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.)

Have you got a story to tell? Click here to find out how.

My Mountain Training Story :

Rebecca Williams

I'm a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who specialises in psychological performance coaching for climbers, working from grass roots level to elite. I have my SPA, BMC Fundamentals 1 & 2, Foundation Coach trained, ILM Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring, and CMI Diploma in Leadership and Management. This gives me an unique set of skills to work with climbers, coaches and instructors, to train mental skills and improve their head game. I also work as an Executive Coach, facilitating senior leaders and managers to develop their skills, improve their performance and lead their teams.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Hearn

My first introduction to the Mountains was with the Scouts. The two eldest patrol leaders were invited to go on a Venture Scout Easter expedition to the Cuillins (providing we did the cooking!). We spent two days travelling up from down south, across on the ferry and camped up at Glen Brittle. We sent 3 days backpacking over the Cuillins and around Loch Coruisk and back to Glen Brittle. I don’t think that would be allowed today, but i was hooked! As a venture Scout I took the first part of the old MLC. We had many trips to the Hills with the Scouts and other friends, in my youth I visited the Alps on a couple of occasions and climbed regularly in the Peak District and Snowdonia. There then followed a long period where I got married had three sons, and built a successful business. In 2000 I joined the village walking group and ended up leading them on many many trips to the Hills in the UK. In 2010 with more time on my hands I decided to join two local mountaineering clubs, Before my MLS assessment in April 2014 had logged over 50 personal QMDs and 45 leading QMDs. I was Secretary of the Hertfordshire Mountaineering Club 2012-2014, and am currently Chairman. Significant training undertaken: February 2009 Introduction to Scottish Winter Mountaineering Plas-y-Brenin, Altshellach, Loch Leven. August 2009 Stuart Johnson Mountaineering Cuillin Ridge. February 2010 Winter Mountaineering Jagged Globe Ballachulish. June 2010 Lakeland Rock Week Realadventure Wasdale September 2010 Lakeland Rock learning to lead week Realadventure December 2010 Lakeland Winter Climbing weekend Realadventure

My Mountain Training Story :

Daniel Claricoates

Since a young age I have been an outdoors person. When I was a young person I spent a lot of time in the woods and on Dartmoor exploring, walking, swimming, building dens and having small adventures with friends. My appetite for adventure and being outdoors led me towards joining the Army Cadet Force and on to join the Royal Marines. My time in the Corps began my passion for climbing and mountaineering. My trade was part of the Royal Marine Mountain Leader branch and we would often be climbing and abseiling and leading others across moorland and mountainous terrain all over the world. In 2009 I joined the Mountain Training Association and began the journey towards gaining qualifications to allow me to lead and work in an environment I love. I left the Royal Marines in September 2011. Due to 2 tours of Afghanistan I had been diagnosed with complex combat related PTSD. I found that being in the outdoors, either in the mountains, in the woods or on a river or the sea, was a huge help to me. I found a new passion and have become focused in sharing my passion for amazing environments and places with others. I have had amazing opportunities to be involved with a range of expeditions both while serving and as a civilian / veteran. I have worked as a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award manager for a school in Plymouth after setting the award scheme up for the school. I have also completed the DofE expedition supervisor and assessors courses and continue to work as a freelance for schools around Devon delivering and assessing expeditions across all 3 levels of the award. I feel extremely privileged to be in this position as it is often the first exposure for young people to the outdoors. I have also qualified as a teacher and have developed a range of tools and qualifications to support people’s education and development and so it is now my aspiration to facilitate meaningful outdoor experiences, adventures and expeditions for anyone who feels they would benefit from time outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Helen Iles

Mum, wife, part time teacher, part time photographer. Always walking, love Wales. Love guiding photographers on photowalks. RNLI member for 20 years. Just joined SSSART. Photography here: www.flickr.com/photos/heleniles/ Daily Walking log here: www.strava.com/dashboard?feed_type=my_activity

My Mountain Training Story :

