01690 720214

Advanced Scrambling

Course Overview

An introduction to the higher grade scrambles, looking at personal skills and techniques for the safe ascent of grade 2 and 3 scrambles. For those who have done some of the classic grade 1 routes and want to venture onto more challenging terrain, learning the ropework skills necessary for safe travel on grade 3 routes.

Experience Required

some scrambling experience and a good level of hillwalking fitness

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who's it for?

This week is for anyone who has experienced some of the classic Grade 1 routes and wants to venture onto more challenging terrain, learning the ropework skills necessary for travel on Grade 2 or 3 routes. With extra staff joining us towards the end of the week, we can access some of the most adventurous terrain Britain has to offer.  A good level of general mountain fitness 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 our days out 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 for ascent and descent

  • Use of karabiner and sling

  • 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

An Excellent Mountaineering Course.

Neil Jordan

This is the course you will want to do before you find yourself having an epic on a Grade 2-3 scramble because you did not realise how serious they can be. When you look in the guide books the photos almost always show people soloing routes in amazing positions. What they do not say is that they are experienced climbers on what is to them eay rock. Scrambling on grade 2-3 routes is basically climbing at moderate to very difficult grades. Combining that with big boots rather than rock slippers, wet and greasy rock and the possibilty of serious consequences if you slip these routes are a long way from walking along Crib Goch. The course followed the normal P-y-B pattern on the first day of meeting the instructors and getting out straight away. We went onto Moel Siabod on a grade 1 scramble. This allows the instructors to assess the different abilities in the group and from then on the course is adapted so that each individual gets the most out of the remaining days. As always with P-y-B the instructors Richard, Rich and Adam were frendly, professional and constantly attentive to the groups needs. Over the rest of the week we covered all the skills needed to get us out on harder scrambles. These included navigation, route planning, guide book interpretation, ropework, setting up belays and runners, abseiling and moving safely over steep ground. At all times the emphasis was on safety and judgement especially being honest about how you are feeling in any given situation. You might be happy to solo up a 10 metre rock step but I would really like to rope up. To get the most out of the course you need to be hill fit and ideally try to spend a bit of time on a climbing wall. It's a great course. Enjoy.

Great experience

Robert Vale

First of all,I was amazed at the very high standard of the instructors (Tim and Stu)that we had. Obviously, being Plas Y Brenin I thought that they would be good but in fact they were both right at the top of their game (for example they had both climbed the North Face of Eiger).Despite this they never gave the impression of being bored at covering what to them was obviously very easy terrain and put a lot of effort into teaching us the correct way to go about things.The first day was pretty challenging but after that the day's objectives were tailored to reflect the experience, fitness and ability of course attendees.For the last three days I was teamed (along with another guy) with Stu. I benefited hugely from his vast experience and it was also very interesting hearing about his experiences as a top guide in the Alps.Considering the wet weather we had, it was amazing what we got done (Cneifion Arete was a highlight). It is a big advantage being with instructors who know Snowdonia so well, as they are able to select routes that are doable in the conditions - not everyone (me included) would have the confidence to do this.
The Centre itself can't be faulted - very comfortable rooms and well cooked food with a good choice. It was very useful being able to borrow kit from the stores. However, some of the boots do let water in - in fairness it would be a mammoth job to keep them all waterproofed to a high standard. If you are thinking of using their boots and want to be sure of avoiding wet feet, it would be a good idea to bring a pair of waterproof socks (Sealskins) as back up.

Advanced Scrambling - mega!

Sean O'Sullivan

The 5-day Advanced Scrambling course completely exceeded my expectations. We had a fantastic instructor, Tim Neill, who was extremely patient, knowledgeable, friendly, and fantastic at ensuring that everyone understood all the concepts as well as the big picture; Tim pushed us to our comfort levels after which we felt we had had an epic day every day. We covered all the concepts and skills, using a lot of gear, which in the second half of the week Tim was pushing us to implement ourselves while carefully monitoring us and correcting when necessary.

After the first day I thought that lasting the 5 days would be difficult but this was not in fact the case and we all finished an epic week with still a little fuel left in the tank, but full of confidence and knowledge. While the weather was damp or wet, Tim chose locations where impact of the weather was minimal, and the weather conditions did not in any way reduce the experience or training provided - indeed it probably enhanced it as climbing in dry rock conditions can only be easier.

The PYB centre is fantastic - clean, great food (and plenty of it), a nice bar, nice bedrooms, and staff are very friendly. Equipment of all sorts is available free to course attendees, and indeed after trying a scrambling boot for the whole week (that I previously had been interested in but was slow to buy) I went and purchased the boot in the local Joe Brown climbing shop, happy in the knowledge that it was perfect after scrambling all week in a pair. Indeed another attendee on the course tried 3 different pairs of boots on different days until he found the right one.

