Hire a North Wales Rock Climbing Guide

Fitness level
Tech level
Number of guiding days
1+
Guiding ratio
1:1 / 1:2

North Wales is the spiritual home of British rock climbing. For nearly a century, North Wales rock climbing guides have been sharing their knowledge and expertise with adventurous climbers from all over the Uk. Hiring your own private guide is a flexible way to go – whether you’re small group or an individual, we can offer guiding on any of Snowdonia’s famous climbs, as well as instruction and coaching for scrambling, rock climbing and mountaineering.

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From £200

Need further information?

Hi Rich. Thanks for an excellent couple of days, really good to get back on some rock – exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of it and get fired up for the alps. The last couple of routes even kept me smiling through Mansfield!

Nik Bertholdt

Climbing with Rich & Al is a truly unique experience – their professionalism has not only given me some of my best days climbing in the UK and Alps, it’s also enhanced and improved my personal climbing. Personally I will never forget flying up the Chere couloir with Al or watching Rich cruise Left Wall. The guided experience is not to be missed and you won’t be guided by two nicer blokes.

Dan Seale

Trip overview

North Wales is the spiritual home of British rock climbing. For nearly a century, North Wales rock climbing guides have been sharing their knowledge and expertise with adventurous climbers from all over the Uk. Hiring your own private guide is a flexible way to go – whether you’re small group or an individual, we can offer guiding on any of Snowdonia’s famous climbs, as well as instruction and coaching for scrambling, rock climbing and mountaineering.

Please visit our Covid-19 Climb Information page for Covid FAQs, details of our new participation requirements, travel advice and what to expect on your trip.


British Mountain Guides

ifmga british mountain guides

All our UK guides are fully qualified IFMGA guides and members of British Mountain Guides, the professional association for mountain guides in the UK – meet some of our  team here.  Only a small number of guides working in the UK are holders of the IFMGA guides carnet, which is the highest professional qualification in mountaineering.

In terms of added value, climbing with an IFMGA guide is a great option if you want learn from someone with the widest possible range of experience, or you aspire to/are already obsessed with winter or Alpine climbing!  We work worldwide on rock, ice, glaciers and ski – so we can offer training, advice and recommendations for all your future plans, whatever and wherever they may be.

You simply pay the guides daily fee in advance, then cover the guides and your own expenses as you go during the trip. Any items of specialist climbing equipment that you need for the activity are also included (eg helmet, harness, rock climbing shoes etc).  Afterwards, we’ll send you plenty of great photos and video of your trip to share with family and friends.

  • Fully qualified IFMGA British Mountain Guide
  • Everyone welcome – beginners to experts!
  • Fully personalised program
  • Equipment hire included
  • Photos and videos of your trip

Just get in touch with your group size and requirements and we will create an itinerary for you.  When you are happy to proceed, we will then send a personalised link to make your booking.


Suitability

Private guiding is suitable for any fitness/technical level, from 1-5 (see Fitness and Experience guidelines). However, your group should be well matched in terms of fitness and ability, so everyone can make the most of their holiday.


Guiding ratio

As a rough guideline, these guiding ratios apply:

  • Scrambling routes – 1:2 to 1:4 depending on difficulty
  • Classic multipitch rock climbs – 1:2 max ratio
  • Introductory level skills training – 1:4
  • Intermediate level skills – 1:3
  • Training involving multipitch climbing – 1:2 max
  • Serious/technical/big objectives – 1:1

Just let us know which activities and objectives you have in mind and we will advise on the maximum guide to client safety ratio.


Duration

For trips of 1 or more days in length.


Season

Our season runs from April to November, with best conditions/milder weather between May and September.


Guide fees (price per day)

  • Rock climbing, scrambling and instruction – from £200
  • Bigger objectives – from £300

Please contact us to discuss your plans and we’ll send you a personalised outline itinerary, guiding fee quote and an estimate of all expenses.  When you are happy to proceed, we will then send a personalised link to make your booking.


