Latest Online Reviews (June 24, 2017)
Fantastic course fantastic week!
This is my second time doing a course at PYB and certainly not the last! I loved ever day, from indoor plastic to Holyhead mountain quartzite, to llanberis slate quarry to sunny Tramadog dolerite and a very wet but very satisfying tricky send on limestone. Bouldering, single and multi pitch climbs all with expert tuition and guidance,professional and relaxed learning going at whatever pace the group decides. Instruction from Will Nicholls and Cath Wilson was a credit to PYB and I can't recommend both high enough. In short... do this course and stay on site! Accommodation and catering are superb and set you up right for the day and welcome you right when you return, with the bar as a very welcome bonus. Evening talks in a range of subjects keep your evenings busy too. Ill be back soon. Thanks again Robin
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.
An Excellent Mountaineering Course.
This is the course you will want to do before you find yourself having an epic on a Grade 2-3 scramble because you did not realise how serious they can be. When you look in the guide books the photos almost always show people soloing routes in amazing positions. What they do not say is that they are experienced climbers on what is to them eay rock. Scrambling on grade 2-3 routes is basically climbing at moderate to very difficult grades. Combining that with big boots rather than rock slippers, wet and greasy rock and the possibilty of serious consequences if you slip these routes are a long way from walking along Crib Goch. The course followed the normal P-y-B pattern on the first day of meeting the instructors and getting out straight away. We went onto Moel Siabod on a grade 1 scramble. This allows the instructors to assess the different abilities in the group and from then on the course is adapted so that each individual gets the most out of the remaining days. As always with P-y-B the instructors Richard, Rich and Adam were frendly, professional and constantly attentive to the groups needs. Over the rest of the week we covered all the skills needed to get us out on harder scrambles. These included navigation, route planning, guide book interpretation, ropework, setting up belays and runners, abseiling and moving safely over steep ground. At all times the emphasis was on safety and judgement especially being honest about how you are feeling in any given situation. You might be happy to solo up a 10 metre rock step but I would really like to rope up. To get the most out of the course you need to be hill fit and ideally try to spend a bit of time on a climbing wall. It's a great course. Enjoy.
A fantastic introduction to the world of kayaking
I booked the intro to kayaking course with some friends, we had never really kayaked much before apart from some small rivers in Essex so we were not totally sure what to expect or our ability. We were introduced to our instructor for the week, Chris Evans, who did a fantastic job. We started with our basic skills and settling into the water and getting used to the boats before taking us on moderate white water river sections and a few days in the sea kayaks. I was really able to get a feel of what kayak was right for me and what part of the sport I would like to focus more on. As someone who is afraid of fast moving water I was apprehensive at times, but Chris totally understood and was very good at making me feel comfortable in the water with the option to get out and skip parts that I felt were a bit too much for me mentally. The accommodation was very good, with good food and facilities and always friendly staff. The value for money is outstanding. The bar is a very nice place to be in the evenings with a relaxed atmosphere and local ales on tap. I will definitely be returning to Plas Y Brenin, I am very interested in a mountain bike course and more kayaking to build my confidence on the water. Thank you to the staff for a great experience, and thanks to Chris for making the course what it was.
Brilliant & Patient Instructors
Really well-balanced course, with excellent pacing to allow you to slowly build up your knowledge, and confidence. But the stand-out was the excellent instructors - Steve, Lou and Dan. They made the week, and definitely convinced me that I'd be back to PYB at some point soon. Thanks for everything!! Rob
A thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience!