Martin Hutson

I Have walked and hiked across Scotland for many years. Have returned to the Braemar area several times. Have decided to help the supporting the new Duke of Edinburgh scheme being developed in the schools where I work. My favourite remote campsite is Loch Etchican just below the summit of Benin Macdue. Over the last two or three years I have walked many routes to support my Lowland Leader and recent Hill and Moorland training (November 2017). I am hoping to complete my Hill and Moorland assessment in 2018. Since May 2017 I have worked as an outdoor education Teacher at Auchmuty High School. I now only work 3 days per week but spend most of my free time involved in outdoor activities such as hill walking and cycling. I try and combine these activities with my recent interest in digital landscape and action photography. Hopefully my profile now shows a good balance between mountain climbing and Hill and Moorland Terrain. The routes that I hope to take pupils will mostly be limited to Lowland terrain mostly within a 50 mile radius of the school that I work. We have however also ventured as far as Aviemore for last years bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition (this was with my former school Bell Baxter High School). Over the last few months I have enjoying discovering the Pentlands which is an area I have not walked previously. I particularly enjoy walking these hills when they have a snow covering.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sjoerd Tel

I have worked in the outdoor activities sector since 2011. I am a qualified Mountain Leader and am experienced in leading groups in the outdoors. Through Drumalban, I combine my experience in outdoor education and my love for the Scottish mountains, bringing others out into the highlands to experience these fantastic landscapes for themselves. Using map and compass is a great and important skill to have in the outdoors, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experience with others through delivering NNAS Awards.

My Mountain Training Story :

Lisa McCarthy

My story starts maybe six or seven years ago when my son was at a birthday party at our local climbing wall. I was sat in the upstairs cafe, watching a woman way up high on the competition wall, and I remember thinking : wow, she looked so strong, and I wished that was me. A couple of taster sessions followed, along with my beginner’s course, but then I had no one to climb with, so I ended up not going again. About this time my partner & I took up hill walking. That came about in a similar fashion, although this time it was a programme on television about people on Scafell Pike that prompted it. ‘I fancy doing that’ I went again, and since then we have done Snowdon, Ben Nevis, and many other peaks, as well as Scafell Pike. One thing that came out of this was that my favourite parts were the scrambling and hands on rock bits: the ridges and arêtes. So I determined to find a way to have another go at climbing. I found the local wall ran social sessions for those without a partner, and I recall being terrified the first time I went. It had been a good couple of years since I’d done any climbing, and I even struggled with the height to begin with. However, over the next couple of months I fell in love with climbing, and for the last year or so have climbed indoors 2 or 3 times a week. I have learnt loads from the coaches at the social sessions, but also from other climbers. Now when I climb on the competition wall, it makes me feel great as I think back to watching someone else on there and wishing it was me. I have been on a various trips to the Peak District and Wye Valley with the social group, and even arranged a day’s climbing on holiday in Malta. I have met many wonderful people through climbing, some of which have become friends, some mentors, some both. I have decided to do my Climbing Wall Award so that I can hopefully pass some of my passion for this sport onto others. On a personal level I’d like to do more outdoor climbing, and have a go at sport climbing.

My Mountain Training Story :

ASHLEY LOW

Born in Wales and raised in Devon, this meant I experienced some of the most beautiful countryside of Wales and England. It was only natural that I would gravitate towards rock faces, rivers and moorland trails.

