01690 720214

Mountain Skills

Course Overview

The Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for walkers interested in applying their countryside walking skills to the mountain environment. Ideally, participants would have done some basic hill walking previously and have a reasonable level of fitness. Skills in map and compass, mountain weather forecasting, movement through steep ground, planning and preparation, emergency procedures, seasonal effects and the mountain environment all form the syllabus of this course.

Experience Required

basic summer hillwalking

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Is it for me?

If you enjoy hillwalking but don't feel you have the skills to off the beaten track into the mountains then this two day accredited training course from Mountain Training is for you. We will be our on the hill all day (for around 6 hours) so a reasonable level of fitness is required.

Course Content

During the two days we will cover the following areas:

  • Planning a Journey/Route- how to successfully plan a walk in the mountains of the UK or Ireland

  • Walking Skills - what things you should consider while out walking and what can make life easier (pace, nutrition, movement skills)

  • Navigation Skills and Poor Visibility Strategies - including relocation techniques

  • Introduction to GPS

  • Weather - how it affects the mountains and your day out

  • Clothing and Equipment- how being suitably dressed and equipped can make the difference between a good day out and a bad day out

  • Environment - how to minimise your impact on the hill and good practice

  • Hazards and Emergency Procedures - how to deal with any hazards you encounter and what to do in an emergency

This is an accredited training course by Mountain Training if you wish to receive a Mountain Training certificate of attendance then you will need to register with Mountain Training prior to the course. You can do this on the Mountain Training website here

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Warm outdoor wear - at all times of year e.g. walking trousers (shorts in summer), thermal layers/base layers, fleeces, good quality walking socks

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack (min 30 litres)

  • Rucksack liner (e.g. rubble bag or dry bag)

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch Bag/Box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Head torch (winter months)

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant (summer months)

  • Notebook and pen

  • Compass (Silva Expedition 4 recommended)

  • Maps - OS 17 Snowdon & Conwy Valley 1:25,000 (and OS 115 Snowdon 1:50,000 for navigation courses).Laminated maps are great as you don't need a map case and you can make notes, mark point etc. (Can be purchased from our shop)

  • Fine permanent pen (for writing on laminated maps)

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores so you don't need to rush out to buy them.

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Compass

Customer Reviews For This Course

Mountain Skills, 13-14 May

Mark P

2 days of learning anew and refreshing rusty old skills, combined with 2 excellent peaks and the company of a group who were as keen to learn as I. The course was tailored to the needs of those attending, this meant an emphasis upon micro navigation, covering difficult ground and planning/preparation. Over the course of the 2 days we experienced some very enjoyable walking and scrambling. Equipment, where provided by PYB, was lightweight and of a high standard. Topped off with good food, comfortable accommodation and a selection of good ales and whisky in the bar. Thanks to Instructors Richard and Sally for a very enjoyable 2 days

Mountain Skills Course, May 13-14


Great weekend in North Wales learning and refreshing long rusty skills. Useful emphasis on micro navigation and route planning as well as ascending some great tops. Thoroughly recommended if, like me, you are returning to hills/mountains after time away.

Mountain Skills, 13-14 May

Mark P

Amazing weekend


Had an amazing weekend and picked up new skills such as map reading and using compass. Our guide was very professional, well prepared and helpful with all of us. Staff in PyB centre is amazing, everybody is very friendly, food is first class!!

superb week

Jonathan Moore

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to develop their mountain skills, it's a good mix of fundamentals and advanced skills, tailored to the needs of the individuals and the group. The coaches we had were both excellent, full of knowledge and skilled at passing that on. Great place to be based, the PYB centre is comfortable and the food is hearty and tasty. The stores can lend you anything you need, from full kit to just a single item you may not have or have forgotten to bring. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned lots.

A Truly Enjoyable Experience

Suzanne Drummond

This course offers a really thorough and easy to understand introduction to navigational skills. It left me feeling enthusiastic about navigating myself on some climbs to continue and improve upon the skills learnt.
Once this practice has made me more confident, I intend to fulfill my ambition of climbing with friends. It was this that drew me to the course. It won't only be the navigational skills learnt that will make this possible but also the expert advice on, and experience of, negotiating different terrain and conditions.
The experience of wild camping was something I would never have contemplated on my own! It was wet and windy throughout but still, due to the camaraderie within the group and the knowledge that we were in expert hands, it was a positive and memorable experience.
We also had the opportunity on the final day to experience some grade 1 scrambling so that, all in all, the course provided diverse and challenging experiences to suit a range of people interested in climbing.
I absolutely loved it!

