01690 720214

Rapid Development Clinic (Climbing)

Course Overview

Now's your chance to really make some progress as a climber. If you've climbed a little indoors or seen climbers from afar and admired their strength and confidence, this is your opportunity to join them.
Over two five day blocks you'll receive close instruction from our expert instructors, helping you develop from novice to confident, experienced practitioner. You'll feel the difference in your own mind as you develop your confidence and improve your judgement and you'll see the difference as you master the ropework skills, balance and movement techniques.
Climbing on all kinds of rock at many classic venues, you'll do more than your fair share of climbing too and, as you'll learn all about gear selection, route selection, guidebooks, access and many other surrounding issues you will leave the course confident enough to call yourself a 'climber.'
This fornight-long break is also ideal for anyone who is entering the sport 'with their teenage years long behind them' who'd like to make rapid progress and make up for some of that lost time.

Experience Required

no experience required

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Is it for me?

This course is designed for anyone who is keen to benefit from an intensive period of instruction to really kick start their climbing career with some safe and thorough foundations. This fornight-long break is also ideal for anyone who is entering the sport 'with their teenage years long behind them' who'd like to make rapid progress and make up for some of that lost time.

Course Content

With a course director throughout, combined with a team of experienced instructors, we can tailor the course to your individual needs. Skills covered will help you climb harder, more efficiently and for longer, yet still as safely as possible.

Over the period you'll receive close instruction and top level coaching from our expert instructors, helping you develop from novice to confident, experienced practitioner. You'll feel the difference in your own mind as you develop your confidence and improve your judgement and you'll see the difference as you master the ropework skills, balance and movement techniques. Climbing on all kinds of rock at many classic venues, you'll do more than your fair share of climbing too and, as you'll learn all about gear selection, route selection, guidebooks, access and many other surrounding issues you will leave the course confident enough to call yourself a 'climber.

North Wales offers unrivaled quality and variety of rock types to help build your repertoire of techniques. Our staff are very experienced with vast local knowledge, so in partnership with you they'll structure each day towards your needs.

The weekend provides a welcome break, or a chance to "do your own thing" making use of the excellent facilities and lectures that come with "life at the Brenin".

We are uniquely sited for rock climbing. Only minutes away are some of Britain's best mountain crags. The rock is of the highest quality and the climbs have a long mountaineering history. Travelling is kept to a minimum but if weather is bad we may escape to the more coastal cliffs in the rain shadow of the high mountains. Climbing goes on in North Wales all year round, if you know where to go. If we cannot get you into the sun we always have the driest crag in Snowdonia. The Plas-y-Brenin climbing wall is a modern state of the art facility ideal for the wet days. During your stay the climbing wall is free to all students.

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 will be in a comfy single rooms either in the main house or in one of our cottages. All bed linen and towels are provided and tea and coffee making facilities are either in your room if in the main house or in the kitchen if you are in a cottage. If you are accommodated in the main house your room will have an ensuite bathroom, if you are in a cottage you will have a shared bathroom.

Your course fee includes accommodation 7 days a week starting the night before your course begins and will be available from 6pm. On the last day of your course you will need to vacate your room by 5pm. 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.

There is free WiFi access in the bar and dinning room which you are welcome to use during your stay.

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.

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 info@pyb.co.uk.

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

Simply brilliant

Simon Johnson

This course is simply brilliant - I still find it hard to believe how much I learned, and how much fun I had, in four weeks. I arrived as a middle-aged near-beginner, with limited skills and less confidence. By the final day, I was enjoying a VS route on the sea-cliffs at Gogarth.
Simon Lake, the course director, did an excellent job teaching the skills and inspiring the confidence that we needed to progress. Three things in particular stand out: his attention to detail, particularly in matters of safety, his constant assessment of our progress and tailoring of the course to suit our developing abilities and our aspirations, and his ablity to develop each of us through positive reinforcement, demonstrations, and learning exercises. He also has a genius for finding dry rock even in the most unpromising weather - we were outdoors 19 days out of the 20. Ian Craigie, Bryn Williams, Andy Stotesbury, and Dave Evans, who assisted with instruction, also made great contributions to the learning experience.
In addition to the instruction itself, the whole Plas y Brenin experience was high-quality. The accommodations are comfortable, the food is plentiful and excellent, and all of the staff are friendly, positive, and welcoming. The setting in North Wales meant that we were able to experience a wide range of rock types and complete routes on a number of famous venues including Gogarth, Dinas Cromlech, Milestone Buttress, Idwal Slabs, Tremadog, and Dinorweg Quarry.
I highly recommend this course for anyone with little or no experience who wants to immerse themselves in climbing, make tremendous progress, and have a great time in the process.

From rock worrier to rock warrior?


