Project Description

Navigation and Scrambling Course in Snowdonia

Location: Snowdonia
Price: £350 per person
Ratio: 1:6 dropping to 1:4 for the scrambling
Length: 5 days

Who is the course suitable for?

If you have an interest in hillwalking in the mountains in summer conditions and would like to be a confident and self sufficient navigator, happy on grade 1 scarmbling ground and able to look after yourself in summer conditions then this is the course for you.

Over the 5 days we will spend 3 days focusing on mountain navigation, taking in some of Snowdonias finest summits along the way. We will then devote 2 days to heading onto steeper ground and looking at the skills involved in enjoying grade 1 scrambles. These latter two days will be tailored to suit the groups skills and aspirations.

This course is ideal for complete beginners. It is also a good grounding for anyone looking to gain pre-requiste experience before attending a Mountain Leader training course. The course is suitable for anyone over the age of 18, there is no maximum age and we regularly get a mixture of ages and experience and are used to tailoring the course to meet the needs of a varied group of people.

This course includes the MTUK Mountain Skills course – see below for further details.

Lliwedd on the Snowdon Horseshoe

What does the course cover?

– Five full days of practical navigation and scrambling in the mountains of Snowdonia
-Planning a route using maps and guidebooks
– Clothing and equipment overview and selection
– Introduction to different map scales
– How to set the map
– How to interpret contours
– How to interpret key symbols ie how to find a footpath, fence, stream etc
– How to plan and follow a route using paths and other key features
– How to plan and follow a route off the path
– How to estimate distance using pacing and timing
– How to navigate in poor or limited visibility
– How to use the compass
– How to re-orientate yourself if you do get lost
– Movement over steep gound
– Mountain weather – how the weather affects our route planning and choice during the day
– Emergency procedures in case of an incident
– Choice and use of equipment including an element of use of GPS (I will demonstrate the role that GPS plays for me in my own navigation and we will look at the advantages and limitations of GPS units. You don’t need a GPS unit but I will happily answer questions about yours if you bring it along.)
– Environmental knowledge and considerations
– Introduction to grade 1 scrambling ground
– How to interpret the scrambling guidebooks
– Movement skills on ridges and in gullies
– Emergency use of the rope to protect a nervous second
– Some of the best grade 1 scrambles in Snowdonia!
Learn poor visibility navigation

What are the MTUK Mountain Skills Courses?

The Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for walkers interested in applying their countryside walking skills to the mountain environment.

If you wish to receive a certificate of attendance on this course you need to register in advance with MTUK.

Registration Cost:
Cost: £20 per person

Registration cost includes:
Access to the Mountain Training Digital Logbook
A copy of the ‘Safety on Mountains’ handbook
Certificate of attendance this course
Access to technical advice from Mountain Training

You can join this course without registering with MTUK if you are happy to gain the experience of the course without the certificate of attendance, logbook and handbook. The registration is quick, easy and amazingly good value though!

Mountain Skills Film from Rob Johnson – Filmuphigh on Vimeo.

Where is the course held?

We run the course in Snowdonia and try to ensure that all of the learning takes place as part of a mountain journey. We have the right to roam in Snowdonia and so are not restricted to staying on footpaths and this helps develop our map to ground reading skills.

Traversing Crib Goch with Andrew Price from ITV Wales

Whats included?

The course fee includes instruction and the use of any specialist equipment. You can read our “whats included” and kit list page here.

Who runs the course?

Huw and I run the courses ourselves. We both hold the MIC qualification which is the highest instructional qualification in the UK.  My practical experience on the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team also adds an additional element to the course. You can read more about our qualifications and experience here.

What about accommodation & transport?

We do not include accommodation with this course. For a variety of different accommodation options in Snowdonia, from camping to nice hotels, visit this link. The link also shows road and rail travel options to Snowdonia.

Meeting Place & Time

Once you book we will send you a comprehensive set of course notes and a letter of confirmation, this will include a detailed kit list and details of where and when we meet. The first day normally starts at 9:00am in Capel Curig and finishes in the same place at about 4:00pm.

When does this course run?

You can view the dates of all of our courses throughout the year on the diary page.

Other Questions

If you have any questions that you can’t find answers to on the website visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch. We look forward to meeting you!

Book this Course

To book this course please choose a date from the diary page and then click on the button below to complete our booking form and make payment via Paypal.

If there is more than 8 weeks before the course commencement date you may choose to secure your space by paying a non-refundable deposit of £100. The balance is then due 8 weeks before the course by bank transfer.


Trail Magazine article by Rob on Route Planning & Navigation

Back out in the mountains – whoop, whoop!

July 6th, 2020|1 Comment

Today saw the restrictions on travel lifted here in Wales, together with the mountains and car parks being opened across the Snowdonia National Park. Huw and I met in the Ogwen Valley at 9:00am and [...]

The mountains of Snowdonia are re-opening on Monday!

July 3rd, 2020|0 Comments

It has been confirmed today by the Snowdonia National Park Authority that the closed areas of the Park will be re-opened on Monday (the 6th July). As the Park prepares to welcome visitors back after [...]

We’re Good to Go

July 1st, 2020|0 Comments

As lockdown measures ease in Wales we are now getting back to work! Hoorah! We are providing private guiding on a 1:1 basis (or 1:2 for members of the same household) from the 11th July which is [...]

Private Guiding Dates now available for this summer

June 23rd, 2020|0 Comments

As lockdown measures ease here in Wales I have now added availability for private guiding dates over the next three months to the diary page. We are providing private guiding on a 1:1 basis (or [...]

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Dear Rob and Huw
I wanted to thank you both for the course. Having trudged, slightly heavy-hearted and slightly delayed, back to London, I have managed to recover from the pains, strains and jitters of the week and am now left with happy memories, a real feeling of achievement and somewhat bruised shins!
I wanted to join the course as a general improvement of my mountain skills, but I have come away with more than that; I have a new sense of confidence, a love of scrambling and an understanding of my shortcomings that I can work on. And I did all that in an incredibly beautiful setting with some lovely people. The week was great, including the great weather that you laid on for us, so thank you for everything. You can be quite sure that I will be back for more in future.
Be seeing you.
From a tragically flat London…!
Lucinda, Navigation & Scrambling - June 2014
Hi Rob
Many thanks again for a great week in the hills of snowdon. The course did everthing it promised plus some key skills on “spatial awareness”. Enjoyed your relaxed and informative way of teaching with no rushing and always ready to answer our many questions. All the best for you and your family Rob. Regards, Gavin.
Gavin, Navigation & Scrambling - April 2011