My Mountain Training Story :

Brian Hall

Hi, I've been Hill Walking, Mountaineering and Climbing throughout the UK for nearly 20 Years. Having become interested in the outdoors from a very early age, through family holidays and camping trips. I was keen to make the outdoors a prominent part of my life. When I was 12, I joined the Wiltshire Army Cadet Force, which gave me a chance to gain valuable training and experiences in First Aid, Team work, Leadership, Navigation, Expedition skills and Camp craft. I have spent the last 15 years working towards and becoming a qualified Summer Mountain Leader and a Single Pitch Climbing Instructor. In 2008, I set up as a freelance instructor operating under the trade name of Rockyventures. Through this, I provide the National Navigation Awards, plus a whole range of Climbing, Hill walking and Mountaineering Activities. In addition, I have also attended a number of work shops including the BMC Climbing FUNdamentals, The Disability Awareness work shop and the Turbo SPA Course. In march of 2014, myself and Mike Aston decided to actively pursue a long standing idea we had of Building our own climbing centre. On the 9th of November 2015, The Rockstar Climbing Centre opened. My role within the centre is as the operations Manager. This means I'm responsible for the day to day running of the Centre. In addition to my employment with Rockstar Climbing Ltd, I have recently relaunched my own company Rockyventures but now as a Ltd company. Through Rockyventures, I will be able to get out more leading groups on mountaineering and climbing trips. In my spare time I volunteer as a Search Technician for Wiltshire Search and Rescue, and assist local Scouts groups with outdoor activities.

My Mountain Training Story :

Gareth Pierce

Having been a Scout Leader for many years, spending time out in the great outdoors with young people and having an immense love of the outdoors generally, in 2015 I decided that it was time to progress from simply having a Scout Hill Walking Permit to finally doing my ML Training. After spending a few quality weekends in Snowdonia putting my skills to the test with other like minded folk, I realised what I had been missing and that I had the skills needed to gain my award. I went away and fine tuned the areas that I needed to work on and in 2017, I finally arrived back in Snowdonia to start my ML assessment. The assessment itself was amazing and not only a challenge (it would be an assessment if it wasn't challenging!) but also incredibly rewarding - to be outside, fully immersed in the award with only you, your backpack and your map / compass gave me a real sense of freedom. Since completing my award, I have continued to work with young people to get them out into the outdoors and continue to enjoy frequent trips to the Lakes where I am slowly becoming intimate with many different areas of that beautiful place as I aim to conquer the Wainwrights - 214 hills spread accross every inch of the lakes... I am currently 83% complete!

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Griffiths

I am one of six Regional DofE Managers for DofE North of England. I started my outdoor experience at the age of 14 with my youth club in St Helens, I was hooked. Over the years I have developed my skills in SPA, WGL and ML together with other outdoor awards BCU Level 2 open water coach, Rescue Boat Level 2 and GNAS Archery Leader. I became involved with the sport of Dragon Boating and coached the under 21 GB team from 2005 till 2012 achieving Gold in the European championships and Bronze in the Worlds . I still travel the world Dragon Boat Racing as a Major Official at events that attract 5,000 competitors. My working life developed and as Outdoor Education teacher in a busy school, I was responsible for the delivery of all levels of DofE, Canoeing, Archery, Climbing, Cycling and National Navigation Awards. It was a joy to see young people achieve and grow in confidence. Working for National DofE from 2005 I have: Delivered the Basic Expedition Leaders Course from 2005 to 2016 managing 5 full courses per year. I now manage and lead on the Lowland Leaders Award delivering 6 full courses per year. I was part of the group the re edited the DofE Expedition Guide and DofE Handbook. I was also part of a group that established the DofE Expedition Supervisors Award. Part of my DofE role as DofE Regional Manager for Greater Manchester lead me to be involved in the team that put together the DofE Assessors and Supervisors Courses. Seeing adults take the learning and new skills away with them is quite a responsibility, and something I enjoy very much.

My Mountain Training Story :

Darren Butt

Hi I’m Darren. I purely work within the voluntary sector, primarily with the Air Cadet Organisation where I am the Regional Adventure Technical Training Officer South West. ML(S) and Trail Cycle Leader. Additionally I am a Course Director for the Lowland Leader, Expedition Skills Module and the DofE Expedition Accredited Assessor Scheme and Expedition Supervisor Training Course. I also assist with the Corsham Explorer Scout Unit and local Schools. Additionally I am a member and Team Leader with the Ten Tors Scrutineer team.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ben Lippold

Training to become a full time instructor and route setter at Golden Gecko Climbing.

