About us

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 
People at High Trek 
Our Philosophy
Staff Qualifications
Staff Ratios
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. 

Ian and Mandy

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 BadgeBlue Badge Guide 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


Our Philosophy

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. 
Outdoor Activity Centre This scheme ensures not only adequate standards ofAccredited outdoor activity centre 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.

Staff Qualifications 
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.

outdoor instructor dave

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
Mountaineering Instructors Logo
Copyright ? 2016 [High Trek Snowdonia]. All rights reserved.

High Trek Snowdonia
Tal y Waen

LL55 3NA
Tel:01286 871232
Email mail@hightrek.co.uk