- Location &
As a summer hillwalker you will often want to go to places which require more specialist techniques than you possess. If you are interested in learning how to move over steep ground safely, perhaps using a rope, then this is the ideal course for you. By the end of the weekend you will have traversed some of Snowdonia's classic rocky ridges.
With MEALS & Accommodation:
NO MEALS OR Accommodation: £185
Black = Open for booking
Green = Guaranteed to run (additional places are limited please email to enquire)
Red = Course fully booked
15 - 16 Apr 2017
06 - 07 May 2017
27 - 28 May 2017
24 - 25 Jun 2017
08 - 09 Jul 2017
15 - 16 Jul 2017
12 - 13 Aug 2017
09 - 10 Sep 2017
30 Sep - 01 Oct 2017
Detailed Course Notes
You should be 18 years old to attend this course.
Who's it for?
This weekend is for hill walkers who wish to explore the hidden delights and the exposed rocky ridges of Snowdonia in safety. You should have a good level of mountain fitness and experience of some steep summer hillwalking.
In any short introductory weekend such as this, the amount of technical information offered has to be kept to a basic, safe minimum, in order to allow students to experience the excitement of actual scrambling.
- Clothing and equipment
- Basic scrambling techniques
- Movement Skills
- Assessing risk and route choice
- Hazard management
- Assisting and safeguarding other party members
- Simple ropework for scrambles
- Guidebooks and grading systems
The weekend will adapt according to the prevailing conditions to make the best of any weather.
- Hillwalking by Steve Long (MLTUK Official Publication)
- Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff
- Best Walks in North Wales by Richard Sale
- Nature of Snowdonia by Mike Raine
- Navigation in the Mountains (MTUK Official Publication)
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.
If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?
- Warm outdoor wear - at all times of year e.g. walking trousers (shorts in summer), thermal layers/base layers, fleeces, good quality walking socks
- Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat
- Walking boots
- Day rucksack (min 30 litres)
- Rucksack liner (e.g. rubble bag or dry bag)
- Drinks bottle
- Lunch Bag/Box
- Personal first aid kit
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Head torch (winter months)
- High factor sunscreen
- Midge repellant (summer months)
- Notebook and pen
- Compass (Silva Expedition 4 recommended)
- Maps - OS 17 Snowdon & Conwy Valley 1:25,000 (and OS 115 Snowdon 1:50,000 for navigation courses).Laminated maps are great as you don't need a map case and you can make notes, mark point etc. (Can be purchased from our shop)
- Fine permanent pen (for writing on laminated maps)
The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores so you don't need to rush out to buy them.
- Walking boots
- Day rucksack
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
Customer Reviews For This Course
Brilliant mountain weekend
Had a brilliant 2 days in the mountains, being led on routes taking in Grade 1 scrambles that I wouldn't have been prepared to tackle on my own. Simon's deep knowledge of the mountains, and expert leadership, made all the difference. Highly recommended for experienced hill walkers wanting to take a first step onto the rocks.
Brilliant Weekend introduction to Scrambling, Day 1 Up Bristly Ridge to Glyder Fach, Day 2 Tryfan- up north face and back down the heather terrace. Big thanks to Karl and Gary. Great confidence builder, went on to the lakes and and climbed Scalfell Pike Monday, and Newlands round Tuesday.
Just what I wanted
The course was very well pitched for beginners such as myself. There was some basic instruction then out we went into Cwm Idwal to practise on the ridges and in the gulleys. The instructors coped well with one lad having a dizzy spell. Instruction continued through the day on a variety of terrain.
Food and accomodation excellent as usual.
A weekend of rough weather but still enjoyed
The weekend was 60mph winds and rain but we still managed to get some scrambling in. It was a pleasure to be guided round and still learnt a bit. Not a total loss
I thought the course was well done. Most people on it had some previous experience and were underpinning their experience in a learning environment which was conducive to it. The two leaders were able at putting across the decisions and dilemmas that one might already have faced and how you might go about solving them They drew upon the resources of the group in a way that drew it out. At the beginning of the weekend I was stressed with work etc and by the end of the weekend 'chilled' - so there's an outcome!
Informative and enjoyable weekend
The instructors were excellent in assessing what the group could best do under the poor weather conditions and maximise the amount of information imparted. I learnt more in 2 days than the previous 10 years. The brief course gave confidence to be able to undertake Grade 1 scrambles and I look forward to applying what I've learnt.
Another fantastic course from the Brenin
I booked this course at the last minute, only a week or so before the scheduled date and it turned out that we were the only two booked on the course. This was ideal as it meant we received personalised tuition from our instructor, Mike.