I cannot speak highly enough of Dave Rudkin and his team. Having attended a couple of courses at PyB before, I had high expectations of an entire month of climbing instruction, but even they were exceeded. The teaching and safety ethos of the centre was as strong as ever, the accommodation comfortable and the food excellent. The combination of local knowledge and minibuses meant that we were able to do most of our climbing on dry rock in a wide range of environments, including coastal cliffs, mountains, quarries and roadside crags. We were, however, able to use the couple of unavoidably wet days to work indoors on movement skills and rescue techniques. Our group was very disparate in terms of prior experience and aspirations, but because of a well-structured course and high instructor/student ratio (1:1 on occasions), we were each able to progress at our own pace.

I'm still not a rock warrior, but I can say that I enjoyed the course enormously and feel much more confident about leading, placing protection, setting up belays, abseiling, route-finding and looking after both myself and a partner.

Maximise your climbing potential in just four weeks....

Caroline Munroe

Rapid Rock was the most inspiring and fulfilling four weeks of climbing. Expert tuition, guidance and coaching from James McHaffie throughout the month ensured my climbing escalated to new heights.
Previously a sporadic climber with no trad experience and limited easy sport climbing time on rock, I was hopeful that a month intensive focus on climbing should make up a little for the missed years where work commitments had taken over.
I wasn't disappointed... the first week saw the three of us learn a huge amount- safe and effective rope work skills, movement technique for maximum efficiency whilst climbing, building good anchors and belay points, multi pitch skills, psychological coaching...
Climbing five days a week with weekends to explore Snowdonia further, the mileage we gained on a huge variety of rock was invaluable. James is an exceptional teacher- hugely talented as a climber and able to transfer those skills to enable students to maximise their potential.
As well as the climbing we were superbly looked after by the very friendly and helpful staff at PYB. Being surrounded by people who love the outdoor lifestyle is massively motivating and returning to 'normal society' after a month in the PYB bubble will be hard! I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Its fantastic value, life changing, good for the soul but should come with a warning that you will become oh so slightly obsessed with climbing thereafter...

Just do it !

John Davies

We were four strangers,an Englishman a Welshman a Romanian and an Israeli,aged from 25 to 61(me), experiences ranging from total novice to forty years on and off climbing. A mixed bag by anyones definition. Our course director Dave Rudkin certainly had his work cut out. Not helped by a wet and windy four weeks. He did not disappoint.
We climbed at many venues including, Tremadog upper and lower cliffs,Rhoscolyn, Gogarth,slate quarries,The Moelwyns,LLanberis Pass, Ogwen and sport climbing at Trevor rocks and Colwyn Bay.
On the few days when rain delayed or curtailed the climbing we spent valuable time learning rope handling skills such as, escaping the system, assisted and unassisted hoists and setting up a tyrolean traverse. Even on the wettest day the programme was superb with rope skills on the wall then a surprise guided tour of the DMM factory in Llanberis followed by movement coaching on the RAC boulders during a break in the rain.
Dave and his amazing and inspiring team of instuctors can spot a poorly tied knot at 20 metres
and at every stage the emphasis was on sound and safe practice.
As for the centre? Superb food,helpful and friendly staff and a programme of entertaining and inspiring evening lectures.
If you are considering this course, decide what you want from it and tell the course director and they will do their best to make it happen. Just do it sooner rather than later.
With thanks to Dave, Matt, Guy, Emma, Steve, Paul and Simon

John Davies

Cracking four weeks!

Ian and Vicky

Over the four weeks we gained confidence and competence climbing on many types of rock and in various styles including trad., sport and bouldering. We climbed at Holyhead Mountain, upper and lower tier Tremadog, Llanberis slate quarries (Bus Stop Quarry, Australia and Serengeti), Dinas Cromlech, Pen Trwyn, Clogwyn Bochlwyd, Castle Inn Quarry, Llandulas Cave and Rhoscolyn to name a few.
We added over 60 climbs (many multi pitches) to the logbook and lead almost half of them. Highlights were a first VS lead and seconding the first E1. Previous experience was limited to a couple of vdiff leads outdoors but was mainly indoor climbing with minimal bouldering.
James McHaffie, who was in overall charge of the four weeks, worked (and drove) tirelessly to find dry rock for us each day and on the wettest days (only two out of the whole four weeks were really rained off) we learned and revised rope work (escaping the system, assisted and unassisted hoists, tandem abseils, abseiling past a knot, prussiking up and down a rope etc.) and looked at techniques on the indoor wall which included falling safely and footwork. We climbed single pitch and multi pitch routes on single and twin ropes.
The overall dedication and enthusiasm of James and the other two instructors who helped (Matt and Louise) was outstanding and made you feel comfortable enough to learn at your own pace and with the security of knowing what you were doing (for example, gear placement and rope management) was correct and safe.
Couldn't recommend the course highly enough. The weekdays were intensive climbing and the weekends were free to practise what you had learned, go walking or just rest aching muscles! Awesome! :-)
The food and accommodation was the Brenin's usual high standard and we found all staff (instructors, stores, office and catering) to be friendly, helpful and professional.

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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