Mountain Leader

The Mountain Leader (ML) scheme is a national qualification administered by Mountain Training, providing a level of basic competence for those who are in a position of responsibility in mountainous terrain in summer conditions in the UK. It focuses on good practice which allows safe enjoyment of mountain walking, and it is valid throughout the UK and Ireland. Chris is approved by Mountain Training as a course provider for the Mountain Leader scheme.

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There are a huge number of Mountain Leader courses throughout Britain, so why should you book with us?

  1. We present the course syllabus in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, with the emphasis on interactive learning to encourage you to ask questions and get the most out of your time with us. 
  2. We view the assessment course as an opportunity for extending your learning and competence. 
  3. We offer discounts to returning clients: 5% off to any candidate who has previously done an SPA or ML course with us. 
  4. Our clients think we do a great job! Check out some of their comments on the Client Testimonials page

Pre-Requisites for the ML Scheme

Before booking a place on a training or assessment course, please download and read our detailed course notes to ensure you meet the minimum requirements:

Mountain Leader course notes

Useful Blog Posts

You might find the following blog posts useful for information on topics relating to Mountain Leader courses
Four Happy Campers
A creative course summary from our MLA assessment candidates
My Top 10 Tips for Wild Camping
My top 5 favourite gluten-free dairy-free expo foods
How to Navigate Like a Pro
7 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Time In The Mountains
Beef Stew & Camp Meals vs Dog Food: Surprising Results
Confused? You’re Not Alone
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable in 2017
What Should You Expect On Your Mountain Leader Training Course?
Do You Recognise The 10 Early Warning Signs Of Hypothermia?
Why do some mountaineers end the day with energy to spare?
Why Do Hill Walkers and Mountaineers Need Movement Coaching?
So What Do You Actually Do On A Mountain Leader Steep Ground Masterclass?
Top Tips for Progressing from Mountain Leader to Mountain Instructor
7 Top Tips For Rock Climbers & Mountaineers
7 More Top Tips For Rock Climbers & Mountaineers

Syllabus for Training and Assessment Courses

Training and assessment courses cover the following areas:

  • group management and the responsibilities of the group leader
  • navigation
  • access and the environment
  • hazards and emergency procedures
  • equipment
  • expedition skills
  • weather

Course Dates

Dates for all our courses and guiding are listed on the calendar

Training courses are six full days, assessment courses are five full days. If you have a group of 4 or more for training or assessment, we provide a bespoke course on a date to suit you.

Fees 2018

Non-residential course cost (you arrange your own accommodation): £380
We occasionally offer a residential option, where we book self-catering accommodation for you: £460
5% off to any candidate who has previously done an MLA, LLA or SPA course with us.

Accommodation and Venues

Our ML courses are run in the mountains of the Langdale and Coniston areas of the Lake District, so bear this in mind if you are booking accommodation. Our choice of venue for each day varies with each course, depending on the weather conditions and the participants.

When we are able to offer a residential option, self-catering accommodation is included for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights for training courses, and Monday and Tuesday nights for assessment courses. The second half of all courses is a three-day two-night expo in the mountains. If you would like to arrive earlier, or stay on after the course has finished, extra nights may be available at the course venue, or at other venues in the Lakes. 

Info and ideas for accommodation can be downloaded here:

Lake District travel and accommodation

 We can also provide courses in other parts of the country on request.

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Standard Training Course Programme

Day 1: Mountain DayMeet 9.30am at pre-arranged location for course intro. General navigation; group leadership; route selection. Evening seminar: mountain weather
Day 2: Intro to rope techniques. Route choices on steep ground; appropriate rope work. Evening seminar: access & conservation
Day 3: River crossing and emergency procedures. Evening: expo prep.
Day 4: Pack up and leave the valley accommodation. Expedition day one: route planning; navigation; equipment management; poor visibility navigation. Overnight camp.
Day 5: Expedition day two: mountaincraft; emergency procedures; personal competence; poor visibility navigation. Overnight camp.
Day 6: Expedition day three: return; expedition debrief; course debrief and action planning for assessment. Finish mid-afternoon.

Standard Assessment Course Programme

Day 1: Mountain DayMeet 9.30am at pre-arranged location for course intro. General navigation; group leadership; route selection. Evening question paper
Day 2: Intro to rope techniquesRoute choice on steep ground; appropriate rope work. Evening question paper and expo prep.
Day 3: Pack up and leave the valley accommodation. Expedition day one: route planning; navigation; equipment management; poor visibility navigation. Overnight camp.
Day 4: Expedition day two: mountaincraft; emergency procedures; personal competence; poor visibility navigation. Overnight camp.
Day 5: Expedition day three: return; expedition debrief; course debrief and personal interviews. Finish mid-afternoon.

Equipment

A detailed equipment list can be downloaded here

Relevant blog post: Mountaineering boots: La Sportiva Trango S Evo

Transport

You may be asked to use your car during the course to travel the short distances to the training venues each day. If you would like to travel to the Lakes by train, we may be able to pick you up from Windermere railway station

Preparation

Hillwalking by Steve Long, and Mountaincraft & Leadership by Eric Langmuir would be useful pre-course reading

Refreshers

If you need a review before undertaking your assesment, there are three options:

  • as part of a scheduled training or assessment course: £85 per day for one or two days; £75 per day for three or four days, £375 for the full course. See above for the course programmes.
  • join us for one of our skills workshops - the Contour Masterclass and the Mountain Leader Ropework Masterclass are perfect for ML refreshers
  • private guiding, max ratio 1:6: see Guiding in the Lakes page.

Interested? Please call for a chat on 07775 630 488

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