Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Mountain Walking in North Wales and

Snowdonia - Courses and Guided Walks

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Walking Skills & Navigation Courses

 

The Welsh mountains of the Snowdonia National Park contain some of the most striking mountain terrain in the UK. These beautiful mountains offer a dramatic and wild landscape with some of the best hiking, walking and scrambling in the UK.

We can help you explore and enjoy these mountains; guiding you to the best areas and routes whilst providing fun and informative days in the mountains; showing you some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the UK; helping you understand the delicate environment that exists in the mountains and showing you the protected fauna and flora.

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 the confidence and skills to go walking for yourself in the mountains or whether you would prefer someone else guide you to the classic summits of Snowdonia we can help.

We try to arrange inspirational mountaineering instruction that progresses at a rate you are comfortable with, teaches you exactly what you want to know and gives you an adventurous experience that you will remember for a long time.

A more detailed description of our mountain walking courses are given in the panels below, but please remember that all of our mountain walking courses are totally customisable and every course can be built around your individual needs and to your time scales.

There are more details in the tables below and general information about our courses on the Course Information page

 

 

Mountain Walking in Snowdonia

Snowdonia in North Wales has some of the most best and most varied mountain walking and scrambling in the UK; the many rolling tops, valleys and high lakes of the Carneddau are a striking contrast to the exposed ridges and rocky peaks of the Glyders and Snowdon massifs, yet all these areas are within easy reach of each other.

Snowdon, as the highest mountain in England and Wales, is an obvious challenge via the various paths that lead to its summit and Tryfan in the Glyders is popular with the adventurous walker - it is reputed to be the only mountain in the UK that can not be climbed without using hands.

However there are also plenty of quieter, less frequented areas if you are looking for solitude and walks away from the masses.

We can also help you understand the local environment, the fauna and flora as well as the industrial past that helped shape the local economy for many centuries - remnants of the slate, copper and lead mining industries never far away.

Whether you would like some instruction so that you have the confidence to go walking in the mountains for yourself or if you would prefer a qualified mountaineering instructor to take charge with guided ascents of classic summit then we the Rock Climbing Company can help.

Mountain Walking Instruction


This is the ideal course if you have little or no experience of mountain walking, but want to learn all the essential skills you need to start mountain walking independently in the UK .

Our instructional courses will give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to walk Britain's mountains for yourself, so whether you new to mountain walking and have never explored our mountain areas or whether you are an experienced walker looking for the confidence to help you tackle more challenging routes in more adverse conditions we can help you improve.

We use low ratios on all courses to ensure that we give you a highly personalised service that lets the instructors help you develop your skills at a pace that suits you. We will always try to involve you in the decision making processes so that we visit the mountain and areas that you wish to visit.

The most common area that people ask for help with is navigation and we try to make sure that you have a solid understanding of this topic because it is a core skill for staying safe in the hills, especially in winter or in bad weather. We are often asked to help people understand how to read maps and how to use your compass their effectively - this then often leads to work on bearings, distances, timing and pacing.

We will also include other areas such as weather, clothing & equipment, planning & preparation, access and conservation and emergency procedures. All this will be taught in a practical manner out on the mountains whilst attempting a variety of different mountain routes with different characteristics so that you get a great start to your mountain walking adventures.

Guided Walks


A guided mountain walk gives you the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful parts of Snowdonia and North Wales whilst letting us look after the logistics and navigation. Guided walks are a perfect method of discovering the walking in a new area and a great way of gaining the confidence to go walking alone or for tackling something a little bit more challenging.

We have been based in the Snowdonia National Park for several years and our local knowledge enable us to find new and less frequented routes to the summit of most mountains in the area.

You can supply us with specific details of the mountain areas or routes that you would like to do or just a general idea of the type of walking that you like and let us do all the planning.

We can arrange interesting trips to the summit of Snowdon, a circular walk around Moel Siabod (the highest peak in the Moelwyns) , a high traverse of the Carneddau or an end to end walk along the Nantle Ridge. Alternatively if you have no knowledge of the area then we can select a suitable walk, taking into account the prevailing weather conditions and your previous walking experience.

