I want to be a Mountain Leader

I am asked quite often how to become qualified to take groups out on the hills. Sometimes people just want to confirm a higher level of personal skill.
OK, ML. Actually ML (summer). The main website for Mountain Training is here: http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader
In summary, you think about what kind of work you want to do and what qualification is necessary. MLs is widely respected and pretty much covers everything in the hills in GB except rock climbing and winter mountains. Obviously though not canoeing, mountain biking and the like.
You can do other, lesser, hill skills qualifications but no cheaper and not worth missing out on the full deal.
You need to have experience in at least three major UK mountain areas. These would be The Lakes, Scotland and Wales although The Peak, Dartmoor and Northern Ireland count as well.
You register on the scheme with Mountain Training and fill in a log book. This would show your experience in mountains going back as long as you can remember. The minimum number of Quality Mountain Days (QMDs) to attend a training course would be 20.

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M: Assessment weekend 1, 26th April 2015

A weekend of contrasting weather types. On Friday night it poured with rain. The morning of Saturday was windy and raining with very low cloud. As we progressed from Honister to Grey Crags, down to the foot of Gillercombe Buttress, up to Gillercombe Head and had lunch we walked through snow showers. The beginnings of a clearing sky could be seen in the north across the Solway Firth. This was to be the final fling of this frontal weather feature. A beautiful late afternoon developed as we walked over Haystacks, under High Crag and finally across Birtness Combe and along to Buttermere where we had a bar meal in sunshine on the patio!

Sunday started frosty with a cold northerly wind while we went through steep ground work. Again the day improved steadily.

A good effort from all candidates. There’s always some learning to do but the split weekend format serves to allow for some practice and “head straightening” to be done ready for the expedition phase of the second weekend.

 

Thanks to Andy Brown of Adventures, Cockermouth.

 

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