I was pleasantly surprised when I reached Plas Y Brenin having spent six hours in traffic driving from London. The centre is surrounded by rolling hills as far as the eye can see and a beautiful lake on its doorstep. Breathtaking scenery! I spent the first evening sitting on a bench staring out at the lake whilst the wind blustered around me. The next day I met the group and our guide, Bradley, with whom I was to spend the next two days. We were lucky enough to catch the good weather with a gorgeous sunny day all of Saturday and a not-too-bad day on Sunday. We walked for six hours on both days learning how to read our OS map, how to use a compass, how to plan and navigate a route and the various flora and fauna to expect as we walked. Overall, I would say I learned a great deal during the weekend, leaving with some useful skills that I could use straight away navigating my own routes or take to a more advanced level if I wished. It was a thoroughly enjoyable course. The air was fresh and the walks scenic, stunning and wonderful. In my view, the best way to exercise. Back at Plas Y Brenin, all the staff were friendly. They cater well for vegans, as long as they know in advance, and the accommodation is clean and of good quality although my bed was a little hard. Would highly recommend the course and Plas Y Brenin and would consider doing more courses at the centre.
I recently attended the 2 day moving out course to start climbing outdoors and get experience/knowledge in setting up anchors etc. The course was exactly what I wanted and the instructors were very flexible and tailored each day to the experience of the group. I would recommend this course for anyone looking to start climbing outdoors.
I would like to thank Plas y Brenin for honouring to run this course despite there only being one person on it. I enjoyed the two weeks very much, going from a complete novice kayaker and ending up learning to roll (albeit only a few times!) and moving onto white water on the Dee and Tryweryn. The instructor Dave was fantastic, allowing me to progress at a good rate, and being able to recognise when my physical limitations meant calling it a day. This is probably the tenth course I have done at Plas y Brenin, and the food and accommodation were up to their usual excellent standard. I will certainly be looking to come on more of your courses. Thanks again Tom
The instruction was fantastic
Pick up service
I like the fact there's a free pick up amd drop off service from Llandudno Junction.
Accommodation and food
I had a room to myself, it's worth paying for one so it's guaranteed. Great bathroom facilities and towels provided. Lovely views of the lake outside and the mountains. Thick duvets and hotel pillows are a nice touch. My bed was a tad creaky but nothing that kept me awake! Breakfast is a cereal, toast and a fry up job. They do cater for veggies, vegan, you've to make a special request. Dinner is 3 course, hearty, and filling. Packed lunch is adequate also and you're really thankful after a day of activities outside. My only feedback here was that I wished they did a more imaginative breakfast such as smoothies, juices, nuts, chia seeds, that type of thing. Hill Skills
The instruction was fantastic. Brad really knew his stuff and his passion for the outdoors evident. He was laid back and completely the opposite to most instructors I know - ego free! It was a slow paced kind of day with the option to go on a little quicker if desired but there was enough variety for all different abilities. Generally, I'd say, some level of fitness is required because Snowdonia's hills are somewhat different to the traditional rolling grassy hills of, for example, Shropshire! We walked about 12 hours over the weekend. The first route saw us embark on a 'mini mountain', craggy, steep and a tad technical with views of the Snowdonia mountain range, just stunning. The other was more of a traditional grassy type terrain with some rocky parts and magnificent views of Anglesey and Puffin Island. With plenty of lunch stops and time to chat among ourselves, it was educational and social. The weekend focused on navigational skills since all of the group expressed interest in improving theirs. Most had some knowledge of a map, I, however, was a complete novice. I'm glad to say I learned loads throughout the weekend and maps don't scare me as much as I'd originally thought! It's got me excited about progressing on further. It was great that the group practically plotted their own route and Brad was on hand to give us some professional pointers and advice when needed. Overall I'd really recommend this course to anyone who wants to get more out of Hill walking from a technical point of view but also a chance to meet new people and see the stunning sites of North Wales.
SECOND CHANCE FOR PLAS Y BRENIN.......
