,.

The mountains and crags of Britain are potentially a hazardous environment for the inexperienced. The leading, managing and teaching of groups is a big responsibility that requires potential group leaders to learn a wide repertoire of skills; we offer training in areas such as group management, foreseeing objective dangers, emergency procedures and environmental awareness as well as all the key technical skills such as the correct use of equipment, security on steep ground, micro navigation and movement skills.

The training will aim to make these skills more natural and fluent, so that you can pass on your knowledge in an effective manner.

Summit of Los Pinos in the Camarolo hills in Andalucia,SpainThe pages below outline our main mountain skills courses and will hopefully give a feel for the instruction that we can offer, however this is only a broad outline of the courses that we can offer because everybody's needs are different - some will want an introduction to walking in the mountains, some will want to learn how to manage a group on steep ground, whilst others will want specific tuition on navigation techniques

All our mountain courses are totally customisable and every course is constructed around your individual needs. There is an overview of the courses below and full details of every course are in the menu bar on the left.

 

 

View across the Glyders in Snowdonia

The Welsh mountains of the Snowdonia national park offer a dramatic, wild landscape for some of the best hiking and walking in the UK. We can help you explore this amazing area and help you find some best areas and routes.

Snowdonia is a compact and very varied mountain area that allows walkers to access a vast diversity of terrain very easily; the Carneddau is the largest area of high land in Wales and makes for superb mountain walks across a rolling terrain that hides rocky ridges and hidden lakes in high cwms. In contrast to this the Glyders presents an altogether more rugged silhouette with the rocky peaks of Tryfan and Glyder Fach providing obvious mountaineering challenges. Across the other side of the Llanberis pass lies Snowdon and the classic, airy and exposed ridges of the Snowdon Horseshoe.

We can help you explore all these areas whilst providing fun and informative days in the mountains. We will show you some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the UK and help you understand more of the delicate environment that exists in the mountains, showing you the protected fauna and flora that exists in the hills - there are even carnivorous plants in the Ogwen Valley (round-leaved sundew or Drosera rotundifolia and some varieties of Butterworts.)

You can choose to be guided up specific mountains or we can help you improve your own competency in the mountains by helping you learn about navigation, hazard awareness and the weather. So whether you want to go away with the confidence and skills to go walking for yourself or whether you would prefer someone else guide you to the classic summits of Snowdonia we can help.

The full outline of the course is on the Mountain Walking page

 

 

Security on steep ground in Snowdonia - Mountain Leader training The MLTB introduction to the Mountain Leader course summarises it well.

'The mountains of the UK are remote, technical and exposed to harsh and unpredictable weather. This makes them a hazardous place for novice walkers and the ML is designed to help responsible leaders who wish to operate in mountainous terrain in summer conditions. ML courses develop your group management skills, the ability to navigate in all conditions, the ability to deal with mountain hazards (including steep ground) and increase your awareness of environmental issues.'

This course is most often used as refresher for key elements of the syllabus that candidates find difficult; these often include the security on steep ground and micro navigation modules. We can help you strengthen your weaknesses in preparation for your assessment.

The course can run over a time period of your choosing and cover exactly the topics that you want to work on, so that you feel more confident on your ML training or assessment.

 

the mountains of Wales - on top of the Glyders

Wales has a lot of amazing mountains, but for many people the thought of hiking away from the main tracks is too adventurous.  The aim of these navigation courses is to give clients of all ages and abilities the confidence and skills to be independent in the mountains.

The Rock Climbing Company run a range of mountain skills and navigation courses that cover these topics at all levels of abilities, so whether you have never held a compass before or whether you want to look at night navigation during a wild camping expedition then we can build a course to help you.

Navigation courses will cover the key skills necessary to navigate safely on mountain terrain, no matter how poor the visibility or how bad the weather. We tend to run courses at two levels; beginner and intermediate. On beginner courses we will normally spend a little time indoors going over maps, grid references and using the compass to take a bearing. We will then head into the mountains to practice these skill in the outdoor environment.

The intermediate course builds on you map and compass skills to concentrate more on combining map interpretation with bad visibility techniques and relocation skills. These additional skills will help you deal with most situations. Map interpretation is the art of being able to view the map as a 3D model whilst poor visibility techniques will cover pacing, box searches and aiming off.

We can also cover a vast multitude of associated topics including how to stay comfortable in hostile environments, using a GPS, steep ground and emergency procedures - in fact everything that you need to know to enjoy the mountains of Britain safely.

Our navigation courses are structured not only to let you master the skills involved mountain navigation, but also gain a wider appreciation of the mountains and give you the confidence to enjoy being independent in the hills.

The full outline of the course is on the Navigation Courses page

 

 

Mountaineering First Aid

 

Scrambling courses in North wales and SnowdoniaAll mountaineering instructors should have a valid First Aid certificate and this is normally based on the Rescue Emergency Care (REC) course itinerary. REC is a widely respected first aid training organisation that was founded 25 years ago to provide a comprehensive and flexible training program that extends the standard first aid syllabus to cover those operating in remote environments. Rescue Emergency Care courses have been the main choice of the Mountain Leader Training Board and the British Canoe Union for many years

If you are planning on taking a REC course then choose an interesting relevant one because it is horrible being bored for 2 days in a sterile classroom – I have been on several 2 day mountaineering REC courses and the best in our area (snowdonia and North Wales) were Blue Peris’s (Mark "Baggy" Richards – very focussed on dealing with casualties in the outdoors, full of practical insights and very hands on) and Katherine Wills (fun, but more theoretical). Personally I found that dealing with simulated situations re-enforces the knowledge and more importantly introduces lots of other factors / raises issues that can otherwise easily be overlooked.

One of the key things the last course made me do was re-organise my first aid kits.

Thus my large group first aid kit now contains (unusual items first):

  • Gaffer tape – 5(+) m. Wrapped around the body of my plastic FA box. This method takes less space, but I have also carried it squashed flat on the original cardboard centre - the trick here is to cut the inside of the cardboard tube so that it collapses more easily. Gaffer tape does not come as standard in FA kits, but it is amazing stuff that resolves all sorts of problems from making splints, restricting movement to repairing blown tyres and patching torn clothing.
  • Compeed – In many different sizes. Brilliant stuff that is perfect for blisters, but has lots more uses where there are difficult wounds / wounds that need time to heal – it was the only way I could get some nasty abrasions to heal when in the hot, humid, tropical climate of Thailand.
  • Shrink wrap – great for protecting larger wounds from the risk of infection.
  • 6 large zip ties – great for holding things in place.
  • Bothy (KISU) – the best way to keep a group or a casualty sheltered, protected and warm if they are unable to move.
  • Wound dressings – lots. A mix of standard wound dressings and tampons – tampons are especially useful if you are out I the field with groups of teenage girls for an extended period of time i.e. D of E award expeditions.
  • Burn Gels – only if I am on overnighters or expeditions.
  • Wound Closure Strips - great for deeper, but superficial cuts.
  • Spare batteries for my head torch / GPS.
  • Waterproof paper + pencil – always useful for noting down key points in the heat of the moment / when the party has to split up to get help. This information includes location/symptoms/injuries/number in party etc.
  • Melanin sterile pads – awesome!

Then there are the standard items such as:

  • Triangular bandages x 2
  • Assorted Bandages
  • Protection: Gloves / CPR Breathing shield / valve
  • Shears
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Zinc Oxide/Micropore Tape/Plasters
  • Gauze pads

do normally carry Aspirin, but will only offer it to an adult who is fully lucid and wishes to take it.

 

 

 

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