Top Tips From Plas y Brenin Instructors and Coaches

All Top Tips

Using video to self/peer-coach

by Andy Grimes

Over the last 10 years the use of video and film feedback in performance coaching has improved so much that it has changed the face of coaching foreve.......

Choosing and Preparing a Throwbag

by Jon 'Spike' Green

'What is the sound of one hand tied behind your back?' (ancient pessimists proverb). 'The choice and preparation of your throwbag is crucial to suc.......

Kayak Rescue Kit

by Jon 'Spike' Green

You don't have to carry much gear to get each other out of trouble on the water but it is important to think carefully about what you take (and of cou.......

Hitting your lines successfully!

by Andy Grimes

Hitting a perfect line down a challenging white water rapid can be an amazing and rewarding feeling. For most, it's the culmination of a great deal of.......

Choosing your first kayak!

by Andy Grimes

The age old question of "what boat should I get as my first boat"? Has always been something people have asked me and other fellow coaches for as long.......

Top Tip For Ice Axes Boots and Crampons

by Keith Ball

With an unprecedented amount of snow on the mountains of North Wales and a cold weather period that shows no sign of ending, the winter season is now .......

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

by Chris Evans

These helpful top tips look at what to carry in your repair kit should the worst happen, destruction of your favorite toy........

Climbing Slate

by Baggy Richards

Clad in my rainbow lycra tights (well this is what my hero Andy Pollit wore back in the 80's) I set off up my first slate route, 'Seamstress' (HVS 5a).......

Top Tips on Taking An Active Leadership Role

by Louise Tully

Most white water paddlers spend a while getting out on easier grades with a group of people who can look after them to start off with. This is excelle.......

How to Become a Useful Group Member

by Chris Evans

I'm going to go through my top 10 ways to become a useful member of a group and hopefully remove the feeling of being a burden on everyone else or for.......

Being a Considerate Boater

by Chris Evans

This is my list of top tips on how to be a considerate paddler, keeping the fun in our sport and making sure we all have a good day out on the water........

Flares for Use at Sea

by Dave Simpson

After VHF, flares are probably your next choice for calling for help when out at sea. They allow you to give a clear signal of distress and simultaneo.......

'Rack' to Winter - Tips on Winter Climbing Hardware Maintenance

by Martin Chester

The seasons are changing... the nights are drawing in, and thoughts are drifting back to snowy peaks and Scottish adventures. Having your hardware pre.......

Coastal Navigation

by Adam Harmer

Sea kayaking is all about being prepared, so here's a quick list of top tips on preparing water-proof laminated maps that you might consider trying du.......

Early Season Cragging

by Paul Warnock

So you have been training all winter on a campus board or down at your local climbing wall. If you are feeling strong why not start the season on a hi.......

Comfortable Boating

by Chris Evans

I'm going to talk (more like rant) about the dark art of dressing to be comfortable on the water. By that, I mean choosing the right layering system t.......

River Running Strategy

by Jon 'Spike' Green

Level 5 Coach Jon 'Spike' Green has put together some great tips on river running........

Alpine Top Tips, Climbing Quicker (safely)

by Martin Chester

Climbing long Alpine routes is a stamina fest, not a sprint, so remember the Tortoise and the Hare. "Not stopping" is much more important than moving .......

Ski Tips for Mountaineers

by Martin Chester

It's that time of year again! The North faces are dripping with ice, the gullies are choked full of neve, and the harsh cold of winter has gone. Unfor.......

Top Tips For Strapping Your Boat On The Car

by Chris Evans

I'm going to talk about the tricky issue of tying boats down to a roof rack; my reason for this is because it's a bit of a bugbear of mine. The only t.......

Top Tips When Learning to Roll

by Adam Harmer

Here are a few tips to help you get rolling sucessfully........

Kayak Leadership

by Adam Harmer

Are you a paddler that often finds yourself leading groups or taking responsibility for weaker paddlers amongst friends or club trips. Here are Adam's.......

Scouting Rapids

by Helen Teasdale

Scouting rapids is an important skill for a kayaker to have, effectively scouting rapids can mean the difference between having an enjoyable paddle wi.......

Identifying Wild Flowers

by Mike Raine

Identifying wild flowers can be very frustrating and is certainly not as easy as just taking a book with you and lying down in the grass for a while. .......

Ski Touring - How to Get Better

by Martin Chester & Rob Spencer

In a nutshell, here a the four most important tips you need to know for ski touring:.......

Essential Canoe Tips

by Loel Collins

In no particular order, here are a few fundamental top-tips for canoeists........

Set Up Your Kayak

by Dino Heald

Senior Instructor Dino Heald provides some great pointers on how to set up your kayak for maximum performance "How should your kayak feel? This reall.......

Lifting Your Kayak

by Dino Heald

Lets face it we all carry our own kayaks. Here is a method I recommend that can help minimise the amount of strain we put on our bodies........

