Your Mountain Training Stories

MT 200 Mountain Training celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary in 2014 and since then we've been celebrating your experiences!

Over 143,000 people have registered for an award since 1964. Find out what some of them think of their journey in their own words.

(The stories scroll through every 5 seconds. To pause the scroll and read a story, just move your cursor over the story.)

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My Mountain Training Story :

Gary Brown

My first visit to snowdonia was when I was 13 in 1987, I was in the army cadets and had an amazing time even though I was waist deep in snow most of the time. However this shaped my future! ,as I went on to serve for 6years in the Royal Green Jackets ,where I visited snowdonia and cadair idris a few more times . I also visited Scotland and Norway several times where I took part in several survival exercises and training in mountain environments. After leaving the army in 1996, I embarked on several different careers in the building trade including ground work and plastering Then in 2007 I had a massive change of career and joined the Royal Marine Commandos, where I rediscovered working in the mountains again!!!!. . I did 2 operational tours of helmand province of Afghanistan ,I conducted several mountain training packages in Scotland in the Cairngorms and grampian mountain in winter. I also trained as a operational tracking instructor and ground sign instructor in Brunei. I have trained foreign military's in jordan, ghana, nigeria, senegal, and worked alongside our american marine brothers. I now live in north wales near pwllheli with my fiancee Sarah, we have lived here for 2 years .and we both enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. I will be leaving the Royal Marines this November after 11 years and im now working towards earning my mountain leader summer qualification and conducting a survival instructor course, and I would love to be able to pass on my knowledge to others as you are aklways learning every time you go into the mountains. Gaz Brown

My Mountain Training Story :

Nick Williams

My experiences in the hills span 30 years as a walker, climber and practitioner of other adventure sports in a worldwide context. I've written lots about the mountains and this includes seven guidebooks to Scotland. Since 2008, I've had my ML and guided groups of adults and children, mostly in the Highlands. My background gives me and my clients confidence that I can give them a safe and rewarding experience.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alex Caraher

I originally got into walking through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, off the recommendation (and dare I say it, peer pressure), of a mate. Upon Completing my first 2 Day Expedition, I was ready to quit and never return to the outdoors again! However, something inside told me to push on, and low and behold, on completion of my second 2 day expedition, I decided the outdoors was the only place I really wanted to be! After completing my Bronze award, I moved onto my Silver award and saw different areas of the country, which started my hunger for even more! Silver Awards swiftly moved to Gold, and whilst completing this award, I was invited to St James' Palace to share my experiences. I happened to mention that I wished to further and continue my love of walking in the outdoors, as well as encourage other young people to sample the same experiences. Fortunately, it would appear that I was in the right place at the right time, and a very kind gentleman (to whom I am VERY grateful), offered to sponsor myself in completing my Basic Expedition Leader Award. Completion of this award gave me an even greater insight into the more technical aspects of walking, as well as building my confidence in leading small groups of people. Nearly 3 years on from completing this award, and after many sessions of leading groups, I am now striving to complete my Hill and Moorland Leader Accreditation - something which has so far proved to be extremely interesting, and widened my views and understanding of teh finer aspects of walking in more remote areas.

My Mountain Training Story :

Tom Fallon

My story in the Outdoors started with the Scout association, Starting at beavers with my 1st night away from home, progressing through to Explorers going on International Jamborees. I signed up to a 2 year Outdoor Adventure course with Plumpton College, this was where I found my love for Kayaking, Canoeing, Climbing, Mountain Biking and Hiking. After i finished my two years at college I got a job with PGL as an Activity Instructor, I spent most my time running Canoeing, Abseiling and High Ropes sessions, amongst other sessions. When my season finished a job opened up as a Watersports Instructor for Buzz Active, an Outdoor Activity Provider in East Sussex. I got the job and i'm now in my second year, as an Activity Instructor, running the DofE Programme, Kayak/Canoe/Raft Build Sessions, Navigation exercises, Archery and Climbing sessions. I Love every second of it :)

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Coleman

Currently logging quality hill days before taking Hill & Moorland leader assessment. Wanting to develop skills to help in my role at school leading DofE. Enjoying learning by making mistakes and getting great sense of achievement when getting things right!

