01690 720214

Introduction to Leading - 2 days

Course Overview

This course is for climbers who already have the basic climbing skills and competent seconds who want to start lead climbing.
You'll cover guidebook interpretation, route selection and grades, protection, clipping and ropework, building belays, single and multi-pitch climbing, climbing technique, abseiling, simple problem solving; retreating off routes, escaping the system, prussiking. You will make the first steps into lead climbing whilst learning the nuts and bolts of climbing including simple ropework and decision making to be a safe lead climber.

Experience Required

must be a proficient second.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Is it for me?

This course is for people who want to make the transition from following a partner, to making the first moves on the lead. You should already be a competent second; able to put on a harness; tie in to the end of a rope; and have experience of belaying and tying into anchors. A reasonable understanding of climbing is important as the leap to leading should not be taken lightly.

Course Content

The aim of the course is to help you progress towards leading independently. This will be carefully tailored to suit your ability - as well as your aspirations. We feel it is very important to select climbs that match your skill level, in order to safely develop your confidence.

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, and a high staff to student ratio allows us to focus on individual needs. We will normally climb on multi pitch crags both days.

Over the weekend we intend to look at the following areas:

  • Personal equipment (and racking it)

  • Gear placement

  • On the sharp end - the process of leading

  • Mental preparation

  • Lead belaying

  • Stance organisation

  • Abseil retreats

  • Emergency procedures

  • Judgement, route choice and route finding

  • The BMC - services and clubs

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

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 intro to trad leading


Great course, top instructor, and fantastic set up at the centre. When bad weather stopped play, we spent a day doing intensive technique which was perfect prep for the less damp day on the crag. I learned way more than I expected, and couldn't top the food or banter. Definitely will be back again.

Returning to leading

Shane Clark

Having done a lot of lead climbing many many years ago and having a break. This course was excellent intro and update to get me back into lead climbing. It confirmed a lot, refreshed old skills and taught new ones.
The coach, Mike, was excellent, his passion and knowledge for climbing was a gold mine. I really liked the supportive and helpful coaching approach.
As always the cake and tea at 5 pm were brilliant.
Finally, the evening session on the wall was brilliant as it is not a cheap course so I feel, with the evening lecture, really made the course value for money.
Thanks, recommend to any old leaders who want to get back into it..


Chris Chester

Course was very good and covered everything I had hoped for. Instructor was great, helped to build confidence and skills in a safe environment. I was a little anxious going into the course very soon after a recent injury, but this was taken on board by staff and taken into account. The climbing areas we were taken to seemed well selected for the lessons/learning on the course and time of year; also helped by being very lucky with the weather! Had a lot of fun and looking forward to start applying my new skills over the summer. Accommodation was nice - better than I had expected in fact! Would have liked the main courses of the evening meals to have been a bit more generous, although they were good food and certainly sufficient - I just have a big appetite! Ginger biscuits for the packed lunches were really tasty and a personal favorite. Overall excellent and would recommend to friends as well as go back again myself.

My worries were put to bed

Greg Hood

I was a little worried starting off, as I had led before, and was on the course with my partner who hadn't. I was worried that I wouldn't get anything from the course as it was at an entry level.
My worries were put to bed quite early on in the first morning brief when donald and jamie asked us about previous experiences and came up with a plan that seemed to fit us both quite well. Meaning I got to lead a few routes, while my partner was shown the basics.

(She went on to lead 2 VDiffs at Castle Naze a week later)

Fantastic, very helpful

Hannah Cross

Don and Jamie were fantastic instructors for this course. They were patient, helpful, informative and friendly. Jamie realised that one of us was much more proficent than the other and allowed for them to develop their skills even further and gave helpful advice without being at all patronising. A worthwhile course for intermediate /advanced climbers and competent seconds who wish to develop their skills and start to lead. You will go back to basics in some aspects but this will make you realise that actually, this is beneficial and will help you improve where perhaps you may have forgotten skills. A knowledge of how to climb is recommended before patricipating in this course.

Just what it said on the tin.