My Mountain Training Story :

Aoife Strahan

Aspiring mountaineer currently undertaking the Climbing Wall Award (CWA) and Mountain Leader (ML) award in the hopes of one day becoming an outdoors instructor and adventurer extraordinaire! I have the following experience and qualifications: - Successful summits of Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mt. Whitney (U.S.A) and a range of mountains in Indonesia - Winter mountaineering experience in the Cairngorms - Summer scrambling and mountaineering experience in Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons - BCU 2* kayak award - Outdoor first aid certificate - Winter Skills course and Winter Mountaineering course at Glenmore Lodge - PADI Advanced Open Water certificate

My Mountain Training Story :

Liam Mills

I currently work at the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre Indefatigable where i deliver the following Adventurous Training course: - Summer Mountain Foundation - Mountain Leader Training (Summer) - Rock Climbing Courses - 2* Inland Kayak and Canoe plus 3* Sea Kayak - Mountain Bike Training. I also worked down a Sennybridge for 18 months prior as an Adventurous Training Instructor taking climbing, mountaineering, paddling and caving. I have recently completed my Mountain Leader Summer and Rock Climbing Instructor with future aspiration of completing my MIA Training. I am currently working my way through and gaining experience in Winter Mountaineering with my Mountain Training Winter course coming up soon (Feb 18).

My Mountain Training Story :

Luke Mitchell

Started off walking with the family, then continued the challenge with the Duke of Edinburgh awards. Got to go to remote part of northern Finland as part of a climate research team two years in a row. Hope to run my own DofE groups and maybe take it further as a mountain guide in France during the summer months. Hoping to go to Everest base camp at some point. Its the views, bonding, journeys that make the awesome memories of the outdoors. Currently on a training scheme thats broadening my skill set, we'll see if this remains a hobby or becomes a successful freelance career...

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Ashmore

Since February 2015 I have been living in Beijing, China with my wife who is an International school teacher. During this time I have worked with Beijing Hikers (www.beijinghikers.com) as a full time hiking guide. 1.5 yrs Leading groups of up to 35 clients on a variety of walks. Ruined sections of the Great Wall of China and its surrounding hills and mountains. Inner Mongolia grassland and desert walking. Some of these walks were 3-4 hrs over varied terrain covering up to 6 - 10 km. Other walks were more challenging with smaller groups (12 people) cover rough and mountainous terrain over 10 -25 km taking between 4 - 9 hrs. During the summer months I also lead overnight camping trips on sections of the great wall. After this I became and still am employed by an Experiential education company The Hutong ( ww.thehutong.com). This is much more challenging and rewarding role. Researching, planning and ultimately leading multiday trips with international schools from across Asia. I am responsible for Health and Safety risk assessments, logistics planning and execution of trips, Parent and school presentations, Internal staff training and Client focused sales and communications. I've worked as logistical support for Duke of Edinburgh International award groups undertaking Bronze and silver expeditions. This has ranged from planning and leading routes with students through mountainous terrain, teaching camp craft and expedition planning skills as well as navigation workshops. I have hiked and camped in various regions of China ranging from the mountains of Northern Beijing, the bamboo forests of Moganshan(nr Shanghai), The grasslands and desserts of Inner Mongolia and the High altitude mountains of Qinghai and Gansu (nr Tibet).

My Mountain Training Story :

Ken Morton

In 2012 having climbed for around 8 years I began introducing some friends to climbing and at that time decided I would like to become an instructor, I passed CWA and CWLA quickly securing my first climbing instructor job in Newcastle upon Tyne, soon afterwards adding SPA and ML Awards to my qualifications and starting my Adventure Activities business Odyssey Adventure. I am qualified as a Via Ferrata and Climb the Mine Guide at the Honister Slate Mine facility. I have worked with a wide range of people from various backgrounds, adults and children with learning difficulties, autism, challenging behaviours and various ethnic community groups. I have found my experiences extremely interesting and personally rewarding. I am passionate about the outdoors, very interested in people and always aim to deliver the best value and positive experiences in my instructional work. Odyssey Adventure is now a provider of Adventure Sports Activities in Cumbria's Lake District where we provide Mountain Guiding, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Canyoning, Ghyll Scrambling and Via Ferrata experiences. We are also a provider of Charity Abseil Events at Middlesbrough's Tees Transporter Bridge where we have carried out over 1,000 abseils to date.