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Lee

Growing up in Highland Perthshire I have always appreciated the outdoor. I have worked as a tour guide in Scotland for many years. I now work in education and I am working towards gaining the Lowland Leader Award. This will give me the opportunity to share my passion for Scotland, the outdoors and walking with others.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Reid

First fell in love with the Yorkshire Dales landscapes when I was 16. Inspired me to go to Lancaster University where I got a 2:1 in Geography. Worked for various breweries from 1990 till 1997 as an area manager, then gave up my job to write walking books about the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Peak District, Northumblernad and North York Moors. I've written 17 walking guidebooks. In 2007 I decided to diversify and undertook my Walking Group Leader award, followed by my Mountain Leader (summer) in 2011. Since 2007 I have taken over 6,500 people out walking in the North of England, from map reading courses to wild camping, Yorkshire Three Peaks and corporate team events. I love to share my passion, experience and knowledge with people. Since 1997 I have also walked over 16,500 miles of paths, and counting...

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephanie Jones

i have no climbing awards yet, but i aspire to i am a caving instructor CIC wanting to expand my experience within different areas of height based and vertical based rope skills, adding climbing qualifications to go alongside my caving qualifications would be a true credit to my knowledge of outdoor pursuits, climbing and caving mean the world to me more than words can describe, getting climbing qualifications will allow me to pass on my knowledge of climbing to younger generations to come,

My Mountain Training Story :

Katie Harris

I've been active in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. My parents took me walking and canoeing from a young age. I worked in Outdoor Education for 12 years. I started part time during my degree (in Geography) then full time after that, with a career move, doing a PGCE leaving my trapped in a classroom teaching humanities for 4 years, during this time I worked on my escape plan (qualifications) to get back into the outdoors. I went back as a full time instructor and freelanced for many different providers. I joined my local Mountain Rescue Team 3 years ago and have recently made a career change into the Ambulance Service to train as a Paramedic. I have spent a lot of time in the mountains. Cumulatively I've spent about 18 months in a tent, half of it wild camping. I've done most of my climbing and scrambing in the Lake District and Snowdonia. I've done Via Ferratta in Italy, France and Slovakia. I've been on expeditions in the UK, canoe camped in Scotland and on expeditions to more remote places in Arctic Norway and Baffin Island. In 2014 I did the Conville Course in the Alps which opened the door to more adventures. I love the mountains whether it is a sunny day in the Lake District and having the satisfaction of planning a route on a Bank Holiday which means you meet no people, or a wild winter day on a Scottish Mountain, starting in the dark, finishing in the dark, navigating in a white out and being fully immersed in the beauty and challenge of the hills. Since 'leaving' the outdoors as a job I work with DofE kids and also teach/assess navigation to the rescue team.

My Mountain Training Story :

James White

Hi, I am an Instructor with the Air Cadets 868 (Mirfield) Squadron, i use my qualifications to plan and deliver National Navigation courses and run Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Other Qualifications BELA (Basic Expedition Leader Award), DofE Assessor (Bronze, Silver and Gold) GNAS Archery GB Instructor Award

My Mountain Training Story :

Gwilym Starks

Whilst a teenager I was introduced to the “outdoors” by being in the Scouts. I enjoyed rock climbing and walking along with many other activities such as kayaking and mountain biking. As a Uni student I was offered the opportunity to undertake SPA Training and then ML Training. Whilst still at Uni I took the SPA assessment and then promptly started a career as a Police Officer which kept me busy. I managed to get out on days off but shifts made it difficult. In 2005 I finally managed to get round to doing ML Assessment and started to see this as a possible way out. In 2007 I finally left the Police and worked at a FE College teaching Outdoor Education. Since then I have achieved WML and MIA. I hope to pass the MIC soon and I have registered for the IML to keep me busy. I now enjoy working on NNAS, LL, HML, SPA, ML and WML courses. Many thanks to Andy Holborn MIA and Steve Spalding MIC for their help along the way

My Mountain Training Story :

Hamish Forbes

Born in South Africa in 1971, I spent most of my childhood doing out door activities, biking, hiking and shooting mostly. I spent most of my school holidays with my uncle who is a game ranger, and as such did hiking in the Natal game reserves. I learned and enjoyed hiking, tracking, hence patrol and Lion calling. Ive enjoyed climbing Table Mountain and many coastal walks and hikes around the Western Cape. Since moving to England in 2003 I have not spent as much time out doors as I would like, but have enjoyed "small" walks around Oxfordshire and a few coastal walks with the family. Since getting involved with the ATC I have got involved with he Done program and the AT and shooting sides of the organisation and am looking to qualify to help young people enjoy the outdoors as much as I have.

My Mountain Training Story :

Juliet Hepburn

I love climbing!