Elaine J Beesley
***FEEDBACK FORM FORMAT*** Age = 36 - 40 Course intended as Personal Development. Value For Money = Very Good Friendliness = Excellent Instruction = Excellent Food = Very Good Accommodation = Excellent Administration = Satisfactory Facilities = Excellent Cleanliness = Excellent I found out about Plas y Brenin by search engine from when I first did this course four years ago. I use Facebook and LinkedIn social media. 8/10 likely to recommend Plas y Brenin to a friend. WHAT DID YOU LIKE? In stark comparison to when I did this course four years ago, Will Nicholls, Chris and Lou (aka The Dream Team in my view) were knowledgeable, attentive to our learning requirements and patient but above all, they were professional. I felt very comfortable with everything I was learning and thoroughly enjoyed the practice sessions. WHAT CAN WE IMPROVE? Please stop charging £25 when people request to change courses...or at the very least, please don't charge so much. GENERAL COMMENTS Check-out time is 10 am and my room card stopped me from re-entering my room at around 9 am which necessitated the interruption of the housekeeping staff to let me back in my room (I was packing my stuff and taking it to the car and couldn't do it in one go). I was apprehensive about this course given my dissatisfaction the first time round four years ago as one of the instructors and I didn't 'gel' and it ruined the whole learning experience for me (waste of money essentially). I am so happy my experience second time round has been a positive and very beneficial one which will help me in my climbing....I don't doubt it. Thank you again to Will, Lou and Chris.
Clean, comfortable room, good food and expert instruction from excellent instructors. Course director Helen took us through basic climbing on the first day, gradually building in more difficult routes on single pitch crags until, on the fourth and fifth days, we were joined by James, our second instructor, and began climbing multi-pitch routes. All the while we were learning techniques for climbing, belaying and much else, all in a practical setting that put theory immediately into practice. There were three of us on the course and we were each allowed to develop at our own individual pace with choices of routes that were either more or less challenging as each climber preferred. A thoroughly enjoyable week and one of the best experiences I've had. I would recommend PYB without hesitation to anyone interested in learning rock climbing or developing existing skills.
Tough going... but worth it :o)
I booked into this course because although I had a roll that got me up on flat water 90% of the time, I had never actually used it in anger because I always automatically pulled the cord without actually attempting to roll - this is what I really wanted to sort out. What I really did not want was for the coach to mess about with my C-to-C, because I had a sneaking suspicion that I would be told I would be much better with a sweep, as a zillion people had told me before. Well, the reason I had learned the C-to-C was that I simply couldn't orientate myself at all when upside down - my friend called me 'kayak dyslexic' - and the C-to-C neatly sidestepped all that.
So naturally, I was hacked off when I realised that yep, this course was indeed going to reteach me my roll. Then I was in denial about the fact that I really was going to spend the next five days unlearning my roll. Then I tried bargaining, telling myself I could get away with C-to-Cing in the meantime, or go back to it later. However, by day two, I had pretty much accepted that I was going to have to get to grips with learning this new roll, which was just as well because by that point I was in the no man's land between losing my C-to-C and getting the roll I needed to get. In fact, I'd pretty much gone through most of the stages of bereavement before things started clicking at the end of day three.
The sheer amount of time spent upside down was excellent, and so (though it pains me to say it) was using the 'remedial paddle' - every time Andy made me use it, it felt like a punishment, but it was really valuable for getting the feeling of where the paddle was meant to be above the water.
It was cracking what I was meant to do with my wrists, at what time, to change the feather of the blade that really made the difference: also realising that what worked with me was having almost a second set-up under the water - four things I had to remember to do while upside down, before I tried to get up, things I had eeked out of the course, which wouldn't necessarily work for everyone, but worked for me.
And I did, indeed, come away with a brand new roll. It's shaky still, not burnt into the physical memory, and I need to practice until it's natural, but I am, cautiously. very very pleased.
I cannot praise Andy Butler highly enough, for consistency, observance, patience, excellent teaching and cheerfulness in the face of major narkiness.
The Bombproof Roll is not a holiday. It's basically boot camp for people who have rolls with issues, and it's physically, mentally and emotionally draining. It's also ridiculously rewarding if you can make it work for you, and even if it doesn't entirely click, you come away knowing exactly what you need to do, and where you need to go. I would recommend it to anyone who feels their roll is in the last chance saloon - just be prepared to let your old roll go!
Ace week great instruction good feedback each day.