Chris Morris

This course was perfect for what we needed, which was to learn the basics of placing gear, setting up anchors, belays etc so we can start climbing independently (on easy routes of course...). Donald, our instructor got the balance between instruction and practice dead right and was there with all the right feedback. We had a lot of fun and will be back before long for more courses.

Superb experience


I came to the course to acquire the skills and confidence to start trad leading and left with exactly that.
Our guides were not only very experienced but also superb in passing this experience on. Having a 2:1 ration of participants to guides allowed for a very tailored course.
The Plas Y Brening center was an experience in itself.
Fantastic setting, nice rooms, good food, good facilities and an extremly friendly communal feel.
Will be back!

great weekend on Nav Skills Course

Diana Gardiner

I had a really great weekend with instructor Simon Lake and learnt to lead climb (single and multi pitch) along with required rope/anchor/belay work.

Simon also fitted in an abseil opportunity which was great.

I would recommend anyone interested in taking the leap from seconder to lead to book on this course as the course agenda includes all that is required to propel students into applying the knowledge and information going forward. It is all about practicing what you learn and Simon advised repeatitive use of the achronym IDEAS in addition to all the great skills he taught us last weekend.

Course dates 27th - 28th September 2014.

Many thanks for a fabulous stay in a great place with expert tuition and great food!!

Kind regards,

Will definitely come back


Owen was a very nice, competent and patient instructor. All the information was there together with plenty of practice. Even the wheather was just perfect!
Will definitely come back.

Many thanks,

Spot on!

Keith Rutherford

This course was focused on the skills required for leading and was tailored to our individual abilities. We had a 2:1 training ratio and this worked well. The climbing was at a comfortable grade so that we could really focus on the placement of gear and setting up correctly. I admit we were very lucky with the weather and had two perfect days. For me personally it was also great fun! The food was great and the days well organised. I came away with exactly what I needed, which was confidence that I was placing gear correctly and now being able to judge routes from both guide books and on site. It also corrected a few bad climbing habits! My experience and something other people may find helpful is that they really did tailor to my existing level of ability.

150% Worth It!

Donna Falconer

I have been climbing for a few years now and have quite alot of experience climbing up to VS and HVS as a second with experienced lead climbers. However, whilst my technical climbing has continued to improve, I have not been getting the opportunity to take the grade down a peg or two and try leading on trad for myself. I have done quite a bit of indoor leading and a little bit of outdoor lead sport climbing, however had been suffering a real mental block for leading on Trad. Physologically, this seemed like a really big step for me, and to say I was aprehensive about it is a major understatement! However, despite my reservations I was equally determined to overcome this fear and learn to be a safe and confident lead climber in my own right. I also felt this would help me become a more useful second where I could assist with stance management, rope work and anchor set-up if required.
The first day I felt instantly put at ease after meeting Dave and Luke (the instructors). It turned out that each of us (4) students had quite varied climbing CVs, yet Dave and Luke seemed very positive from the outset that we could have a great couple of days. On day one we went to a beautiful, hidden single pitch crag with no one else insight. It was perfect for practicing setting up anchors at the top, practicing belaying a second from above, and trying out leading from the bottom with a botom rope as back up. I really appreciated their approach to break down trad leading into it's component parts before putting it all together on the second day.
To my great approval we spent the whole time outside on the crag - no class room work at all! However this was probably helped by the AMAZING weather we had on both days... 20+ degrees with not a cloud in sight :-)
The process of leading was broken down into the following main elements:
- Gear placement and setting up safe anchors
- Belaying the second from above
- leading climbing (on a safety rope)
- Then putting it all together - however this was greatly helped by having Dave on a fixed line next to me to provide confirmation of the gear placement effectiveness and also to calm me down when I started to wobble!
We also covered multi-pitch routes and abseiling in great detail - getting the chance to put it all into practice.
I was so pleased that by the end of the course I could say I had led 3 routes, 2 multi-pitch and safely escaped via abseil! I really didn't know if I was going to have the confidence to do so - so was super happy that I did!
The instructors were first class, answered any questions, had loads of helpful easy to remember tips and really helped me break-down the (at first intimidating) process of lead climbing into managable bite size chunks. I also feel everything i learnt has really sunk in. This is something I wasn't sure would happen - as previoulsy trying to decipher a belay set up has really bamboozled me :-)
I'm now just really excited about getting out on the rock to practice what I've learnt and consolidate further.
Whether you are a technically good but nervous lead climber or a brave novice, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this course! It's excellent, and I feel like i've made a massive improvement in my technical skills as well as shifted a major roadblock in my head.
Very happy :-)

Smashing :)

G Mac

Very good weekend. Had Tim Neill for both days. Perfect. Couldn't have asked for more. Very happy.

