Alpine mountaineering, July 2017
Our initial two days assessment and training in the Lake district proved very valuable for me and hopefully informed Chris of what I could do and needed to do for our alpine days in July. We had a potential programme, which lasted for day 1, but bad weather meant changing this and Chris had several suitable suggestions which allowed me to develop the skills that I was aiming for, in alternative locations. Weather never detracted Chris from getting me out and doing something new, even when those around us were deciding to give things a miss when Scottish winter conditions prevailed. This flexibility was an excellent aspect. Several days took me beyond/to the limit of my comfort zone which was valuable in developing my skills. Chris knew just how much to 'push' me.
Single Pitch Award assessment, June 2017
The booking procedure was fantastic. Every question I asked was answered in a timely manner and with lots of detail. Chris's laid back approach takes away the feeling of being assessed, creating a constant learning environment. What a great course, I have come from a military background where in some cases the adventure training instruction is very prescriptive and there at times can be very much a “right or wrong” attitude. As soon as I met Chris he put me at ease, even though you are being assessed it felt just as if I was spending a weekend with some friends climbing. If you did something differently, providing it was safe and you could justify it, Chris would give you a thumbs up. The whole course was a learning experience not only in the many new things we taught each other but constant thought provoking observations from Chris.
Mountain Leader assessment, June 2017
Perhaps the best of the 14 Mountain Training courses I've now attended. Highly recommended.
Movement Masterclass, May 2017
An enormous thank you to Chris for an absolutely outstanding day. I really enjoyed myself whilst learning so much. Chris is delightfully provocative and encouraging, we all pushed our boundaries a little further out, a natural mentor through his boundless acronyms, anecdotes and little challenges, and his wisdom on the psychology and mechanics of movement has genuinely made me stop and rethink. A fascinating subject demonstrated and delivered expertly through a gem of a workshop. Brilliant.
Teaching Lead Climbing, May 2017
Chris has a very good reputation as a provider, and I wanted to develop my CPD in an interesting and appropriate area away from where I live. Great hard skills refresher and development session. As a practical finisher, there was a fascinating introduction to movement on rock. Throughout the day, there were some excellent discussions about a variety of methods and techniques.
Two-Day Short-Roping Workshop, April 2017
Chris was excellent, he had a nice relaxed manner but the days had structure/purpose with just the right amount of content and gaps in between to let the new techniques be practiced and soaked in. I always wanted to do this course with Chris, since hearing about it from my friend. I'm already implementing the new approach!
Single Pitch Award assessment, April 2017
Booking was quick and simple, Anne replied to any message quickly and with detail so everything was nice and smooth and stress free. While it definitely felt like an assessment, it also didn't - there were times where it felt like a group of climbers at the crag for a day's climbing, and at the same time there was lots of learning as well, not just from Chris but from each other as well. Chris was brilliant, couldn't fault him at all, really relaxed but at the same time on it as well, always got lots of suggestions on how to improve things that were really useful. I look forward to doing some other things with him. I had lots of recommendations from other previous clients who recommended you, really wish I had known sooner than I did as I would have done other courses with you.
Mountain Leader assessment, April 2017
Chris's ability and experience is second to none. This shows with his wide and varied knowledge, much of which he shares without realising the full importance of what he is actually saying. He has a habit of continually monitoring situations and will pass vital information on at times when it is most needed and where candidates may not necessarily see a potential problem, but then realise straight away, after being told. A very busy week in the mountains, but also worth every second of Chris's valuable knowledge, experience and time.
Mountain Leader Ropework Masterclass, April 2017
Brilliant course and perfect recap of rope work and steep ground assurance ahead of ML assessments. Would also be a great refresher course for people who have already done their ML. Instructors were very good :)
Single Pitch Award Masterclass, March 2017
I booked with Chris after lots of recommendations from people that know Chris or have done courses with him. The course was exactly what I wanted and brilliant value, thank you for still running it even with low bookings
Contour Masterclass, March 2017
A very simple but effective approach to navigation using contours only and incorporating other strategies to support this. I particularly enjoyed the discussions on movement and walking on different types of terrain and have started coaching pupils in my DofE groups these techniques with the aim to increasing their stamina on expeditions. Chris is clearly a knowledgeable and passionate mountaineer and is keen to support and encourage others. It was great discussing Chris' passion for other mountaineering areas outside the Lake District such as Skye and the Cairngorms.