Everything about the course was fantastic although this was undoubtedly helped by the unbelievable weather (I was wearing sun tan lotion 4/5 days - in May!) and getting on well with my roommate [climbing partner for the last 3 days].
Our head instructor Matt did a fantastic job working out the group’s experience levels, climbing ability and goals for the week. In total, there was 8 of us in the group but the instruction always felt personal and I never felt like I couldn't ask a question or for advice even in the big group.
The first day was spent at a small 'secret' crag since it was a busy bank holiday. At the end of the day we went to a slate quarry [bus-stop] to try climbing slate and push ourselves on some harder routes. We did this as one group.
On the second day we again went as one group to the sea cliffs in Holyhead (Crag X). This was an easy beginners’ cliff so we could focus on rope work/ top belaying but the climbing was still interesting in a beautiful setting.
The third day we split into groups of 2:1 instructor and I was lucky enough to get Matt leading my group. This was spent at Clogwyn yr Oen where we did 2 multi-pitch routes, an abseil and a harder single pitch route. Matt was fantastic at making sure we were getting our rope/belay skills correct safely whilst pushing us to climb challenging routes and get in a lot of climbing. At the end of the day we went as a group to the RAC boulders to focus on technique with Kath - another excellent instructor.
Thursday again was in small groups and we went to Tremadog to do multi-pitch routes. The climbs were challenging (although not as hard as the day before) but Matt wanted us to focus on becoming more independent with respect to placing gear, setting up belays, ropework etc. Highlight of the day was pitch 2 of One Step in the Clouds which is a fantastic pitch. Again we did some more abseiling to practice those skills and after another 3 multi-pitch routes I was feeling tired by this point.
Day 5 Matt asked us what we'd like to do, both my climbing partner and I said we'd like to try leading. The first climb we did "expedition" style with backpacks on which was challenging as it was a physical route! I'm glad we did though as one of my stated long term objectives was to do big mountain routes so it was good to experience this. Then Matt let us try leading whilst guiding us up next to us making sure we were never in trouble or too far outside our comfort zones. Overall I think he did a great job of ensuring we were safe, whilst learning but at the same time challenging us with the climbing. I would strongly recommend courses with him and would even consider using him as a personal guide in the future (a lot more expensive than PyB rates!). That said all the other groups also were highly complementary about their respective instructors too.
Overall the food was excellent, especially considering the amount paid for it. Which was a welcome surprise. The accommodation too was comfortable although it could get a little hot at night (probably due to the unusually warm weather) but again for the cost it was more than adequate. I would whole heartedly recommend this course to anyone thinking about doing trad climbing who has a base level indoors.
The course was really fun and useful, and I learned a lot. I've had no previous outdoor climbing experience, though all 3 of us on the course had some knowledge on belaying and ropework. We spent 2 days climbing different kinds of rocks. Having a smaller class meant that each of us had the chance to get individual input, and I feel like we all learned quite a bit and improved vastly over the duration of this course. The instructor, James, was a great and entertaining guy. He made everyone feel comfortable, pushed us to improve, but never made anyone do something they are not OK with. He was a real professional and always looked out for our safety. I would highly recommend this course for people that want to experience rock climbing and have had no or little previous experience.
Mountain Skills, 13-14 May
2 days of learning anew and refreshing rusty old skills, combined with 2 excellent peaks and the company of a group who were as keen to learn as I. The course was tailored to the needs of those attending, this meant an emphasis upon micro navigation, covering difficult ground and planning/preparation. Over the course of the 2 days we experienced some very enjoyable walking and scrambling. Equipment, where provided by PYB, was lightweight and of a high standard. Topped off with good food, comfortable accommodation and a selection of good ales and whisky in the bar. Thanks to Instructors Richard and Sally for a very enjoyable 2 days
Mountain Skills Course, May 13-14
Great weekend in North Wales learning and refreshing long rusty skills. Useful emphasis on micro navigation and route planning as well as ascending some great tops. Thoroughly recommended if, like me, you are returning to hills/mountains after time away.