My Mountain Training Story :

Chris Carroll

Adventure and goodtimes \m/

My Mountain Training Story :

Owain Masters

Regular walker as part of a group in the South Downs National Park but also lead coastal walks as part of my job in nature conservation

My Mountain Training Story :

Michelle Stewardson

First experienced SUP in 2009 whilst in Cornwall. Returning home to the IOM purchased a Red Isup and set about teaching myself SUP. Whilst doing this I ran a PADI scuba diving school as I am also a PADI Staff Instructor, Swift Water Rescue Technician, Flood water boat operator as part of my role in the RNLI's National Flood Response Team. I am a member of the local lifeboat crew with roles ranging from shore, boat crew, navigator to emergency mechanic. Living on the IOM I am surrounded by water and try to spend as much time on it or under it, this is one of the reasons why in 2016 I undertook my SUP foundation course and set up SALTWORKS SUP, the IOM's first sup school.

My Mountain Training Story :

Kim Bonner

I'm a lover of walking, hiking, camping & exploring new places & just being outdoors although I don't get out as much as I'd like to due to the day job. In my spare time I volunteer for Hampshire Search & Rescue part of ALSAR and recently I've also taken up climbing as a new challenge. Skills wise I have completed NNAS silver course REC2 first aid course Experience wise I have lowland, moorland & mountain day & multi day trips with wild camping overnight plus a few Spanish mountains. These have taken place in Dartmoor, Brecon Beacons, snowdonia, Lake District, Scotland and the Canary Islands. Most of these trips are logged on an app called Endomondo or ViewRanger more recently. I plan to gain more knowledge/skills and I'd love to be able to turn my skills into a new Career working outdoors, but not sure how just yet.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ronan O'Neill

Started climbing just over two years ago when I joined the universities Mountaineering club, since then I have came a long way. Spent the first few months of my climbing journey bouldering inside, then started to top rope climbs indoors and a few top rope climbs outdoors. Now I confidently lead climbs indoor for the fun and try to push my grade to a higher standard. Last year I identified that I had a lack of experience leading trad routes, as a result I have spent the past months leading trad routes in Scotland and Ireland. I now feel quite confident leading lower graded trad routes, although I believe soon enough I will be able to push my grade higher. I also feel a lot more confident than last year in terms of setting up anchors for top or bottom rope belays. I was elected last year as chairperson for my universities mountaineering club and I have now gained my CWA (Climbing Wall Award). I will also be attending my SPA (Single Pitch Award) training very soon with the intention of achieving my SPA by the end of the year. Through my university I was required to gain a years work experience that relates to sport or physical activity. As a result I have chosen to work at Greenhill YMCA National Outdoor Centre, which offers basic, introductory courses from archery to climbing at our climbing tower. Working at Greenhill has helped to improve my trad climbing as I now live next to the Mourne mountains which has great trad climbing. Working at Greenhill has also helped improve my group management and communication skills greatly, both are vital when instructing outdoor activities. Recently a work colleague and friend Mike Smith asked me to help out at his weekly climbing class located at Tollymore Adventure Centre. As a result I am keeping my climbing skills fresh, my knowledge of the equipment fresh and learning new tips on how to generally climb more efficiently.

My Mountain Training Story :

Lloyd Lester

I began late aged 44 when I started climbing in 2014 to meet new people and to get fit. I spent most of the 1st year or so bouldering but got up the courage to join my local club the Herts and Essex climbing club and I've not looked back. They have introduced me to a whole new world of limestone sea cliffs, sandstone and grit and I'm now totally addicted to anything I can climb. My indoor climbing grades have sored in the last year or so from 5a to now topping some 6c's on a very good day but average 6a-6B regularly on top rope and 5c+ - 6a on leed but have led a couple of 6B's when I get the courage up on a good day :-) Bouldering varies but comfortable on V2-V3 topping some V4 plus on a good day. I especially like technical routes.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Reid

First fell in love with the Yorkshire Dales landscapes when I was 16. Inspired me to go to Lancaster University where I got a 2:1 in Geography. Worked for various breweries from 1990 till 1997 as an area manager, then gave up my job to write walking books about the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Peak District, Northumblernad and North York Moors. I've written 17 walking guidebooks. In 2007 I decided to diversify and undertook my Walking Group Leader award, followed by my Mountain Leader (summer) in 2011. Since 2007 I have taken over 6,500 people out walking in the North of England, from map reading courses to wild camping, Yorkshire Three Peaks and corporate team events. I love to share my passion, experience and knowledge with people. Since 1997 I have also walked over 16,500 miles of paths, and counting...

