‘Tis the season to explore…….

Explore our capabilities that is.

For some the season never goes away however many take stock as the autumn months approach and review their summer experiences, plan for next year or perhaps the coming winter.

Having had the summer off to discover new areas such as the Brecon Beacons, bits of The Lake District that I had neglected in the past and a couple of weeks of lofty Alpine climbing activities, I am about to start teaching in the hills again. Mountain Leader Assessment and Training are the serious end of the business with courses run by Andy Brown and with myself enlisted as an expert hand on the job.

In addition I will be teaching Hill Skills and Navigation for Cumbria County Council on their Community Learning and Skills courses – evening classes to those of a certain age – based at Shap and Carlisle. These courses are run over five evenings and include a night navigation session plus a long half day on the hill to put it all into practice.

Thursday, 21st September 6pm-8.30pm (last session will be a 5.5hour walk)

At Pennine Way CDC

Cost £60.00 (concession £30.00)

Tuesday 3rd October 6pm-8.30pm (last session will be a 5.5hour walk)

At Eden CLAS(Shap Primary School)

Cost £59.40 (concession £29.70)

As ever, should you wish to add to your mountain capabilities or simply enjoy a good walk, feel free to get in touch.


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.

Continue reading “I want to be a Mountain Leader”

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.


IMG_2128 IMG_2130 IMG_2133 IMG_2134 IMG_2139 IMG_2140 IMG_2141 IMG_2144 IMG_2146 IMG_2150 IMG_2154 IMG_2162