The Big Winter Climb (30 Nov-1 Dec)

Course Overview

Don't Feel Like Fool's With Tools, Get Slick With Your Picks on our 'Big Winter Climb'.
We've teamed up with our old friends UKClimbing once again to bring you this unique winter weekend event.
Our Big Winter Climb weekend is made up of a series of opt-in workshops covering a diverse range of winter climbing and mountaineering skills and techniques, with something to suit absolutely everyone. It's a great way to consolidate your existing skills, develop your experience and boost your confidence for the coming rock climbing season.
The 'experts' sharing their knowledge and experience are all hand picked top UK climbers. But they won't be the only ones to learn from. Every minute is an opportunity for discussion and sharing of ideas with other 'Big Winter Climbers'. This is a unique opportunity not only to be inspired but also to have the chance to question, learn from, drink with and chat to people who have been there and done that. Wherever you plan to climb, you?re sure to find someone who's been there and who is more than willing to share experiences and lessons learnt.
A programme of interactive workshops and inspirational lectures spans the entire weekend, allowing you to select what topics suit you best from a 'workshop menu', ensuring an individually tailored experience.
Supporting the workshops will be the 'Expert's Corner', where you will be able to quiz some of the country's most experienced climbers to make sure you get as much as you possibly can from the weekend.

Andy Turner

Winter Climbing Legend and former PYB instructor Andy Turner is coming home! Andy will be running a technical workshop at The Big Winter Climb and giving an evening talk.

Previous Experience Required

No previous winter experience necessary

Cost With Food & Accommodation: £

Cost Without Food & Accommodation: £-60

Scheduled Dates

Sorry. We have no dates currently available for this course

Detailed Course Notes

Workshops To Choose From On The Big Winter Climb

Below is a list of workshops, you'll be able to choose what you attend and create an experience that's applicable to you during the Big Winter Climb. There's something for everyone, from the novice winter mountaineer to the experienced winter climber. So take a look, book your place then sign up for the workshops when you arrive.

Hooking & Tooling

Big WInter Climbing Get to try modern axes and fine tune the subtle art of hooking, all whilst getting expert coaching from our experienced staff. Improve your winter mixed climbing skills by climbing on specially set routes on our 15m tower.

Winterise Your Belay

Big WInter Climbing Ideal for those moving up to leading in winter. This is a chance to focus on building safe and effective belays and anchors in the winter environment. We will cover ice screws, hooks and pegs in addition to rock climbing equipment. Find out what to carry on your winter rack and how to use it!?


Whiteout Skills and Avalanche Awareness

Training smarter on the big climbA practical insight into how to navigate safely in the winter environment. Its not just about being able to climb but how to get to your chosen climb efficiently. And then later how to navigate safely back, whilst avoiding any potential avalanche threats.

Training for Technique and Fitness

Big WInter Climbing You shouldn't miss the opportunity to use the latest aids for becoming a better winter climber. Find out how to rest and recover and try new techniques applicable to the winter climber, but all done on the indoor wall. Guaranteed to get you pumped!


Rescue and Retreat

Big WInter Climbing Climbing in winter can be very serious and committing, but there are a whole bunch of top tips you can learn to make it safer and less daunting. How to escape from routes and belays along with systems to help stuck climbers. Invaluable skills for the budding winter climber.

Winter First Aid

Training smarter on the big climbIn winter when an accident happens you might have to deal with it. This session covers skills to cope with emergencies you might come across. Delivered by climbers for climbers, this is a must for anyone operating in the hills in winter. Not just emergency procedures but also how to cope and avoid cold injuries and recognising them from the onset.


Dry Tooling

Training smarter on the big climbLearn the secrets of scratching, hooking, and digging on covered rock. How to get the best out of your crampons and axes, maybe trying leashless or lanyards along with how to make gear fit with a little help from your picks.