My Mountain Training Story :

Michael Slattery

started climbing indoors, loved the movement, tried trad outdoors, sport climbing in Kalymnos, bouldering and deepwater solo climbing in Thailand so far. grades are a useful indicator but getting immersed in the moment is my goal.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Golder

I started climbing at the UEA Norwich in the Autumn of 2015, after i had finished my green card i then went to HighBall Norwich, where i first started Bouldering. I have decided to become a coach even though i have only been climbing for a short while. I am however a 16 year old college student so the courses are very limited. I am in the process of completing all the BMC FUNdamentals (all of them), followed by the Foundation training, It should all be completed by March/ April. I can do the assessment when i am 17 so I will book it in for as near to June 18th as possible. This year I hope to have completed all my training for climbing coach (age restrictions permitting), my BCU Level 2 Kayaking and my MIAS level 1 and 2. I have now been designing my website and I will be starting a Blog soon. The site is www.youclimb.rocks, so any help and support would be much appreciated.( I'm not working so I am only after interesting articles, Photos and life experiences. As another goal of mine this year is to take part in more competitions to get my name out there it would be great if i managed to get a sponsor to ease some of the financial burden on my Dad. I'm not quite TEAM GB but I think if I continue to progress like I have over the past 12 months Matt Cousins and Louis Parkinson might need to move over...

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Tarran

I have been trekking in the Mountains since the 1970s, starting in Scouting with numerous Lyke Wake Walks and Challenge Hikes in Parkas and Jeans over heavy wet bog laden moorland in the N. Yorks Moors, Peak District and Lake District. I trekked the full length of the Outer Hebrides with a school mate aged 16. Went to Ridgeway's Ardmore in 1973 aged 14. In 2001 I took the role of Deputy Expedition Leader for Prince William's Raleigh International Expedition in southern Chilean Patagonia. I was inspired by the Mountain Leaders (including Al Halewood) to return to the UK and qualify as an ML which I did in 2002. Since then I have led numerous World Challenge personal development treks around the world, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Peru, Iceland, Indian Himalayas and Morocco. South America is probably my area of greatest knowledge having spent over 18 months there in one go and driven both way along the Andes from Ecuador to the southern tip, allowing exploration of plenty of remote areas along the way. Way back in 1994 I spent a month in the western Nepalese Himalayas surveying and designing gravity feed fresh water systems for 3 villages with no fresh water. This involved trekking large distances between villages along remote tracks. Since becoming an MLS I have led dozens of NNAS navigation (Bronze, Silver and Gold) training weekends largely in my native Swaledale (Yorkshires Dales), as well as Walking weekends. I am a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Assessor and an Accredited Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (APIOL). I then set up my own adult trekking company Morocco Guides and take at least 2 treks a year to the Toubkal area. I am also an Executive Coach and Master NLP Practitioner. The combined skills of MLS and Coach are used taking senior executives from SME's and Blue Chip companies into the outdoors as a personal and team development experience. Recent corporate clients have been taken out in the North of England National Parks and The Pyrenees.

My Mountain Training Story :

phillip pullen

Air Training corps- 1996-2000- rock climbing course Capel Curig 1998/Lake Dis 1997/ Mid wales 1996/ Nijmegen Marches (1999). Army College Harrogate 2000-01- Adventure training-Rock climbing/Hill walking- Yorkshire dales. British Army- Parachute Regiment 2000-2006- Harrogate/Catterick/Edinburgh/Highlands/Germany/Cypress/Middle east/. Junior Commanders Battle course 2005 (Sennybridge-Wales). International Trekking in Australia 2006. Fitness/Sports Professional 2007-2011 (World wide) Foundation sports and Nutrition degree. Lead Climber (Arboriculture) 2011-2013 (Merristwood college Surrey). Technical Rescue (Rope & Confined space) operator 2013-2014 (Specialist Group Intl) Technical Rescue Supervisor 2015+(Polarm Intl) My passion for adventure and persistence in perfection has driven me to achieve and large Varity for climbing/Rescue qualifications along with a deep underpinning knowledge of such areas. I spend 40% of my time in the Welsh Mountains continuing to gain and develop my personal and professional qualities. I have decided to enrol in the mountain leaders scheme with the objective of gaining my IML's as I feel after 16 years of experience of leading Friends and family I should be at a level to build on.

