01690 720214

Moving Out - 5 days

Course Overview

If you have already learnt the basics down at your local wall and want to make the transition to outdoor climbing then this is the perfect course for you. We'll show you how to decipher guidebooks, give you the skills to place protection, judge its quality and build solid anchors on top of the crag. We'll teach you efficient and safe ropework and can also give you some coaching on your climbing and movement techniques.

During the 5 day course we will progress away from single-pitch crags and give you a taste of multi-pitch climbing too.

Experience Required

some indoor climbing

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Is it for me?

This course is designed to build on skills which you will have gained at a wall. No outside experience is required, but you should be able to put on a harness and tie in to the end of a rope, use a belay device, and understand what lead climbing involves. You don't need to be a gymnast but a basic level of fitness would certainly be an advantage.

Course Content

We feel it is very important for you to progress at your own pace. Therefore we carefully select climbs that suit your aspirations and ability. Our high staff to student ratio allows us to do this.

Each morning the course staff will decide on a venue which is best suited to the weather conditions and the group. Our programme is flexible, but we will visit single pitch crags (less than one rope length high) for the first two days. For the final three days, we split into smaller groups and tackle some of the larger multi pitch crags.

Over the week, we intend to look at the following areas:

  • Lots of good climbing and movement coaching

  • Climbing hardware and equipment

  • Ropework for single and multi pitch crags

  • Abseiling (with self protection)

  • Understanding the principles of lead climbing

  • Judgement, route choice and route finding (a good nose for where it goes!)

  • The BMC - services and clubs

  • Where do I go from here? - after the course

With a full five days out, we will try to visit a range of venues, from high mountain crags to sea cliffs. All our staff are dedicated climbers and have a great depth of knowledge of the local crags. They are qualified and experienced in teaching climbing at all levels from beginners to more advanced climbers, and will be keen to pass on their knowledge to you.

Useful Books

  • Rock Climbing by Libby Peter (MLTUK official publication)
  • Sport Climbing+ - Rockfax publication by Adrian Berry
  • Trad Climbing+ - Rockfax publication by Adrian Berry
  • Classic Rock & Hard Rock by Ken Wilson
  • Way Of the Rock Warrior & Espresso Lessons  by Arno Ilgner
  • 9 out of 10 Climbers Make The Same Mistakes by Dave MacCloud
  • How To Climb Harder by Mark Reeves
  • Masterclass Part 1 and 2 by Neil Gresham
  • Get Out On Rock by Libby Peters and Neil Gresham
  • Self Rescue For Climbers by Steve Long and Olly Sanders
  • BMC Summit Magazine
  • Climb Magazine
  • Climber Magazine

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 which is comfortable to climb in - at all times of year e.g. walking trousers (shorts in summer), thermal layers/base layers, fleeces which are comfortable to climb in

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

  • Trainers or approach shoes

  • Day rucksack (approx. 40-50 Litres)

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

  • Small personal first aid kit

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Lunch box/bag

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

If you already have:

  • Rock boots

  • Chalk bag

  • Harness

  • Helmet

  • Belay device

  • Climbing rack

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores so you don't need to rush out to buy them. Ropes are always provided by Plas y Brenin.

  • Rock boots

  • Chalk bag

  • Harness

  • Helmet

  • Belay device

  • Climbing rack

  • Day rucksack

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

Customer Reviews For This Course

Brilliant & Patient Instructors

Robert Barrett

Really well-balanced course, with excellent pacing to allow you to slowly build up your knowledge, and confidence. But the stand-out was the excellent instructors - Steve, Lou and Dan. They made the week, and definitely convinced me that I'd be back to PYB at some point soon. Thanks for everything!! Rob

Fantastic Course

Graham Addison

Everything about the course was fantastic although this was undoubtedly helped by the unbelievable weather (I was wearing sun tan lotion 4/5 days - in May!) and getting on well with my roommate [climbing partner for the last 3 days].