Contour Masterclass, March 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this day. The group size (6) was perfect and we all seemed to have very similar goals which was good. At the start of the day we were handed the contour map - which I initially found really disorientating! However, thanks to Chris's excellent teaching I soon began to make sense of it all - and to be honest, by the end of the day it seemed like a perfectly 'normal' map. The usual maps seemed ridiculously cluttered in comparison. Although we didn't cover a huge distance on our feet, we learned a lot, concentrating on the lie of the land around us at each small stage. Thank you Chris!
Winter Scrambling Masterclass, December 2016
Thank you Anne for your quick (and helpful!) replies to emails. A great day out; informative, practical, and good location ...despite the rain, and lack of snow! Thanks Chris for a really helpful day; I feel a lot more equipped to go out on steeper ground in winter than I had done previously. A lot was covered during the day (thanks for making the most of the 'fairly poor' winter conditions!), I'm looking forward to putting it all into practise when we eventually get some snow!
Climbing Wall Masterclass, December 2016
Pre course info was good. The programme was tailored to suit needs and delivered in a relaxed manner. It turned out on the day that I was the only participant! I am very aware that most providers would have cancelled, or cut short the day, but hats off to Chris for giving it 100% and delivering a high quality full day. He was very knowledgeable/experienced, easy to chat to, and made me feel comfortable with all the activities we did. Would definitely recommend to others and will keep an eye out for other courses delivered by Chris.
Single Pitch Award assessment, October 2016
I felt really well informed about the course, its dates and what was required. When I emailed with a question, I had a very quick and clear reply from Anne, which is always great. I really enjoyed the programme of the course and the way it was adapted around us/the weather, felt very smooth and well run/planned. I thought Chris was great. He was an inspiring person to spend 2 days with. He was clear about what he wanted, extremely friendly and encouraging. For me, he made the assessment a really enjoyable 2 days, I learnt a lot and felt like Chris really cared about what he was doing. I was recommended to do my assessment with Chris from several people, all saying that he was the best instructor that they had either worked with or been trained/assessed by. Thank you for being inspiring, positive and encouraging. You have changed how I view assessments and I am now really excited to take the next steps.
Short-roping weekend for AMI members, October 2016
The course was geared to what we wanted and Chris put in extra for us. Chris is an extremely professional guide and his knowledge is second to none. Chris is also a great and enthusiastic teacher. I really enjoyed the weekend, learnt new skills and I will be back again.
Contour Masterclass, October 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Chris has years of knowledge to impart. He has an easy going yet clear way of approaching the learning experience making absorption of new information quick and enjoyable. Thank you.
Climbing Wall Award training course, October 2016
Huge amount of knowledge from each instructor and very well presented. Chris was always checking the what he had said was understood and he has a very natural teaching ability. I really enjoyed the course. Hope to be booking the assessment in 6 months.
Rock climbing, September 2016
I'm not sure how many times I have been out with Chris but I have never had any reason (or heard anyone in my group give any reason) to consider going with a different provider. Chris managed to come up with a program that allowed everyone from the regular members of our party to a complete novice to be full involved for both days. Having climbed with Chris for many years and John for the last few years it still amazes me how professional and knowledgeable they both are. They also manage to be a friend, part of the group and in charge all at the same time. I'm already looking forward to next time. Richard Bryant
Chris and John still amaze me in that they still put up with us and our antics after all these years. Just when you think you can't, they encourage you to show that you can. After a long association with Chris we wouldn't use anyone else. Bradley Luff
In recent years the improvements made to the website and online information via Chris's blog help to whet our appetite for each year's excursion. Every time we come up to the Lakes Chris will come up with a new challenge for us, interspersed with the patented Chris Ensoll teaching skills on how to dynamically walk upright with purpose, etc. Chris exudes confidence and takes time to support those in the group who may need extra attention or support, he instinctively knows each person's strengths and weaknesses, constantly encouraging everyone. No one wants to let Chris down and therefore everyone achieves more than they initially thought they were capable of, which leads to an enormous sense of satisfaction and boost in self belief. Tony Robinson
Mountain Leader assessment course, September 2016
Anne is super-organised and her response time is great. Chris's approach works well for me. His attitude of every day is a learning experience inspires confidence and willingness to learn more. From the moment I booked I knew I was in good hands. Organised, friendly and welcoming! Both my training and assessment exceeded my expectations. Chris's wealth of knowledge and experience shows in every situation. My assessment had a relaxed atmosphere that allowed me to perform to a good standard. Thanks again for all of your help and support through training and assessment. I'll be back for more!
