Join us on 5 day North Wales rock climbing holiday! The Snowdonia National Park offers a huge range of traditional rock climbing at all grades of difficulty. Add in stunning mountain back drops and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a brilliant Uk climbing holiday. During the week we’ll enjoy a great selection of of North Wales‘ classic routes between V Diff and VS standard. If you also want to learn some new skills during the week, then this is a great opportunity to learn from an experienced mountain guide.
NB If you are interested in a trip with a different duration, or to climb harder routes in the HVS/E1 range, then please visit our North Wales rock climbing private guide page.
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.
Five days of classic outdoor rock climbing in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, based around Capel Curig and visiting nearby climbing venues such as Tryfan, Cwm Idwal, Llanberis Pass, the Moelwyns and Tremadog. The focus is on climbing classic mid grade rock climbs in the V Diff to VS range on some of the regions best known crags. If you regularly climb indoors, then this is an ideal way to discover ‘real’ outdoor rock climbing and learn new skills from an experienced professional mountain guide. If you are already an outdoor climber, please tell us of any North Wales routes you have already climbed, so we can plan accordingly.
Any items of specialist climbing equipment that you need 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
- Equipment hire included
- Photos and videos of your trip
The itinerary described below is a typical plan for the trip, but we regularly vary itineraries and objectives to suit your ambitions and the weather. Grades are in the range V Diff to VS, depending on the venue and fitness.
This is an intermediate level 2 trip. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 2 and Tech Level 2 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines). Previous single or multi-pitch rock climbing experience required, seconding at V Diff to VS standard and good all round fitness for UK hill walking. If you are able to belay safely, then indoor or sport climbing experience at 5+ and above is also suitable experience for this trip – we’ll teach you the rest!
On classic multipitch rock climbs, we climb at 1:2 max ratio
In terms of added value, climbing with an IFMGA guide is a great option if you want to learn from someone with the widest possible range of experience, or you aspire to/are already obsessed with winter or Alpine climbing! IFMGA guides 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.
Included in price
- All guides fees and expenses
- Local travel in guides vehicle to complete the itinerary
- Use of communal technical equipment eg ropes and climbing hardware
- Hire of personal equipment including harness, helmet, belay equipment and rock shoes
Excluded from price
- Your travel to the North Wales
- Your accommodation and food
You are responsible for organising your own accommodation within meeting range of Capel Curig – we are happy to make some recommendations to suit your budget. Top recommendations depending on budget:
- Betws Y Coed, Capel Curig and Llanberis for a huge range of hotels, B&B’s, bunk barns and self catering options.
- There are numerous good campsites throughout the area; check Google for reviews and info.
We are happy to coordinate accommodation with the team and offer a pickup each morning, or if you prefer to travel in your own vehicle we can meet at the climbing venue.
Meet Up Point and Briefing
Your guide will liaise with you to arrange a meet up point on the first morning of the trip – this will either be near Capel Curig, or the venue for the first days’ climbing. Here we will run through safety routines and kit checks, as well as hand out any rental equipment – before going on to discuss plans and the current weather and mountain conditions.
We’ll also have maps and guidebooks to show you, so if you’ve any further questions or last minute requests, then this is the ideal time to bring them up before we head out on the hill.
Five days climbing classic rock routes around the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. Crags and venues are chosen to make best use of the current weather and enjoyable routes for the team. Possible venues include:
The Ogwen Valley is one of the most popular climbing areas in Snowdonia and home to a wide selection of excellent slabs, buttresses and faces – these vary from lower level venues close to the road, to high mountain crags boasting longer climbs:
- Milestone Buttress – a great warm up venue, with excellent 3-4 pitch climbs.
- East Face of Tryfan – a big face boasting many long and classic historical climbs: Grooved Arete, Bell Vue Bastion, Pinnacle Rib, Gashed Crag, Munich Climb.
- Cym Idwal – home to the famous Classic Rock link up of Hope, Lazarus, The Arete and Grey Slab and many other excellent multipitch climbs on Idwal Slabs, Glyder Fach, Bochlwyd Buttress, Clogwyn Du etc
There are too many crags to mention in Llanberis Pass, with options for all grades and styles of climbing. Some classic venues and routes include:
- Dinas Cromlech – Spiral Stairs and Flying Buttress, two great multipitch V Diffs.
- Clogwyn y Grochan – Nea and Brant, two excellent VS’s close to the road.
- Careg Wasted – The Wrinkle VDiff and Crackstone Rib S are both mid grade classics.
- Dinas Mot – great balance climbing on The Cracks HS and Direct Route VS.
- Cyrn Las – a high mountain crag, home to the classic Main Wall HS.
Approaches to crags in the Llanberis Pass vary from a few minutes to an hour and it’s often possible to follow the sun around the valley through the day.
Away from the highest peaks of Snowdonia, there are numerous other excellent climbing venues – these vary from remote mountain crags to lower level venues that are a safe option in unsettled weather. Examples include:
- The Moelwyns – Clogwyn Yr Oen; Kirkus’s Climb Direct and Slack are two good multipitch Severes that make a fine day out in a quiet location.
- Tremadog – often dry when the high mountain crags are wet(!) There are lots of classics to go at here: Creagh Dhu Wall HS, Poor Man’s Peutery S, Christmas Curry S, One Step in the Clouds VS, Merlin VS.
Day 5 PM – roundup of the trip, feedback, advice for the future and farewells.
The trip is based around Capel Curig in central Snowdonia. From here we have easy access to all the main climbing venues around the National Park. You need to arrange accommodation close to or within easy driving distance of Capel Curig, so that you can make daily meet ups and reach the various climbing venues.
- Road – Snowdonia can easily be reached by car via the A55, which runs along the North coast of Wales – use Google Maps or the RAC or AA online route planners for the best route to your accommodation.
- Train – Trains run to Betws Y Coed (change at Llandudno junction) and Bangor (connecting bus service to Llanberis).
- Bus – Bus services are available to and throughout the Snowdonia National Park.
To enjoy this trip you should be comfortable operating at Fitness Level 2, and Tech Level 2 (as appropriate for the style of climbing on this trip ie Alpine, rock climbing or ice climbing).
Fitness Level 2
You do 2-3 hours CV training/sport per week. At this level you should be happy doing either a 3-4 hour hillwalk, cycling 30-40 miles or mountain biking 2-3 hours without being exhausted. Eg: you should be able to walk from Ogwen Cottage in North Wales up Glyder Fach – Glyder Fawr – Y Garn – Ogwen in ~5hrs. Or in the Lake District Langdale – Bowfell – Esk Pike – Angle Tarn – Langdale in ~ 6hrs.
Tech Level 2
Novice climber. Indoor or outdoor sport climbing experience / seconding traditionally protected climbs at V Diff – Severe standard / winter hillwalking or mountaineering using an ice axe and crampons / alpine glacier treks or alpine peaks to F standard.
To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.
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!).
- 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
- 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
- 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 boots – Axe, Boot and Crampon advice
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!
Backcountry UK in Otley offer an excellent walking boot fitting service and general equipment advice.
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.
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.