Our head instructor Matt did a fantastic job working out the group’s experience levels, climbing ability and goals for the week. In total, there was 8 of us in the group but the instruction always felt personal and I never felt like I couldn't ask a question or for advice even in the big group.

The first day was spent at a small 'secret' crag since it was a busy bank holiday. At the end of the day we went to a slate quarry [bus-stop] to try climbing slate and push ourselves on some harder routes. We did this as one group.

On the second day we again went as one group to the sea cliffs in Holyhead (Crag X). This was an easy beginners’ cliff so we could focus on rope work/ top belaying but the climbing was still interesting in a beautiful setting.

The third day we split into groups of 2:1 instructor and I was lucky enough to get Matt leading my group. This was spent at Clogwyn yr Oen where we did 2 multi-pitch routes, an abseil and a harder single pitch route. Matt was fantastic at making sure we were getting our rope/belay skills correct safely whilst pushing us to climb challenging routes and get in a lot of climbing. At the end of the day we went as a group to the RAC boulders to focus on technique with Kath - another excellent instructor.

Thursday again was in small groups and we went to Tremadog to do multi-pitch routes. The climbs were challenging (although not as hard as the day before) but Matt wanted us to focus on becoming more independent with respect to placing gear, setting up belays, ropework etc. Highlight of the day was pitch 2 of One Step in the Clouds which is a fantastic pitch. Again we did some more abseiling to practice those skills and after another 3 multi-pitch routes I was feeling tired by this point.

Day 5 Matt asked us what we'd like to do, both my climbing partner and I said we'd like to try leading. The first climb we did "expedition" style with backpacks on which was challenging as it was a physical route! I'm glad we did though as one of my stated long term objectives was to do big mountain routes so it was good to experience this. Then Matt let us try leading whilst guiding us up next to us making sure we were never in trouble or too far outside our comfort zones. Overall I think he did a great job of ensuring we were safe, whilst learning but at the same time challenging us with the climbing. I would strongly recommend courses with him and would even consider using him as a personal guide in the future (a lot more expensive than PyB rates!). That said all the other groups also were highly complementary about their respective instructors too.

Overall the food was excellent, especially considering the amount paid for it. Which was a welcome surprise. The accommodation too was comfortable although it could get a little hot at night (probably due to the unusually warm weather) but again for the cost it was more than adequate. I would whole heartedly recommend this course to anyone thinking about doing trad climbing who has a base level indoors.

Solid, well paced training

Martin Phillips

Really enjoyed this course. As a boulderer, 95% indoors, I was clueless with all the knots, rope-work etc. Day 1 got me going with some top-roping and the instructors (Spike and Karen) were very patient as were my belaying/climbing partners. Loved the slate quarry.
Day 2 on the sea cliffs was a very gentle intro to putting in gear, all made sense and I felt way more comfortable trusting the ropes, gear and my partner.
Day 3, 4, and 5 with Will as our instructor was awesome, Will set a good pace with safety in mind at all times and we had a blast. I was exhausted every evening as being 100% alert at all times is not what I'm used to!
Good solid (relatively easy) climbs but top notch instruction on trad climbing in a really safe environment. Definitely panning to do the next course up in the Spring.

What an amazing week!


What an amazing week. 5 days of blue skies and sunshine, and I learned so much! From single pitch climbs and starting to learn about gear placement on Day 1 to Multipitch climbing high above the Llanberis Pass on Day 5. The instructors were brilliant - judging the level of challenge and support perfectly throughout. I'd barely climbed outdoors before coming on this course, and now feel confident to go out to the crag and put what I've learned into practice.

Really enjoyed the course


A perfect transition for indoor climbers. I feel confident and inspired. Excellent course - really reccomend.

brilliant experience


We climbed on three different rock types during the week, and the instructors managed to find warm, dry weather every day whilst back home in Herts was deluged with rain !
Safety was paramount and I felt utterly secure all the time, even when the adrenaline was telling me the height was scary !
The instructors were fantastic - thorough, knowledgeable, encouraging, patient, flexible, & friendly.
We had quite a wide range of abilities on the course, but we were all accommodated with ease.
I learned so much and now feel confident to join in trips with the local climbing group. Massive thanks to all at PYB !

