01690 720214

Conville Memorial Trust Alpine Preparation in North Wales

Techniques used in Alpine climbing are quite different from those used in British climbing. Over the course of a weekend spent in North Wales, we aim to introduce you to many of these techniques both in theory and in practice, as well as discussing safe movement in alpine terrain.

Is it for me?

This course is for young people (18-30) who have little or no alpine climbing experience - but who are keen to find out how to get started without leaving the UK. You must have some experience of climbing rope work used on British crags. The course is subsidised by the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust and is 18-30 year olds only. Successful applicants will be informed by email.

What we cover

This intensive course makes full use of the weekend, with a mixture of classroom based and outdoor practical sessions. Course staff, who between them will have years of alpine experience, will guide you through the following areas:

  • Alpine areas, travel, guide books and maps.
  • Navigation & Route choice
  • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue
  • Alpine rope techniques
  • Alpine equipment, choice and use
  • Alpine weather
  • Hazards
  • Using Alpine huts
  • Lightweight bivouac skills
  • Alpine areas suitable to experience

The Venue

Plas y Brenin lies in the heart of Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, overlooked by the majestic Snowdon Horse Shoe. Nestled in a rocky valley on the shores of Llynau Mymbyr, the twin lakes, the centre offers mountain views and relaxation. Yet all the ingredients of a great adventure lie at our doorstep. We have our own grounds, climbing wall and classrooms, which we will be making use of this weekend.

The Accommodation

The accommodation for the course is in a self catering bunkhouse, no meals are provided but you can prepare and cook meals in the bunkhouse kitchen (there are all the usual kitchen utensils etc. plus a fridge freezer). You will need to bring a sleeping bag as no linen is provided. Our bar will be open in the evening and serves bar meals between 7.00-8.45pm, if you prefer not to cook.


If after you have confirmed your acceptance you have to cancel your place for any reason please telephone Plas y Brenin on 01690 720214 immediately. In the event of cancellation your fee will be refunded provided Plas y Brenin receives notice of the cancellation at least 21 days before the start of your course and a replacement can be found. There will be a £25 administrative charge deducted.

Apart from in exceptional circumstances, in the event that you fail to give any reasonable notice to Plas y Brenin that you can not attend the course, you will be liable for the ful un-subsidised cost of the course (£250).

What will I need?

The following list is not meant to be exhaustive - merely to prompt you to remember to pack everything.

Some equipment such as waterproofs, walking boots and rucksacks etc. may be borrowed from our extensive stores and all technical equipment will be provided. We advise you not to rush out and buy kit for the course, but use it as a chance to find out what would best suit your needs and get advice from the course staff.


  • Warm outdoor wear (all times of the year)
  • Hat (all times of the year)
  • Gloves or mitts
  • Day rucksack
  • Rucksack liner (bin liner)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Water bottle
  • Vacuum flask
  • Harness
  • Karabiners, prussic loops, slings etc
  • Walking boots
  • Helmet
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Notebook and pens
  • Small amount of cash - there are no cash points or bank facilities in Capel Curig, although the bar does except debit cards

Useful Books

You may find the following books useful in preparation for your course.

  • Handbook of Climbing by Fyffe & Peter
  • Winter Skills by Fyffe & Cunningham (Official MLTUK publication)
  • Extreme Alpinism by Mark Twight
  • Scotland's Winter Mountains by Martin Moran (for its technical section)
  • High Mountains of The Alps by H. Dumler & W. Burkhardt
  • Alpinisim - Introduction to Safe Alpine Mountaineering by Peter Cliff

Also see the excelllent 'Alpine Essentials' DVD from the BMS and MCofS

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