01690 720214

Troubleshooting Techniques - 2 days

Course Overview

Self Rescue skills for climbers - the course that every rock climber should have been on.?This two-day course will teach you how to get out of those tricky situations that should never arise but all too often do. If you have any doubt how you would react in an emergency, this weekend covering self rescue techniques and how to cope if it all goes wrong, is an ideal way to put you and your climbing partner's minds at rest.

Experience Required

Some rock climbing outside

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?

This course is for any climber who wants to be more self reliant when climbing at more adventurous venues.  An understanding of the basics (belaying, tying on, placing protection etc.) is important to make the most of this course.

Course Content

We use a combination of local venues and easily accessible crags to understand and put into practice a variety of self rescue techniques. The emphasis is on learning the techniques not climbing miles of rock. We intend to look at the following areas:

  • Anticipating problems

  • Sound basic ropework and stance management

  • Simple solutions for simple problems

  • Strategy formation

  • Escaping from the system

  • Use of prussiks

  • Crag evacuation - Hoisting, lowering and abseiling

  • Passing a knot (lower or abseil)

  • Traverse problems

It is very important to build on what you are already familiar with. The course will be set at a standard and pace which fits your experience and aspirations. Once a climber has mastered the basic skills, most situations can be solved using the techniques as building blocks.

Useful Books

  • Rock Climbing by Libby Peter (MLTUK official publication)
  • Sport Climbing+ - Rockfax publication by Adrian Berry
  • Trad Climbing+ - Rockfax publication by Adrian Berry
  • Classic Rock & Hard Rock by Ken Wilson
  • Way Of the Rock Warrior & Espresso Lessons  by Arno Ilgner
  • 9 out of 10 Climbers Make The Same Mistakes by Dave MacCloud
  • How To Climb Harder by Mark Reeves
  • Masterclass Part 1 and 2 by Neil Gresham
  • Get Out On Rock by Libby Peters and Neil Gresham
  • Self Rescue For Climbers by Steve Long and Olly Sanders
  • BMC Summit Magazine
  • Climb Magazine
  • Climber Magazine

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.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    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 you 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

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

Customer Reviews For This Course

Excellent course for rock climbers of all standards

Bob Hotchkis

Excellent course led by Dave Kenyon. Dave's knowledge, experience and personality made for a great weekend - he covered the whole course syllabus (and more) ensuring that we learnt the techniques and practiced them both indoors and out. He is also very inspirational.

Accommodation, food and beer also excellent. Refurbishment has been done to a high standard.

I was allocated a single room - this was good for me and for whoever might have shared with me - I tend be disturbed by other people's snoring and I know that I disturb others with my snoring. I'd be happy to pay a bit more for a single room in future and would like the option to request one at the time of booking.

A taster - so one can self study afterwards

Ben Milner

I am a relatively inexperienced climber, lead climbing mostly single pitch to VS. Occaisional 2 pitch multi-pitch but with a more experienced climber.

At the end of the course I am confident that I can ascend or decend ropes using prusiks and that I can escape the system safely when my partner has got stuck below me and I ambelaying.

I have also had a taster of hoisting, assited or not assisted, abseiling past a knott and lowering someone past a knot and performing an assisted abseil.

However, all these "taster" items I do not feel confident of as yet. I believe I have an understanding of the mechanical tools involved but need to go back to the books and videos and to practice and work thru a number of times to really ensure I have fully learnt the items such that I could quickly and safely employ them.

I also had an intro to climbing with double ropes and performing these manouveres with that extra complication and mess.

A few great tips about how do do things with less gear. Useful to get one thinking.

Well done PYB!

Chris O'Connell

We attended the trouble shooting course with Phil Dowthwaite over the weekend. He really knows his stuff, and is able to pass on his wealth of knowledge in a relaxed, friendly manner.
The food and accommodation is great, and all the other staff are helpful and proficient in their work.
I look forward to my next visit to the center.

Top marks to Plas Y Brenin!!

tremendous value for mone


This was my seventh course at Plas y Brenin, and once again the course was tremendous value for money.
Our course director took the time to find out exactly where we were in terms of skills and knowledge, and judged to perfection the level to pitch the content at.
Over the two days, not only did we cover the course requirements, but also we were able to benefit from the experience of some of the best outdoor trainers around, in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
In my opinion, every trad climber should attend this course. It gives great confidence that tricky situations can be avoided by a little forethought, and that if something unexpected does happen there are many ways to deal with it without having to rely on others.
Additionally, we learned lots of simple solutions to make life easier on the mountain crags and sea cliffs.
And the cake was up to scratch.

Great Weekend!

Martin Davies

I had a great weekend at Plas y Brenin. The well structured and well taught course exceeded my expectations. Day 1 was spent around the centre, learning the techniques in a safe environment. By the end my head was buzzing with new information, however I never felt overwhelmed due to the methodical and careful instruction from the instructors. Day 2 was spent on the hill for the whole day, putting the techniques into practice on real rock faces. This was invaluable, and showed up so many extra problems that can arise when doing the techniques for real.
The course covered topics as basic as building belays and placing gear to rigging up an unassisted hoist and abseiling past knots. During the whole weekend the instructors passed on useful little tips that make building belays and climbing in general so much easier! The emphasis is on avoiding getting into a situation where you would need to use the techniques, however having been through the course I would now feel prepared to deal with a situation if it arose at a crag.
I highly recommend the course, the instructors are brilliant and the content is vital for all climbers. One day it could save someones life! Thanks for a great weekend.

Great course


This was just what I was looking for. Giving a good level of detail and re-enforcing it over and over. It was a good chance to iron out any bad belaying habits picked up too. It gave me the confidence to take out a friend for the first time on rock. Low grade stuff that I could solo, but knowing how to got out of the system meant that if I really needed to get down to her in cragfast I could. Gave me the skills to be a confident coach, and I'm seriously considering the SPA training now.

Great Escape Weekend

Sarah Langdon

The 2 day course has taught me a fantastic amount about how to get out of trouble when climbing - really given me the confidence to do much more climbing with my son.
It's the third course I have done at PYB (family introduction to kayaking and rock climbing under your own steam) and while they have all been very, very enjoyable - the importance for me is that they have given me the skills to go out and do things for myself. My family now has 5 kayaks and throw themselves into white water at the first opportunity and we enjoy climbing on our local crags safely even if we still do enough to scare ourselves now and then.
The instructors and facilities are both first class.

Nick Gregory

Excellent course,providing all the building blocks to get out of trouble. Sensible and sympathetic instruction.

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.

Fill in a Callback Form

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Contact our team on 01690 720214 or email - they will be happy to help you find something perfect.

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