Yep, these guys are really as good as everyone says

Steve Bartle

Yep, all these good reviews really are correct. I've just had an awesome week of outdoor rock climbing on the Touching Stone course. A week of dry weather certainly helped. On day 1 we were top-roping single pitch routes on Holyhead mountain, Anglesey. By the final day we were climbing (and leading pitches on) the brilliant multi-pitch route 'Grooved Arete' on Tryfan - a proper mountain adventure. The instructors really are brilliant and will tailor things to suit your progress whilst encouraging you to push yourself if you're comfortable to. If you're unsure about whether to book on the course...Just do it!

great climbing, great skills deveopment, great food


A fortnight back from my 5 day touching stone course, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Top marks to our instructor team lead by Kath. We had a full week, with lots of varied and enjoyable climbing, whilst at the same time learning to set up belays, place gear, and abseil. The highlight was 2 multi-pitch climbs on a sunny Friday at Tremadog. Instruction was supportive but challenged us to push ourselves - with huge efforts made to tailor the experience for the differing aims and abilities of all 8 members of our course group.

We all went home full of confidence, and since being back I have tried indoor leading, and had a day outdoors at a local Yorkshire crag - so the course was everything I hoped in terms of building skills and confidence.

Also top marks for the food - the poached salmon with fresh veggies and lemon posset was my favourite, but fantastic cooked breakfasts and great afternoon cakes too.

hope to come back sometime soon


A well thought out course

Harry Padley

I thoroughly enjoyed my week climbing and excellent accommodation while staying at Plas y Brenin for the Touching Stone course. This course gave me pretty much exactly what I needed to be able to move from indoor top roping and sport climbing on to (very easy) out door trad. Before this course I had very little knowledge on how to use the equipment necessary to climb the majority of the routes on crags in Britain. Most, especially where I live are un-bolted (unlike in France) so sport climbing is rarely an option. The skills taught by the highly experienced instructors on this course such as being able to place protection using nuts and cams and set up belay anchors allow the step from sport to very basic grade trad. This course has obviously not turned me into a confident trad climber and I would still only be happy climbing with someone with more experience than me. However it has given me enough knowledge to pursue the sport further and advance on technique, I would highly recommend this course to anyone moving from indoor to out door climbing in Britain


Eilidh Carruthers

Had a really good time did a lot of climbs as the weather was really good on the only day that it rain we did technic work in there training wall with gear and belays it was a really enjoyable week the staff we're really friendly the food was great and the lectures where good as well
would recomend it to anyone who is interested in climbing!!!

love to come back

Ginny & Bill

Hi all

Just to say what a brilliant course Touching Stone was, we have learnt so much in such a short space of time, we really enjoyed it.

The instruction was excellent, as was the course content, (just what we were looking for) we had great value for money and managed to climb outside every day despite the weather.

A big thanks to Dave, Dan and especially Spike, for looking after us so well and for being so patient!

We would love to come back again and wouldn't hesitate in recommending the course to our friends

Refresher and new Experiences!

Nick Oakes

Having done a good few years climbing in the past (but not for 10yrs) i wasn't sure if this course would be of benefit to me? BUt decided to go on it anyway as a refresher. But mostly to allow my Wife to have the opportunity to really learn and develop her abilities and discover whether or not she really liked and wanted to continue Rock climbing after the course. (Having been on courses before at Plas Y Brenin i am fully aware of the excellent quality, tuition and level of Knowledge and experience of the Instructors, plus the first class Accommodation and services they offer!)
Happily i can say with a huge smile on my face ::))) that Helen (My Wife) absolutely LOVED IT!!!!
She has developed leaps and bounds during the week and learnt so much!! (To the point of going on a spontaneous shopping spree for her OWN gear!!) :)
We can now look forward to the future knowing that many wonderful days climbing are a head of us!!! even holidays Multi-Pitch and trad climbing in the UK and Abroad are planned!
For Helen it was not only a self discovery experience, but also a means of attaining a level of competence that would allow her to feel comfortable climbing with me and others on equal platform.
it has helped her confidence enormously! increased her personal ability, improved her skill level, grown her Technical knowledge and opened doors to a world she never thought she would ever venture into!!!
(Im totally convinced that this is due largely to the patience, understanding and experience of our two wonderful instructors, Stu & Kath!!!) THANK YOU!!!