Mountain Leader training course, August 2016
Each day whilst on the course we received regular de-briefs and had the opportunity to ask questions and take notes about areas we had covered. Chris was very patient with each candidate and also took time to pass on his wide knowledge of the mountains, terrain, flora and fauna and other interesting and related information. Chris has a mind of knowledge and wisdom, overspilling with enthusiasm for his love of the mountains and everything around them, which actually rubbed off on all of us. Very professional indeed. Research was enough to convince me that Chris would be a brilliant guide, hence me wanting to do my assessment with him if this proves possible. Just had a great week and although I consider myself to be relatively experienced in the mountains, learnt so much from Chris and Esther.
Mountain Leader training course, August 2016
Chris took us beyond the syllabus where he felt that we would become better leaders if we did so - this is very much appreciated and led to a much more engaging experience. It was great not to have a box ticking exercise, and to have something that reflected the nature of the group. Chris is clearly a highly intelligent, knowledgable, and experienced instructor. His ability to engage with people is truly excellent - I am so glad that I chose to take this course with him. Esther was a superb additional trainer and complemented Chris well with her approach and knowledge..
Mountain Leader training course, August 2016
Thanks again for a fantastic 6 days in the fells on MLA training, I had a great time. I was both mentally and physically exhausted by the time I got home, but learnt loads! Your attention to detail and commitment to training us was much appreciated. I’ve hopefully taken on board all the advice and guidance you gave and plan to put into practise these new skills shortly. I very much look forward to the assessment in 2017.
Mountain Leader refresher day, July 2016
Anne was very helpful in finding a date that suited - it took some time but really happy with the day as it enabled me to go out and put into practice what I had learnt. Chris was very helpful in sharing his knowledge and happily answering any questions I asked. It was very useful him sharing insights and giving feedback. I find sometimes confidence a difficult thing with navigation, but felt like I was making progress toward the end of the day - with this I didn't feel pressured by Chris - this made it easier to learn and do some of the legs. Thanks for the spiritual conversation over the day, it's a great joy to share truths together and discuss things. Hopefully see you sometime in the future.
Intro to rock climbing, July 2016
We will definitely climb with Chris again in the future, he was just brilliant, very patient and challenged us on the rock.
Tariq Sheikh & Maya Sutedja
Multi-pitch rock climbing, July 2016
Not too much to say other than Chris did a great job (even though he was not feeling great on a couple of days). We packed lots in as we wanted to and a great mix of classic climbs, coaching and some nice harder climbs. We would be back next week if we could! Will see you again soon.
Tim & Kirsten Bishop
Multi-pitch rock climbing, July 2016
My first research was via the web, having no recent climbing club contacts to use and the web site is excellent. Lots of info and the subsequent e mail conversations were prompt and informative. I was after an independent guide as it fits our small local business ethos. I didn't look further than Chris and Anne, and probably never will. Chris listened to what we hoped to achieve (lots of classic rock up to VS standard, to get a feel of outdoor rock rather than indoor climbing wall problems). Chris's huge knowledge and competency as a guide was more or less expected, but turning this into a fast, no faffing approach to cover a lot of climbing in just one day was appreciated. Also, treating Lucy (12) as the real client with all the background advice was excellent.
Mark & Lucy Sainsbury
Personal Scrambling Skills workshop, June 2016
All enquiry emails were replied to promptly and with all the information required. The booking procedure was very simple and easy to use, with an extra date added in order to facilitate me doing the course which was very much appreciated. The day was very well structured, Chris had a very good plan and was gave a lot of very good instruction from the moment we started walking right until the end of the day. Chris was excellent, he really made me think about my movement when walking as well as when climbing. Every bit of information was pitched at the right time, making me think about the best way of operating when scrambling and why. I would now definitely use you for other courses in the future.