Disappointing discovery...


Had really been looking forward to the 2 day Discover Leading course having seconded on routes on Tremadog and the Ogwen Slabs before (areas that I knew would be our training ground). I was looking to learn about placing pro, how to judge how sound the placement was/wasn't and setting up anchors/belay stations while leading. I did not expect this course to suddenly turn me into a lead trad climber, at 2 days that would be a ridiculous expectation, but I did expect to come away with an understanding and ability to swing lead on diffs and VDs. Whilst I gained very good instruction on setting anchors and creating belay stations and advice on placing and rating pro, this was mainly done at the bottom of the crag and not while climbing. The actual time I spent leading with an instructor top-roped beside me was 1 short pitch in 2 days, even though after the first day I voiced that I would've liked more time leading. I would advise 2 things to those considering this course: 1) Do you have a climbing partner to join you? If not, you may wish to reconsider as most people attending are with their regular climbing partners and whoever you are paired with will definitely influence your experience (whether they are more or less experienced than you). 2) There is no guarantee how much lead time you will get and if you definitely want to be on the sharp end of the stick, you'd do better to use your money to have a guide take you out 1 to 1.



Just two of us and Dave Evans, our excellent and helpful instructor, for the weekend.
Saturday a.m. we climbed Hail Bebe at Tremadog, Dave led and we seconded.Several pitches, involving building belays, etc. A beautiful climb, gorgeous views. Honking geese flying next to us!
Poured with rain p.m. so we returned to the centre and practised placing protection, getting to understand the different nuts, etc and tying on for belaying. Then a skills and techniques bouldering session.....balancing on the rock face with no hands is quite an art!
Sunday a.m. atrocious wind and sheeting rain, so continued our bouldering tachniques indoors and prayed for the rain to stop. It did!
Off to Lion Crag in the sun and gale force wind where we practised single pitch lead climbing with Dave alongside us, checking, advising, commenting and being extremely encouraging, and making sure our decisions were the right ones. And then getting safe for belaying the second ...... in the 40 mph wind!
Dave designed the course especially for our needs and abilities.....doesn't matter how old you are (we're pensioners)......the instructors are brilliant - they get the best out of you.
We thoroughly enjoyed the course, just a shame about the atrocious weather.

Cakes to die for, sunshine, inspired instruction.

Lizzie Cooke

I can heartily recommend the place and the course.

Plas y Brenin is a sort of Welsh version of Rivendell - beautiful, peaceful, full of amenable people. And oh those Plas y Brenin breakfasts. Oh those Plas y Brenin cakes. Everyone should come here. (There seems to be a course for everyone, pretty much).

The Learning to Lead weekend was amazing. There were only two students, so mixed ability was inevitable. Our instructor, Mike Raine, devised a brilliant weekend that stretched both of us at our different levels, and left me feeling strengthened, mentally and physically. He also found us a sunny crag on a rainy day.

This was a weekend that will stay with me for a long time. Thank you, PyB!!!

A great learning experience in spite of the weather

Rachel Warrington

With a 1:2 ratio of instructors to students and well-planned, tailored teaching I learned a lot more than I'd expected to in just two days. The weather was pretty terrible all weekend but our instructors Rocio and Lou made sure we still made the full use of the time - and stayed cheerful and encouraging, even when we were being lashed by driving rain half way up a 4 pitch climb.

All of the teaching was tailored to our individual needs and abilities. Rocio, who led my team, set us challenges but knew our limits and I always felt safe. I arrived as a nervous second with limited experience and a mental block about knot-tying... I have come away feeling confident as a second and ready to gain experience safely and move towards leading over time.