Happily i can say that i did get a load of up to date info and experience out of the course as well! :)
Refreshing your skills and learning new ones is a vital requirement if you are to enjoy the outdoor pursuit experience SAFELY! This course enabled me to do this, waking up old knowledge, renewing some, learning fresh skills and techniques, understanding rope work, belays, anchors and Multi-Pitch to a far greater and deeper level than before. Plus watching my brilliant helen grow in confidence and ability so much was a pleasure to watch!! Along with her smile!!

I highly recommend this course and Plas Y Brenin if you want the best tuition, course content and Venue.
We will definitely be attending future courses and regularly visit the Bar when in the Capel Curig area, for a local beer and good Bar food!!

A special mention must go to the Kitchen staff and their help with my diet, due to medical reasons one that was a little fussy. They accommodated it brilliantly and were very helpful! Thank you. :)

Thank you to all the staff and for a wonderful Holiday experience which will stay with us for the rest of our lives!!!

Great Stuff

James Ellway

Firstly, we all had a great week. There was only 4 of us on the course, which made it much nicer. Stuart was an excellent teacher and it was nice to have Callum and Murdoch with us for a couple of days. His knowledge of the crags and slabs around help us to ge tthe best out of the week. PyB is in a great location and everyone at the centre made it an enjoyable 'holiday'.

A really enjoyable week


Touching Stone is a great course for anyone who has climbed indoors and wants to try climbing outdoors. The instructors set the pace by the group experience and have so much on the doorstep that they can choose great venues dependent on experience and weather forecasts. Most of my group had done a bit outdoors so we seemed to progress really well through the week and this was helped by some reasonable weather (we only got rained on once)

Really like the place, facilities and instructing team (staff/student ratios were excellent too). Am sure I'll be back to do the next step or something else soon..

AMAZING and well worth the while course

Angela Corlett

I have recently started indoor climbing and wanted to make the transition to outdoors. This course was just what I needed.

The Instructors were patient, knowledgeable and just GREAT and catered the course to our wish list of things we wanted to learn.

I would recommend this course for anyone who would like to move from indoor to outdoor climbing, or for someone who is just getting back into it again.

I have come away feeling confident that I can climb outdoors safely, and cant wait to put into practice everything I have learnt.

Plas Y Brennin centre itself was great, the rooms comfortable, food fantastic and staff friendly. The free lectures were also a bonus.

I cant wait to come along on another course.

Tom wells

The course was an amazing experience and I will definitely
Return. I made some good friends.

Why it was worth it.

Michael Dempsey

I live abroad and can just about top rope a UIAA 6 or lead 5 plus indoors and am no 'natural' climber. I want to climb on Alpine routes and to share the lead on outdoor multi-pitches with my more talented girlfriend. I needed this course.

For the first day or two we had 4 participants to 1instuctor (Dave Evans) which was entirely appropriate for activities.
Dave got the best out of my technical potential with bouldering work followed by top roped routes on slate. I surprised myself by climbing an E1. Dave pushed us and built our confidence for leading under supervision later in the week at lower grades.
Emphasis at this stage was on trusting the feet particularly and I found that really helpful.

Cliff climbing and gear placement training followed and there was a lot to learn. Setting up anchors was then concentrated on including an evening session with the excellent James Mchaffie our second instructor who took our instructor - student ratio to 1: 2.

As the course split into 2 pairs eventually so did the course content. For our pair with Dave Evans the focus was on climbing within mountaineering and for the other pair more dedicated rock climbing. E.g. on the last day our pair climbed with some supervised leads up 'Grooved Arete' on Tryfan (Severe). This route included alpine relevant moving together, moving together with runners, friction belays and the like. All super useful, all super relevant to our pair.