Single Pitch Award Refresher workshop, June 2016
I’m a fairly active MIC, what could I learn from a course labelled in this way? Was ‘SPA Refresher’ too humble a title? If so what heading might best capture the fresh, pragmatic and cutting edge nature of this session?… perhaps it needed to be renamed, 'Single Pitch Masterclass'. Chris delivered a great session that was packed with thought-provoking ideas and delivered in a dynamic style. Good enough to be a masterclass.
Navigation to the Next Level workshop, June 2016
Chris is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. He has a great way about him and got his points across clearly. I would strongly recommend Chris for any mountain activity especially his knowledge and ability to share skills.
Mountain Leader assessment, May 2016
Chris definitely put me at ease. I have wanted to do this assessment for so long that I had made myself really nervous. Chris was calm and knowledgeable and helped me feel like I could do it. All the way through he tested us whilst making the assessment enjoyable and memorable. He certainly has a gift for this and I was thrilled that I ended up doing MLA with him. Thank you so much for all of this "little things" that helped develop the big picture....and for putting up with us lot for a week!!
AMI Short Roping Two-Day Workshop, May 2016
I just wanted to say thanks ever so much for the great workshop. I really appreciated your generosity and understanding; I learnt loads and would love to do some more training with you in the future.
Mountain Leader training 2011, MLA assessment 2012, feedback received May 2016
Just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for planting the seeds of how to walk and move better particularly on broken ground on ML training and assessment. This week I've been working a group of mainly older retired people (one was 84!) who wanted to go up Scafell via Lord's Rake, a trip very very much on the top end of most people's confidence. Being able to model good movement on previous days and then coach them on how to move around on scree and broken ground turned what could of been an ordeal of a day for some into a challenging but enjoyable and rewarding one. Made me realise how grateful I am for someone showing me that and how cool it is when it goes full circle and get can pass it on so thank you!
Site-specific climbing wall training/assessment for scout leaders, April 2016
Enquiry & booking procedure very efficient and reliable. Chris as always delivered an exceptional programme of exactly what I needed in a no-nonsense, relaxed and fun way. Fantastic instruction - Chris is able to explain things in an easy to understand and encouraging way. I booked with Chris due to previous courses that were also excellent.
Guiding in the Lakes, April 2016
Also various other dates and locations
I have been guided by Chris Ensoll on many trips over the last 15 years and he is a fantastic Guide. Firstly, he is a great mountaineer, but more importantly he is always a great Guide; enthusiastic, patient, sensitive, helpful and flexible with your personal experience and achievements at heart. There is always an exciting sense of 'can do', no matter the personal or other challenge (including the recent April conditions in the Lakes during 'rock climbing' trip). Chris purposely stretches you to whatever limit you think you need (!) whilst always remaining entirely within his. This has made every one of our trips a fabulous personal and family experience - thank you. I would recommend him to anybody of every skill level and ability. With Chris the challenge easily becomes not, "Can I get up?" but, "When should I stop going up?"
Single Pitch Award training, October 2015, and SPA Assessment, April 2016
I really appreciated the emphasis on further learning as well as assessment. Normally, I really don't enjoy the pressure of assessments, but here, it was made as stress-free as possible.
Single Pitch Award assessment, April 2016
Although the course was initially booked up, I received an email saying the course had been extended to 8 people. All emailing back and forth was very friendly and professional, payment was very easy and other information was received in plenty of time. All aspects of the syllabus was covered in a very comfortable and relaxing way. I have known Chris for a little while now and despite knowing other providers, Chris seemed the best choice by far.
Single Pitch Award assessment, April 2016
I didn't just go through assessment, I almost feel I learnt more bonus material on assessment then I did on training with a different provider. This was the only course that fit in with my work schedule, I knew nothing of Chris before this course, it was a lucky chance and I will recommend to others.
Single Pitch Award training, April 2016
The booking and enquiry procedure was very efficient, especially since mine was at the last minute. I was very impressed. During the course, both Chris and Esther were always available to assist with any techniques and questions. I booked on a course with another provider that cancelled. I saw that there was still space on this course and Chris looked to be very knowledgeable (something that he proved throughout the course). Thank you for an excellent training and I went away knowing what I need to do before my assessment.