The drying rooms are great, so you have dry kit every day without having to bring too many changes of clothes with you to the course.

I cannot recommend this course and the centre highly enough; it's a 10/10 course and centre.

Fantastic course

Rob Sowersby

The course was brilliant. We spent 5 days getting thoroughly expert tuition (and excellent company) from Tim Neill, who is as confidence-inspiring as he is tall. It was pretty full-on on day 1 (and I'd done a tiny bit of rock climbing beforehand), and, to my surprise, seemed to get tougher from there! That said, Tim (and latterly Stuart) managed to shepherd a very mixed-experience group up some fantastic, tricky-seeming routes, with only limited help from classics like "the Alpine knee" and "the gentleman's rope". We climbed in challenging conditions (I'm reasonably confident that one of the climbing routes was actually a stream), had stunning days out in the mountains, and learnt absolutely loads. The course left me confident in the basic ropework I'd need to safeguard friends while scrambling (even if I still make a pretty ugly rope coil when left to my own devices). Five of the best hill days I've had: thanks very much Tim, and thanks too to Stuart and the other guys on the course.

Just what I had been looking for


Great choice for an all-round mountain experience. Quality instruction, tailored to suit, that enabled us to make the most of the weather and time available. Enough time for those (like me) who were a bit rusty to progress quickly through to taking on grade 3 scrambles bythe end of a memorable week.
We focussed almost exclusively on the ogwen valley but with so much choice on Tryfan, glyder fach etc no-one had any cause for complaint. A great week. Thanks

The Best week's Moutaineering So Far

Greg Northmore

Thoroughly enjoyed the week. Shared with great people and led by very good instructors. Made climbs I doubted I'd be capable of, and left with a thirst for more of the same. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.

Surpassed my expectations

Jonathan Northmore

I attended this course in April to experience higher grade scrambles, having completed the classic grade 1's in Snowdonia, and to gain knowledge and experience with ropework and protection. The course was truly excellent. The instructors were very knowledgable, friendly and adapted to each individuals abilities and aspirations throughout the week. I also learnt a lot from the instructors about the geology and wildlife in the region. The facility was very good with friendly staff and the food was of a high standard. Equipment hire and use of the climbing/bouldering walls was all included in the cost of the course. From the 3rd day onwards we split into smaller groups in a 2-1 person-to-instructor ratio and had the pleasure of tackling some great grade 3 scrambles, all of a different nature. Chasm Face Route on Glyder Fach was a highlight! Thanks to Mike, Matt, Lou & Kath for a fantastic experience in the mountains of Snowdonia. It surpassed my expectations. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in scrambling and mountaineering.

Great course would recomend

howard Rose

Me and a friend attended the 5 day advanced scrambling at PYB in Sep 15.
We had a range of instructors which really helped me learn, as between them there were strong recurring messages, such as take smaller steps and look down more on grade 2/3. So this helped the message home.
In addition to this each instructor brought their own individual tips and techniques we could all learn from. The last three days were on a 2:1 ratio and each of these days taylored to our own needs and ability along with the prevailing weather.
If you want to take your walking to the next level and learn how to scramble safely whilst making good progress then this is the course for you. We even did a bit of climbing for good measure.
Fun and flexible learning in a great environment.

Instruction was excellent.

Neville McBain

The location is fabulous, the facilities at PYB are very good, the food was great and most of all the quality of instruction was excellent. I was fortunate to be in a small group so we had personally tailored instruction from the first day but I would imagine that the same level of care and attention is paid to larger groups. The pace of instruction, the learning of skills and their practical application, the level of challenge and personal stretch, the confidence-building, the attention to safety were all spot on. It was a very enjoyable week that I would recommend highly to anyone wanting to advance beyond level 1 scrambling.

Fantastic week


It was a fantastic week despite the truly terrible weather. The instructors were great; friendly, knowledgable and enthusiastic.

The course was a little hampered by a very bad week of weather. Despite that I learnt a huge amount and have definitely been inspired to try some more challenging routes in future. With some people in the group having climbing experience there was a real mix of experience in terms of rope work and other key skills. This variety in levels of experience was dealt with very well.

The centre itself is brilliant; nice food, comfy beds, and ultimately a clean, warm place to relax after a hard day out in the hills. It was also great to be able to try out kit from the stores over the course of the week. The various bits of kit I borrowed over the course of the week were in a good condition and certain a decent quality. My kit replacement wish list has certainly grown!

All in all a great experience and one that I would definitely repeat.