My Mountain Training Story :

BENEDICTE REAU

I discovered the great mountains of Ireland and UK (Lake District and Wales) while I lived in Ireland for over 10 years. I passed the ML Summer in Ireland, started to work, enjoyed the Alps and climbing then I decided to move back to France (Corsica) for work. Corsica is an island off the Mediterranean Sea, a place for hiking, climbing, ski mountaineering, diving... My aim is to gain experiences in different mountains than the British or Irish ones in order to start the IML training in UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sam Leake

Now completed MLS as well as SPA. I'm currently working as an elecrician mainly as I have since leaving education qualified to design level. However my interest lies firmly with the outdoors in all forms mountain biking climbing,scrambling and walking along with a good wealth of experience in open water swimming. My longest serving experience is hill walking which I have done since being at school, currently having around twenty years experience in all conditions. I hope to complete as many outdoor qualifications as possible besides being a dad over the next five years. Currently hold pool lifeguard qualification with relevant first aid and also first aid at work full cerfificate, BASP outdoor first aid and the Single Pitch Award which I have put to use working at Awesome Walls Sheffield and absolutely love it!! Here I've completed CPD in the form of fundamentals 1 and 2 and completed some in house rescue training at Awesome Walls Sheffield. I've recently registered for winter ML and CWLA , bring it on!!!!!!!!!!! Here's to more time climbing and walking ??

My Mountain Training Story :

Louis Kennedy

I am originally a boulderer from South London, and used to perform competitively under this discipline until a series of injuries prevented me from climbing as hard as I would like. I soon discovered there's more to climbing than being in a climbing gym and have fallen deeply for all things trad and mountaineering!

My Mountain Training Story :

Matty BOWMAN

My first memories are of being dragged / wading through raging torrents (paths) wrapped in a yellow plastic sou'wester, fisherman's hat and wearing red wellies. I was only three or four, we were on our annual holidays in North West Highlands of Scotland on a "family walk" to Stac Pollaidh. There was no children's outdoor gear, what I had was probably the best available. It was from my parents point of view, the gap between the sou'wester and the top of my red wellies provided an excellent target if I had needed a good slap when I had driven them to the brink with my moaning and complaining. That age old classic "Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about" It wasn't bad parenting, it was called growing up, they were right !!!! I was incredibly lucky to be there and have quite frankly been incredibly lucky ever since. That's what lit my fire, from that point on its been uphill all the way, I'm not a superstar that bags every peak by the hardest route, but if its out there, I'm up for it. I live for it, I breathe it, its what flows through my veins and nourishes my soul its kept me alive for the 46 plus years since that "family walk" Its taken me to many countries and continents. Exploring many diverse cultures, experiencing all they offer. My friends will vouch for me, its always an adventure, Oh how I love to hear that immortal line "Matty what are we doing here" So far adventures by the thousand. I intend to keep it that way, but not by resting on my laurels, are you with me ?? One Life Living it

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Peck

I started walking in the Peak District (and just to get to the shops) as a boy of 4... never really looked back. I spent some time in uniform and this gave me a flavour for international trekking and a few more robust expedition style trips. Ideally, I'd now like to move towards ML qualification and working with young people outside the classroom.

My Mountain Training Story :

Chris Beal

Former British Army Adventure Training Instructor, now a Freelance Outdoor Provider of Activities in both UK and Europe.. Been Mountaineering and Climbing since 1998, enjoy the Outdoor Adventure that is different every time we are out in the hills. Climbing is fun and exciting, keeping you fit both mentally and physically. In summary, Mountaineering and Climbing can help people relax away from their busy life style that can bring unwanted pressures. Also help build Leadership Qualities within a Professional Work place, help Develop Motivation, Build Self Confidence and Improve Personal Fitness. I am also a qulaified Emergency Medical Technician, HSE OffShore Medic and Remote area Medic with advanced life support skills and quifications, Gorge Walking leader and Coasteering Leader. As well as holding the SPA I am MIA trained, I also have Tidal Vailidation, Non Lower Off Evacuation and Tyrollean set validation Certification in addition to IRATA rope access certification.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jason Roberts

I have been climbing all my life and volunteered in the outdoor industry during the 1990s and 2000s. In 2015 I undertook an accelerated instructor training course and am now working in the outdoor industry.

My Mountain Training Story :

Betts Fetherston

I started climbing in April 2013 and have never looked back. My only regret is discovering climbing it at age 48 rather than at age 2. I have changed careers and now work as a Climbing Instructor at Harrogate Climbing Centre - since 13 October 2016. I have passed both the Core and Lead instructor site specific assessments. HCC Operations Manager and trainer is Antony Sturgiss, and the HCC external Technical Advisor is Nate MacMillan. From my previous career I have a wealth of experience working as a University lecturer, including winning a national teaching award for innovative curriculum. My expertise is in communication, conflict management and resolution, and my skills include training, facilitation, and mentoring. I also have expertise in managing people and developing and delivering policy - including health and safety policy. I have qualifications in the area of mental health and have a strong interest in the cross-over of coaching and mentoring for vulnerable people and how climbing can be a key part of improving mental and physical health. I think there is a great potential, for example, in helping young people with bullying and anxiety through climbing with coaching (both mental health and climbing coaching).