My Mountain Training Story :

Lorcan McDonnell

I live in Co. Kerry in the southwest of Ireland and work for Kerry Education and Training Board at Cappanalea OETC. During my days which can be spent on crag, hillside, river or sea I get plenty of opportunities to explore places with new people or just explore new places. My recent work as an IML has taken me to Tanzania,Kilimanjaro, Peru to travel the Salkantay Inca trail and most recently to Elbrus in Russia.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ricky Munday

Expeditions: 2005 - Mont Blanc (unguided) 2006 - Khan Tengri 2008 - Africa 3 Peaks (Stanley, Kenya, Kilimanjaro) 2010 - Australasia 3 Peaks 2011 - Carstensz Pyramid 2012 - Denali 2012 - Pico de Orizaba 2013 - Elbrus 2014 - Falso Morocho / Volcan / Cerro de San Francisco / Monte Pissis / Ojos del Salado / Aconcagua 2014 - Nelion, Mount Kenya 2015 - Ojos del Salado 2015 - Damavand, Mont Blanc (solo) & Matterhorn (unguided) 2016 (winter) - Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis (IV), Ledge Route, Tryfan North ridge, Crib Goch 2016 - ML Training completed & Outdoor First Aid Feb 2016. 2017 - Everest North Ridge (to 7,900m) 2018 - Mawenzi & Kilimanjaro

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Hibberd

Been hiking all over Britain since I was a kid, so thats about 45 years now. Did the Pennine Way at 16 with a friend. Been a Scout/Cub leader for 7 years, taking kids on hikes of all types. Plenty of experience leading hikes in all parts of Britain. Fully trained in first aid. Full clean driving licence. Usually travel by motorbike. I have a website about hiking in Sussex (and beyond) www.totally-cuckoo.com

My Mountain Training Story :

Jake Rickard

I am a freelance hiking guide, adventure blogger, poker player and army reservist serving with 6 Rifles. I currently reside in Plymouth, England with my partner Shanie Martin. Through my blog rickardsrambles.com I aim to share my life experiences, financial pursuits and love for adventure. My goal is to show people that there is more to life than driving a desk and that the door to adventure is not as far away as most people believe it to be. In addition to running my own business I’m currently in the middle of army officer selection. I aspire to become an officer in the infantry either as a regular or reserve, depending on the success of RickardsRambles. In the past, I was against taking risks preferring a safe and conservative, yet boring approach to life. Now I see things differently, believing it’s not just important, but necessary to take both physical and financial risks if we truly want to make the most out our lives.

My Mountain Training Story :

Lydia Benjamin

I currently work in climbing center in Derby called Alter Rock, I would like to be come a mountain leader in the Lake District, as I was brought up to love walking and scrambling in the hills and mountains. I want to take groups of people up in the mountains and show them what amazing views the Lake District has.

My Mountain Training Story :

