Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Watch out hills... I come!

I'm super excited about doing my mountain leader training with Stuart Johnston Mountaineering next week. It's up in Scotland for a whole week of navigation, rope work, emergency procedures, weather, expedition skills, group management and environmental awareness training. Check out the course here.

The skill that scares me most is navigating in featureless terrain, or in mist.

Other scary aspects are being wet, cold, tired and hungry and still in charge of where to go.

The skill I'm most looking forward to is learning how to lead people on the hill.

I'm also really keen to meet the 5 other people on my course who will be on my wavelength.

Is anyone else thinking about doing their ML, are you working towards your assessment of have you passed?

I'll be writing a blog on this soon, so any advice, questions or feedback from you guys would be fantastic.

I'll be interviewing Stuart and the other candidates, so if you post your questions here I'll do my best to get them answered.



  1. Good luck Claire. This time last year I did my ML training with Stuart and Alex, had a great time, learnt loads about the mountains and met some wonderful people. Its a great time of year for the spring scottish flowers particularly on the slopes of Ben Lawers.
    We agreed that the SMT book, Hostile Habitats, gave us a great background, so most of us went to the Watermill in Aberfeldy to buy our own copy. They also serve great coffee as well.

    I am busy accumulating my QMD's - nearly there, but need some more Wild Camping.

    Enjoy the river crossing, its the wettest you will ever get, and hope the weather stays fine.

  2. Experience being a vital aspect, I'm was surprised that the requisite minimum number of 'Quality Mountain Days' is as low as 20 (or 40 for an assessment). I spent longer than that on map reading and featureless navigation in mist (on e.g. Kinder and Bleaklow), and far more still in the mountains on other skills before I considered myself even competent. I suppose on reflection, if all those days were intensively spent gaining real experience in a variety of terrain, weather and seasons specifically with a view to a future ML, then it would amount to more than it seems on paper.

  3. Cheers Tony, I'm finding it hard to fit the practice in from way down South in Peterborough. Do you have any tips for the best way to get plenty more QMD's?

  4. Cheers Tony that's good to hear, that book is excellent we have it here in the office.
    I'm having trouble accumulating QMDs, any tips on how to get out more often?