On our 5 day North Wales scrambling holiday, we will enjoy a selection of the best technical grade 2 and 3 scrambles in the Snowdonia National Park. In addition to brilliant scrambles, if the team are keen we can also climb some fun easier rock routes as well, to make a rounded North Wales mountaineering holiday. This is a great trip and easily accessible via rail and road to North Wales.
Scrambling covers the middle ground between hill walking and rock climbing, moving quickly and efficiently up broken rocky terrain – you can find more info about grades and what’s involved in our scrambling advice article. During the week we enjoy five days of classic scrambling and easier rock climbing in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, based around Capel Curig and visiting nearby venues on Tryfan, Ogwen and the Glyders. The focus is on doing as much high quality scrambling as possible and if you dream of climbing in the Alps one day, then this is also a great starting point, as it’s a chance to learn some key alpine ropework skills from an experienced Alpine Guide.
Any items of specialist safety equipment that you need are also included in the cost (eg helmet, harness etc) and afterwards, we’ll send you plenty of great photos and video of your trip to share with family and friends.
The itinerary described below is a typical plan for the course, but we regularly vary itineraries and objectives to suit your ambitions and the weather.
You can book one of the advertised course dates as an individual, and we will team you up with another climber of similar standard. Or, if you are a ready made team of 2 people and would like to choose your own course dates, please get in touch and we will do our best to help.
This is an introductory level 1 course. To take part you should be at Fitness Level 2 and Tech Level 1 (see our Fitness/Experience guidelines). You need a good level of hillwalking fitness and either some basic scrambling experience, or good confidence on rough terrain and a reasonable head for heights.
On classic grade 2-3 scrambles, we work at 1:2 max ratio.
All our UK guides are fully qualified IFMGA guides and members of British Association of Mountain Guides, the professional association for mountain guides in the UK – meet some of our team here.
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 and belay equipment
Excluded from price
- Your travel to 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’ scrambling. 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.
Scrambling and Mountaineering Days
Five days enjoying classic grade 2-3 scrambles around the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. If the team are keen, we can also do some easier rock climbs. Venues are chosen to make best use of the current weather and enjoyable outings for the team. Possible venues include:
Tryfan is a scramblers dream, being covered in great routes of all grades. The famous Grade 1 North Ridge sees most of the traffic, leaving plenty of space to explore numerous more technical scrambles all over the mountain, many of which can be linked together to make a longer day – topped off for the brave by making the leap between Adam and Eve, the two great summit blocks on Tryfan.
- Milestone Buttress Approach 3
- Milestone Continuation 3
- Tryfan Bach 3
- Bastow Buttress 2/3
- No’ Nor’ Buttress 3
- Pinnacle Scramble 3S
Ogwen and The Glyders
Cwm Ogwen and the surrounding ridges and buttress leading up to the Glyders above provide a great variety of first class technical scrambling. The routes are long and varied, offering plenty of opportunities for practicing short pitching, belaying and other essential ropework skills.
- Idwal Slabs Approaches 1-3
- Cneifon Arete 3
- Dolmen Ridge 3
- Shark Buttress 3
Like on Tryfan, several routes can be linked together in one day to reach the summit of Glyder Fach, where we make an obligatory photo stop at the famous Cantilever Stone.
Snowdon and the surrounding peaks of Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl and Lliwedd are home to some of the most popular scrambles in the Uk.
However, there are some excellent and far quieter ways to climb in the area. One such is the Clogwyn y Person Arete, a superb grade 3 scramble high up in Llanberis Pass, which leads directly up onto Crib y Ddysgl.
From here, the usual descent is to traverse Crib Goch from West to East and drop back down to the valley.
Day 2 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 1 (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 1
Hillwalker/scrambler. You have UK hillwalking and perhaps summer UK scrambling, or European via ferrata experience – but no rock or ice climbing, or previous alpine mountaineering experience.
To view all climbing Technical and Fitness Levels, and for advice on trip preparation and training, please visit our training advice page.
UK Scrambling 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 side zips
- Socks – warm pair, plus lighter pair and spares
- Thermal tops/t-shirts – made of synthetic materiel (ie not cotton!)
- Softshell jacket – or equivalent light insulating layer
- Mountain trousers – light/mid-weight trekking or climbing trousers (leggings are Ok in good weather)
- Thin gloves – windproof ‘hardfleece’ model is good
- Hat or Buff – must fit under a helmet
- Spare warm layer – fleece or lightweight synthetic jacket
- Water Container – at least 1 litre
- Map, compass, whistle (optional, but a good idea)
- Personal medications and blister kit – zinc oxide tape, compeed, ibuprofen etc
- Sun Glasses
- Sun cream
- Sun hat
- Shorts and t-shirt
- Rucsac 30/40l is perfect for general use
- *Approach shoes or mountain boots – see notes below
- Climbing Harness – with locking karabiner and belay device
- 120cm sling and locking karabiner
- Climbing helmet
Depending on the trip, these may be ‘nice to have’ or ‘required’ items – see individual joining instructions.
- Trekking poles
- Camping gear if you choose to camp in the valley
Your guide will have ropes, climbing safety equipment, first aid and survival equipment.
*Footwear for scrambling is an important consideration – trekking shoes or walking boots are fine for easier scrambles and whilst you are getting into the sport, but a pair of climbing approach shoes (especially ones with ‘sticky rubber’) or reasonably stiff 3/4 season B2 mountaineering boots will perform much better on rockier sections and trickier terrain. Footwear specifically designed for scrambling, or for via ferratas are also a good option. If you are thinking of investing in a pair of boots with a view to getting into mountaineering, then read our axe, boot and crampon advice article and get some expert advice (we can highly recommend Backcountry Uk, who are one of the country’s leading boots fitters and always offer friendly advice and a high level of service).
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.