01690 720214

Winter Fourteen Peaks Challenge

Course Overview

An opportunity to attept to tick off all of Wales' 3000 foot peaks in one week. The unpredictable weather at this time of year calls for more time to take on the challenge, that's why this five-day attempt will even allow time for summer hillwalkers who are new to the winter-experience to receive essential winter skills tuition along the way.
Please Note: The Welsh winter can be fickle, and snow and ice conditions cannot be guaranteed. Throughout the course we will have a flexible approach to the programme to make the best possible use of the prevailing conditions. If there is no snow the course will still run.

Experience Required

A good level of summer hillwalking fitness.

Scheduled Dates

blackBlack = Open for booking

blackGreen = Guaranteed to run (additional places are limited please email us at )

blackRed = Course fully booked


Sorry. We have no dates currently available for this course

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

The content of the course will also include some aspects of training so that participants can learn and consolidate the skills required to move safely on steep ground, and cope with whatever conditions may prevail.

Is it for me?

Previous hill-walking experience and the ability to feel comfortable on grade 1 scrambling ground is necessary as this will be encountered on the ascent of Crib Goch. This will be a physically demanding course with long and challenging days out so you must be reasonably fit and used to full days out in the mountains.

What we cover

Over five days, we will make the most of conditions and attempt to visit all fourteen of the 3000ft+ peaks in Snowdonia. These split into four logical days out:

  • Snowdon Horseshoe, 3 peaks plus other smaller summits (This includes an exposed grade 1 scramble)

  • Walking the Carneddau Ridge to include 6 peaks (a big day out!)

  • Scramble on Tryfan, 1 peak (sort of rest day!)

  • Traverse of the Glyders to include the remaining 4 Peaks

This obviously leaves us some flexibility (to cope with weather and conditions) and the time to focus on the technical skills throughout the week. We will therefore try to cover the following:

  • Winter Navigation

  • Movement with ice axe and crampons

  • Movement over steep ground and easy scrambling

Useful Books

  • Hillwalking by Steve Long (MT official publication)
  • Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff
  • A Chance In A Million by Barton and Wright, published by Scottish Mountaineering Trust, available from BMC
  • The Handbook of Climbing by Fyffe & Peter
  • The Scottish Winter Mountains by Martin Moran (includes a good technical section)
  • Snow Sense By Fredstan & Fesler

See also the excellent "Winter Essentials" and "Alpine Essentials" DVDs from the BMC and MCofS

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 e.g. walking trousers, thermals/base layers, fleeces, good quality walking socks

  • Warm hat, balaclava (if you have one), neck gaiter/buff

  • Gloves and mitts - 1 pair to wear and 1 for spare plus mitts to go over the top (if you have them)

  • Mountaineering boots B2 or B3 - if you don't have B2 or B3 boots then bring your normal walking boots for any days you don't need crampons

  • Crampons (with anti-balling plate)

  • Ice Axe

  • Helmet

  • Harness (for Mountaineering and Winter Ridges courses only)

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Day rucksack 30-40 litres

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

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Blister kit

  • Head torch and spare batteries

  • Snow googles (if you have them if not sunglasses)

  • 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 points etc. (Can be purchased from our shop)

  • Fine permanent pen (for writing on laminated maps)

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores so you don't need to rush out and but them. If you are wishing to borrow any of these items please ensure you return your equipment loan form. Download your equipment loan form here.

  • Walking boots/mountaineering boots (B2/B3)

  • Day rucksack

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Compass

  • Crampons

  • Ice axe

  • Helmet

  • Harness

Customer Reviews For This Course

14 peaks - minus Crib Goch plus 2 extras = 15 peaks

Janet Johnson

This was a great week in Snowdonia. We booked the 5 days to get fit for ski touring, and found this was the challenge we needed. Despite coming home late two days in a row after summitting 4 peaks on day one, and 6 peaks on day two and a mixed week of weather and conditions, Cath Wilson our guide kept us to the schedule and our challenge of 14 peaks. Sadly on our final day up Snowdon, Crib Goch was too windy and my scrambling needs to improve. An excuse to return on another course.
Would recommend the challenge to anyone who wants to go up Tryfan along the heather terrace to emerge in the howling wind and snow as we turned to the summit and find Adam and Eve, hike up the Glyders in beautiful late afternoon sunlight, walk along the length of Carneddau range in light snow swirling around. Our extra peaks were Moel Siobad on a very windy day, and on day one - Foel-goch before Y Garn.
We'll be back to bag Crib Goch and the Snowdon horseshoe in the summer.

A superb challenge, whatever the weather

Karen Cleverly

When I booked this course I was hoping for some snow and ice so that I could get some ice axe and crampon practice. However, knowing this can never be guaranteed in Wales, I decided on the fourteen peaks challenge as it's something I've wanted to do for a while anyway.
As it turned out our week (early March 2012) was far from wintry with three out of the five days being like a glorious spring. That said, the week was fantastic. We achieved all 14 peaks (as well as the controversial 15th) and apart from one day we were back at PYB for tea and cakes at 5pm.
The Snowdon Horseshoe day was one of my best hill days ever. Having started in the gloom and mist at Capel Curig we climbed into the sunshine half way up Crib Goch and stayed in the sun all day with clouds tumbling over the rocky ridges and peaks below us. It was stunning, and for the grand finale we were treated to a brockenspectre!
However, this is no easy week and you need to be hill fit and used to spending long days in the mountains. If conditions had been very wintry it would have been difficult to complete all the peaks.
A final thanks to Helen, our guide, who was calm, confident and great company!

Best Ever Week in the Mountains

Simon Ablett

If you get the right weather conditions, which we were fortunate to have in Jan 2012, then it is hard to see how you could not enjoy this week. You need to be reasonably fit, happy wearing stiff boots and crampons and willing to do a small amount of winter scrambling but the spectacular views and sense of acheivement make it all worthwhile. Clever route choice, experienced guiding, equipment loans and the ability to walk point to point without worrying about shuttles and logistics is what you are paying for and all were delivered well with the back up of comfy accomodation and wholesome meals at PYB.


Harvey Tomlin

A brilliant 5 days with every type of weather. Thanks to Ben for all his instruction, help and determination for us to complete all 14 peaks, especially on the last white out day.

I would suggest that the courses in the evening are unnecesary as we were often back late and much of the instruction is practical and on the hills. I also feel the booklet needs to reflect the level of fitness needed to complete the course.

The centre was excellent as usual


15 Peaks!

Fiona Wallace

As ever superb organisation, food and facilities. Crampons and ice axes everyday. Thank goodness for the well stocked stores. Hard work, my calves feel like bricks! We made an excellent team and all 7 of us completed the challenge in genuine Winter conditions. Although I never did have to get out that group shelter! I think however that we all felt the experience took a little more than a 'moderate level of Summer hill walking fitness'! Not just a question of how physically fit you are but defo PMA required to push on through. We had a variety of instructors join us, all bringing their own strengths to the 5 days, but we had Ben throughout whose perseverence and good natured approach was a real help. Cheers!

Winter Wonderland February 2009

Christopher Po-Ba

We had an amazing week as it coincided with an immense amount of anow and wintry conditions! Although we only managed 12 peaks - due to safety reasons - we had an incredible experience and saw Snowdonia at its majestic best. Our guides - Sid, Helen and Helen - were superb and safety was always paramount in such conditions. The whole week was a thrill and the staff were very friendly and the facilities were great - especially the food! We were very lucky to experience such wintry conditions - even if it meant missing out on Crib Goch - and PYB is a must for all to experience Snowdonia.

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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