Scrambling Taster Day
Scrambling is that exciting off the beaten track middle ground between hillwalking and climbing and our popular taster day offers a great introduction to this fun and accessible mountain sport.
Scrambling is a fun and engrossing way to explore the mountains, but heading up steep terrain can feel intimidating for the uninitiated. No problem. In the expert care of one of our team of mountaineering instructors we’ll give you a package of essential skills while enjoying a day on some of the finest scrambling terrain in the U.K.
No previous experience is needed and participants just need suitable hill clothing, a small rucksack to carry daily essentials and a pair of suitable boots. We’ll sort the rest.
Who is the course suitable for?
Our Scrambling Taster Day suits anyone who fancies trying this exciting and adventurous sport. No previous scrambling experience is needed and all that we ask is that participants are fit enough to spend a full day in the mountains and have a sense of adventure.
The course is suitable for adults of all ages and we are happy to have participants as young as 16 (although under 18’s need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).
How fit do I need to be?
We will be operating in wilderness areas and travelling on open ground away from main footpaths so participants need to be physically able to cope with that. As a general guide we will typically cover no more than 6-7 miles which is a comfortable distance for most people if they hill walk reasonably regularly. It is not necessary to have a background in climbing to attend this course, but participants need a good head for heights and reasonable upper body strength.
What is the format of the day?
All our scheduled scrambling courses are based in Snowdonia and we will meet at 9.o0am in the village of Capel Curig which is right in the heart of several great scrambling areas (full joining instructions will be sent with your booking confirmation). We are very keen to help protect this precious natural environment so if you don’t have a car we can collect you at the local train station and if you are travelling by bus we can pick you up and drive you to the venue.
Once introductions are complete we’ll head out to one of the many world class venues around the park to get started. After walking in to a suitable venue we’ll kit everyone up before heading onto some exciting scrambling terrain.
We stay out for a full day so be sure to bring plenty of food and drink to keep your energy levels up.
During the day you’ll try a selection of scrambles and also learn a ‘toolbox’ of essential techniques ready to progress your own scrambling adventures and to give you a thorough taste of the amazing scrambling Snowdonia has to offer. The selection of techniques covered will include:
- Choice and correct use of equipment
- Understanding grading systems and the use of guidebooks
- Route finding and locating scrambles in mountainous terrain
- Dealing with problems and emergency procedures
- Mountain navigation
- Scrambling movement skills
- Plenty of scrambling!
The day will end at about 4.30pm.
Who will be looking after me?
Peak Mountaineering prides itself on the quality of its instructors and our excellent reputation. The instructor that leads your day will be fully qualified and fully insured. They will be also be one of our close knit instructor team and personally known to us. We only use instructors who know the area well so they can ensure you visit the best climbing venues and get the most from your day.
Where can I stay?
Snowdonia has a wealth of accommodation options to suit all budgets. The course is centred around the village of Capel Curig but the nearby villages of Betws Y Coed and Llanberis are also ideally situated for the course. There are plenty of ideas available on our accommodation options page.
What do I need to bring?
We provide helmets (although you are welcome to bring your own if you have one) so all you need is suitable clothing and lunch. Long trousers that you can move in freely and warm upper layers are ideal. Please also bring a set of waterproofs as the weather can change significantly over the course of a day and you’ll need a rucksack to carry your essentials. The best footwear is a pair of supportive and waterproof walking boots. Your course joining instructions will include a detailed kit list.
Other benefits for Peak Mountaineering customers
We have negotiated some great discounts with a selection of great retailers for all course participants. Full details will be sent with your booking information.
Our scrambling courses take advantage of the amazing opportunities available in the Snowdonia National Park. We base them from Capel Curig which is right in the heart of the park and close to many fantastic scrambling venues.
Capel Curig is a small village with limited facilities (there is a grocery shop, an equipment shop and a few pubs within walking distance), but the much larger village of Llanberis is only 20 minutes drive away and the popular tourist village of Betws Y Coed is about 10 minutes drive away. Either of these would be an ideal base and both have plenty of shops and cafes. Betws Y Coed is also on the train line and we’ll be able to help with transport if you are travelling to the course by public transport.
Capel Curig gives us access to a wide variety of world class scrambles and such a broad range of options allows us to cater for different abilities, fitness levels, aspirations and for Snowdonia’s varied weather. Snowdonia really is the heart of U.K. scrambling.
We usually meet at the legendary Siabod Cafe which is a cosy mountaineer friendly cafe near to Capel Curig. Full details on the course meeting point will be sent with your joining instructions.
Here are a list of questions clients frequently ask about courses. We hope you’ll find the info you need but, if there’s something you want to know that we haven’t covered, please call or email us and we’ll be more than happy to help. Infact, if you’ve thought of it then the chances are other people have too – so we’ll add it to the list!
What equipment is provided and do I have to pay to use it?
We supply all the technical equipment you’ll need for your course free of charge.
Do I need insurance?
We have professional indemnity insurance and for all UK courses we are all lucky enough to have free access to mountain rescue services and healthcare (although you may still consider it worthwhile purchasing your own personal accident and cancellation insurance). The following companies provide appropriate mountaineering insurance:
British Mountaineering Council www.thebmc.co.uk 0870 010 4878
Snowcard Insurance Services www.snowcard.co.uk 01327 262 805
What if I have a specific objective or want to learn things not offered on one of your courses?
That’s what we specialise in! Just get in touch and we will happily tailor an itinerary to suit your requirements.
What about under 18s?