Rope Tricks & Rescues for SPA & Beyond workshop, 16th April 2016
Fantastic content, Chris asked at the start of the day what everyone would like to get out of the course, then delivered that content plus a lot more which was great, so far the best use of £50 to date!Just wow, Chris's wealth of experience is incredible and very inspiring to someone just starting out in the world of the outdoors. His teaching methods suited me very well. I had been recommended by my manager at work who is friends with Chris, I had heard he is the best in the Lakes!
Mountain Leader reassessment day at 1:1, March 2016
Booking was easy with full discussion of my needs, and backed up with informative emails. The area used, timing and distance covered was just right with all of the key features that were needed. Plenty of stops for discussion and Chris's helpful input. Chris was friendly and informative and gave lots of positive reinforcement and additional input. Thank you for your help and a very informative and enjoyable day.
Ski guiding at Chamonix, December 2015 (and several previous occasions at Chamonix and Bourg d'Oisans)
Despite the snow conditions being the worst we have experienced in a very long time we had a great week. Without Chris the week would have been a disaster as we would have got bored very quickly. Instead, Chris worked hard to come up with a programme that kept us all engaged and in a world of grass and rock still led us to some great pockets of fresh snow. Chris is a great companion and mentor in the mountains. We have all seen our skiing improve over the years (even the older ones) thanks to helpful tips and encouraging hints on technique. With Chris you don't just get a guide but some tailor made tuition on the go. It's great how he spots the subtle adjustments that an individual in the group needs to make, and encourages consistent application. Having skied with Chris over a number of years now we have every confidence in his judgment when he takes our mixed ability family group into the mountains. It has been a joy to see the children in particular develop into competent skiers who are comfortable in the big mountain environment thanks to the caring expertise of Chris and his infectious enthusiasm. If you are looking for back country adventure whether that is ski touring or off piste skiing you cannot be in safer more experienced hands.
The Rees family: Tim, Lynne, Elis, Aran & Cesia
Private Guiding, April, September & December 2015
A really useful several days of private guiding. We came away with new ideas and skills on the mountains, at a climbing wall and rock climbing. Chris is a most patient and knowledgeable guide - being a International Mountain Guide he is the most qualified of all mountain professionals, just check out his CV. There are very few people with this qualification in the UK so we felt assured that our tuition would be to the highest standard and it was. We look forward to completing our NGB qualifications with Chris.
Coaching Movement in the Mountains workshop, October 2015
From the title “Coaching Movement in the Mountains” I did not know what to expect from this CPD event and it began a little strangely when Chris asked us to analyse how we walk normally (i.e. on the flat). However, things soon started to make sense as we got onto steeper ground, and then onto boulder hopping and scrambling. It became clear that when the ground got steeper or more difficult or where the consequences of falling were more serious, I unconsciously changed my stance, posture and technique for the worse and unwittingly made life much more difficult for myself. Chris introduced various concepts such as dynamic balance which made it much easier to travel over steeper ground more quickly, using less energy and with a lower likelihood of slipping. For the descent, most importantly for me, we looked at how to reduce stress on the knees. I have been a DofE Leader for nearly 10 years and I think this CPD day was very useful not only for me as an individual but for anyone who wants to pass on a love of walking and scrambling in the hills to others. I now have a lot to work on and I only wish the course had been longer than just one day.
Personal Scrambling Skills workshop, September 2015
I very much want to thank Chris for an excellent workshop. Certainly the weather gave us a splendid day. However, it was Chris's excellent guidance, clarity of delivery and fresh ideas that really made the day. The ideas on gauging the ability of an individual early on in a venture is obvious, but the methods Chris offered were useful, applicable and realistic. I was also very impressed by Chris's questioning attitude. Effectively evaluating what we do in leading in the mountains is essential if we are to ensure that clients are challenged and enjoy themselves. The manner in which I look at walking and the process of doing it will never be the same again and I hope to be able to spend more time in Chris's company in the future as I know I will learn a huge amount. Many thanks and very best wishes.
Mountain Leader training, June 2015
Chris is awesome!