The indoor work we did one afternoon when the weather drove us inside was really valuable and I can now tie clove hitches with one and two hands and set up a variety of anchors: Rocio is the first person who has ever managed to teach me a knot in just one day!

I'd like to add that it was inspiring to have female instructors - I was the only female student on the course and my experience of outdoor rock climbing so far has been quite male-dominated, which isn't at all a problem in itself, but it's encouraging to have female role models to aspire to.

Plas-y-Brenin is also a lovely, comfortable place to stay and the food is really good.

Thanks to Rocio and Lou and Plas-y-Brenin for a great weekend.


Thanks guys

Chris Ferguson

James and Simon were very impressive this weekend, efficient, friendly and professional throughout. They even got us out on rock, despite the terrible weather, doing their very best to combat the conditions and give us a good experience.
I can thoroughly recommend this course, ideal if you want to get on the rock and do your own leading as safely as possible.

A great confidence building weekend!

David Eason

Having years of indoor climbing experience, some sport climbing experience, a little trad seconding experience and having tried a lead and lost my confidence after an unfortunate fall on the sharp end I decided to book this course to learn how to approach trad leading with confidence and gain a better understanding of the principles involved. I was not disappointed and got as much out of the course as I wanted.

Big thanks to Kath my instructor for being very patient and explaining the rope work and gear in a bit more detail. It was reassuring having someone looking over my shoulder (literally, on a static line) as I moved giving me confidence in gear placement and how to approach gear placement. I'd never really set up a bomb proof set of adjustable belay anchors before this and now would be quite confident in placing the gear and adjusting the belay to suit the stance. The first day was spent seconding, placing gear and setting up belays in double pitch climbs at Tremadog, followed by abseil techniques (multi pitch, self protected and stacked abseils) and the second day was spent on a 5 pitch climb at the Idwal Slabs, Ogwen where I led a couple of pitches.

I found that you get as much out of this as you put in so I was keen to ask questions and understand the principles of the rope system and the more inquisitive you are the more you'll take away from this, also going at a pace on climbs that suit your confidence levels.

All I would say is it is a lot to cram into two days and a lot of info to take on; it would have been great to lead more pitches but time flies and we ran out of time on the Idwal Slabs unfortunately and only managed one 5 pitch climb. I would also say it is definitely worth doing a bit of reading up on trad rope work before attending and have a bit of an understanding of the principles of leading so you know what you want to learn and the aspects you need to develop & progress in, which may make the title "an introduction to leading" a little misleading, but nonetheless if you are keen to get "introduced to leading" then this is definitely the course for you if you know a bit about trad and have seconded before. Possibly not for the total novice but as I say you get as much out of this you put in and if you are keen and have specific needs from the course and questions to ask they will get answered.

Great facilities, amazing location and an inspiring weekend - big thanks to the PYB team.

Great Course

Tim Rees

Headed to PYB for the intro to leading course, had already done a little trad leading, but was looking to consolidate what I knew and have an expert look over my shoulder and make sure I didn't have any bad habits. Our instructor Paul was great, and he inspired confidence all weekend. Been home a week, and just spent a day at Swanage putting everything I learned into effect! Thanks a lot guys, well worth the trip.



Booked onto this course with little experience in leading, but by the time the course came around I was tentatively leading VS. Therefore i was worried that the more advance course would have been a better choice, how wrong i was. By the end of the weekend, i had eliminated any concerns regarding gear placement and anchors, led a HVS route and seconded both an E1 and E2! The accommodation and food are both top notch all set in a location to die for. Finally I'd like to thank Tim Neill, and the other instructors for completely making the weekend the epic adventure it was.



My second course at Plas y Brenin, the first being "rock developer."
Once again, a very well run course, and well suited to my needs. I got straight into leading and achieved everything I'd hoped for. Despite the terrible weather on the Sunday, we still got a good bit of climbing in and really made the most of the day.
Accommodation, food, beer.... excellent as always.
Many thanks to Dave, our instructor for the weekend.

Completely matched my expectations


I've been impressed how everything was looked after so that we could relax and focus on climbing only. From the pick up from and to the station to the great breakfast and diner, the accommodation, and the gear.