Crampon and Ice Axe Fundamentals

Big WInter Climbing With the aid of Plas y Brenin's special 'glacier zone' we can help you develop your flat footing, front pointing and axe placements. All the skills you need to travel safely on snow and ice covered terrain as well as helpful advice and top tips on which boots, crampons and axes to choose for you.


The Winter Knowledge - Where to Go And When

Big WInter Climbing Winter climbing is all about being on the right route, in right conditions at the right time! This workshop will improve your understanding of winter routes and conditions and how to make informed decisions and judgments. It will cover, how to predict conditions, use of weather forecasts, what areas to go to, what routes to climb and when, choosing routes to push your grade on and use of guide books and maps.


What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the folllowing 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 wifi access
    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 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 / Holiday

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 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). 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.

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

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

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

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

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch Bag/Box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Head torch (winter months)

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

The following items are available for you to borrow free of charge from our equipment stores if you don't have your own.

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

Customer Reviews For This Course / Holiday

Dry tooling fun


Excellent instruction on wide variety of topics relevant to winter climbing. Particularly enjoyed the dry tooling session. Also was very useful to try out the latest kit, including the more extreme climbing axes and monopoint crampons. Joining instructions could be improved (send the proposed schedule!).

An amazing winter atmosphere


I really enjoyed my time! Lots of knowledge, friendly staff, wide range of activities and lots of enthusiasm that created an amazing winter atmosphere.
I'm quite sad that is already Monday: time passed so quickly!
Hope to repeat my experience at Plas Y Brenin, well better on mountains, soon!

Winter wonderland

Stephen Fletcher

Great weekend, lots of positive psyche , instructors inspiring ,all in all,a great experience.


Not found what you were looking for?

hire an instructor or coachYou 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

Other holidays or courses you should consider?

Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport Discipline Specific Training BCU UKCC (Boat Based)
White Water Kayak

Also consider thisThis is a 2 day training course as part of the third level certificate in coaching paddlesports. The...

Find out more

Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport Discipline Specific Training BCU UKCC (Boat Based)
White Water Kayak

Also consider thisThis is a 2 day training course as part of the third level certificate in coaching paddlesports. The...

Find out more

Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport Discipline Specific Training BCU UKCC (Boat Based)
White Water Kayak

Also consider thisThis is a 2 day training course as part of the third level certificate in coaching paddlesports. The...

Find out more


Last Minute Discounts

Our Packed and Ready Discounts page always has some incredibe deals on offer. But you'll need act fast to take advantage of these bargains.

Show me the deals!

British Mountaineering Council Deals

Check out the latest rock climbing and hillwalking deals from our partner organisation The BMC.
Now includes a range of subsidised winter skills courses!!!!

Show me the deals!

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page

Take me to the calendar!

Events & Talks In Our Bar

liev music, talks, lectures and presentationsWe welcome non-residents in our bar and there's always something going on from live music and events to guest lectures and slideshows. Check out what's coming up next here

Take me to the bar!

Latest News


Our Scottish courses have started and conditions have never been better! We still have a few spaces ....

Tell me more


The "Monster' course is an intense weekend of road cycling, riding through some of the best scenery....

Tell me more


We're running Have A Go session on our artificial ski slope for as little as £10 during Half T....

Tell me more


Plas y Brenin Gift vouchers make the perfect gift. Available for any amount that suits you online, t....

Tell me more


Our 'Big Ride' weekend is ideal of any mountain biker who wants to gain some more experience and....

Tell me more


It's here again. Our Big Acoustic Walk is set to run in April again, combining two days of guided hi....

Tell me more

Up to 75% Funding For Outoor Training

Volunteer leaders can save up to 75% on training and assessment courses with our Future Leaders Fund. Ideal for Scout Leaders, Girlguiding volunteers, DofE leaders, youth workers and university club volunteers.

More Information

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Show me the sunshine!

Review your holiday or course here

Review Your Course
Help us by reviewing your holiday or course here

Adventure Map