For scrambling courses we welcome participants over 16. However, under 18s must be accompanied for the duration of the course by a parent or guardian.
Will you give my details to other people?
All information supplied to us remains completely confidential and we will never pass it on to third parties.
Why is the instructor to client ratio so important?
You will get more out of your time with us if you work in a group where the numbers suit the activity. We favour small instructor to client ratios so that you benefit from quality time and instruction, where you have time to ask all the questions you want, the routes chosen can be tailored to suit you, and we can take plenty of time to show you specific techniques and skills.
What if I need to cancel a course booking?
If you cancel over 26 weeks in advance of a course start date we refund all the money you have paid us so far. If you cancel within 26 weeks of a course start date, you forfeit the deposit, but we refund any other money you may have paid. If you cancel within 8 weeks of the course start date you forfeit the full amount unless we are able to resell your place. See the Terms and Conditions page for more detailed information. To cover this eventuality we recommend you take out an insurance policy that includes cancellation of your trip or holiday.
Can you guarantee good conditions?
Unfortunately we can’t control the weather. However, we do always try to plan areas and routes that should be appropriate and in good condition. One of the advantages of being in small groups with flexible itineraries is that we can make the best of the conditions on the day. This does mean that we reserve the right to change the itinerary for safety reasons if required. Please follow the kit lists and be prepared for all the ‘interesting’ weather the U.K. and overseas has to offer.
What about transport arrangements?
We ask you to provide your own transport to and from venues although we can quite often organise car sharing to minimise environmental impact and reduce fuel costs. Once we are there we will try to use car sharing to get us around during the course. We can usually collect you from a local station if you are travelling to your course via public transport.
How do you try to reduce your environmental impact?
We are passionate about protecting the natural environment. Please take the time to read our Environment Page.
How fit do I need to be?
It goes without saying that arriving fit and well is important if you want to get the most out of your course and it is essential for succeeding on many of our objectives. Please take note of the guidance on the Course Syllabus before booking and contact us in advance if you need more guidance.
Do you need to know about medical conditions?
It is essential that you let us know about any medical condition or injury when booking and that you also let your instructor know on the starting day of your course.This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to tailor our activities to suit you and to ensure the safety of other group members.
Of course we always hope that your Snowdonia Scrambling Course will take place in stunning sunny weather, but this is the UK and so we have to accept that anything is possible! We will always try to adapt the course venue to the weather conditions, but our courses always take place outside (we are all about real world practical training) and many of the venues we use are very exposed. Please also be aware that, unless there is a significant safety risk, our courses will always run regardless of the weather. So, the key message is to please come well equipped to walk in all conditions and to stay warm, dry and comfortable for extended periods outside – it is worth bringing more than you think you might need rather than being uncomfortable during the day.
- Rucksack – around 40 litres with a plastic liner bag or dry bags to keep key items dry. You will be asked to carry a helmet and harness and may be asked to share carry some technical equipment too, so please ensure your rucksack has about 10 litres of spare capacity when full
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Boots and suitable socks (see additional footwear advice below)
- Gaiters – We’ll leave this one up to you, but when the conditions are wet and muddy they can be invaluable.
- Thermal base layer (synthetic fibres rather than cotton)
- Fleece mid layer
- Spare warm layer – we do sometimes spend time in one place and so having a spare layer to pull on is very important for both safety and comfort
- Mountain trousers – synthetic fabrics are significantly better than cotton.
- Hat and gloves
- Lunch and drink
- Small torch
- Spare food
- Sunglasses, sun cream and sunhat
- Compass (Silva type 4 is perfect if you’re buying one) – we can lend you a compass if you don’t have your own
- Maps of area we are visiting (Snowdon and Conwy Valley OL17 1:25,000 ordnance survey for this course) – we can lend you one if you don’t have your own.
- Some way to weatherproof your map – we recommend buying the weatherproof version if purchasing one or a mapcase or ziploc plastic bag also work well.
- Watch (with stopwatch facility)
- Personal first aid and any required personal medications
- Climbing helmet – we can lend you one if you don’t have your own
- Climbing harness – we can lend you one if you don’t have your own
- Belay device and screwgate carabiner – we can lend you one if you don’t have your own
Additional Footwear Advice
We often get asked about choosing suitable footwear so here is some additional advice to help you decide what to bring.
Suitable footwear is essential for our scrambling courses. Having well fitting boots will make a big difference to your enjoyment. Trainers or appraoch shoes aren’t suitable because they don’t give enough support (especially when carrying a rucksack), don’t provide enough grip and are usually not waterproof.
Your boots should give good ankle support and have a non-slip tread. For our scrambling courses we get well off the beaten track and this may involve crossing boggy terrain or walking over rocky or heathery ground. There are boots marketed specifically as scrambling boots but in reality boots for this course simply need to be supportive enough and have a suitable tread and sufficient ankle support.
One option for scrambling courses is to use a more stiffened all season walking boot as these will offer some additional support and weatherproofing. There are loads of suitable types on the market, but one example we really like is the Mammut Ayako High GTX – these have great features for scrambling but also work really well for general walking.
In reality, the best boots for a particular person is very much a personal choice and should certainly be based on how they fit rather than how they look! Our key recommendation is to get your boots fitted by a specialist retailer and choose a shop where they have a good range from different manufacturers so you can try a variety of makes and models. We recommend sizing boots when wearing a thin liner sock and a pair of thicker hiking socks. An example of a suitable liner sock is the Bridgedale Coolmax Liner Sock and one of our favourite midweight socks is the Darn Tough Hiker Boot Sock Cushion.