Single Pitch Award assessment, November 2014
More than I could possibly have anticipated. I came away learning so much and realising I knew so little. Fantastic instruction over a wealth of topics not just specifically related to the SPA. Chris gave his time and experience very generously and freely, far more than I feel was required by the assessment. A fantastic two days which feels like a weeks worth of activity. That has to be good value. Chris's knowledge and experience was exceptional and his generosity with it was inspiring. The assessment was far beyond any expectation I had. Brilliant.
Mountain Leader assessment, June 2014
I had a fantastic week. I learnt loads and had a really enjoyable time. Chris and Jon were always happy to help and answer questions, I think it is brilliant how Chris takes you from whatever stage you are at and pushes you up a notch! Thanks for sorting all the office and admin side out so brilliantly Anne! Made the "scary" ML Assessment an absolute pleasure!
Rock climbing in the Lake District, April 2014
Thank you for a wonderful and enlightening experience. We both got so much to take away from it and really enjoyed the day throughout. We spent the evening recalling parts of the day and feeling a different kind of tiredness, very full. Leon was struck by your kindness and I think for him it was a truly positive and spiritual encounter.
Terry O,Connor, with 14-year-old son Leon
Mountain Leader training, October 2012
Course was fab. Exceeded my expectations. Experience of instructors was invaluable. Thank you.
Mountain Leader assessment, 2012
When talking to others (who went to different providers) about assessment prior to course, the general consensus was that it was one of the worst/most stressful weeks of their lives. I could not have had a more different experience. I found I was pushed and assessed at a very high standard, however there was no unnecessary pressure put on me and I found the whole week very enjoyable and incredibly inspiring. I think pass or fail I couldn’t have come away without being more confident and enthused. Looking back on this course it didn’t feel like a pressure-fuelled assessment, it felt much more like an enjoyable, inspiring week in the mountains with friends. I couldn’t recommend Chris and his team highly enough.
Mountain Leader training June 2011 & MLA assessment October 2011
The week was one of incredible highs and lows and with an intensity that kept the adrenaline high all week. I can honestly say that the training and the assessment weeks were without doubt the most powerful two weeks of training and personal development that I have experienced in over 30 years of working with many of the top worldwide organisations in the global automotive industry. The level of knowledge, understanding, support and challenge from the trainers made me want to achieve the ML award even more than I did originally. You have all helped me become a more proficient mountain leader and have facilitated me in learning new skills, and then using them in the hills in a safe, dynamic way.
Mountain Leader assessment, June 2011
Learned as much on assessment as on training, if not more.
Single Pitch Award training, April 2010
Definitely looking at coming back and hiring Chris for other courses.
Mountain Leader training, February 2010
All of the instructors have been exceptional. It was a really enjoyable relaxed atmosphere. Just enough info was given along the way without info overload.
Mountain Leader assessment, February 2010
Thoroughly enjoyed the training last year and couldn’t think of anyone I would rather do the assessment with.
Alpine mountaineering, July 2009
I recommend Chris Ensoll very strongly: he’s totally unpretentious, friendly, genuine, enthusiastic, teaches you a lot, and goes out of his way to give you a good day.
Professor Stephen Law
Mountain Leader assessment, May 2009
Has been a pleasure & a privilege to spend a week in the company of two people with such passion and who are so willing to share it with others so generously. Inspiring…
Mountain Leader assessment, May 2009
Outstanding. Two vastly experienced but humble trainers. Great chat and banter. Lots of really helpful advice. Progression was spot on.
Single Pitch Award training, May 2009
Thanks again for an unforgettable couple of days - taken in so much, learned loads and had fun to boot.
Single Pitch Award training, May 2009
A big thank you for the SPA training. I will certainly come to you for an assessment - you can bank on excellent recommendations from me!
Rock climbing, ice climbing, Scottish winters, Alpine mountaineering, various dates
Chris has worked with us on a number of school trips and each time he has been fantastic. He has inspired the boys with his unique enthusiasm, whether climbing classic rock in the lakes, icefalls in Norway, winter routes in Scotland or 4,000m mountains in the Alps. Consequently, we have all been amazed by the quality and difficulty of the routes that have been climbed. Whatever the conditions, Chris has found an unforgettable challenge that has been perfectly suited to the group. We will undoubtedly be signing up for more adventures with him again soon.
Alex Brighton, Oundle School