Fantastic week out in the hills


I was looking for a course to help improve my confidence in navigation and mountain skills and this course was perfect. I was a bit nervous about coming on my own but it seems that this is very common as all 6 of us had come along individually. We were all about the same level based on our nav skills, some with more experience in the hills than others. I definitely had less experience but our instructor was very skilled in making sure everyone had a good day out in the hills and we all took away what we wanted from the week. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone at times, but in a way that I don't regret because I feel like it's made me more confident in the mountain environment. The overnight camp was a highlight for me and that night you also do you night navigation which was quite a unique experience! We also incorporated scrambling routes into our days and some rope work which was very useful. Our instructor Ross was fantastic.

Overall, the PYB centre is very good. There is ample food and free access to the climbing wall.

A good all round course

Steve Schooling

With this particular course there were just the three of us, thus the instructors, Simon & Niels could devote considerable time to developing our skills. In this instance we all agreed that our map reading was something that needed to improve. So, in effect, we spent five great days honing our skills with a wild camp on the Wednesday evening as well a becoming more familiar with understanding the weather and forecasts and how these effect a planned day/s out in the hills.
Map reading is what suited our small group but don't be afraid to ask to cover other topics such as clothing, equipment, camping, what to pack in your rucksack etc. The ability to read a map is crucial but depending on your level of ability and confidence you might want advice on other aspects as well.
Needless to say the course is great value for money. Three good meals a day, the hire of almost any kit, comfy rooms and a great atmosphere. A small shop has recently been added to the stores and is well worth a visit.
All in all a week well spent and I'll be sure to return.

Learnt lots and had a great time

Naomi H

If you are thinking about booking this course then I'd recommend that you go for it.

Our instructor, Jon Green, was excellent. He imparted much knowledge with us, mostly out in the hills, with a small amount of classroom time when needed. We covered everything the 'syllabus' suggests. The first day was mainly focussed on navigation, while moving over steep ground was the focus of the second day. Learning new skills and developing old ones in such a great environment with a nice group of people made for a very enjoyable weekend. Added to this was the bonus of some brilliant late September sunshine.

I used the minibus pick up and drop off service which meant I could get the train to and from the course. This is really useful.

The accommodation was good, a shared twin room with ensuite. Three meals a day were provided, plus cake in the late afternoon.

I hope to return to PyB to learn more skills on another course at some point in the near future!

Fantastic weekend

Heath Huntington

After what turned out to a hellish journey due to traffic I was desperate to arrive at P-Y-B and from the moment I stepped into reception all thought's of my road trip hell disappeared.
I was met with a smiling face and a warm welcome, check-in was a breeze and everything I needed to know was explained thoroughly without me having to ask. I got to my room and found it clean, modern and everything I would need for the weekend. After another warm welcome in the bar and a few drinks I retired for a good night's sleep, mind full of thought's of what the next few day's would bring and those two day's would not disappoint at all.
After breakfast the following morning we were introduced to our instructor for the weekend Jon Green, and I was immediately impressed, as well as being put at ease by his relaxed, friendly and welcoming personality. A brief introduction to my course mates and what was to be expected over the weekend followed and then we was off into the mountain's, it was barely 10.30am!
The rest of the course was spent out on the mountain's of stunning Snowdonia, learning by doing and doing what we was learning, Jon's ability to teach students of varying experiences and level's was very impressive and I never felt out of my comfort zone or like I was being lectured to, and his knowledge was database like.
If you are looking to take your hill walking to the next level then this is the course for you, away from the beaten track and navigating to places you have always wanted to go, onto grade one scrambles onto summit's in a completely new and exciting way. A1 facilities, A1 instructor, great company and a truly fantastic weekend.
Don't think about it, book it.

Great instruction

Paule Constable

Just completed the week long Mountain Skills course with Jamie Barclay as our course leader. Had a fabulous week. Jamie's instruction was absolutely excellent and the rate at which we moved on was breath taking, challenging and thrilling. He had a very can do attitude. I have come away with a huge amount of new knowledge that I am very keen to keep using.
I would also add that one of our group developed a slight injury which Jamie managed brilliantly. His strategies for keeping the group interested and stretched while accommodating a slightly under par member of the team where excellent and the situation really wasn't easy.
I think we were a slightly tough and exasperating group in many ways. A massive range of ages and life experience meant it was hard for us to become a team. We could have done with a little more steering/challenging in this area. Not easy I know - but it would have helped the week.

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

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