My Mountain Training Story :

Jessica Ainslie

I took my first steps into the outdoors as a toddler, staggering around the hills of the Yorkshire Dales. Followed by a trip up Ben Nevis at the tender age of 5, coerced all the way by well intentioned parents. This led to rebellion, followed by indifference, then finally a strong sense of connection with our mountains and all they have to teach us. Having a career made up of what I love is a choice I'll never regret. Whether it's teaching or guiding, by bike, rock, or snow, I'm lucky enough to travel to and with some extremely inspiring people and places. From skiing expeditions on the sea ice in East Greenland to long summer days climbing in the North West Highlands, working with people in the mountains gives me freedom. And this is what I work hard to give to others.

My Mountain Training Story :

Geoff Williams

Have completed Winter Mountain Leader Training currently focusing on furthering my winter experience and focusing on Navigation Last summer I completed my Mountain Instructor Training so i'm getting out climbing myself and taking people climbing and scrambling when I can in the mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Bob Lewis

I started climbing while still in the Scouts on the south-east sandstone outcrops; tying on to No. 4 Viking hawser laid rope with a bowline round the waist or using a hemp waist line. Un-imaginable now, in the 'upper sixth' we were allowed to go climbing for 'games' from school: unsupervised, and driving an hour south from Croydon to the sandstone outcrops around Tunbridge Wells. My first taste of hill walking (having done none in the UK) was as a Venture Scout expedition to the Hohe Tauern in Austria, walking between the mountain huts. I was hooked. I led my first rock pitches in Scotland a year or so later, somewhere in one of the northern corries of the Cairngorms (probably Corie an t-Snechda with hindsight). No guide book, and in walking boots, we just looked for a line that we thought would be climbable, and climbed still using a No.4 hawser; and I recall my introduction to the 'Moac'. At university in Bangor I did more leading (now with the luxury of a Troll Belay Belt), did more hill walking and scrambling, and attended my first mountain leader training event at Hafod, the Welsh Scout Council base in the Ogwen Valley.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jonathan Pioli

I'm a youth worker working with young people in outdoor education. I have a BELA Lv3, DofE supervisor, DofE Asessor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Kevin Webster

I qualified as an MLT in 2005, entitling me to lead military groups of 6 people in known terrain which I had great fun doing in the Lakes, Dartmoor and Snowdonia getting to know peoples crazier side which always seems to appear whilst mountaineering. I later qualified in Single Pitch Rock Climbing and Abseiling, leading groups in the Peaks, Cornwall and Snowdonia areas. I more recently qualified as an ML civilian and military, Advanced Mountain Leader military scrambling and Military Multi pitch Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI). I been trained in a week of winter foundation mountaineering with avalanche and snow hole training both in Scotland (Glencoe and Ben Nevis) and through 3 weeks of military Nordic Skiing - classic, skate and downhill and survival foundation training in Norway. I have been multi pitch rock climbing in North Wales and the Lakes since 2002 when military foundation rock climbing included multi pitch climbing on Christmas Curry in Tremadog and Milestone Buttress. I love the exposure and adventure more than the sport side, although I spend a lot of time at the moment in the climbing wall at Indy and occasionally at the Beacon in Caernarfon. I am also a keen paddler where I enjoy all disciplines, which is probably why I think my favourite climbs are sea cliffs. I currently take servicemen and women through the Joint Service Mountaineering scheme, qualifying them as mountaineering instructors or rock climbing instructors in the capacity of a train the trainer.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Taylor

Having served 22 years in the Army retiring in 2005 I had realised I had to actually work for a living to pay the bills, I worked as a HGV driver for DHL for a few years before being promoted to a manager level within the company which I still do today. However being a night worker and weekend worker I have all but failed to pursue my hill walking activities. Before my retirement from the Army I achieved a military status of Alpine Trekking Leader and what was known then as Unit Expedition Leader (Summer) which allowed me to plan, coach and lead other military personnel in certain ares of the German Alps. I do have a detailed log book recording details of my activities from 1992 - 2005. The pinnacle of my leadership ability was to plan, prepare and execute a challenging 9 day expedition for a small team of soldiers to walk the full length of the Pennine Way 274 miles or so in 9 days, tough, demanding and challenging pushing limits of personal and group strengths in order to complete the walk for charity raising £1,000 for the British Heart Foundation. My aim now is to change my work shifts to allow me more time to get out on the hills also to gain basic qualifications that may allow me to lead small groups on the hills. This I intend to achieve through 2017 with the help & guidance from BMC and any experienced advice from the hill walking community in general. However some 12 years later and 52 years young, the calling of the hills has grown and time has come to get off my lazy bottom and do something I always thoroughly enjoyed some years ago.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Johnson

I've been an active Climber / Mountaineer since 1989. I've made numerous first ascents in the Lake District on Mountain crags as well as on the Sandstone of St Bees and Coniston Slate. The World's Greater Ranges are now a big draw for me.