My partner wanted to improve her confidence in tackling scrambles and I was looking for hints and tips to improve my own technique as well as how to interact with groups that I might lead.
Mike sat us down on the Saturday morning and talked us through our experience and our goals for the weekend and then suggested that we try Tryfan. It was a great day with Mike leading us up an interesting route that was exciting but manageable. We went via the cannon stone and it culminated in me jumping from Adam to Eve (or vice versa).
Saturday evening we had a session on the training wall, learning a bit of rope work, above and beyond what I had done for my summer ML.
On Sunday Mike led us up the main Gully above Alphabet slab at the back of Llyn Bochlwyd. This is not something I would have attempted by myself, especially in the wet conditions we had on Sunday, but with Mike leading I felt safe all the way.
Mike was cheerful, enthusiastic and supportive the whole weekend.
As usual the food and accommodation at the Brenin was top notch. Definitely worth the money, and we will definitely be back.
I achieved more than I felt possible. Garry instilled confidence in my own ability that I did not realise I possessed. I am absolutely chuffed at how much I improved over such a short period of time. It has opened up other possibilities for me in the future. Thank you.
All staff were friendly and helpful, my room comfortable and clean and the evening food plentiful and tasty.
I look forward to my next visit.
Challenging but fun
Loved the routes (Seniors Gully and Seniors Ridge, descent via Y Gribin and then Tryfan via the North Ridge and down the West Gully). Will provided lots of info and anecdotes and knew when to leave us to it and when to step in and offer help. Built my confidence after too long away from the mountains and ahead of a trek in the High Tatras next week. Thank you.
Attended this course at Easter. Had 2 wonderful days. Tim Neil was our instructor and he was fantastic. Took us to our limits and beyond but felt completely safe in his hands at all times.
Centre was great. Accomodation first class and food terrific.
Would certainly recommend the centre, this course and the instructor.
Great to build confidence on grade 1 scrambles
This is a great course if you want to build your confidence on grade 1 scrambles. The instructors will take you out of your comfort zone, but if that is what you are after, if you are willing to give it a go and get a little scared (but not too much!) then this is the perfect course for you. Day one was a tester on a ridge with easy escape to less challenging terrain followed by some basic rope rope theory. Day 2 then involved scrambling up the north ridge of Tryfan, taking in some rope work along the way to get through an exposed section - a few adrenaline inducing moments but a real sense of achievement by the end of it. Accommodation, food and atmosphere in the PYB centre were excellent. Overall a great weekend in the Welsh hills.
This is a very well structured 2 day course, with a fairly easy grade 1 scramble the first day and a tougher one on the second. Lou gave valuable instruction and encouragement and I now want to do the advanced scrambling course to progress to grade 3 routes. The centre offered good food and beer, as always!
Great fun and not too scary!
I don't have a great head for heights so this course seemed an ideal way to find my limit!
North Ridge of Tryfan and Bristly Ridge on Saturday, Crib Lem on Sunday.
I felt a little exposed at times, particularly on Crib Lem in the rain, but an excellent instructor (Simon Lake)and a supportive group got me through.
Simon didn't 'hold our hands' but he was there with advice and guidance when we needed him - ideal.
Plas y Brennin is an excellent base: good food, good beer and a comfortable bed, and lots of people with the same outlook on life so good conversations too!
A great course to build confidence on rocky terrain. Really helpful and patient instructor who helped me over tricky sections when vertigo kicked in. Finally made it to the top of Tryfan, and via the North Ridge no less!
Fantastic weekend (apart from the weather)!
The course was spot on.
Simon the instructor was excellent giving just the right amount of advice, guidance, support and encouragement to build our skills and confidence while ensuring we didn't get into any situations we couldn't handle.
After learning the basics on some introductory grade 1 scrambles on Saturday we took on the big one on Sunday the North Ridge of Tryfan. A classic grade 1 scramble and the prefect present for my 51st Birthday!
Many thanks to everyone at PYB for a thoroughly enjoyable weekend...
A wild and wet weekend
It was a wild and wet weekend (again) so much so that despite waterproofs we were wet... as were the rocks, which impacted on what we were safely able to do. On the first day we did a little scrambling and a walk, but following discussion our group undertook much more challenging scrambles the nest day doing a grade 3 scramble (fantastic!) and then a long scramble up and down a hill. I am hooked and want to learn how to rock climb, something I always thought I couldn't do due to having had 3 knee operations, but I surprised myself.
So thank you PYB and Murdo for the experience.