One instructor for two students was a great way to learn quickly and efficiently. The instructor had the opportunity to choose the routes and tailor the content of the course based on our capabilities. Every protection placement was discussed, with many potential issues highlighted, and little tips that make the difference provided. I left the centre confident enough to build my rack and go climbing on my own.

Plus the instructor and the climbing buddies of one week-end were really friendly!

I warmly recommend this course!

Andy Turner & James McHaffie ... I salute you !

Tony Warneck

If I had to sum up the course in one word it would be ... comprehensive. That said I could bore you for hours eulogising about my weekend at PYB ... as my friends & family will attest. Honestly, I cannot praise the PYB organisation, facilities & staff enough. However, I must reserve special thanks for the guides on my course, Andy Turner & James McHaffie. Guys, it was a privilege and to show my appreciation I recently demoted a lead partner to a second! For any budding lead climbers out there I can add but one more thing ... stop dithering & book the course ... you will not be disappointed.

Just another glowing review!

Daniel (aka Amster-Dan aka NearlyDutchDan)

Having been to PyB earlier in the year for the Rock Developer course it came as no surprise that the meals were excellent, the atmosphere convivial, the rooms clean, the beds warm and the weather wet :-)

The set up is typical with 2 students to an instructor. On the first day it stayed mostly dry with only the threat of torrential rain. This day was spent at Idwal slabs seconding, we [students] got to lead a single pitch each which didn..t feel like much. Clearly the instructors needed to check our basic rope work and stance maintenance - of course a necessary evil - but knowing how fast 2 days can go I was gagging to do more - keen doesn..t even begin to adequately describe it.

On the second day the instructors had a revelation :-) - a eureka moment - they found a 40m rock face .. Tryfan Fach (Little Tryfan) .. the instructors spent the day hanging around on their abseil ropes and we [the students] got to alternate leads - ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT IDEA ! Weather was good, boots were sticky and routes were ticked :)

Looking back it..s amazing how much knowledge our instructor Jack G managed to pass on without once feeling that it was too much to take in. The quality of instruction was excellent.

On a personal note: Chatting with Jack certainly inspired me a lot, living in Holland it..s harder for me than most to get to the crags but thanks to the forums on UKclimbing.com I..ve put myself in touch with climbing partners over here and have 2 trips to the sport crags of Belgium planned for next month.

Issues? Well, I just think 2 days is just not long enough and makes you far too dependent on the fickle weather.

Many thanks to all the staff who all contributed to making my climbing holiday such a memorable experience.

Excellent course, tailored to suit my needs and aspirations


I'd been climbing about 15 months, mostly indoors when I arrived at PYB for the intro to leading course. I was comfortable with leading sport routes on indoor walls but I'd never successfully even top-roped a route outside so I was a bit nervous about this. My regular climbing parter who has lots of trad experience and has led some routes before came to PYB with me so we climbed together with Paul, our instructor for the weekend.

The course was perfect for me because I gained so much confidence throughout the weekend. Climbing outdoors is so different from inside and I was a bit daunted at first by all the different bits of pro and the construction of belays. It all became clear once I'd had a go at building my own belay and I'd got used to placing and removing protection. The climbing itself was very easy but that suited me because I needed to get used to being so far off the ground and trusting in the different bits of pro. I honestly wasn't sure what it would be like to be on a ledge several pitches above the ground attached to the rock by nothing but a few flimsy-looking wires but it was a lot less scary than I thought it would be.

By the end of the first morning I'd got to the top of Valerie's Rib at Tremadog and by that point I was already addicted to climbing outside. I managed to do my frist lead on the second day and I loved it. There was something so satisfying about getting up the crag placing in all my own pro, safe in the knowledge that my instructor was next to me on a static line just in case I needed some help. My first lead was such a positive experience I can't wait to do another one.

I'm probably not the most typical of course participants in that I didn't have any trad expereince prior to coming to PYB and I was quite nervous about climbing outside. I don't even like heights all that much. However I was impressed by the way that Pual looked after me and worked so hard to build up my confidence and skills. Before the course I phoned PYB a couple of times with questions about the different courses and the staff were extremely helpful and reassuring.