I must add that Dave Evans was a big character up for a laugh but absolutely solid on safety all the time. He was also really responsive to exactly what I needed for what I want to do on rock. I was lucky to have him especially as a novice alpinist with Dave having climbed the North Face of the Eiger(!!) earlier in the summer. Thank you again Dave.

Thank you so much!

Hilda Richardson

I Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU! to James Mchaffie for a fantastic five days. I learned so much! I actually started climbing out doors a couple of years ago when I had a big birthday. I done quite a bit that year but not much after that. As life was challenging me in other ways. I recently started going to a local indoor wall to get climbing fit before coming on the course. I wanted to learn how to lead climb indoors and out. So that It may be easier to find a climbing partner. James covered everything I was hoping for. Actually, he covered it several times :-) he was very patient. And eventually it finally all clicked. We climbed in the wet, in the sun, in doors,and on a sea cliff. It was amazing. I had such a wonderful time. I have already ordered one guide book, picked out another to order tomorrow and even been in to my local out door leisure shop and asked them to price me up a rack of gear and some ropes. I am so excited I can't wait to get out there and climb. Thank you James! I must also say at this point a thank you to Nicola who also helped out on day one and Guy who helped out on day four. Also all the staff at Plas y Brenin . We were looked after so well and fed like kings. Oops! and Queens.
Thank you all very much.
I will be back!

A great week's course

Liz Twyford

I was climbing weekly indoors, and had never led a climb or climbed outside before starting this course. The staff were excellent, gradually introducing new skills and experiences throughout the week, so you felt confident at each stage. by the end of the week we had led our own climbs by placing equipment and done a few multi-pitch climbs.

The centre can loan you all the equipment you need - but definitely take waterproofs and watertight trainers or boots to get to the base of the climbs!

Basically this is a great start to climbing outdoors, a good student teacher ratio, great fun and I can't wait to get back out on the crags!

Fantastic course for outdoor beginners

Jenny Buckland

I've been climbing indoors for nearly a year, up to 5/5+ on a good day, but was nervous about trying outdoor climbing, not least because you need to know a lot more about ropework and safety. This course was exactly what I needed: it started gently on some really easy crags, then moved on to multipitch climbs and some beginner trad leading. The instructors were calm, friendly and very knowledgeable, and they tailored the course to suit our needs and level of ability. I now feel confident to go outdoor sport climbing, and to second trad climbing. I also know enough about knots, anchors and belay options to check other people's practice and avoid climbing with people who are unsafe or overconfident! Make sure you take a full set of waterproofs and lots of layers, as the Welsh weather can throw anything at you.

thank you

Will Davis

I just want to say thank you to Ruth Taylor, Keith Ball, Dave Rudkin and Andy Turner.
Even though it rained most of the week I had one of the best weeks in my life. The skills that Ruth, Kieth and especially Dave passed on will keep me and my climbing partner/s safe on the mountains/crags for the rest of my climbing life.
I would also like to pass on my thanks to all the staff at the Brenin you are all sooo helpfull, kind and freindly.
I look forward to coming back to the Brenin over the years to help and improve my climbing/mountain skills.
Once again thank you all.

Will Davis.

Really good

Johnnie Lester

I'd been climbing indoors for a while and had seconded a few single pitch routes a couple of years ago when I went on this course. I wanted to look at constructing good belays and learn about gear placements as well as spend some time climbing on rock. We covered these things and plenty more so I was really happy with the course.
I don't think it really matters what previous experience you've got as the instructor to student ratios are so good (1:3 for the first 2 days and 1:2 for the remaining 3 days in our case) that everyone can go at their own pace.
The instructors were brilliant - really calm and helpful. I was really impressed that they managed to keep us all busy and keep teaching us new things even on the rainy days (rained 3 days out of 5). It would have been nice to see a bit more sunshine but the course is so well run that I don't think the weather really made a difference to what we learnt.
And the food and accommodation was really good as well. Thanks a lot for a great week

One of the best courses I've been on

Ollie Taylor

I'd recommend this course to anyone.

