A Personal Journey from Mountain Leader to International Mountain Leader

A Personal Journey from Mountain Leader to International Mountain Leader

Kelvyn James is an International Mountain Leader, and he is the current Chair of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders, the Mountain Training Association Lake District rep and the former Development Officer for the Association of British Climbing Walls. He lives in Cumbria, runs his own business, Mountain Services, and he is on our team of freelance instructors. He has featured in our My Story blog series.

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Managing Risk in the Mountains #2: Heuristics & Mind Sets

Managing Risk in the Mountains #2: Heuristics & Mind Sets

Even though people are capable of making decisions in a thorough and methodical way, it appears that most of the time they don't. A growing body of research suggests that people unconsciously use simple rules of thumb or heuristics to navigate the routine complexities of modem life.” In our homes and work places that may not be a problem, but when we take that mindset out into the mountains where the variables can change so quickly, we can find ourselves in serious trouble. 

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How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #3: Walking In The Rain

How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #3: Walking In The Rain

Walking in the rain? Why would I want to do that? Because it can be fun and exhilarating! And if, like me, you live in an area where rain is a pretty constant feature, you often have no choice. If you have the right kit and know how to use it, you should be able to have lots of fun whilst staying warm and dry.

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Lightweight Tent Review & Comparison: Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 vs Hilleberg Akto

Lightweight Tent Review & Comparison: Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 vs Hilleberg Akto

As a Mountain Leader course provider, a lightweight tent is an essential piece of kit for me. Each course has a one-night or two-night mountain expo, and I have to be prepared for weather extremes. I'm a minimalist when it comes to expo gear, and I don't want my tent to be any heavier than absolutely necessary. I have two lightweight tents: the Terra Nova Laser Lite (the forerunner of the Laser Competition 1) and the Hilleberg Akto, both of which I have had for several years. 

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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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