Learn to climb

Anything from: taking your first steps outside, to pushing your lead grade, to learning self rescue techniques.

Tom teaching climbing in the Peak District. Photo: Charlie Low
As a mad keen climber I’m also passionate about teaching others how to climb. All the instruction I do is bespoke. Every course is tailor made to match the abilities and needs of the learner(s), whether that is: duration, learning outcomes, location, or all three. Everything will be done to suit your needs.
When it comes to teaching climbing I believe that repetition and context are paramount. No matter the course, we will do as much climbing as is appropriate. On occasion it may be necessary to demonstrate things through static workshops, but the vast majority of our time will be spent in real situations, on real climbs. That way everything is done in the correct context, and there is no confusion about where a given technique is or isn’t appropriate. Also there is plenty of time to discuss things, and theorise, in the cafe at the end of the day.
In my experience many people enjoy the mental challenge of a couple of days instructed climbing, mixed in with the physical challenge of a day, or twos, guided climbing. I am very happy to run any of these days from my home base in North Wales, and have a plethora of venues, up my sleeve, so we can get on with it, whatever the weather. Equally I am happy to deliver these days elsewhere if you would prefer.

Matt bringing up his son Hector, during a learn to lead weekend in the Peak District.

Below are some suggested ideas for instructional days out, plus a completely non exhaustive list of what may, or may not, be covered.

Introductory Climber - Never rock climbed before, and fancy finding out what it is all about? This is the perfect course for you. By the end of it, you will have done: a load of climbing, be familiar with basic climbing calls, be able to tie on like a pro, and should be competent and confident enough to follow a more experienced friend.

Inside to Outside - Similar to the above, but aimed at regular indoor climbers, who want to see what climbing outdoors is all about. If you love it, and I’m sure you will, come back later in the year and learn to lead.

Climbing Refresher - Ideal for climber’s who haven’t climbed for a few years, for whatever reason, and are looking to get back into it. This will be run at an appropriate level for each participant

Learning to Lead - Learning to lead traditional rock climbs opens up a whole world of climbing, particularly in the UK where most of our climbs are trad protected. North Wales is the perfect place to learn, as there are loads of quiet crags, with lots of brilliant, well protected, easy routes. A learn to lead course isn’t all about the sharp end - plenty of time will be spent building up to leading - making belays; placing and clipping runners; belaying leaders and seconds; and moving efficiently and confidently over rock - all need to be rock solid, before leading for the first time.

Introductory Sport Climbing - A great option for keen indoor climbers, who would like to move onto outdoor sport climbing. Things covered can include: finding the crag and using the guidebook; rethreading a lower off; and using a clipstick. This often works well paired this with a day of introductory trad climbing

Sea Cliff Climbing - This course is for climbers with some previous experience. It will give you the skills to tackle wonderful world of sea cliff climbing including: approaching crags, and interpreting guidebooks, from above; rigging abseils; placing gear, and building belays on sea cliffs; jumaring up ropes; and learning about tides.

Self Rescue for Climbers - A course aimed at teaching experienced climbers how to deal with various problems that can be encountered whilst climbing. Scenarios likely to be covered include: prussiking up and down ropes; escaping from a weighted belay; abseiling with an injured climber; lowering an injured climber; basic aid climbing; hoisting an injured climber.

Steve Smith leading the Classic Rock route Little Chamonix.
Dan belaying Dan after climbing Seamstress, his first VS lead.
Dan making his first lead at Holyhead Mountain.
Ella cruising her first lead at Shepherds Crag - Borrowdale.
Tom teaching climbing at Holyhead Mountain, Anglesey.
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I am always happy to chat about your guiding aims and aspirations, or just climbing and skiing in general.

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