Its staffed by extremely qualified instructors (i.e. the people who write the guide books!) who are genuinely interested in helping you develop from what ever level that you are at.

The course is extremely well paced (catered for ad hoc per group.) We were continually challenged and had influence over what we achieved each day, this worked well for us.

The accommodation is also extremely good. Think really good private school but with a bar (which has free WiFi)

The course is all inclusive; complimentary hire (everything from rock shoes to ropes, gear and rucksacks; quite literally everything.) There is nothing extra to pay (except for the bar of course.)

The facility is run ecologically, it supports the local economy (use of local butcher for all meat, use of independent climbing shops) cares about reducing waste and HSE.

If you're even half interested -book it

Awesome Course

Andrew Sudworth

I had only been to a climbing wall a couple of times prior to attending this course. Each member of the course was asked what they expected to get out of the course, and the week was adapted to suit each individual. we covered all the basics "Clean Shoes!!!!", and movement on rock, safety and protection, self rescue, traditional climbing and sport climbing.

All our instructors were great, we changed instructors which gave us access to different approaches, they also pushed you to try harder routes, bring it on!!

Accommodation was good, food was good, evening lectures were good, and the beer in the bar was good.

Value for money??????, YES, we had lodgings, 4 meals a day, awesome instruction & advice on equipment, use of all the climbing equipment(try before you buy), use of facilities and free transfers from the railway station(no need to take the car) all this for just about 110 pounds a day - BARGAIN.

After only 4 days of climbing I was leading climbs on my own climbs, get on this course, call them tell them what your looking for and they help you pick the right course for you.

Enough reading, get booking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Great value course!

Julia Laycock

For anyone learning to climb outdoors or refreshing rusty skills, this is a great value course with plenty of climbing and coverage of all key skills needed to climb competently outdoors. The instructors were great and with the 5 days there is room to tailor the course to suit more specific interests - i.e. sport climbing, leading, trad gear placement, etc. Top week and great weather!

One of the best weeks of my life

Rob Chappell

Of course the sun shone more or less all week so that made a big difference but I really did have a whale of a time. Arriving on Sunday night at what appeared to be some kind of institution (that was unexpected) with a couple of years indoor climbing and a weekend or two seconding on single pitch gritstone, I wasn't sure what to expect. I woke the next morning to a good breakfast and a days top roped climbing and some really great basic instruction. then back in time for tea and a swim in the lake or a little bouldering up the road, lovely dinners and a couple of pints of Brenin Ale. A perfect day! Followed by four more perfect days, great company and excellent instructors. By the end of the week we (a group of 4 with 2 instructors) were seconding huge multi pitch routes at HS in places and leading shorter (still multi pitch) routes.

I had my 43rd birthday on the Friday and I have to say it was up there as one of the better ones. Then off to Glastonbury to ruin it all with a load of far less healthy behaviour. The week has left me itching to get back out climbing and planning next year's course. Just hope we get the sun again!

Great Course

Steve Wray

Really enjoyed the course. Instructors, centre staff all excellent, everything well organised and the food fantastic. Really good value for money. Difficult to find a fault but maybe would have liked to have done some leading on day 4 not day 5. Already looking through the brochure to see what other course I can do!

From zero to VS in 5 days!

Jo Robins

Having only ever climbed indoors and being rather nervous about going outdoors for the first time, the instructors were fantastic about putting me at ease, and teaching everything we needed to know. By the end of the 5 days I'd led my first pitch and feel confident about seconding and being safe on the crag. Will be going back to do another rock course as soon as I've done a bit more climbing outdoors....
Thanks for a fab week.

Excellent course!

M. Williams

The course was everything that I expected and more. Having been climbing indoor regularly for some time I wanted to have a go outside.

The instructors were knowledgeable, approachable and very patient with us. Every question we had for them they answered without hesitation which gave us the confidence we needed to climb to our best ability.