Expenses

The following expenses are payable during your trip:

  • Local travel – fuel/tolls for use of guides vehicle
  • Your travel to location
  • Your insurance
  • Your equipment hire

Accommodation

You are responsible for organising your accommodation at the venue – we are happy to make some recommendations to suit your budget.

Detailed Itinerary

We offer rock guiding and skills training across North Wales – just let us know your plans and we’ll put together a personalised program.  Popular outings and types of climbing include:


Scrambling and Mountaineering

looking back along crib goch a classic north wales scramble

North Wales has the best concentration of easily accessible scrambling route anywhere in the Uk.  From classic grade 1 scrambles along airy ridges, to technical grade 2 and 3 scrambles that require ropes to protect, we offer guiding and instruction on all of Snowdonia’s classic scrambling routes.

  • Tryfan – North Ridge, Milestone Buttress, Nor’Nor’ Buttress, Pinnacle Scramble
  • Ogwen – Idwal Slabs, Bristly Ridge, Cneifon Arete, Dolmen Ridge
  • Snowdon – Crib Coch, Lliwedd, Clogwyn y Person Arete
  • Carneddau – Llech Ddu Spur

We regularly combine several classic scrambling routes together into a great mountain journey.  Please get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives and we will be happy to create an outline itinerary for you.


North Wales Classic Rock Climbs

North Wales boasts many of the most famous and historic classic trad rock routes in the Uk.    These climbs lie in the V Diff to Severe grades of difficulty, making them accessible to anyone who climbs regularly indoors.

  • Tryfan – Milestone Buttress, Grooved Arete, Gashed Crag, First Pinnacle Rib.
  • Idwal – Hope, Lazarus, The Arete, Grey Slab
  • Carreg Wasted – Wrinkle, Crackstone Rib
  • Dinas Cromlech – Flying Buttress, Spiral Stairs
  • Cyrn Las – Main Wall
  • Lliwed – Avalanche, Red Wall, Longland’s Continuation
  • Tremadog – Creagh Dhu Wall

Although the grades are not difficult by modern standards, these routes are memorable for a reason!  Classic status always indicates something special and outstanding about the climb; an amazing situation, an exposed or strenuous crux pitch, incredible rock, or frequently a combination of all three…  We regularly combine several classic climbs into one day, by linking up routes and crags in a longer mountain journey.  Please get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives and we will be happy to create an outline itinerary for you.


Classic Welsh VS’s

Moving up the grades to VS terrain opens up a huge number of amazing climbs from the pre and post war era.

  • Glyder Fach – Direct Route
  • Clogwyn y Grochan – Nea, Brant
  • Dinas Cromlech – Dives/Better Things
  • Dinas Mot – Direct Route
  • Clogwyn y Wenalt – Oxine
  • Carreg Alltrem – Lavaredo, Lightning Visit
  • Tremadog – Scratch, One Step in the Clouds, Shadrach, Merlin

To enjoy these climbs you need to be fit and climbing regularly, as well as having some trad climbing experience, so you know how to remove gear, organise belays and abseil safely.


Alpine Skills Training

If you want to learn skills and techniques in the Uk to allow you to climb in the Alps, then you’ve come to the right place!  We are experts in alpine guiding and training, with a team of highly experienced, internationally qualified IFMGA Guides.  Alpine skills training we offer in the Uk includes:

  • Moving together techniques
  • Short pitching
  • Direct belays
  • Multipitch abseiling
  • Glacier travel
  • Personal prussiking
  • Crevasse rescue training
  • Navigation and route choice
  • Putting in all together

Just get in touch to discuss your aims and objectives and we will be happy to create an outline itinerary for you.  NB We also run scheduled alpine skills weekends in North Wales.


rock climbing at tremadog in north walesOutdoor Coaching and Rock Skills Training

If you want to try outdoor rock climbing for the first time, improve your technique or learn to place trad gear and lead multipitch climbs, we run a bespoke rock skills teaching and coaching service;

  • skills and technique coaching
  • placing trad gear and anchor building
  • top roping and abseiling
  • multipitch leading
  • improvised crag rescue training
  • alpine skills training
  • Mont Blanc and Matterhorn training

Just get in touch with your requirements and we’ll design a bespoke training course specifically for you.


climbing left wall on dinas cromlech in lllanberis pass north walesHigher Grade Rock Guiding

For strong and experienced trad climbers, we offer specialist rock guiding in the higher grades.