Up to the usual standards except breakfast
Breakfast was total chaos and a bit of a shock compared to previous visits. We were told 8am-9am and arrived about 8:40 to find little left and staff being very grumpy about the fact that they still had to serve. They said breakfast was until 8:45.
Also, the scrum for lunch before we arrived (I think there was a school party) left a limited selection of grim sandwiches (peanut butter!?).
Fearing a repeat we headed down for breakfast earlier on the Sunday (8:30) and the staff were already clearing away the serving area and making it clear that breakfast was finished!
I see two problems: 1) I'm now unclear about what time to actually come down for breakfast. Is it 8-9? Or is it 8-8:30?
2) Given the courses don't start until 9:15 it does seem a bit odd for breakfast to finish at 8:30 rather than 9am, allowing everyone just to head straight through into the lecture room/bar area?
PyB is very well run. From when you arrive and register to when you leave at the end of your course. The rooms are decent and not at all like staying in a bunkhouse.
The weather was atrocious with heavy rains both days all day. Fortunately we were able to borrow serious waterproofs and B2 boots, both of which made things much more pleasant. Our instructor, Matt, was extremely patient and even went and got the mini-bus at the end to save us from having to walk the last part along the road when we were all exhausted.
Challenging and Rewarding
Great for people who love walking and want to push themselves a little further. The course leader made the weekend giving expert advice and guidance. Plas-y-Brenin is a great base for your weekend with wonderful facilities.
Demons to rest
I am a fairly experienced hill walker who had been afraid of edges and exposure. I wanted to overcome my nervousness of steep ground to open up possibilities for my walking, and improve my skills as I head (slowly) towards taking my ML Summer Assessment. This course did just that. Our instructor, Dave Evans, took stock of his trainees' fears and concerns, and with excellent instruction and coaching turned us all into almost fearless scramblers. It was great fun, good learning and very confidence building. I recommend it for those who like me may have scrambling or exposure demons they wish to lay to rest.
A weekend is just too short.................
It was time to move from hill walking into scrambling, time to make my self safe on the mountain, give myself the confidence to undertake more challanging routes and this was most certainly achieved.
Four females all with the same goals. Dave (Evans) was our instructor, brill, I had spent a day with him in Scotland in February. I knew this would be a fun weekend with such a great instructor.
During the first day I was mostly scared, but all the skills and techniques given to the group from Dave all came together on day two. We were all amazed at how easy we found the very exposed ridge on Sunday and we were particularly smug upon reaching the top!!!
Two days was not enough, I would have loved to stay and carry on, but alas work beckoned.
I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in taking hill walking to the next level.
As always the course was fantastic value for money, great instruction, food and wine. Combined with the buzzing atmosphere at Plas Y Brenin, it always makes for a great weekend.
I'll definitely be back.
Thanks to everyone at PYB for a great weekend.
Excellent course and instructor . But there again everything that PYB does and thier instructors are all excellent.
The level of activity and difficulty is tailored to the individual. Push your self, but safely, and experiance a sense of personal achievment at the end of the day. Wow! I just did that. Great.
As a basic hill walker I certainly found that at the end of the two days my abilities and confidence to move over very steep rough ground considerably enahanced. Areas that would have been a no-go for me in the past are not so now. Don't get me wrong there are still many no-go areas for me but the bar has been raised a bit. The limits and boundries have been pushed up wards and outwards which is what doing a course like this is all about.
Couple of tips on gear. Stiff soled walking boots and sticky grip type gloves are very helpfull.
First time I've used Plas y Brenin
Dave Percy led the two day programme with great expertise, understanding and humour. i learned a good deal that I can immediately put into action when out on the hills.
Thoroughly enjoyable weekend in which the weather shone kindly upon us.
I was very impressed not just by the quality of leadership shown out on the mountains but by everything at the Centre - good accommodation, good food and a great atmosphere of friendship and camaradie.
I will definitely be returning for other activities.
you're on it!
Gazing up at Tryfan's north ridge I quietly thought to myself 'can I really scramble up there!'..........Dave Rudkin to the rescue!!
Stuck with myself and three enthusiastic team members Dave's knowledge, passion and enthusiasm were more than enough to inspire any novice 'scrambler'.......Anyone considering the discover scrambling course, don't hesitate, this course is perfect for those wishing to challenge themselves, build confidence and gain knowledge in the skills to move safely over steep rocky ground.
I was put at ease by Dave's understanding and patience, he made us all feel safe and confident in our own ability. Over the 2 days the weather could not have been more contrasting.......Tryfan day 1 was bright and sunny, excellent visibility, stunning views and photo stop on the cannon. Day 2 was cloudy, wet and windy up on Glyder Fawr.............I enjoyed both days, learned loads and thanks to Dave now have the confidence to attempt further grade 1 scrambles,,,,, maybe even grade 2!!
