Scrambling bridges the gap between hillwalking and rock climbing
You’ll move swiftly through breathtaking terrain while enjoying the sensation of moving on rock.
Snowdonia has a wealth of famous scrambles at all levels of difficulty such as Crib Goch, Tryfan’s North Ridge, and Cneifion Arete to name but a few. There are also many hidden gems to discover in the serene corners of the National Park.
It’s your adventure…
Each day is developed around your level of experience and aspirations. Whether you want to become a safe, independent mountain hero or simply be shown the beautiful scrambles of North Wales. We’ll use our local knowledge to head to the best possible place to get the best experience possible.
Most commonly on courses you’ll develop safe movement skills, route finding ability, and hazard awareness. On the more advanced courses you’ll learn how to use the rope in a mountaineering context. All the skills to look after yourself, your partner and manage an unplanned retreat.
The learning experience…
It’s all about getting out into the hills. Although everyone learns in a slightly different way, it’s experience that ultimately counts. Over the course we’ll do as much scrambling as possible, always striving to enhance the skills needed to progress towards your next adventure… whatever it may be!
What happens on the day – logistics.
Courses follow the rough timescale of meeting at 9am at a local cafe and generally being on the hill until 4.30pm. We’ve found this is the optimum amount of time before overload!
At the end of each day we’ll discuss how the day went, what’s been learnt, and ideas for the following day.
At the end of the course we’ll review all you’ve covered, and suggest a pathway for continuing your scrambling career.
Two levels of course to tackle.
Our first Discover Scrambling course is for those who have done some summer hill walking, and like the idea of venturing onto steeper, more challenging terrain. We’ll explore brilliant Grade 1 scrambles, and consider risk management, route choice, and personal movement skills.
The next course develops your scrambling skills on harder graded scrambles. It’s the grey area just before rock climbing starts! We’ll take in great Grade 2 and 3 scrambling routes. Trailblazing Scrambling. You’ll see how the rope is employed to keep you safe, and progress your mountaineering skills.
Two days of The Best scrambles in North Wales. Classic. We’ll link several classic Grade 2 and 3 scrambles together for an alpine experience. We ask people to have attended an initial scrambling course before coming to try a Classics weekend.
Scrambling grades and venues…
We’ll head to a venue that lends itself to the day’s plan, making best use of the weather. We like to include you in the decision-making process from the outset, from interpreting the weather forecast, to checking the guidebook. It ensures you leave with the full repertoire of skills needed to safely head into the hills independently.
Scrambles are graded by difficulty in a numerical order; 1 being the easiest, and 3 being the hardest, merging into rock climbing. As a rough guide, Grade 1 scrambles (such as Crib Goch, Tryfan’s North Ridge, Sharp Edge, and the CMD Arête) generally only require the use of the hands for balance. They’re technically straightforward, on good rock, and although exposed, don’t normally require the use of a rope.
Grade 2 scrambles (such as Main Gully Arete, Pinnacle Ridge, Cam Crag Ridge, and the Aonach Eagach) are more challenging. Tricky sections may be more sustained, route finding more difficult, and some moves may require the use of the arms to pull. A rope is normally used to protect the party.
Grade 3 scrambles (such as Cneifion Arete, Dolomen Ridge, Parsons Nose, Curved Ridge, and Skye’s Cuillin Ridge) require the use of both hands to pull, and are essentially easy rock climbing pitches. A rope will be used throughout.
We’re very fortunate in North Wales to have a wide range of easily accessible scrambles, which means you’ll spend more time scrambling, and less time walking in. Their accessibility also allows epic link-ups!
Is a Gaia Adventures scrambling course right for me?
As experienced mountaineers and coaches (and having been novices as well), we’ve been learning through experience for years, and love passing that knowledge on. We’re here to guide you through, teach the skills you need, and send you home having accomplished your goals and more.
Prices for your bespoke scrambling course
We like to keep it personal and safe, with small groups. Even coming on your own can work really well too.
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