This is a bespoke 1:1 service – so if you’ve got your eye on some classic Hard Rock ticks, or want to push yourself on E grade classics, then drop us a line with info about your current level of fitness experience and we’ll get in touch to discuss plans and ideas to make the most of your climbing time in North Wales.

Location and Travel

We will provide help with your travel arrangements once final plans are in place.

Fitness and Experience

To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.

Equipment

UK Rock Climbing Kit List

Above all, your kit needs to do the job but be as light as possible. Lightweight breathable fabrics are ideal for waterproofs, which are carried as often as worn (hopefully!).

Technical Clothing

  • Waterproof jacket – lightweight breathable model
  • Overtrousers – with long side zips
  • Socks – warm ‘Smartwool’ type, plus thin liner socks and spares
  • Wicking thermal tops/t-shirts
  • Softshell jacket – or equivalent light insulating layer
  • Mountain trousers – light/mid-weight windproof softshell model
  • Thin gloves – windproof ‘hardfleece’ model is good
  • Warm hat – must fit under a helmet
  • Spare warm layer – fleece or lightweight synthetic belay jacket

Personal Items

  • Water Container – at least 1 litre
  • Headtorch and batteries
  • Map, compass and whistle (optional, but a good idea)
  • Personal medications and blister kit – zinc oxide tape, compeed, painkillers etc
  • Sun Glasses – CE rated 3 or 4
  • Sun and lip cream – factor 30+
  • Sun hat
  • Shorts and t-shirt

Technical Equipment

  • Rucsac 35/45l is perfect for general use
  • Approach shoes or trainers – sticky rubber models are excellent
  • Rock climbing shoes – must be comfortable enough to wear for several hours
  • Climbing Harness – with locking karabiner and belay device
  • 120cm sling and locking karabiner
  • Climbing helmet
  • *Semi rigid B2 mountaineering bootsAxe, Boot and Crampon advice

Other Equipment

Depending on the trip, these may be ‘nice to have’ or ‘required’ items – see individual joining instructions.

  • Superlight rucsac – superlight 15/20l model, for taking on long multi-pitch rock routes
  • 2 prussik loops and karabiner – if in doubt, bring 3m of 6mm climbing cord!
  • Trekking poles
  • Camping gear if you choose to camp in the valley

Your guide will have ropes, climbing rack, first aid and survival equipment.

*On trips where boots are required, these should be reasonably stiff 3/4 season mountaineering models. They will be needed if we decide to go ‘big boots’ climbing on easy rock climbs or scrambling terrain. Soft bendy walking boots are not very good for technical scrambling/climbing (you may be better off in a pair of ‘sticky rubber’ approach shoes). See below for advice.


Recommendations and Advice
Visit the Knowledge Base section of our website or our blog for equipment advice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch!

Purchasing Equipment
Backcountry UK in Otley offer an excellent mountain boot fitting service and general equipment advice.

Hiring Equipment
It’s best to have your own rock climbing shoes so you can get a proper fit, but if you need to hire some please get in touch. Other safety equipment can also be hired from us (subject to availability) – please see our Equipment Hire page for details.


Insurance

For UK residents – we strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.

For non UK residents – search and rescue is currently free in the UK, but you may be charged by the NHS for certain treatments, and you should also consider the need for emergency repatriation in the event of a serious illness/accident. We also strongly recommend that you purchase cancellation cover, in case you’re unable to attend your trip due to personal circumstances or injury.

Please arrange your insurance as soon as your trip is confirmed to run.

Please find further details on our insurance info page.

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From £200