Plas y Brenin is an excellent centre, staff are friendly and knowledgeable, accommodation is clean and comfortable and food is plentiful and nutritious...........what more can I say? Don't just think about it book it!
A Memorable Weekend in Snowdonia thanks to first rate guiding
I enjoyed a most memorable weekend discovering scrambling at Plas y Bernin. The arrangements were very smooth, the staff most helpful and my room was clean and comfortable.
Most importantly our guide ,Dave Rudkin, was truly excellent. We were all rather anxious at the beginning of the course but Dave put us at our ease at once with his open and friendly manner. Out on Tryfan he gaged our level of competence expertly and provided us with just the right degree of challenge in order to improve our skills and for us to gain a real sense of achievement whilst ensuring that we felt safe. He would always discuss what our next move would involve, lay out different options and ensure everybody was comfortable.
He was a mine information on the flora and geology and of course on mountaineering and scrambling skills and knowledge which he passed on whilst we were out on the hill. He was patience personified and was always highly encouraging which boosted our confidence.
Our second day was very wet with howling winds and mist but we still had a most enjoyable day learning how to cope with poor conditions on an ascent of Glyder Fawr and learning concepts such as 'handrailing'.
I finished the course with a real sense of achievement.
2nd Visit to PYB ... there will be a 3rd
Course was really well run by Dave. Content was tailored to suit the needs of the participants . Best of all it was loads of fun and we learned loads!!
Def worth a go ...
New perspectives and horizons
A great weekend! Andy and Lee were superb instructors, guiding us informally but methodically and patiently through the principles of scrambling and giving us a solid foundation for future development. Routes were pitched at just the right level for each member of the group, making both days challenging but without undue risk. I went to places I would not have attempted alone. It was all done with good humour and morale was high throughout - beautiful sunny conditions helped. The weekend has given me a new perspective on being in the mountains and (literally) expanded my horizons.
Great fun & a confidence booster
A really enjoyable weekend of scrambling. We went up Tryfan on Saturday & Crib y Ddysgl on the Sunday. Food was fantastic & there's an amazing view from the bar. My confidence scrambling grew greatly over the weekend thanks to our great instructor.
A physically and mentally challenging weekend, but one I really benefited from personally.The leader, Dave, was exceptional, taking into account our abilities and the perverse weather. I was stretched but never put under pressure and felt as though I had as much time as I wanted. We got the opportunity to do some exciting scrambles off the beaten track and to do some basic rope work as well as lots of practice on technique and route finding. I feel much more confident now to go out on my own now.
The centre is excellent too, food, accommodation, facilities and staff all first class.
Well worth it.
The best way to spend a weekend
A fantastic centre in a beautiful inspiring setting, very well organised, amazing food with generous portions, friendly staff and very experienced instructors.
The first day of scrambling was mainly overcast with rain but actually that just added to the fun and adventure. The second day, scrambling up Snowdon, was in glorious sunshine. It was good to have the mix of weather, so you could see how different the rock felt. We covered really useful basic ropework skills which we practised a little bit on the rock on the second day, which was good fun.
The instructor was friendly, patient and always encouraging as well as being particularly knowledgeable about the area, its history and the flora that we saw on route.
This was a fantastic introduction to scrambling, I learnt so much from my time there and I'm now itching to do more. This is the second course I have been on at the centre and the place and people just don't disappoint - it's first class!
Scrambling in the Snow
I was impressed with the facilities and the quality of the staff and tuition.
The facilities: I half expected a glorified youth hostel, but the room (shared with two others) was to a very acceptable standard and looked to have been recently finished. The underfloor heating was much better than your average B & B. Meals, dining room and bar were all good and staff were friendly - a good atmosphere.
The weather: Weird for April! It was a mix of rain, snow and sun. For the first half of each day, the course was 'Discover Scrambling on Wet Greasy Rock' - very educational. Learning how bad it can get is a useful lesson to learn under controlled conditions. When the rock dried in the sum, we discovered how enjoyable it could be.
The instruction: Because of the weather, we didn't have a chance to try any of the classic scrambles, but that's the luck of the draw. However, Jen managed to make the best of what was available. She was very supportive and encouraging, without letting us get away with anything sloppy or careless, and I feel that we were given a good understanding of the basics. The ongoing lessons in geology, navigation, weather watching and botany all added to the interest.
My wife couldn't come on this course due to a previous arrangement, but, based on my experience, she is keen to do the same course - but not in the snow and rain.
All in all, two great days in the hills - see the pics on this website.
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.