What was so good about this particular course was that it was tailored to where I was at, both in my physical climbing ability and my mental approach to leading and being outside. I'd certianly highly recommend it to anyone aspiring to lead trad routes. I'd very much like to come back in a year or two's time and do a more advanced leading course after some consolidation.

Thanks to Paul for his excellent instruction and for his encouragement. It was a superb weekend, despite the weather!

Fast Track your learning!

Paul Aston Noway,NewZealand

I travelled fron Norway to P.Y.B to take part in three climb courses in a row,the first being Touching Stone,then Intro to Leading.The last course Rock Improver lasting 5 days followed this course.
My goal:To develope trad climb skills well past my basic level.
Intro to Leading saw me take yet again a giant leap forward on completing this course.
Under the expert supervision of the instructors,and in conjunction with them matching me with a suitable partner,we enjoyed two great days.
I had by now,days 5 and 6 at P.Y.B come to enjoy the great people who work behind the scenes.The,admin, reception,accomodation staff,stores people work equally professionally as the instructors and so one large team effort supports the client who comes to P.Y.B.
Great food by the way(lots of it)!
With a relatively short two days period in which to take the course,our instructor group worked hard to find a suitable location to go climbing with departure to the cliffs well organised so that we could get the most out of the days.
Expert instruction,excellent equipment combined with the local knowledge and passionate spirit of our instructor(s) saw me progress a great deal aquiring a great deal of knowledge in a short time.

Keeping in mind that the weather in the mountains is so unpredictable I consider that if possible a participant who can stay on one or two days longer may wish to consider the possibility of private lead coahing or another course to follow this two day experiance as I did enjoy some rain during my 12 days at P.Y.B!

In mentioning this bit I add that I climbed 11 1/2 of 12 days:)

As I observed on the other two courses,the staff do all they can to battle the weather and almost always win!

Professional training of the type I experianced on this course was a fast track to learning things the right way,safe way from some of the best instructors I believe can be found.

This course is as advertised and one that I would certainly recommend to you!

Rock Improver that I finished with allowed me consolidation of all learned previously, and an opportunity to learn more.

Book this course!

PyB..the place where you will grow on Rock!

Paul Aston

Stadsbyg Norway.

An inspiring weekend


I had been procrastinating for some time about making the big step from leading at the climbing wall and seconding outdoors, to leading my first trad route. I found the Introduction to Leading course a really great stepping stone. There was no pressure at all to do anything we weren't completely comfortable with, just encouragement. We covered a confidence building amount of skills and safety - ropework, gear choice and placement, building belays, abseiling etc. - both in theory and practice, but it was integrated into the climbing so that each day was also still a great day out at the crag. Experiencing the buzz of leading my first trad climbs in such an amazingly beautiful part of the world has just left me wanting to get out and climb some more....

Excellent course and extremely professional tuition


A great course.
- perfect syllabus and timetable
- professional, friendly and encouraging instructors
- good group mix and dynamics
- good pace, balance and flexibiliy of tuition
and even the weather was perfect!....

Only improvement points I can think of...
- I was non-residential, as the PYB was booked out. Isn't there a bunkhouse or something as a fall back?
- consequently, I was also relegated to PYB bar food. The bar menu is really very poor and the cooking not great either. That's a real pity, because the (residents) meals are much better, and the bar food is some people's first impression of the Brenin's catering. Of course it's not a restaurant, but I think you can do better than a burger in a bap with chips! Give the menu some thought... chilli? Pasta? Pies? A selection of Pizza's would even be an improvement.

Hope to see you again soon...


Intro to Leading review

Robin Stiffin

Thanks for a great weekend - the good weather helped alot I suppose. It was good to climb on different crags to last time (Rock developer last year though I suppose thats weather dependant too). Ogwen was a bit too polished, but I suppose that cant be helped; perhaps the instructors like to get as much cragging time as poss. It was good to climb some easy stuff so that one could concentrate on rope rather than holding on, maybe a few more one handed gear placement tips could have been good. A refresher on building more complex belays might have been good too, but on the whole I think the weekend did what was intended and I'd feel confident enough to go to the crag and lead - once I've bought a few more small screwgates, some bigger hexes and friends and a few more longer quickdraws. Thanks to Andy and Ruth.

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