Managing Risk in the Mountains #1: The Three Variables

Managing Risk in the Mountains #1: The Three Variables

We go to the mountains for many different reasons - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. John Muir put it like this more than a hundred years ago: “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”. Because the benefits are so huge, we choose to expose ourselves to the associated risks, even though we don't have to. Understanding those risks and how to manage them means that we return safely from every mountain adventure. 

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How To Pack Your Rucksack The Minimalist Way

How To Pack Your Rucksack The Minimalist Way

We've all seen it: an expedition group toiling under the weight of huge rucksacks, with all kinds of things swinging around on the outside. They have no energy for enjoying the journey - all they can think about is getting to the campsite and crashing out. But it doesn't have to be like that. When I run Mountain Leader courses I set my candidates a challenge: to pack all their kit for a three-day two-night expo into a 45 litre sack weighing no more than 10kg. Most of them are surprised, and think it isn't possible. Here's why it's a good idea, and how to do it.

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So What's The New Rock Climbing Instructor Qualification All About?

So What's The New Rock Climbing Instructor Qualification All About?

The new Rock Climbing Instructor qualification replaced the Single Pitch Award on 2nd April 2018, following a review of all the climbing awards by Mountain Training. Both awards are national qualifications which provide a level of basic competence for those who are in a position of responsibility on single pitch crags and artificial structures. So what’s the same, and what's different?

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Reflections On 25 Years In The Outdoor Industry

Reflections On 25 Years In The Outdoor Industry

1993. Boris Yeltsin was voted in as president of Russia. The World Wide Web source code was released by CERN, making the software freely available to all. UKIP came into being, and Mr Blobby was the Christmas number one. The Queen announced that Buckingham Palace would be opened to the public, and the Chris Ensoll School of Mountaineering was birthed in a spare bedroom in a cottage in the Lake District.

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