 

 

The Mountain Areas in North Wales.

The mountain areas of North Wales include:

Snowdon/ Y Wyddfa Massif - Comprising of Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Crib y Ddysgl, Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd. The Snowdon range has 11 peaks over 600m in height, of which 3 are over 914m (3000 ft). These include Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.

This famous mountain massif radiates six ridge lines, all of which are popular walking routes in their own right that allow their  various lines of ascent and descent to be combined. The Snowdon Horseshoe of Crib Goch (921m), Crib y Ddysgl (1065m), Yr Wyddfa (1085m) (the highest peak south of Scotland) and Y Lliwedd (898m) is a justifiably popular, but long day in the mountains that will involve some scrambling. The route can be quite busy on summer days unless it is started very early in the day, but it is still on of the best alpine outings in the UK.

The quieter Cwm y Llan Horseshoe over Gallt y Wenallt (619m), Y Lliwedd, Yr Wyddfa and Yr Aran (747m) makes a good alternative when approached from Nantgwynant.

The Llanberis Path, weaving around the Snowdon Mountain Railway, is the most trodden way to the summit, but is also the least interesting from a mountaineering perspective. The Miners’ Track and the Pyg Track are both also enormously popular, but the Watkin path is the hidden surprise – less crowded and more interesting walking.

The lower but pleasant hills of Moel Cynghorion (674m) and Moel Eilio (726m) lie to the north and offer less strenuous days wandering with marvelous views.

Apart from the Snowdon Horseshoe, the scrambling hereabouts is less pleasant and less extensive than on the Glyderau, although ascending Y Gribin and the East Ridge of Yr Wyddfa is popular whilst  climbing Y Lliwedd via the West Peak and Bilberry Terrace well illustrates the  grey area where hard scrambles and easier climbing meet.

Carneddau - The most northern group of mountains that includes Carnedd Llewellyn, Carnedd Dafydd, Pen yr Olewen, Yr Elen. The Carneddau (the cairns) includes the largest continuous area of high ground (over 2,500 / 3,000 feet high) in Wales. It has six of the highest peaks in the country. The range also encloses a number of lakes such as Llyn Cowlyd and Llyn Eigiau, and the Aber Falls waterfalls.

Huge rounded ridge lines that are deeply incised by deep cwms characterise this range of hills. Their northern flanks overlook the coast  at  Traeth Lavan and Conwy Bay while the eastern side frames one side of  the Conwy Valley. The most interesting area for the walker and mountaineer is the extensive ridge running from Pen yr Ole Wen (979m) over two of the highest summits in Wales, Carnedd Dafydd (1044m) and Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m), before continuing over Foel Grach (974m), Garnedd Uchaf (926m), Foel Fras (942m) and winding down over Drum (770m) and Drosgl (621m) to terminate near Aber.

Scrambling in the Carneddau is more limited than it’s near neighbours and with the notable exception of the Llech Ddu Spur (grade1) tends to be more technical outings of moderate length or rather contrived. Braich Ty Du is the setting for a couple of variations on a theme (grade 2).

The Carneddau do provide a magnificent arena for winter walking and climbing, with the long ridge lines providing spectacular views, and enough altitude to hold the snow early and late in the season

Glyders and Tryfan - The two Glyders (Fach and Fawr) are the most spectacular, but the group also includes Y Garn and Elidyr Fawr. The rocky ridges of the Glyders have long been a magnetic attraction for walkers and climbers and Tryfan is an amazing summit.

The main line of the Glyderau range forms a massive line of ridges around Cwm Idwal with the northern and north-eastern flanks revealing the rocky bones of the mountains.

The spine of the range runs from Carnedd y Filiast (821m) over Mynydd Perfedd (812m), Foel Goch (831m) and the popular Y Garn (946m) before the large dip down to Llyn y Cwn nestling above the grand slash of the Devil’s Kitchen, then rising again over Glyder Fawr (999m) and Glyder Fach (994m) amid some wonderful mountain scenery. The ridge then gradually drops down over Y Foel Goch (805m) and Gallt yr Ogof (763m) before running on to finish at Capel Curig.

