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GETTING INTO THE MOUNTAINS
Apart from being glorious walking country - there are almost 2,000 miles of designated paths - Snowdonia offers some of Britain's best rock climbing.
Being the birthplace of rock climbing and seeing the development of the sport, Snowdonia probably has more rock climbing history than any other location. World famous routes such as Dream of White Horses, Cenotaph Corner, Indian Face and Liquid Amber are among the charismatic names to be found here.
Or there's Plas Menai, the National Water Sports Centre by the side of the Menai Straits between Bangor and Caernarfon. Owned by the Sports Council for Wales the purpose-built centre has been running water sports and mountain adventure training for 20 years and offers an comprehensive range of courses. Check out their website at website link.
There are are lots of other ways to enjoy the mountains from a variety of providers. If you visit Snowdonia-active.com you will find a comprehensive list of activities, equipment and outdoor shops, accommodation and area guides, to get you started.
Here are a few other examples of the sort of things you can get upto:
Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre, between Ffestiniog and Dolgelleu.
The Forestry Commission run a series of activities from May to October. Choose from guided walks on themes as various as drovers routes or looking for animal tracks, to den building and specialist bike hire and running or cycling trails. Pick up one of their leaflets for dates of events from any Tourist Information Centre or ring 01341 440 747.
Providing adventure activities such as canyoning, gorge walking, cliff jumping, rock climbing, abseiling, raft building, mountain and hill walks, zip lines and more. Contact 01654 767655, website link.
Vivian Diving Centre, Llanberis
The slate pool here was once part of the vast Dinorwig Slate mine at Llanberis. The main face of the mine was left to fill with fresh clear water to a depth of 18 metres, creating a perfect place to dive in relative safety whatever the weather for all levels of diver. You can scuba dive in groups or as individuals 7 days a week. Contact website link.
Guided walks all over the area from gentle riverside strolls, to strenuous hikes in the hills, and mountain days for the more seasoned hill walker. The company also take groups up to the summit of Snowdon on specified days throughout the summer and autumn and run rock climbing and other courses. More information from 01286 879044, website link
Outdoor pursuits for all abilities. Based in Bethesda, they offer rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain walks, kayaking and scrambling. Info at sea2summit.net or tel 07743 336093.
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There's so much wild open scenery for you to escape into, 838 square miles in the National Park to be precise, but beginners should first take advantage of some training from the specialists. Lots of courses are available from only an hour to several days at reasonable rates. There are two main centres providing instruction in all sorts of outdoor activities. Plas yr Brenin the National Mountain Centre in the heart of Snowdonia at Capel Curig is managed by the Mountain Training Trust set up by the British Mountaineering Council. There you can take everything from a residential course to a one hour taster session. The activities covered include hill walking,rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing. The centre is equipped with climbing walls, a ropes course, a dry ski run and a lake on its doorstep. Taster sessions can be booked for hour long individual activities or joined together to make a day's instruction in three different sports. Have a look at their website on website link.