We visited 5 different crags during the week and learnt all the basics needed to start climbing outdoors on our own. The course covers everything from technique, ropework, equipment, bouldering, single pitch, multi pitch and even lead climbing. I now feel confident enough to go to a crag and lead climb.

The setup at Plas y Brenin is excellent. The best part is the quality of the instructors and they are backed up with great location, food, bar and the centre as a whole. I will certainly be going back on another course!



Excellent course.
Louise was so good with us, couldn't have had someone more encouraging and full of great tips..made everything easy to understand.

Food was fabulous too.

A confidence building, inspiring course - excellent instructors tailor training to suit individual participant's needs.


The Touching Stone course was first class and gave me a very productive, enjoyable and informative week. As someone with very little experience of out door summer climbing, it was a great introduction to climbing on different types of rock and and building the skills needed to tackle outdoor routes safely. There were many opportunities to set up the rope systems and protection needed on single and multi pitch climbs, with expert but approachable instructors always available to give advice and encouragement. The 2:1 student to instructor ratio on the final three days of the course allowed the tuition to be tailored to suit the needs and level of experience of each pair of participants. This made the course really productive and means that people with different climbing backgrounds could get maximum benefit from the week. The course was led in great style by James MacHaffie who was keen to ensure that everyone had a chance to get instructor advice on the issues that mattered most to them. Luke Brooks, my instructor for the final three days, taught me lots about ropework, placing protection, racking gear and planning a climb. On the final day Luke oversaw my first go at leading a climb - which was an absorbing, fasinating and enjoyable experience. I certainly was not willing to lead even the simplest route before the course, but the week of concentrated training with great instructors has given me the confidence to go out and try leading for myself now. It is well worth investing a week of time in the Touching Stone course. But be warned, the enthusiasm of the Plas y Brenin instructors is infectious and you may well become addicted to climbing.

Excellent Course for making the transition to outside

Lesley Ross

When we enquired about the suitability of this course, the staff were very careful not to 'over promise' but the course delivered everything and more that we were hoping for. Having had very little experience of climbing outside, our objective was to feel confident to tackle outdoors on our own by the end of the week.
Despite the worst week of rain in Wales for a long time, the course delivered exactly that. We were lucky to have our instructors to ourselves and their knowledge and understanding was fantastic. They were very patient and supportive and you could ask them any questions and they would always have an answer or an explanation.
Despite the weather, they managed to find somewhere suitable for us to get outside every day, and that combined with lots of practising under cover combined to give us the confidence to start leading outside. This is a very practical course, you won't be sat inside learning lots of theory, you will be out there learning on the go. We couldn't praise the instructors highly enough.
Equally the Centre at Plas Y Brenin is very well organised, the food is a very high standard and the kitchens are extremely efficient given the number of people they feed in a short period.
All in all, an excellent week and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to anyone looking to make the transition to outside climbing from an indoor wall. Go wtih an open mind as to what you can achieve and be prepared to learn because all the knowledge you need is there.
Thank you for a fantastic week.

top course and instructors

Jim Bayliss

I went on this course at the end of June with a group of mates,Lee Roberts was in charge and I have to say his style of instruction and leadership was excellent, as were the other instructors on the course,they were calm, extremely attentive to any errors we made, and we learnt a great deal,
The accomodation was good as were the optional lectures in the evening.
The food was outstanding.
Lee had the unfortunate job of personally tutoring me and a mate for the latter half of the course, he adapted his training to our needs(which were many) and put up with our humour!

He taught me a great deal and was extremely approachable, even when certain parts of me were twitching on the 4th pitch of Christmas curry at tremadog.
I have nothing but praise and respect for him, as a result of his training I am now hooked on this sport, I recently lead on a V S and just wanna climb climb climb, this is undoubtably due to the training i received, thank you pyb and Lee

Thank you all at PyB

Stewart Lomax

All the instructors on this course were obviously all totally committed and enthusiastic climbers. Which inspired me to want to achieve what I had come on the course for. To be able to lead a multi pitch route.
It was great to be able to feel like a member of the PYB community and be introduced (again) to the cafe culture of climbers.
Thank you all at PyB.... I'll be back!

