01690 720214

Big Wall Climbing - 2 days

Course Overview

If you're planning a Big Walling trip for the first time, or wanting to fine tune what you've already learnt on your first epic, this weekend is worth its weight in gold. The weekend course is crammed full of practical instruction and advice on aid climbing, bivouacking, hanging stances and hauling. Exactly what you need to help you get the most from your trip.

Experience Required

competent multi-pitch climber.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Is it for me?

This course is for competent rock climbers who are planning to go "Big Walling". This is not for beginners, but for experienced climbers - capable of leading VS or above. As the ropework is often complex a good understanding of basic ropework is required

What we cover

We will begin in the controlled environment of the climbing wall, and progress to local crags once the basics have been mastered. We intend to cover the following areas:

  • Basic aid climbing techniques

  • Stance management, and fixing ropes

  • Jumaring - a variety of systems

  • Hauling systems

  • Pendulums and tension traverses

  • Pegging and de-pegging

  • Marginal gear - mashies, rurps, sky hooks, beaks

  • Bivouacing skills with and without portaledges

  • A review of Big Wall areas

Our staff will help you plan your trip, with first hand experience and advice. All our staff are dedicated climbers and have a great depth of knowledge of Big Walling. They are qualified and experienced in teaching climbing at all levels, and will be keen to pass on their knowledge to you.

Useful Books

  • Big Wall Climbing by John Middendorf
  • Rock Climbing by Libby Peter (MLTUK official pub)
  • Handbook of Climbing by Fyffe and Peter

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?

Bring warm clothing and your kit for climbing outdoors - whatever the weather! So don't forget:

  • Trainers or approach shoes

  • Warm hat, gloves or mitts, buff/neck gaiter, sunhat

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Lunch box/bag

  • Flask

  • Drinks Bottle

  • Rucksack (approx. 40-50 Litres)

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

  • Small personal first aid kit

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

  • Rockboots

  • Harness

  • Helmet

If you already have them bring these items along:

All of these items can be borrowed from our equipment stores so you don't need to rush out to buy them. Ropes are always provided by Plas y Brenin.

  • Climbing rack

  • Chest harness

  • 2 x long daisy chains

  • 2 x Etriers

  • Ascenders - jumars and croll

  • Snap links (plenty of extras)

  • Nuts, cams

  • Slings, bandoliers

  • Wall hauler/pulley

  • Haulbag

  • Pegs and hooks

  • Portaledge

Customer Reviews For This Course

A great intro course to aid climbing

Ed Mitchell

A fantastic introduction to aid climbing and the big wall experience. The basic system is covered well, but obviously it is not possible in a weekend course to get everything totally wired!

Excellent course

Tom Watson

Top flight from start to finish. All fascinating and confidence building stuff. Well done PYB - I will be back.

Kevin Roet

I haven't climbed a big wall as yet, but I had practiced a lot of the big wall techniques prior to going on the course, So some parts were repetition for me. I think it may be possible to divide this course up into two parts (part 1: introduction to big wall climbing, maybe a two day course with basic techniques, then part 2: maybe a two day course with more advanced techniques and skimming over the basics)

Apart from this, I did learn several thing from the course that I wouldn't have otherwise known, but found the beginning of the course frustrating as this was very basic. Nevertheless, Tim the instructor is very knowledgeable, he is a very good instructor, and again he really knows his stuff.

Big up

Ed Booth

This course was awesome. Fully good value for anyone thinking of trying a big wall. I anticipate that it will save a good 3 weeks of learning the tricks we would otherwise have to spend picking up.
Tim Neill was a genuine Jedi and the weekend was a great insight into the ways of big wall tactics and techniques.
Mad for it! Cheers Tim,

Excellent course

Duncan Graham-Rowe

Excellent course. Of the four of us doing the course I was easily the least experienced, but I still came away feeling ready to take on a big wall. Am now planning a trip to El Cap. And comments from previous reviews appear to have been taken on board because we were given an inspiring, not to mention very entertaining slide show of big wall climbing in the US in the evening. I recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about big wall climbing but is unsure whether or how to make that leap...

Wayne Gaudin

This was a great course. The tuition was relaxed but professional. With 1 guide to two climbers, any questions could be asked straight away. I can't criticise it at all.

Really enjoyed it

Simon Chandler

A good introduction to a whole set of new techniques, and lots of guided practice on walls both inside and out. The instructors are clearly mad about big walls - and gave us lots of advice and tips that you just wouldn't get from a book. I'd definitely recommend this course to anyone who's contemplating doing a big wall.

How about giving participants the opportunity to watch a big wall DVD - say "Blood, Sweat and Bagels" after dinner?

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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