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Thread: Wannabe mountain leader

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch IanG's Avatar
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    Having done a fair amount of hill walking I'm now at the stage where I feel I should be more skilled in mountain leadership.

    I want these skills as I feel they are essential if I am to be less reliant on others who have the skills.

    What's the best way to get them?


  2. #2
    Goon paddy's Avatar
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    Ian, CHECK OUT MLTB.ORG

  3. #3
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Ian,
    it depends if you want the skills to lead groups of kids or just to be more confident yourself.
    If it is the later, I recommend hiring a guide to train you. I can recommend one I have used, called Iain Gallagher. Email me if you want his details.
    If it is to lead groups then definitely visit the site above.

  4. #4
    Initiate Richard Kermode's Avatar
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    It's now at this site I think guys:

    MLTUK

    Even if you only do the ML training I think it can be very benefitial to your skills, there is no need to do the assessment if you don't want to, but it is great fun!!

  5. #5
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    Having just done ML training on Arran I would endorse Richard's comments - I don't think I'm too bad at navigating etc but the course takes it to another level. And as Richard says it is great fun.

  6. #6
    Goon Giles Thurston's Avatar
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    I'd concur with both Richard and Steve in recommending the ML Training. No matter how good you think you are, you're bound to learn something and as Steve says, the level of navigation you'll be taught is more detailed than you'll have previously used.

    Plus its a good laugh, I met some of my best friends while on both the training and assessment weeks!

  7. #7
    Goon Giles Thurston's Avatar
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    Oh and if your main interest is in improving your navigation you could consider doing the new(ish) Walking Group Leader training which covers the same level of navigation as ML. The training courses are only three days (I think) and as a result cheaper.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch IanG's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info so far everyone, I'll checkout the links.

    I always walk with a friend and we have similar skills. ie reasonable fitness levels, play it safe and a know when there's too much risk involved.

    I have reasonable map reading skills on 1:25000 and know about magnetic, true and map north but no experience of putting this knowledge to the test. Consequently I want to learn the skills before I find I need them in the face of a whiteout. I've only been close to this once and felt I managed pretty well, but it was enough of a wake-up call.

    At present I have no intention of leading others into trouble so I just want to be less of a liability to myself and others. I do eventually want to do assessments, but one thing at a time.

    My first goal is to get myself proficient enough to assist other MLs with groups. I feel it's necessary to get miles under the feet in more expereinced company before being responsible others lives.

    I should point out I've told myself this. "The day you find you're looking at ropes, crampons or an ice axe, reassess whether you want to get this serious." I've not reached that day yet but I know I'm heading in that direction.

    Giles: How does the Walking Group Leader Training compare to Mountain leader Training?

  9. #9
    Initiate Richard Kermode's Avatar
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    The link I posted before has information on all the Outdoors Walking / Climbing qualifications and what is involved, but I think the difference is that you cannot go above a certain height or something with the WGL, or at least there are limitations on the terrain you can cover with it.

    Check the website, that should answer most questions mate.

  10. #10
    Goon Giles Thurston's Avatar
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    Ian, I've never actually done the WGL training, only the assessment when required by local LEA to get a "piece of paper" at very short notice (2 weeks) for use with DofE groups. Until then my ML training had been enough - I have since done my ML assessment, so hopefully can speak about both.

    The navigation element of the ML & WGL are to all intense and purposes identical. As Richard said, the only difference is the type of are you can use the qualification. The exact specification as per the MLTUK is:

    open, uncultivated, non-mountainous high or remote country known variously as upland, moor, bog, fell, hill or down
    areas enclosed by well-defined geographical or man-made boundaries such as classified roads (areas that merge with mountain regions and do not have well defined boundaries are excluded)
    areas of remoteness that are easily exited in a few hours, returning to a refuge or an accessible road
    areas where movement on steep or rocky terrain is not required (in either a planned or unplanned situation)

    Full details of the syllabus can be found here

    ML will obviously take you into more mountainous terrain and will introduce techniques such as the basic use of a rope to secure movement over steep ground. This is all good stuff but as I said previously, if its the navigation you want to improve then WGL will give you all that.

    Hope that helps?

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Ian Brookes's Avatar
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    Must promise myself to do my ML assessment next year.

    I'll just echo what others have said that the ML Award is great fun and you learn loads. You also get to meet other like minded people with all manner of skill levels. We had two very fit Alpine Guides on our course who just needed the paperwork, yikes!

    But what it also did do was to demonstrate how serious the Award is and how precise you need to be. It helped me quite a lot on Ben Nevis last week I can tell you!

    Practice your navigation and then practice it again and again. Did I mention navigation...?

  12. #12
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    You forgot to mention night navigation! Now that is fun!

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch IanG's Avatar
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    I've experienced night nav earlier in the year. It would have been fun had we not got 18 hours behind us and just wanted to get off Drum and down to Bwlch Y Ddeufaen.

    As it turned out I was on auto-pilot just letting the ML's direct us. This was the first time I realised I needed better skills.

    The most night nav I usually do is the 11:30pm hike whilst carrying too much beer.

  14. #14
    Goon Giles Thurston's Avatar
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    The best kind of night nav and a dam site less stressful than the ML kind!

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