A Grand Week Scrambling

Phil Brown

I attended this course partly as revision on correct rope management, to correct bad habits and to fill in the gap between 'walking in' and actual rock climbing. In all respects my expectations were met, although not quite in the way I had expected. In reality this week prepares someone to lead a moderate or difficult rock climb and then abseil off, so it's a lot more than clambering over steep rocks. The highlights were an ascent of Cneifion Arete in very strong blustery conditions (not for the faint hearted) and the 50 metre abseil on a single rope in very wet and windy conditions from the top of Lockwood's Chimney. At the end of it all, I really appreciated that the objective dangers around scrambling can be as serious, if not more so than middle grade rock climbing i.e. not to be underestimated. Thanks to Spike, Donald King and Adam Harmer for their excellent instruction.

Fun + focus + skills based week = confident + optimistic+ crag hopper

Maccs Pescatore

It's a privilege to be instructed by professionals at the top of their game. And to share some fun with them too. I hadn't understood that the more technical scrambles actually require rock climbing techniques to keep safe (ropes, belays etc). I hadn't properly taken the time to look at a grade 3 scramble or an easy to moderate rock climb. So, it was both exciting and exhilarating to be led onto the rock and to discover that. There was never a doubt that we wouldn't get to the top with guidance from Matt Styggal and Helen Teasdale. Their relaxed but totally attentive style prevented any fear from materialising. Instead my head was filled with anticipation. And I never felt unsafe. Each day was tailored and progressed from the previous. And both were careful to make sure that we provided input to the day's programme. Despite the week being generally filled with rain, we managed to navigate that to maximise the time out on the rock. Each day we learnt more and pushed further. By the end of the week I felt totally comfortable in leading, in taking a good shot at finding good places for wires and in belaying. Generally, I came away with a basic competency in keeping safe. Both instructors, and the observers that joined us for part of the week, were personable. In fact, everyone at the centre was friendly and relaxed. It was a great place to have a glass of wine at the end of the day.
The accommodation is a good standard. Each room beds two so if you arrive alone you'll be sharing with a stranger. Whilst I can see the economic benefit of doing that, I would have found it a little uncomfortable sharing with someone I didn't know. Particularly as the rooms are snug. But maybe that's just me and my age! The food is excellent; plenty of it, an extensive selection and good quality (sourced locally where possible). They even bake the bread. My workplace canteen could take a lesson from PYB's cooks and kitchen staff. In summary, the course was rewarding and has given me the confidence to start a journey into rock climbing as well as scrambling. There's more to learn, so I'm sure that I'll be back at PYB soon.

Great week.

Richard Allen

I had an excellent 5 days. I was a bit concerned how I would handle this course being 60, but need not have worried. Cathy accessed how I coped over the first couple of days and from then on she new how to help me get the best of my ability. I gained in confidence and when I had self doubts Cathy talked things over with me and encouraged me. I learned a great deal and am able now to go forth well prepared to improve my ability (with practice) and scramble with my sons. I can wholeheartedly recommend this course, as a way of improving personal skills, learning to read routes, and knowing you will be well looked after. I would like to thank Cathy for her tuition and caring attitude, and not to forget her personnel skills.
Many thanks.


Steve Gray

"Warning! Scrambling can be dangerous." This doom ladened statement is at the front of every UK scrambling guide. If that's what is putting you off getting the most out of exciting mountain journeys, then this course is for you.
The week starts on grade 1 ground, translating guide book route descriptions, moving over steep terrain and looking ahead to establish the route. From then on you progress to grade 2 & 3 routes. Learning strategies to safe guard your journey, using ropes and belays whilst still maintaining the speed and simplicity that draws us to scrambling.
Inspiring Instructors who deliver information in a calm, clear and concise manner and who clearly love being in the mountains.
By the end of the five days your skill set will have improved dramatically and you will have climbed some of the best scrambling routes in Snowdonia. Do it!

Instructors are brilliant!

Heather Bartlett

Given that nobody could possibly mistake me for being "advanced" (with just a few days of previous experience), I was a bit apprehensive. But all the instructors were just brilliant at boosting my confidence & I achieved some climbs that I'd never believed I could do! The others on the course were a great crowd, & the centre is warm, friendly & with lovely food. Thoroughly recommended.

Amazing week with exceptional tuition

Simon Wurr

I cannot recommend this 5 day advanced scrambling course highly enough. I came at it from a hill-walking (not climbing) background having also done the summer ML. There was excellent progression through the week (basic grade 1 scrambles at the start then gradual introduction of ropework and use of protection until we were selecting gear, routes and ropework strategies, all under the careful eye of our guide).

We had two different guides; one for the first three days and then a second for the final two days. Both (Cath Wilson and Simon Lake) were excellent, involved us in deciding what to do each day and were excellent communicators. If, like me, you have a good head for heights and want to progress from grade ones you can do without a rope, then this course is excellent. We even had mainly dry weather for the week and the instructors were very good at knowing where to go given the conditions.