Mountain Skills, 13-14 May
I attended this course to experience White Water Kayaking for the first time. (I had a decent amount of previous Sea Kayaking experience behind me, so therefore had decent balance and paddling skills). This course was spot on for me, the skills progression from day to day gave me the confidence to tackle grade 2 rivers (such as the Upper & lower Tryweryn). Although I'd never 'rolled' before, I managed my first 'hand rolls' using hand pads during the rolling clinics. This course is suitable for those with decent paddling skills, a good level of fitness, and reasonable balance. The ability to roll is obviously an advantage, but I managed ok without it (I need to work on it!)
Thoroughly enjoyed this 2 day course, lots of technical information explained thoroughly and expertly by the 3 leaders and plenty of time on the crags to put it all into practice. A very friendly group with all pretty much the same level of experience which with the leaders made for a really enjoyable weekend. The centre, it's setting and facilities are all excellent and the great weather was a bonus!
Three Star Course? I'm giving it 5 stars!
This was my second course at PyB - I did the Intro-mediate Course last year (see my review). If you've never stayed at PyB before, here are three things that stick in my memory: (1) All the people who work there - and I mean ALL the people - are friendly, helpful and supportive (it must be a great place to work!); (2) you can borrow just about any piece of equipment you might need (and learn how to use it); and (3) everybody looks forward to the food (you'll be hungry and it's really good). Our coaches for the course were Sid (2 days) and James (3 days plus the assessment). They are both top guys - not just good paddlers, they really understand how to help people learn. Two big things for me were Sid spending time getting us to understand the boat and how to work with it; and James pushing me to use my skills in progressively more challenging situations. I never thought I'd have the courage to commit to a cross-deck-bow-rudder for example; and I came out of one zawn with a big grin on my face after avoiding being trashed in the back by a big set of waves - thanks James! I think the BCU 3 Star Course at PyB is a great package. It's excellent value for money. You'll want to go back for more! A bit of advice: read the syllabus before you come. It's worth knowing what you'll be assessed on so you can identify where you are weaker. You have to demonstrate a successful roll for the assessment - you'll get coaching of course - but you might not be able to learn it from scratch. I'm going to be back for another course next year - perhaps that says it all!
Very good course
Course was very good. Instructors were very good, knowledgeable, very capable riders and good at getting the key points across and giving individual feedback and tuition where needed. The course facilities were very good. The track was very good for practice and confidence building. The ability to be taken by van to various routes was also very good. I liked the flexibility in what was taught according to the groups need. I would rather have done more riding on the trails. We did seem to be taking it a bit easy at times. But others in the group were quite happy with the pace. So I accept there was a bit of a compromise. The centre accommodation was generally good. Bar was very good. Bedroom was ok, mattress was a bit worn and lumpy although I did sleep ok. Tired from the cycling probably...
A very useful, thorough and well out together week...
I'm really glad I chose the residential ML training at PYB (April 2017) - good clean and relaxed accommodation at the centre and the amazing food makes it a lot easier as you can just focus on what you're doing on the course without worry. I was slightly apprehensive initially about being good enough to do the course, (even as someone who works outdoors with school groups and has walked/climbed in ML terrain for about 17 years)- did I have a good enough handle on the skills, was I fit enough etc. to meet the minimum criteria just for the training? I'd also heard a couple of horror stories about other ML training providers from friends that spent the week absolutely exhausted! But, fear not, as the PYB staff are very good at starting everyone off at the lowest level and then bringing everyone up to the required standard. The only downside of that on my course was that at times I didn't feel stretched, but that wasn't often. Mo Barclay was a great instructor on the course, as were Iona and Rich, but my group spent most of our time with Mo. She gave me some very useful tips and ideas for groups on the hill which will make a big difference and has already come in handy with a DofE group. My only criticism of the course would be that it would be good if the entry requirements were pushed a little more for all candidates, just to minimise the "catch up" element at the start of the course, and really get into stretching the candidates, but I guess that's more of an issue with the course spec as designed by Mountain Training, rather than PYB as a training provider. Overall I'm really happy with the course and any fears about being good enough were soon settled and I found it a brilliant week with useful feedback and a good idea of what I need to do next for the assessment.