Getting Your Open Boat Moving

by Neil Dickinson

Getting an open boat up and running to speed is a basic yet essential skill at all levels of boating. Whether this is the start of a tranquil cruise o.......

Using a Throwbag

by Jon 'Spike' Green

'If a throwbag falls and no-one catches it, who do you hear scream?' (ancient mid-Wales proverb.).......

Kayak Safety

by Jon 'Spike' Green

"Prevention is better than a good beating" This set of tips is intended to look at easy, practical ways of reducing risk on the river........

Preparing Your Winter Hardware

by Rocio Siemens

It's that time of year again, and in a kind of counter-nature migration, many of us will be flying up North of the Border, with the prospect of enjoyi.......

Winter Protection

by Dave Evans

For most of us in winter climbing runners and good belays shouldn't just be a luxury! A lot gets said about Ice screws and Abalakovs but what about m.......

Using a compass in wet, windy or snowy weather

by Simon Colley

Navigating in very windy, snowy or wet conditions can make things more tricky. Here are a few tips I use to help our students improve their technique........

Using a GPS as a Navigational Aid

by Carlo Forte

A GPS should never be thought of as an alternative to a map and compass but they are an extremely useful additional tool. Here are a few points that a.......

Top Tips for International Trekkers

by Simon Hale

Senior Instructor Simon Hale offers a pile of invaluable tips for those planning on trekking in the high mountains of Europe........

Packing a Daysack

by Baggy Richards

A few simple, small and lightweight additions to your day pack could make your time in the mountains more pleasant, enjoyable and safe Here are some .......

Winter Navigation

by Carlo Forte

Even if you have good summer navigation skills, harsh winter conditions can bring unforeseen complications and complexities that make navigation trick.......

Tent Care

by Nikwax

If you've not had the tent out since the end of last summer, here are a few tips to get it ready for a summer of trouble-free camping, plus a few idea.......

Footwear Care Part Two

by Nikwax

Leather, suede or nubuck are all natural materials and need a bit of TLC. Regular cleaning, re-proofing & conditioning helps extend the life of your f.......

Footwear Care Part One

by Nikwax

Once a year or so give all your boots & outdoor footwear an overhaul to keep them in tip top condition, so they last for years. In part two, we'll.......

Rigging a Fixed Abseil Rope for Sea Cliff Climbing

by Simon Colley

Most climbers take a separate rope when they need to abseil into sea cliffs. This means that they don't have to abseil on their climbing ropes, and th.......

Keeping Multi-Pitch Belays Tangle Free

by Simon Colley

Avoiding tangled ropes takes concentration and self discipline. But it's well worth the effort. Here are a few of my favourite tips to help avoid prob.......


by Tim Neill

To some, the inexplicable strenuousness of the wider fissure is strangely compulsive, lacking the predictability of more conventional features. It's a.......

Retreating Off a Route

by Louise Thomas

Here are some simple but effective tips to help you when you're retreating off a route........

Racking Your Gear

by Ian Boorman

How you carry your gear on your harness is a very personal thing. Below are just a few tips that I feel help when multi pitch climbing........

Cleaning & Reproofing Waterproof Clothing

by Nikwax

Modern waterproof clothing is both waterproof and breathable. It will either have a membrane (like Gore-Tex) or a coating (e.g. PU) on the inside of t.......

Coiling a Rope

by Ian Boorman

There are many ways of coiling a rope and it does not have to be a complicated affair. So, to stop your rope getting into a tangled mess, I have found.......

Egressing Sea Cliffs

by Mark Reeves

Somewhere above is the rock, below me snapping at my ankles are line after line of charging white horses. I am in space twixt the devil and the deep b.......

Perform a Pre-Season Kit Check

by Dave Brown

It may sound obvious but it's important to check your kit before you go climbing. At the beginning of the season I recommend a thorough kit check, par.......

Climbing Sea Stacks

by Baggy Richards

For me climbing near the sea is a magical and exciting experience. The blend of sea, wind, wildlife and remote situations make it a special place to c.......

Retreating off a crag

by Baggy Richards

If you are a Multi Pitch climber, then at some stage you will probably have to retreat off a crag. This maybe due to bad weather, lack of daylight or .......

Sea Cliff Climbing (Part Two)

by Martin Chester

I vividly remember, as an enthusiastic teenager, my first visit to Swanage. Jonny and I abseiled in to Boulder ruckle (down marmolata buttress) not t.......

Sea Cliff Climbing (Part One)

by Martin Chester

Climbing over the sea has its own unique atmosphere. It is committing, exciting and beautiful in equal measure. Every climber should experience the ma.......

How To Stay Safe In The Sun

by Rob Spencer

The high mountains, wild rivers and the ocean can be dangerous places, a fall, a swim or something landing on your head is always a possibility and is.......

