01690 720214

Introduction to Rock Climbing for Families - 5 days

Course Overview

Designed to specifically meet the needs of the family, In five days we will help you progress from never having climbed before to the possibility of leading your own climbs in a controlled and confident manner at the end of the week. All of the basic ropework, equipment selection and climbing techniques will be covered and many of North Wales' most famous climbing areas will be explored, such as Tremadog, the Llanberis Pass and the Ogwen Valley - always under the direct supervision of our expert staff.

Previous Experience Required

none required

Cost per adult: £

Cost per child: £

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

Children should be 8 years old or above to attend this course.

Is it for me?
The course is for families who want a fun and educational introduction to rock climbing. You will look at the essential skills to get you started. You don't need any previous experience, or need to be too gymnastic, just be keen to have some fun and do some climbing.

What we cover
We feel it is very important for you to progress at your own pace. Therefore we carefully select climbs that suit your families aspirations and ability. Our high staff to student ratio allows us to do this.

Each morning the course staff will decide on a venue which is best suited to the weather conditions and the group. Our programme is flexible, but we tend to start on single pitch crags (less than one rope length high).
Later in the week, if appropriate, we split into smaller groups and tackle one of the larger multi pitch crags.

Over the week we intend to look at the following areas:
  • Bouldering techniques (climbing without ropes)
  • Introduction to simple ropework
  • Belaying (controlling the rope for the climber)
  • Single and multi pitch ascents
  • Abseiling
  • Use of technical equipment
  • Stance organisation (arranging everything on a ledge, part way up)
  • Safe descents
  • Understanding the principles of lead climbing
  • Joining the BMC
  • Where do I go from here? - after the course

Useful Books

Handbook of Climbing by Fyffe and Peter
Rock Climbing by Libby Peter (MLTUK official pub)
Sport Climbing - Rockfax publication by Adrian Berry
Trad Climbing- Rockfax publication by Adrian Berry

See also the excellent "Masterclass" DVDs by Neil Gresham.

What's Included In The Price?

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch
    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

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 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. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

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

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

Please bring your child's car seat/booster seat with you for use in our minibuses, this is so not only is your child comfortable but safe during any journeys and ensures we comply with the law regarding seat belts.

All your meals are included but you may find that your child will need regular snacks in order to keep their energy levels up throughout the day, so we recommended bringing some of their favourite snacks with you.

Customer Reviews For This Course / Holiday

Fab , stretching, occasionally scary but fun

Chris Simpson

This was our second visit to "the Brenin" in two years as a family and this time we split with my Son and I doing the Rock course with my partner and daughter kayaking. ( This is a structure that works really well as the activities at PYB revolve around the plentiful meal, and it gives you loads to catch up on).
We arrived at PYB in bright sunshine (my kids think its always sunny in North Wales)! . Jack and I were delighted to find that again we had Kath Bromfield as our course Director. We were also lucky to have a smallish group of 4 lads 9-13 and 3 Dads and one super Nan.
On days 1 and 2 location and climbs were very similar to adventure for families in the same locations but we pushed on a good deal from that content with the instructors spotting these opportunities quickly.
By the end of the week the group had progressed to setting our own equipment and building confidence and trust in each others safety on some much more challenging stuff with a multi pitch on the Final day. ( A side note on this due to an injury I couldnt climb this but Pete and Carl generously allowed me to kayak for the day which was very good of them).
The top things of the course /holiday were
1) The quality of instruction and coaching at PYB is simply outstanding , seriously do some climbing or kayak sessions with a local coach before coming and you will really see the gulf in class.
2)The dexterity with which Kath and Blair picked locations that had sunshine and were appropriately challenging.
3) The cake and ice cream stops.

The rooms at PYB are basic and not vast but mostly since you are tired and grubby yourself on return you are glad of this.
It would be good to make it easier to get your five a day in with the carb and protein welcome, more fresh fruit and veg would be a welcome addition.

What A week !!


This was our first time climbing outdoors and PYB exceeded all expectations. The instructors Cath, Chris and Helen (alphabetical order!!) Were all experienced knowledgeable instructors with years of experience yet as enthusiastic as new starters and fun to be with!

Unlike some family "activity weeks" ive been on this is a real opportunity to learn new skills. Under expert supervision all the rope work, knots etc required to climb safely are patiently explained with plenty of opportunity to practise the new skills. By the end of the week the girls (10 and 8) seconded a multi pitch climb. (something the smelly boys failed!)

The venue, food, reception (Lindsey) were all exceptional very helpful and good fun.

I would recommend this to any family wanting a fun, challenging and memorable week while developing skills to move tentatively to climbing the great outdoors.



However experienced or inexperienced you and your child are you cannot help but enjoy and benefit from this exceptional opportunity. You'll both be inspired and boosted confidence-wise by the sheer professionalism and enthusiasm of the instructors, and all the while having fun in some superb locations, before retreating to re-fuel in style amongst the welcoming hubub of the Brenin.

If you are not that experienced you will be amazed not only at what you are doing by the end of the week, but also by how competently (generally!) and effortlessly you are doing it. You wont want it to end ...

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides for 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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