My Mountain Training Story :

Camille Nayrolles

70's Started age 5, Paris, regular trips to Fontainebleau boulders/Pyrennees with family. Teenagehood: Club Alpin Herault, outdoors routes, single/multi-pitch, caving, canyoning, hangliding. Training for fitness at indoor walls. 90's UK Sandstone climbing/indoor walls. End 90's: Stopped, Serious health issues, long term. 2004, Adventure Unlimited offered climbing coach training. Had become very unfit(plus much heavier). I joined them in 2004, learned various skills, leading groups indoor/outdoors. Children(8 to 18) Harrisons rocks. Stone farm rocks, Whitehawk Stanley Deason indoor wall. Passed SSSA, BELA, Archery Leader Awards. Also trained to lead Team Building sessions, Raft building, ropes course. Taken regularly on training trips Uk, introduced to Trad climbing(plas y Brennin, Lakes and Peaks). 2005/06, Plumpton College: replacing Outdoor Education lecturer who had "run away". In charge of lectures/classes, First and National Diplomas plus coaching at indoor wall. 2006/7 Girlguiding UK, Blackland Farm, offered on-site training - Zip-Wire, high ropes, kayak, abseil tower, climbing wall, Stone farm rocks. Working with masses of groups was fun however sometimes felt a bit like Tesco check out("Next") However, challenging and exciting, a diversity of groups, often with learning difficulties. 2007/08 Scotland highlands -Ardroy outdoor centre: working and training for NGB's. Outdoor leader apprentice, got few things done: SPA training, Kayak leadership level 2, NVQ level 2 Recreational Activities Leadership, other site specifics, PPE. Lead 7 types of activities plus equipment checks, dorms, fire drills. 2011: Freedom Leisure/Wave Leisure: Swimming Instructor/lifeguard 2014, Wave Leisure: initially swimming instructor then offered a Climbing instructor position, two days a week, one day/week recently(reduced session days). Currently main climbing instructor for Wave leisure, 6 to 10 hours/week.

My Mountain Training Story :

Glenn Lane

Working in the outdoor adventure industry since 1998 Work for Wide Horizons Adventure Learning Trust as a Senior Tutor WGL training APOIL Forest School Leader III

My Mountain Training Story :

James White

Hi, I am an Instructor with the Air Cadets 868 (Mirfield) Squadron, i use my qualifications to plan and deliver National Navigation courses and run Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Other Qualifications , BELA (Basic Expedition Leader Award), DofE Assessor (Bronze, Silver and Gold) GNAS Archery GB Instructor Award

My Mountain Training Story :

Lee Williams

Found a love for climbing while working in Ireland's west coast Connemara, at Killary Adventure Centre. After a bit of travelling in Europe I returned to Wales and decided upon a career in coaching where I now work with boulders climbing squad as their Foundation Coach. with a great team of instructors and a supportive management staff.

My Mountain Training Story :

Oliver Soord-Gurney

I have spent the last 10 years in the Army Reserve, on and off fulltime and part time with one deployment. During my time I studied at the University of Portsmouth where I was heavily involved in the Mountaineering and Climbing Club and as I progressed through the club I assisted and lead various trips and helped instruct in our weekly climbing sessions in Fort Purbrook. Within the Army I've started on 4 main AT Schemes; Rock Climbing (RML), Summer Mountaineering (SML), Winter Mountaineering (WMF), Winter Climbing (WCF) Nordic Skiing (NF1) and Alpine Skiing (SF1). I have also ski raced for my battalion for 3 consecutive years in the Infantry Alpine Championship, most recently as the team captain. However, one of my greatest achievements has been solo walking from Canterbury to the Orkney Islands for the Breast Cancer Campaign. My aim is to continue all my qualifications so I can give back to the pupils and soldiers that are under my care and also link the qualifications and go off for some extreme adventures in the future.