A Fantastic course that has helped me move on massively with all aspects of my climbing.

Steve Mayo

An excellent five day course for people wishing to make the transition from indoor climbing walls to outside. As a relatively new climber attempting to gain control over a long standing fear of heights, the Touching Stone course was of great value in how experienced, friendly and relaxed our instructors were and their confidence in the equipment which (at last!) they passed onto me as it was always a irrational fear in the back of my mind whilst climbing. The instruction we received on rope management, placing anchors and setting up belay stances was clearly taught and by people with a genuine love for what they do. Our instructors skillfully assessed the different degrees of experience and confidence within our group and managed to challenge us with a wide selection of routes to choose from in different beautiful locations around Snowdonia. The course is pure fun (even when I got quite scared!) and something that I will recommending to my climbing friends looking to make the transition from indoor to the crags. The Plas y Brenin team have managed to turn my rock climbing curiosity into an a fun & exciting obsession!

Steve :o)

Book this course!!

Paul Aston Norway/New Zealand

Touching Stone is a course that I took part in,July 08.
As advertised,this course fullfilled all expectations and catered to my desired topics of learning.
From the first contact with P.Y.B by way of the internet in Jan this year I felt I was in for a great time,I was right!
I travelled from Norway to attend 3 courses in a row starting with this one. My purpose,for this was to build on my exisiting basic trad climbing knowlegde and grow as a climber..I Did just this!
From that first contact in January, then pickup at the Llandudno staition I enjoyed professional, focussed caring peole that are in my memory P.Y.B! These people are passionate in what they do within the many diverse roles they fill.
Admin staff 10/10. Kitchen,staff and the food they offer coupled with the general accomodation staff 10/10.
Stores people offered the best quality in equipment..Instructors..YES you guessed...10/10.
The people of pyb whether at the village base of operations or instructors on the cliffs did absloutley all possible to ensure that I got what I came for.
On the cliffs that goal was for me to recieve expert supervision and tuition.Thanks to the instructors and their unique personalities,expertise ,patience and passion for teaching and climbing I got just this and more!They battled well against the weather on our behalf and won almost of the time!

I followed on with a two day Intro to leading then a five day Rock Improver to build on all learned on this course.
The days enjoyed on Touching Stone were an excellant place to start and allowed me to totally prepared to take part in the following two courses during the next 7 days.
I enjoyed these two coures equally,and reccommend them also.
Book this coures..I am glad that I did!

P.Y.B proves you can grow on Rock.
Paul Aston Stadsbygd Norway

Training offerred was very much individually personalised to cater to all on this course.


Paul O'Shea

Excellent in every way. The instructors never stopped giving useful tips and feedback in addition to the basic tuition.
The tuition was put over in a very user friendly way with plenty of opportunity to put into practice under the watchful eye of the experts. The crags were chosen to suit the individuals.. ability (and the weather). I particularly liked the evening sessions on movement.
The friendliness of the staff and other course participants gave the venue a homely feel, not to mention the food!
I would thoroughly recommend the course which achieved more than outlined in the course notes.
The weather was very poor but the instructors prevented this getting in the way of the climbing, had a great time.

brilliant course

jim bailey

great starter if you never been on rock. or had little experience. great instruction and personal tuition. training 1 instructor to 2 people. learnt loads.

Coffee mugs.

Mike Gannon

Hi Fantastic week.
A big thanks to Paul our intructor for the week.
I had a great time, and visited some really good climbing spots.
I feel really confident placing gear and setting up belays.
I am looking forward to summer



Exceeded All Expectations

Paul Willett

A Fantastic week which I would recommend.

I was doing stuff by the end of the week that I didn't think I'd be doing for years!

The instructors were top rate and there when needed but not pushy so you can go at your own pace.

Picked up loads of useful tips.

As with all these things it wasn't just the climbing but also the other people on the course, the instructors and the positive atmosphere at The Brenin that made it so good.

Not found what you were looking for?

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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.

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