Medical Tips For Mountaineers

by Dr. David Hillebrandt.
FIMC (Edin). DMM (UIAA).

Here are some great first aid top tips........

Retrieving Stuck Nuts

by Tim Neill

Have you seen the price of nuts these days? Leaving a jammed wire not only leaves a hole in your pocket but robs the next leader of a truly true onsig.......

Safety Tips For The Novice Climber

by Louise Thomas

These essential safety tips should help novice climbers get into good habits early on........

Photography For Climbers

by Mark Reeves

With the advent of small digital cameras the amount of photos you take is no longer dictated by the price of film and development. Instead you can now.......

Rock Shoes

by Mike Raine

Here are a few general tips on rock shoes.......

The Rack

by Mike Raine

Here are a few general tips on the rack........

Wear A Helmet

by Mike Raine

To some people wearing a helmet may seem like an 'uncool' thing to do but there are more very good reasons to wear one than you think. Here are a few .......

Winter Mountaineering

by Martin Chester

Whether you are a committed winter walker, going winter mountaineering or even a winter climber, this could be for you. So much of a winter day out in.......

Using Chalk

by Mike Raine

These days too many people splash chalk around without a care in the world. Here are a few of my tips on how to be a little more conservative and cons.......

Lowering Off A Bolted Route

by Ben Lawes

Lowering off at the top of a bolted route and retrieving your rope without leaving any kit behind can be a potentially fatal manoeuvre. The following .......

Alpine Top Tips - Climbing Slicker (and more efficiently)

by Martin Chester

Huffing and puffing and hauling and thrutching my way up another Chamonix crack, I realised I had never tried to climb cracks in my big boots before, .......

Essential Canoe Expedition Tips

by Rosemary Powell

When embarking on a big open canoe expedition like our recent one to Temagami in Canada, there are many new and exciting challenges to overcome. Here .......

Using a Hand Held VHF Radio for Sea Kayaking

by Dave Brown

The hand-held VHF radio is a helpful peace of mind piece of kit for Sea kayaking around the UK. Often seen by many a paddler as a daunting item or the.......

Protecting Winter Climbs

by Martin Chester

Here are a few ideas on protecting winter climbs:.......

Glove Management

by Martin Chester

It's like an obsession, and we all do it. It starts off as a casual glance, then a nagging pull once you realise that there's something new on the rac.......

Ice Screw Management

by Dave Evans

The winter is approaching, the nights are drawing in, it's nearly time to dust off the tools and get ready for action. For anyone planning an early hi.......

Communication for Winter Climbers

by Keith Ball

Effective communication with your climbing partner is essential, not only to ensure your day goes smoothly but also to keep yourselves safe. I am sure.......

Winter Mountaineering Tips

by Carlo Forte

Here are a few varied and simple tips to make your winter mountaineering go smoothly........

Managing Your Map

by Jen Parker

A map is your primary aid to navigation, yet half the time it gets left folded up in the sac - until you really need it! Taking time to prepare it so .......

Getting to Routes on Skis (for mountaineers and climbers)

by Martin Chester

Ten years ago, Tim and I set off from Courmayeur to go ice climbing. We drove as far up the Val Veny as our beat up old van could get, and started to .......

Using Your Skis as a Belay Anchor

by Martin Chester

Your skis can be so much more than just some fancy footwear for getting to routes - they are handy bits of mountaineering kit as well! Should you need.......

Get Fit for the Alps

by Martin Chester

On a typical Alpine day you will make something in the order of 1000m of ascent. You may get up in the small hours of the morning, and work hard until.......

Taking a Friend Climbing

by Baggy Richards

Every climber finds him or herself in a position where they want, or are expected to take a friend climbing. Often this means taking a complete beginn.......

Removing Jammed Equipment

by Ian Hey

If nuts or cams get jammed on single pitch crags the easiest solution is often to finish the climb then arrange a suitable belay and abseil down to th.......

Deep Water Soloing

by Ruth Taylor

Here are some top tips to keep you safe and having fun when the deep water soloing season arrives........

Climbing As a Three (Part Two)

by Carlo Forte

Following on from my initial tips on climbing as a three, here I will focus on the stance. If you are going to get in a tangle it is likely to happen .......

Climbing As a Three (Part One)

by Carlo Forte

Climbing as three can be fantastically sociable. There is some one there to share conversation with whilst on a stance and having another opinion when.......

Slick Changeovers on Chances

by Keith Ball

Efficient stance management is useful on long multi pitch routes as it saves time, giving you more time for climbing rather than faffing with ropes! I.......

Last Minute Discounts

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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!!!!

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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

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

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

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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.

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Snowdonia Expedition Assessment Service

Plas y Brenin administers the Expedition Assesment Service for Cadair Idris, Rhinogs, Snowdon, Glyderau, Carneddau, Moelwyns and the Berwyns on behalf of DofE Wales.

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