My Mountain Training Story :

James Haggart

I am a keen enthusiast walking highland areas and mountainous terrain but also enjoy walking lowland areas. Since 1980 when I first really experienced walking in exposed and remote terrain through my association with the army, I have achieved many of my list of goals. Walking the entire Cornish Coast Path and crossing Exmoor and Dartmoor on a solo trip was the start of lowland walking. Then spending time in the Brecon Beacons and Northumberland bought on the hills and mountains, I was hooked. Hills and Mountains became my main draw and as with many people the obvious ones had to be done and so Scafell and Ben Nevis happened in quick succession. But it wasn't until moving to Scotland that I really set about serious hill walking, now having some 100+ hills and tops under my rucksack. I am one of our local DofE Open Group leaders and have spent more nights Wild Camping than I care to mention. But what an opportunity to not only see youngsters develop confidence and gain life skills but also have an excuse to be out in Scotland and claiming more hills. I also volunteer as a leader/assist leader for the Drovers Tryst Walking Festival and take groups of up to 12 people out either introducing them to hill walking or taking them out on what we term as Hard and Extra Hard grade hill walks usually Munros or Corbetts. I have also spent time walking overseas in Spain & Africa hiking in the Sierra Nevada, on Table Mountain, Mount Kenya and Atlas Mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Williams

With every story there is a beginning and mine began when at a young age I climb a small mountain called 'Mynydd Mawr' near my home in North Wales. From this point onwards I became fascinated with mountains and the outdoors environment but especially our human past. I later went on to study archaeology and with my outdoors experiences I found this process complimented my studies and professional MTA qualifications. I pursue an interest in Wilderness living skills (bushcraft) and field base communications in remote locations (RF Communications via VSAT, VHF, MF/HF). I now operate in Scotland where there are some of the most remote and serious mountains in the world, which continually test my skills during the forever changeable weather and environment of the outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Elaine J Beesley

Once upon a time at a small warehouse in Liverpool in 1999....................... I started climbing at Awesome Walls (before the church) and have been climbing on and off ever since at various indoor walls in the UK and having 'dabbled' in a bit of outdoor climbing. That being said, I've actually only really properly got into my climbing this year going at least three times a week and I'm at a point now where I want to get somewhere with my climbing. After having attended Mountain Training's talk on Monday 20 February 2017 at Beacon Climbing Centre in Caernarfon, I feel empowered to do the Climbing Wall Award as a starting point. So watch this space.....

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Alcock

I've been walking in the hills since I was tiny - my earliest mountain memory is a snowy, misty walk over the Glyderau when I was 5/6 with my dad. I've continued to walk through scouts and eventually with various groups of friends and colleagues, also doing some accidental rock climbing and winter walking /climbing at various times. In 2012 became involved in the Duke of Edinburgh award at our local high school through my son - a bronze candidate at the time. I found working with the candidates both in classroom sessions and in the outdoors on practice expeditions and training sessions to be incredibly fulfilling and now I'm involved on a voluntary basis in delivering bronze, silver and gold awards with the school. I decided to put myself through the HML award to cement my skills hopefully learn some new ones and ideally be more useful as a qualified rather than unqualified leader.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Morris

Hi, I'm a student currently studying Geography at Staffordshire University, I am passionate about many outdoor activities and want to work in the outdoors industry one day. I am training to get my summer Mountain Leader award with the view of going for assessed in September 2016. I am also passionate about the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and am a supervisor for both Bronze & Silver levels. I have helped out and supervised many teams on DofE expeditions and training days. I also really enjoy climbing, both outside and indoors, and have the intentions to begin on my Single Pitch Award very soon.

My Mountain Training Story :

Emma Holland

My love and passion for the outdoors began way back, when I was a very active and enthusiastic Brownie, Girl Guide and then Venture Scout. I spent many a happy childhood year camping, walking and partaking in all manner of outdoor activities. My parents also loved to travel to all corners of the UK and being a teachers child we spent lots of happy holidays visiting the all the beautiful countryside areas of the UK. My home turf is Derbyshire where I grew up, and where I walk when I'm not venturing further afield. As an adult I have continued to enjoy exploring the UK in greater depth and despite many opportunities to travel abroad, I do feel privileged and secretly proud to have spent my time getting to know lots of hidden corners the UK. My favourite areas to walk in would have to be the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountain/s, The Isle of Arran, Northumberland and more recently Snowdonia, as that is where I will soon be taking my ML Assessment. This is booked for October 2017. I am enjoying consolidating all I have learnt so far along with discovering new topics, subjects and interests. Once I have qualified, I hope to get some part time work so that I can earn a few pennies to fund my new adventures and also to pass on my passion and love for all elements of walking and being in the countryside. I particularly enjoy navigating, whether doing micro nav with contour only maps or heading out into the dark. Once qualified, teaching navigation would be something I'd like to pursue. I'm also now discovering what great fun wild camping is. My ML journey so far has challenged me, excited me and given me something that I feel very passionate and excited about. I do wish I'd started this journey earlier in my life!