I've had a few people try to teach me to roll before but nothing as good as this. Andy had a whole pile of exercises and techniques I'd never seen before. Although we were all working through the same stuff there was constant individual coaching - not everyone has difficulty with the same stuff. Managing fatigue was a big issue over 2 days and again Andy was on the ball with breaks etc. The whole group came away with a real understanding of why the roll works or doesn't - I never heard the usual 'Your head's coming up too soon'. When it all clicked on the last day I couldn't stop rolling -"Just one more". Many thanks Andy.
Excellent 2 day course, with brilliant instruction from Andy Butler. 6 on course ideal for the pool size. We didn't go outside but that was a possibility if required. Thoroughly and highly recommended.
A great course
Just completed this course and it was fantastic. Andy, our instructor, was simply brilliant and succeeded in getting me to roll a sea kayak. Thanks Andy. I would advise potential attendees to come with, or borrow from the PYB stores, a shortie wetsuit or a long john. Being in the pool all day means you can get chilled but a wetsuit worked well. Also something for your feet. Highly recommended. Get booked on!
Great course for any white water beginner to intermediate
I have been paddling on and off for quite a few years now but never pushed myself beyond grade 3 because of my weak rolling ability. Although my roll is not perfect now, it's a lot better and this course has given me the confidence and knowledge to keep working on it and in future push my overall paddling further. On this course we weren't paddling difficult rivers so allowed the coaches and me to strip my paddling back to the basics and others in the group to build confidence on moving water. I saw some bad habits start to slip away and hope to continue with this. The best thing about the course was the coaches (Andy and Chris). Not only did they help me improve my kayaking but also gave us advise as coach's. They were flexible and adaptable to the group and individual needs. They got the vibe of the group right and then set their coaching styles. They aimed to improve us as paddlers and coaches, not just to gain our 3 star and they succeeded.
Mike was simply excellent. This is my first First Aid course in a long time. While I will be using the course to support my partner during outdoor explorations (she is an anaesthetician doing the mountain medicine course), I have also had the ability to meet some individuals who may just have furthered my passion for the outdoors and to perhaps even pursue a career in the outdoor. If that isn't the ethos of Plas-y-brenin, I am not sure what is. The stay was, as it always is, comfortable and the housing more than up to snuff. I will be returning very soon.
Really enjoyed the course ,I renew every 3 years here. The course is well run, the environment is second to none, the staff the food the accommodation is excellent.
Useful & Enjoyable
The course was pitched just about right. A good combination of tweaking our existing skills and some new skills all together in an enjoyable weekend of paddling. Ongoing advice and tips with safety and sailing sessions. Our coach Dave Luke made a huge improvement to our forward paddling, which we will benefit from everyday we paddle. We were the only boat of the course so Dave was able to tailor it to our needs, but I think even with a full compliment of boats it could be very tailored. As usual PYB was extremely comfortable, really good food and the staff helpful and friendly. It really is a treat to be accommodated at the centre. We have come away with improved paddling, lots of tips and tricks as well as a couple of really valuable new techniques - we will definitely return.
Learning to Lead 5 day
Great course & great tuition
I was hoping this would be a zero to hero course for me but even though I stopped short of rolling without a float on the end of my paddle, it certainly taught me loads. Our instructor, Andy, was first class and broke the elements of a roll into bite size and achieveable chunks. With the right timing, technique and energy, you would put these together and have a roll.
We spent two days in the PyB indoor heated pool practicing these elements and the other three classmates all managed a complete roll on day two so I would highly recommend this course, and Andy in particular, if you want to learn to roll and generally gain confidence in a boat.
I will be back in a weeks time for the 5 day intro to kayaking course with my wife!
See you soon and many thanks - fantastic location and great team you have.
