Your Outdoor Bouldering Session

Please note: this page is intended for those booked onto a Prowess Outdoor Bouldering session. It may, however, provide some useful considerations for those of you transitioning from indoor to outdoor bouldering

It’s a bit different bouldering outdoors when you’ve only climbed indoors before. It can be colder, it is usually harder to get to the climbs, the pads are ever-so-slightly smaller and you have to take your own coffee. In fact, you have to take your own everything! and even that can be a challenge; what exactly do you need to take?

This page is designed to help you out. It’ll highlight what you need to take with you, outline what we’ll do if it rains, and provide some safety information.

Crucially, at the bottom of the page is Information for ME. Please download the file and send it back to me, in order for me to create the best day possible for you.

After the course, I will email you your Session Report, detailing what we did, what the Take Home learning points were and what we would hopefully do on the next session.

Rhys enjoying a Prowess outdoor bouldering session at Sheep Pen, Nant Francon

Information For You

This section provides some information for you to consider and should hopefully answer any questions you may have. If there’s anything else not covered, please get in touch.

Kit You NEED to Bring
  • Rock Shoes. Bring your best shoes as well as any comfy shoes you may have
  • Chalk Bag. I’ll bring one with me but if you’ve got one, bring it with you
  • Approach Shoes/Boots. Walk ins can be mountainous so substantial shoes are essential. No crocs or flip flops please
  • Warm Coat/Layers. Even in the height of summer, it can get chilly in the mountains so please bring something warm
  • Waterproofs. Likewise, the rain can come in very quickly so please be prepared
  • Drink and food. Most crags are not near cafes or shops so bring sustenance
  • Suitable rucksack/bag. We’ll need to carry all this stuff in somehow
It won’t be this silly, don’t worry
Kit You MIGHT LIKE to Bring
  • Bouldering Pads. I’ve got plenty but it’s always better to get to know your own kit. If you own a bouldering pad, please do bring it with you
  • Your own guidebook. You can buy one from me or you can look at my guide but if you’ve got one, you might like to bring it to record your ascents
  • Accessories. Many people now have mini-fingerboards, resistance bands and other warm up apparatus, brushes, all sorts of bits and pieces. Bring any and everything you like (but remember you may have to carry it halfway up a mountain)
  • Warm Hat and Gloves. Depending on the time of year, it might be worth bringing some hat and gloves
  • Sunglasses/Suncream. Believe it or not, the sun does shine in North Wales, so some sunnies might be handy and suncream might be wise
  • Lip Balm. Mountain crags are often quite windy and chapped lips are a right pain

Remember that you may have to carry this quite a way so don’t go too mad. BUT we can always leave things in the car.

Retail Opportunities

Prowess sells guidebooks for the local area, including

  • North Wales Bouldering (RRP £38.95, to clients £35.05)
  • and Boulder Britain (RRP £34.95, to clients £31.45)

Guidebooks are available to anywhere in the country (and some places further afield too!) so if there is somewhere you’d like a guide for, please let me know at least a week before your session.

Wet Weather Contingency

No one can’t help it if it rains. Where possible, we will move to a dry crag but if we cannot, you have three options:

  1. Move session indoors. Session will be tailored to considerations for outdoor bouldering
  2. Rearrange session. Deposit will be transferred to new session
  3. Cancel session. Deposit will not be refunded

Please also see the Cancellation Policy


Transport for your day is not included and not available through Prowess directly i.e. I can’t legally give you a lift. Therefore you’ll need to arrange your own transport

Please bear in mind that most climbing venues are generally in inaccessible locations and public transport can be very limited. If you are struggling in this area, please contact me for help.


I have a dog, Tess. She is impeccably well behaved, a fantastic crag dog and incredibly well travelled (she’s been to more countries than most people). I do like to bring her along but this is your day and I want you to be comfortable so if this is a problem, please do let me know.

Information for Me

No prior experience is necessary for an Outdoor Bouldering day. However it is assumed you are already a competent climber in some fashion.

Knowing your level of experience is crucial in order to find the best venue for your day. This could be how much you’ve climbed indoors, whether you are already a trad climber or if you have experience with hillwalking and mountaineering.

Likewise, knowing how hard you climb is essential. Many bouldering crags start at 7a and aren’t appropriate for many climbers. While they’re a slightly flawed metric, giving a rough idea of your climbing grade gives a good indication of where might be a good place to go.

Don’t go too crazy on the grade front and please don’t make accommodations for transitioning from inside to out; I’ll take care of that bit. If you’re not sure, simply let me know what grade you climbed on your last session. The Matrix below might give some suggestions.

If you can, or if you’re particularly keen, you can let me know your perceived strengths and weaknesses. However if you’re not sure of this, don’t worry as I’ll be able to assess your climbing skills on the day.

You might also want to let me know any short or long term goals you have at the moment. If you’re on a training plan, it might be worth letting me know but anything you’re currently trying to achieve (projects, skills, etc.) is useful to know.

Finally, most people book a session for a reason. Please let me know what you’re hoping to get out of the day, whether that is simply having a first experience, learning to boulder independently, after some climbing coaching outdoors, someone to take care of the logistics for your day or indeed anything else!

What To Do Now


Write down your answers to the above requests in an email and send them over to me


Fill in the document here and email it to me [document uploaded soon]


Let me know at our catch up in the morning of the session

Another coaching session at Sheep Pen