Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Mountain Skills Courses in North Wales and Snowdonia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silvia Fitzpatrick at Frey Refugio, Bariloche, Argentina

 

 

Mountain Skills -courses & guided days-

 

 

Mountain walking, scrambling and rock climbing are exhilarating and rewarding activities for people who love the outdoors.

However, to enjoy them safely, you should have a solid foundation in the core mountain skills.

Moving safely and efficiently -on rocky ground with challenging sections- is an essential mountain skill and it requires practising in a variety of underfoot conditions. Having the basic navigation skills such as using a map -and a compass in poor visibility- is a tool needed by those who want to move independently in the hills. With a good knowledge of these two wide skills, you will be able to explore the more remote regions of our mountains -and look after yourself in adverse situations-.

You might want to walk, climb or scramble your first 3000 feet mountain or try a connection of them such as the Snowdon Horshoe or the Glyderau traverse.

You might wish to accomplish - ' The Welsh 3000s' - also known as 'The 14 Peaks Challenge' in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

You might want to complete The National Three Peaks Challenge: Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike in 3 days, 48 hours or even 24 hours.

You might have the ambition of doing some famous alpine ascents such as Mont Blanc or Mattehorn.

You might want to gain more advanced skills and prepare your entry to the Mountain Leader scheme.

Either way, we will be able to help you by tailoring the course to your needs and aspirations.

 

 

'The National Three Peaks Challenge' and 'The Welsh 3000s Challenge' both involve climbing Snowdon. This is the highest peak in Wales with 1,085m.

 

 

 

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 outlining your preferred dates, you aspirations and any other relevant details such as your level of experience -if any-. Once we agree on all the details, you will need to send 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 first enquiry we will get back to you to confirm our availability for the dates you request, as well as the course content, costs and meeting arrangements. Please ensure that you contact us before and after submitting your form and payment so that we can email you all the details you will need.

 

 

Additional Information on the Mountain Skills courses in Snowdonia & North Wales

 

The mountains and crags of Britain are potentially a hazardous environment for the inexperienced; we offer personal training in areas such as, environmental awareness, foreseeing objective dangers, basic emergency procedures as well as all the key technical skills such as the correct use of equipment, security on steep ground, micro navigation and movement skills.

 

 

 

Those looking for a ML training -Mountain leader- refresher for assessment or preparation to enter the scheme- will need to look at the leading, managing and teaching of groups. This is a big responsibility that requires potential group leaders to learn a wide repertoire of skills including group management. 0ur training will make these skills more natural and fluent, so that you can look after yourself and also pass on your knowledge in an effective manner.

 

El Chamizo summit

The pages below outline our main mountain skills courses and will hopefully give you a feel for the instruction that we can offer. However, this is only a broad outline 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 or prepare themselves for the Welsh 3000s, -also known as The 14 Peaks in Wales- and The National Three Peaks Challenge, which includes Snowdon.

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.

 

 

The Welsh 3000s - The 14 Peaks Challenge

 

The challenge known as 'The Welsh 3000s Challenge' or 'The 14 Peaks Challenge' involves reaching the summits of -at least 14 peaks but possibly 16 counting the two which are on the way-

All of these peaks are over 914,4 m -3000feet- and the hardest challenge involves reaching the mountain tops in 24 hrs or less, without using any transport.

All these peaks are located in 3 different mountain ranges: the Carneddau, the Glyderau and the Snowdon range. These are geographically close enough to make it possible in that time. The length - including the walk to the starting point and down to the finishing point- is about 30 miles.

It is also very common to take on the Welsh 3000s Challenge as a multiple day challenge, three days being the most popular choice.

We can help you to prepare for 'The Welsh 3000s Challenge' by showing you the area, guiding you on some or all of these mountains and help you to plan and understand the logistics involved in this challenge. We can also support you with transport to the start and from finishing point as well as food and drink provision during the challenge.

 

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 mountain walking in the UK. We can help you explore this amazing area and help you find some of the 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 valleys or 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, above the Llanberis pass, lies Snowdon and the amazing Crib Goch Ridge, with the 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 by suggesting a suitable mountain which matches your level of experience and aspirations. Either way, you will learn about moving safely on rocky ground, navigation and hazard awareness. In any case -whether you want to gain the confidence and skills to go mountain walking by yourself or whether you would prefer to be guided on the classic summits and ridges of Snowdonia- we can help.

The full outline of the course is on the Mountain Walking page, please refer to the menue on the left.

 

Alpine ascents: Montblanc and Matterhorn

 

Climbing the highest mountain in the Alps, Montblanc with 4,808m and/or the more emblematic, the Matterhorn with 4,477 m is the ambition of many mountain walkers.

You will need to be well prepared to spend very long days in the mountains, have a very good level of general and specific fitness, efficient movement skills wearing your walking boots and have a good head for heights.

Snowdonia has many mountains and ridge traverses where you can taste and experience what these Alpine ascents involve but on relatively easier ground.

We can organise a series of training weekends to help you prepare the whole journey to your goal or a just single weekend or even a 'taster day' to show you what is involved, so that you have a better understanding of how to prepare yourself for these mountains.

Please contact us with your requirements and we will help you with your planning and preparation.

 

 

Preparation for Mountain Leader -Training and Assessment Course

 

Security on steep ground in Snowdonia - Mountain Leader training The MTA -Mountain Training Association, UK- 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 moving on steep ground) and increase your awareness of environmental issues.'

This course can be used either as an introduction or as a training 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 training or 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 safe and independent in the mountains.

 

The Rock Climbing Company runs a range of mountain skills and navigation courses that cover these topics at all levels of experience.Whether you have never held a compass before or whether you want to look at night navigation during a wild camping expedition, 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 and Snowdonia First Aid, both fun, but more theoretical). Personally, I found that dealing with simulated situations re-enforces the knowledge and, more importantly, introduces many other factors and 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 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 – very useful

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

Regarding Aspirin, we would normally offer it to an adult who is fully lucid and wishes to take it.

 

 

 

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