As always, the food and accommodation were of a high standard. You will not go hungry and the cake every day at 5pm is AMAZING! The evening talks were all inspiring and I left determined to find another PyB course I can do in the future.

The best wet week on the Welsh hills ever!

Judith Ellis

The instructors are impressively technically competent, brilliantly able to give you confidence AND make even the wettest Welsh mountains into a great day out. On two days we were totally soaked - boots, socks, clothes, and contents of rucksacks - but had fun days and misery just didn't come into it. They are extremely good at guaging just what you need to boost your confidence, and just how much to challenge you so you achieve a very positive experience. For us the benefit was beautifully illustrated this weekend when we put it all into practice on two grade 3 routes in the Lakes. Many, many thanks to Helen, Dave, Matt and Paul for giving us just what we needed to be able to go it alone. No hesitation about recommending the course to others.

Great course, foul weather.

Angharad Thomas

My first time at PYB and definitely an experience I'd repeat.

Well organised, busy with plenty of evening lectures and options for additional teaching/ consolidation of 'in the field' learning. Definitely good value for money, helpful course admin and pre-arrival assistance if needs be.

Knowledgeable and friendly instructors, good to have continuity of staff across the week.

Comfortable and adequate accommodation; hot water a bit sporadic but its just a matter of being prepared and planning. No real suprise as its an old and large building.

Food good, plenty of choice and plentiful supply.

Weather was dire but we got out every day and definitely made the most of what was on offer.

Fulfilled expectations perfectly

Martin Bray

Having climbed many Grade 1s, a few Grade 2s and the odd Grade 3 many years ago, I saw this course as an opportunity to get back to Grade 3 standards alongside the relevant ropework that goes beyond the remit of ML, but allows some great mountaineering as well. Expert, trusting and patient instruction from Kath and Guy especially enabled the six of us to achieve all this, benefitting from a one guide to two students ratio from the third day onwards. For me a great day in Idwal (Ordinary Route and Cneifion Arete in big boots) and an ascent of the Clogwyn y Person Arete were real highlights. Add in excellent food and accomodation and it's a perfect week! Many thanks!

Excellent - pace of progression is ideally matched to abilities

Terry B

I was a grade 1 scrambler that occasionaly tried grade 2's but never felt totally comfortable with them. The course took me from a grade 1 scramble, to leading with ropes up a grade 2/3. Along the way I experienced a grade 3 scamble and some easy rock climbing. For the last 3 days we had an instructor for every 2 clients. Excellent food and good accomodation all helped to make this an excellent course/holiday.


John Hobday

A brilliant course which achieved my objectives - to improve my movement skills and to test the limits of my unassisted scrambling ability. Well structured to allow you to develop your judgement about what is feasible/appropriate and to progressively improve your movement/climbing skills as the week progresses. And we were taken to some striking places - notably Lockwood's Chimney with its final 40-45 metre abseil - but all safely roped. Nor Nor Buttress was a fitting end to an enjoyable week.

Scary stuff!

Wayne Kilborn

"Scary" because of my fear of heights! I've been on various courses at PYB, with the hope that my fear of heights will go away. However, what I've ended up with, is a love of being in the mountains and the knowledge and ability to go out there safely (many thanks to PYB and their terrific instructors), but still with a fear of heights!. I now regularly attend this course, since it gets me out into remote parts of the mountains, and the PYB instructors ensure that I get my adrenalin rush in absolute safety. As for this particular course, many thanks to Mike and Carlo for doing a fantastic job looking after us during the week.
P.S. I trust that the comments on the green form will be considered.

Natalie Storey

This course was well-organised and well worth it! The course instructors were brilliant and pitched the level of the course to suit the group on the first 2 days, and then the smaller groups of 2 individuals on the following 3 days. In addition to this, the instructors allowed the freedom of choice - which routes to try, whether we wanted to lead or not, etc. This meant that you can get exactly what you wanted out of your week. The high levels of knowledge and experience that the instructors have and share means that you always learn a lot, whatever level you are at personally. As with all the courses that I have been on with the PYB, there is a big emphasis on safety, which is really good for transferring to when you go out on your own. It reduces risks and increases the enjoyment! I really enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to improve their skills in scrambling.

Great Course and good weather to boot!

Marcus Hughes

A well structured course taken at the right pace. Difficulties gradually increased during the week as you learnt and practiced the rope skills necessary to cover the more challenging terrain.

As with all PYB courses, safety was reinforced throughout the week, without being taken to extremes. The excellent instruction and route choices all helped to make this a highly enjoyable experience.

Squirming through the Vertical Vice will live long in the memory!

Safe Adventure

Julie Taplin

If you want five days filled with unrivalled instruction, fun and adventure.......don't miss this course. It was just FABULOUS :-)

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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