01690 720214

Introduction to Scrambling

Course Overview

If you want to develop your hillwalking skills to take you over steeper and more adventurous ground, come with us on this week long scramble through Snowdonia's highest peaks.
Staying each night at Plas y Brenin, you'll spend five days far from the beaten track, exploring exciting and demanding classic scrambles, whilst learning everything you need to know about route finding, simple ropework, navigation, equipment selection, and how to interpret mountain weather. You'll cover lots of ground too, helping you get to know the area and unlocking Snowdonia for your future trips.

Experience Required

summer hillwalking

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who's it for?

This week is for mountain walkers who wish to take on the great challenge scrambling can offer and get into some of the less accessible places on the British mountains.  A reasonable level of general mountain walking will enable you to enjoy your week.  Many scrambles involve taking in a classic Snowdonia Summit

Course Content

This will be a practical, hill based week with some evening sessions.  During the week you will generally be operating on grade 1 and possibly grade 2 scrambles and we will look at the following areas:

  • Clothing and equipment

  • Basic scrambling techniques and movement skills

  • Choosing a safe route and assessing risk

  • Hazard management

  • Assisting and safeguarding other party members

  • Simple ropework for scrambles in ascent and descent

  • Weather forecasting

  • Planning a mountain day

  • Guidebooks, maps and grading systems

The week will adapt according to the prevailing conditions to make the best of any weather.

Useful Books

  • Hillwalking by Steve Long (MLTUK Official Publication)
  • Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff
  • Best Walks in North Wales by Richard Sale
  • Nature of Snowdonia by Mike Raine
  • Navigation in the Mountains (MLTUK Official Publication) -  Due for sale 2012

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 - at all times of year e.g. walking trousers (shorts in summer), thermal layers/base layers, fleeces, good quality walking socks

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack (min 30 litres)

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

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch Bag/Box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Head torch (winter months)

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant (summer months)

  • Notebook and pen

  • Compass (Silva Expedition 4 recommended)

  • Maps - OS 17 Snowdon & Conwy Valley 1:25,000 (and OS 115 Snowdon 1:50,000 for navigation courses). Laminated maps are great as you don't need a map case and you can make notes, mark point etc. (Can be purchased from our shop)

  • Fine permanent pen (for writing on laminated maps)

  • Helmet

  • Harness

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores so you don't need to rush out to buy them.

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Compass

  • Helmet

  • Harness

Customer Reviews For This Course

Beyond expectations

David Blackie

This was a great week - great instructors, great weather, a great team of fellow scramblers and great food and beer. Matt was very friendly, professional and encouraging. He tuned into our abilities, knew when to push and when to ease off. Cath and Chris were also really helpful and knowledgeable as was Ian - the sight of him, hands in pockets on Crib Goch while we were on all fours will stay in my memory! I felt challenged to get out of my comfort zone but I never felt pressured and I always felt safe. Time to reflect on what I've learnt and think about the next course.

Top quality weekend.


I really enjoyed my introduction to scrambling weekend course. I had a fantastic experience from start to finish. I came away with lots, new found rope skills to route finding. Even though we didn't do any classic grade one routes due to them being covered in snow and in winter conditions we covered other routes. The instructor was great, very knowledgable, listened to what we wanted from the course and did his very best to get everything we wanted out of the course with the weather condition. I can't wait to get out and have my own adventures. A brilliant course that I would highly recommend. Even though I didn't stay at the centre, it does offer great facilities and food.

Great course.


This was a great course. Will was a really good instructor who knew Snowdonia really well and had loads of experience. When the weather turned bad he took us gorge walking which was really good fun. The centre is set up so well for adventure holidays - nothing is ever rushed. The catering was fantastic and the rooms and facilities very clean. Although not cheap, the course was very good value

It never rains in Wales!


Our weeks scrambling course was truly blessed with fantastic weather. From the minute I arrived all the staff were so helpful, the accommodation was first class as was the organisation of the whole course. On the first morning of our course we met our leader who asked each of us what our objectives were and by the end of the week they were well and truly met. Cath was our leader and her subtle way of teaching and giving us confidence to go further was a true quality that I believe make the staff at PYB so special. Everyday was well thought out and every evening I came back feeling I had achieved more each day. Our group had a great sense of humour and when we had more demanding but achievable scrambles to tackle 'Team Cath' just got on with the job with a great big smile at the end of it. I can thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who wants to go further than walking the normal marked walkers path, it certainly has inspired me to reach the summit through more interesting routes.
A very big thank you to Cath for everything, especially for always keeping us safe and bringing us off the mountain in time for tea and cakes! Ready to book my next course now. Thank you all.

Walker to Scrambler: or how to 'appropriately manage your fear'


"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." (Henry Ford) Although advertised as a course for developing hillwalking skills, this is also an opportunity to make the sometimes scary journey from "can't" to "can". With the help, support, patience (and 'push') from Dave (our instructor) my journey has well and truly begun. I would encourage anyone who is anxious/scared even thinking about making the transition from walker to scrambler to give it a go at Plas-y-Brenin - you'll surprise yourself (I did!). The sense of achievement sitting on the top of Glyder Fach (via a scramble up Bristly Ridge) on the last day of the course was out of this world. The progress I (and the rest of our small group) had made over a 5-day period was obvious to see. Our progress through the course had been swift, but controlled - with course content expertly geared towards the interests and capabilities of all participants. Virtually every minute of our days on the hills (and in the classroom) were filled with learning opportunities e.g. re the Snowdon enviroment, walking/scrambling technique, route-finding, naviagation - but most importantly how to keep ourselves safe (i.e. how to 'appropriately manage' the experience/risks for ourselves). Both the formal and informal content were presented in an informative, but fun way. At the start of the course, I would not have believed I'd be laughing/smiling after scrambling up what on day 1 appeared to be a scary 'heap of stones'. The 'heap of stones' looked less scary as the week progressed, as I was helped to became more confident about my abilities. Each day Dave gently 'pushed' us to go that bit further and by day 5 I no loner saw a scary 'heap of stones' but an interesting, fun way to get up a mountain. As I hope you will gather from the above, one of the unspecified benefits of this course could be learning more about yourself (like I did) - specifically, how to "appropriately manage" your fear. I cannot fault the facilities at Plas-y-Brenin - everyone seemed to be working as a team to ensure that all participants would have the best experience possible both on and off their courses. My biggest thank you, however, goes to Dave Evans - I needed 'the push' and thanks for believing in me. Sharp Edge here I come!!!!

Another brilliant week

Paul Gratwick

My second time here, food and facilities still first class.
On this particular course you do need a head for heights, scrambling was excellent 95% of the time, the other 5% I was outside my comfort zone and felt a bit vulnerable.
The instructor, Matt Stygall, was absolutely brilliant, calm, patient, skillful, encouraging, and really made everyone feel at ease.
He encouraged us to be open with him if we felt uncomfortable or nervous and when I did he used a rope to give me confidence, was always right there next to me suggesting footholds and hand holds, and placing himself between me and what I perceived to be danger.
Don't be afraid to give it a go, you won't know what your comfort zone is until you're outside it, but you can find out in safety with one of the excellent instructors at this centre.
We also learnt and practiced basic emergency rope-work, tying knots, anchor points, and abseiling.
A brilliant course, which I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend.

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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