|High Trek Snowdonia is an outdoor activity centre in North Wales offering a full range of mountain-based
adventure holidays and courses.
|History of High Trek
High Trek Snowdonia began in 1986 when keen mountaineers and walkers
Ian and Mandy Whitehead took the plunge to escape from city life and start
a trekking holiday company in Snowdonia. We found Tal y Waen, the cosy
old farmhouse nestling in the mountains with views of the sea where High
Trek is still based. and began running trekking holidays. Over the years
many other outdoor courses and breaks were added always set up and run with the
keystones of quality, professionalism and friendliness firmly to the fore.
People at High Trek
High Trek is
run by Ian and Mandy Whitehead ably assisted by a variety of friendly
qualified staff and sometimes hindered by their two lively welsh-speaking
teenagers - Ben and Jessica plus an assortment of rabbits, chickens and fish!
Ian was an accountant in his former life, holds the Mountain
Instructors Certificate (the highest qualification for UK based mountain
activities), and is a member of the Association of Mountain Instructors. He is now in his forties and his interests are rock
and ice climbing and mountaineering (surprise, surprise!), fell running and football watched
from an armchair when he's allowed.
Mandy will not reveal her age but holds a
Summer Mountain Leader Certificate and has walked all but four of the two
thousand foot mountains in Wales. She has a strong interest in Welsh history
is qualified as an official Blue Badge tourist guide for Wales. Mandy also
likes reading and cooking and has been learning Welsh for years and is still
hopeless at it (according to the children).
Ian and Mandy are helped by a wide
variety of seasonal and part-time staff like David who spends his winters
working as a General Assistant in Antarctica, Jude who is currently touring in
New Zealand and Emma who has just got married
We try to combine all that you'd expect from a top quality outdoor centre
(qualified, up-to-date staff, safe procedures, good equipment etc.) with the
warm welcome, home comforts and personal attention that you'd find in a small
country house or chalet party. Also, all our activities are undertaken to
minimise the impact on the landscape and culture of the Snowdonia we so love.
All people leading High Trek courses, whether ourselves
(which is the norm) or others are fully qualified, and our staff
to client ratios are consistent with best practice as recognised by the UK
Mountain Training Board. But we go further and, in addition to these
qualifications, staff are not only knowledgeable about all aspects of
the Welsh mountains but are friendly, approachable individuals whose
aim is to help you get the most out of your Snowdonia break.
Included in the price of your holiday is the loan of any up-to-date equipment
you might need.
Friendliness. Our small groups of clients (never more
than six) share our farmhouse with us. We eat dinner with you and our living
room is yours too from our extensive mountain and Welsh interest library to
the roaring fireplace. Open the fridge and grab a beer when you feel like one.
Guests often comment on the fact that it's like staying with friends and this
really pleases us since it's what we aim for.
We live, work and play in this region of North Wales which we have come to
love and do our very best to ensure that all our actions do nothing to damage
this fragile culture and landscape. We have a strong policy of following
environmental and mountaineering ethics and support the local economy by
sourcing whatever we can locally. We hope that through the knowledge of our
staff you will enjoy learning about the local landscape and culture though we
never attempt to preach!
Accreditation and Organisational Membership
High Trek have been regularly
inspected and approved under the Accreditation Scheme for Outdoor Activity centres set
up by the Wales Tourist Board and the Sports Council for Wales.
| This scheme
ensures not only adequate standards of accommodation but also describes good
practice and procedure for the delivery of activities. All Activity Providers
agree to abide by the Code of Conduct and receive annual visits from an
inspector. In addition the company is a member of North Wales Tourism and
Snowdonia-Active an organisation set up to represent the interests of activity
tourism in Snowdonia.
All staff going out on the hill with clients have a current first aid
certificate usually obtained on a course specialising in first aid for
mountain conditions. Anyone from High Trek taking groups walking has at the
very least obtained The Mountain Leader Award (ML). This scheme provides
training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required
by those who wish to lead groups in the British mountains, hills and moorlands.
It integrates experience, training and assessment in a variety of testing
conditions in mountainous country. The ML is recognised by the Health and
Safety Executive and the Adventure Activity Licensing Authority as being an
appropriate award for 'trekking' in summer conditions.
Any of our leaders operating in winter conditions posses at the very least
the Winter Mountain Leader Award. Likewise instructors on your climbing and
scrambling courses will possess at least The Mountain Instructor Award (Summer), known
as the MIA, which is for instructors working in summer conditions and covers
multi-pitch rock climbing, scrambling and other mountaineering skills. Your
winter climbing course will be lead by someone who possesses a Mountain
Instructor Certificate, known as the MIC, which covers the additional skills
required for winter mountaineering and winter climbing.
In addition, to these minimum qualification standards, High Trek goes
further and seeks out people-loving individuals since holidays should be
enjoyable as well as safe and all our staff have good knowledge and experience
of the Welsh mountains.
| Staff/Client ratios
Our staff to client ratios are
consistent with best practice in the industry:
| Hill Walking - no more than 8 |
|Mountain Walking - no more than 6|
|Scrambling (ropework anticipated) - no more
than 4 |
|Climbing (single pitch) - 4 |
|Climbing (multi-pitch) - 2||