The northern end of the range is dominated by enormous slate quarries that provide unexpectedly fascinating walking territory with the disused slate workings of the Dinorwig Quarry providing atmospheric hikes through a labyrinth of quarries, tunnels and old buildings. The alternating spurs and cwms on the north side reach their most prominent position with the rocky ridge of Tryfan (917m) overshadowing the A5 and Llyn Ogwen.

The scrambling possibilities of the Glyderau are very popular with minimal walk-ins combining with excellent rock quality and fine positions. Ogwen Cottage provides the most obvious starting point with many variations on the Cwm Bochlwyd Horseshoe including the sublime Tryfan North Ridge (grade 1), Bristly Ridge and Gribin. The east and west faces of Tryfan provide excellent scrambling at various levels of commitment, as does the neighbouring buttress of Glyder Fach. Over in Cwm Idwal wonderful rock fins and buttresses give lines such as Cneifion Arête and Seniors’ Ridge. The west flank of Glyder Fawr, accessed from the Llanberis Pass provides much broken ground including the popular, but awkward Bryant’s Gully.

Moelwyns - A lower group of hills near Blaenau Ffestiniog. Cnicht, sometimes described as 'the Welsh Matterhorn' because of its shape (in spite of its lack of height) is often included. This is an intricate area of lakes and summits, with the ever-present but fascinating scars of the now virtually defunct slate industry, which once provided jobs for many and wealth for a few, albeit at some cost to the scenery.

 The Cwm Croesor Horseshoe including Cnicht (689m), Moelwyn Mawr (770m) and Moelwyn Bach (710m) makes a fine outing while the northernmost representative, Moel Siabod (872m), is a popular peak in its own right. The neglected Allt Fawr (698m) and Moel Druman (676m) are worth seeking out although Manod Mawr (661m) is probably not, even though the caverns within this hill were the reputed hiding place of national treasures during World War Two.

There are few lengthy scrambles hereabouts, although the area above Tanygrisiau could provide some entertainment for the determined.

 

 

Equipment provided by the Rock Climbing Company: We can provide any technical climbing equipment that is needed for the course i.e. ropes, helmets and harnesses for looking at security on steep ground.

We can also demonstrate emergency equipment that is often carried by walkers such as emergency shelters and foil blankets.

What you need to provide: You should bring a range of clothing suitable for the time of year and predicted weather forecast; we will be operating in the mountains and so this can vary from full waterproofs, fleeces and thermals to shorts, t-shirt and sun cream. The main thing is to come ready for anything that the weather gods can throw at us.

Always bring spare socks, hats and gloves - these small items keep your extremities warm and you comfortable.

We will likely cover a variety of terrain so you will need to bring along good. supportive boots that have been weatherproofed and are well broken in. Blister kits are a great idea (Compeed is brilliant) along with a basic first aid kit.

You will need a good, full size compass (i.e. Silva Type 4) and the relevant maps. It is worth getting laminated maps because one day it will rain...

Walking poles can be useful in helping lower the stresses on your knees.

Finally you will also need rucksack to carry everything in (30 - 40 litre capacity) and plenty of (hot) food and drink for the day. Isotonic drinks work well especially on hot days.

What is not included. Prices do not include, transport, accommodation, meals or personal insurance.

Ratios and course sizes. The Mountain Walking courses can be taught at ratios of 1 - 4 clients to 1 instructor.

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

Type of Course
Length
Ratio
Cost per person
Mountain Walking in Snowdonia Course
1 Day Course
1:1
£150
1:2
£80
1:3
£55
1:4
£45
2 Day Course
1:1
£290
1:2
£150
1:3
£110
1:4
£80
5 Day Course
1:1
£650
1:2
£350
1:3
£240
1:4
£180

 

We can run longer courses and in this case each additional day is charged at £140 per day on top of the base 2 day price above.

The full terms and conditions are on the booking page

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information

 

 

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