I have attended this course several times over the years, always to improve my existing roll. It has certainly been useful for that, mainly because of having the heated pool available and two days to improve in... made all the more enjoyable by the great PYB atmosphere. Be aware that many people attend this course when their roll simply isn't working at all. But the coaches are not miracle workers; they can only do so much. Prior to attending, I recommend looking at books or at Youtube rolling videos to identify the typical mistakes that people make when learning, and especially, how to correct these mistakes. (Such errors include your head coming up first, over-reaching, diving paddle blade, etc). This not a 'learn to roll' course; it's better for improving an existing roll that is unreliable. Three Stars to warn you not to come with over-high expectations if you don't have any sort of roll in place!
Giencoe March 5-9.
5 days fantastic hill walking in the Scottish mountains exceeded all my expectations. The weather was generally good but not benign which added greatly to the challenge for man from Suffolk. Our instructor Will was both totally professional and a great guy to spend 5 days in the mountains with. He taught us great skills to enable safety and good technique in the mountains. We were fortunate enough to have Sam helping us for the first three days giving us a ratio of 2:1 instructor.. Must mention my other fellow walkers- brilliant company on the hill and in the bar!! The Alltshellach was comfortable warm and very well run and the food a delight! This trip was long overdue and has already got me thinking about my return next year. Thank you all, Mick Hall
ML preparation for assessement
Considering the almost 'winter' conditions this was a great two days. It certainly tested our kit to the full extent if not ourselves!
Gareth was an excellent instructor. Giving information and guidance with just the right levels of gravitas and humour.
I feel much more confident about my own abilities and weaker areas to work on before my assessment in April.
Just hoping for better weather :-)
A BRILLIANT course delivered by BRILLIANT instructors!
I'm a fairly competent paddler on flat water but have done very little on moving water so decided to let Plas y Brenin show me the ropes.
I've used PyB on a number of occasions previously have nearly always had amazing experiences and this course was no different.
Our instructor, Karl, was friendly, extremely knowledgeable, helpful and informative. He made the learning easy and interesting with obvious progression between skills.
I've built up the confidence in just two days to be happy on any grade 1 or 2 water and can't wait to get out again.
I would highly recommend this course (or even better, the five day version) to anyone looking to get some beginner experience on white water.
Good course, thanks. Did not use Plas y Brenin accommodation but was a very nice place and nice bar.
Winter ML training Alltshellach 29 Jan - 3 Feb 2017
Male, over 65, attended for personal development, self-funded.
I very much enjoyed this course and found it very useful and instructive. I would rate it excellent for value for money, friendliness, quality of instruction, food, accommodation, facilities and cleanliness. Despite the conditions being limiting for Winter ML purposes, we were able to cover nearly all of the syllabus and we got a very clear idea about what would be expected on assessment. I liked the fact that all necessary elements were taught in a practical, realistic manner in a way that one could immediately see the relevance to safely leading groups in winter conditions.
Admin was very good, but I have a couple of comments. Firstly, the kit list on the course information document needs to improve. It does not include at present any of the kit you need for overnight stays in the hills; Goretex bivvy bag, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, stove, pan, mug, cook kit, shovel, probe etc. Some but not all of these items were available from store. OK, it should be obvious, but they should be there on the list! Secondly, although we covered most of the general topics during conversation on the hill and back at the hotel, I thought a bit more on hypothermia and general equipment recommendations could be valuable. To be fair though, all the people on this particular course were obviously very knowledgeable about these things.
Does what it says on the tin
Fantastic, professional and welcoming staff throughout. The food was great and there was outdoor kit available for hire.
The room was clean and comfortable.
I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for future events
However a few points I'd like to note:
1. welcome to plas y brenin folder/brochure in room was not bilingual which was a bit disappointing
2. I paid for mountain insurance on the booking website but received no further documents as evidence of this
3. I paid for a single room over the phone although did not receive an email confirmation of this
4. Some guests received Joe brown discount vouchers whilst others didn't (including me!)