Hi being doing a lot of scrambling and I now want to progress onto rock climbing outdoors, I am really unsure whether to go for a 2 day course or to go for an intensive 5 day course at somewhere like plas y brenin in snowdonia. Or is this even the right place to start?. Any advice as to where I start with this would be very much appreciated. Thanks
> Hi being doing a lot of scrambling and I now want to progress onto rock climbing outdoors, I am really unsure whether to go for a 2 day course or to go for an intensive 5 day course at somewhere like plas y brenin in snowdonia. Or is this even the right place to start?. Any advice as to where I start with this would be very much appreciated. Thanks
I went on the PyB Touching Stone course. It's designed for people who've been indoor climbing, possibly even leading indoor, to get onto outdoor crags.
Leading indoors can only get you so far. Even if you meet someone who is prepared to take you out onto real rock, for the first few times you will only end up seconding on single pitch routes. I don't know where you live but if like me you're London based, even getting up to Stanage is a real investment of journey time.
I can't really recommend PyB highly enough, it definitely gave me the confidence to go into multi pitch territory. Aside from learning the general system of multi pitch climbing, there are lots of subtle things that you need to learn if you want to lead that you might never have thought of- the sort of thing which might be so second nature to an experienced partner that they may neglect to point out. There's also things like abseiling and prusikking which you do correctly or not at all.
Caveats- it IS expensive, and you do take a risk with the weather of course. If it's raining all week when you're booked on there's not much they can do about it.
Also, I went on the course with my friend who had a similar level of experience, with the assumption that we would become regular climbing partners (we are!) I guess this allowed us to get a lot out of it as a pair.
Finally, I didn't climb outdoors again for a couple of months afterwards and I forgot an awful lot in between, I needed to refresh on a lot of stuff. Like everything else it becomes second nature when you go regularly.
At the end of the day it's your choice. I'm sure that going with an experienced partner will be completely safe while you're with them, but will you be confident in knowing what to do with someone at your own level? Multi pitch trad climbing is the best thing ever when you take the step up, but it's a big step up to take.
Joining a local club is a really good way of meeting other climbers if you don't know any at the moment. That will let you carry on climbing after you have done your course, or even if you don't bother with a course at all, whatever you choose to do. You can find your local club here:
In reply to Callum12: At the risk of stating the obvious, you'll need to find people to climb with! There's no point in going on a 5-day intensive course at PYB if you have no one to climb with afterwards.
An indoor wall with a local club may be the best place to start and take it from there.
JAnders48 on 18 Jun 2013 - host86-132-44-52.range86-132.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Callum12: Join a club and help combat the creeping curse of commercialism and Health & Safety.
> Join a club and help combat the creeping curse of commercialism and Health & Safety.
Yep. You can't beat an old hand passing on knowledge. I am sure PYB is not guilty of this, but some youngsters with climbing certs got them as part of a longer outdoor/sport education course. Had to have stiff words with one such person I caught doing dodgy things. Just 'cause they have a piece of paper saying they can teach it doesn't mean they have depth of experience.
I have 25 years experience climbing. Who would you prefer to learn off, some young punk straight out of school, or a grey haired bloke who has "survived" this long!
In reply to Callum12:
Go on the Plas Y Brenin course and get things right from the start, yes it`s pricey but it will give you a priceless foundation to your climbing life, and will be a sign to others that your not looking for a free guided trip up Milestone buttress.
Then either join a club or get a good partner off here, I did both.
Most of the partners I got off here I still climb with and they taught me so much.
The club system has also taught me loads, people who have climbed for 20,30,40,50 or even 60 years a depth of experience a phone call away and believe me, they are more than happy for you to phone them or call round for a brew and dispense wisdom.
Last thing you will be told by everyone, learn to use your feet, DO IT ;-)
In reply to Callum12: Hi just a big thank you to everyone and all your advice. I have decided to start my climbing life off at Plas-y-Brenin. I have also managed to find someone who wants to learn with me.
In reply to Callum12: I went to plas-y-brenin 16yrs ago on there 5 day introduction to climbing course, it was the best 5 days of learning all the basics before returning home with the knowledge to be able to go out with the local climbing club, best advice if unsure try the 2 day course and see if its for you.