Daniel Hutchins

I'm a Postman. I'm also an Infantryman in the Army Reserve, as part of 3rd Battilion PWRR since 2014. I’ve frequently trained in the Brecon Beacons/Black Mountains areas. I'm currently on a MTUK ML (s) night nav defferral. Worked for Highsports as a senior climbing instructor from 2010, Europes largest provider of indoor climbing. I'm hoping to complete my CWLA here. I facilitate a climbing wall at a private school and run their junior climbing clubs with my CWA/CWAA. This was originally on behalf of a large overseas expeditions group in 2014, but since 2016 the baton was passed into my care which I’ve taken on in a self-employed capacity. The site is now NICAS accredited and I am the Course Director for this. I have my own Instructor Public Liability Insurance. I lived in Snowdonia between 2009-2011. I was an RAF Air Cadets instructor between 2007-2013 where my teaching in Adventurous Training, Rock Climbing and Mountaineering began. Here I completed my Sports Leaders UK Level 2 Award in Basic Expedition Leadership, providing high-quality expedition training to cadets as I myself had once received. I first went rock climbing at the age of 14 on Southern Sandstone in Kent while attending a Crowborough summer AT camp with the Air Cadets. I also completed a glider flying scholarship around this age, many years before I could legally learn to drive. I've always loved heights.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Smith

All round lover of the outdoors and owner of www.myGuidedWalks.co.uk through which I provide group walks, private guiding services, and navigation training in the UK. Also available for freelance work.

My Mountain Training Story :

david horsley

I cant remember a time I didn't enjoy the great outdoors, whether it was walking, camping, doing bushcraft expeditions etc etc. I am keen on first aid and have training in counselling. I was a cub scout and when I was old enough ( i cheated about my actual age) joined Army cadets, from there i joined the army at the tender age of 16, When I had finished my service I gave some of my free time to being an adult instructor with the ACF . unfortunately career demands meant I had to give that up. I have a wealth of experience in leadership and management from my professional careers and a keen understanding of health and safety. I continued to be a keen camper and outdoors person and whenever I could jumped on my motorcycle and rode off to camp somewhere. In 2017 I decided to get back into and make the time to begin my ML summer training pathway and having a bit more time on my hands decided to give some time to my local air cadet unit to help with their outward bound projects and Duke of Edinburghs award scheme. My plan for the future is to also help disabled veterans like myself to see and benefit from the great outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Duncan Boar

I run a trekking holiday business, 'My Alpine Walks' based in the Aosta Valley, Italy, an hour by car from Mont Blanc! I specialise in guiding World War 2 'Freedom Trails' following the escape routes of servicemen and spies who made the difficult journeys across the Alps (and Pyrenees) from Fascist occupied countries to neutral places of safety. Please visit my website, www.myalpinewalks if you'd like to know more. Further afield I lead groups in the Dolomite and Brenta Dolomite mountains of the autonomous region of Trentino Alto Adige, on the Italian/Austrian Border. My experience is drawn from my Military service, where I was a Mountain Leader and passed selection for the RAF Mountain Rescue Team. Since then I have led expeditions for various companies to India (Himachal Pradesh), Romania, Morocco, Malawi, Namibia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia & Chile. I also work as a Duke of Edinburgh Award trainer and assessor at Bronze, Silver and Gold Level and have attended the 'Train the Trainer' course at the National Outdoor Centre, Plas Y Brenin, to allow me to mentor those progressing their qualifications within the outdoor industry.

My Mountain Training Story :

Laura Gurney

I started climbing when I was 8 at Mile End Climbing Wall in London, by joining their kids club and then later NICAS. I really committed to climbing when I was 14 by doing the Mile End Competition squad and also completing NICAS lever 5. I then moved to Nottingham attending Nottingham Trent University studying Design For Film and Television. During my Studies I worked at the Nottingham Depot as and instructor and counter staff member. I was also a member of the Nottingham University Climbing Club where I participated in many outdoor abroad trips and university competitions. During my 3 years at university I became very invested in outdoor climbing, in particular bouldering, however I love climbing and will climb anything. Recently, after graduating I have moved back to London where I have started working at Mile End Climbing Wall behind the counter and beginning to get involved in coaching the Squad. Since the age of 14 I have been climbing regularly at least 3 (usually 4/5) times a week.

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Mee

I got my first taste of the UK mountains as a scout at a young age. I was also lucky enough to have supportive PE teacher, so I got a taste of the bigger hills on school camp, in the Lakes aged 11. By the time I left school I was a keen hill walker & climber. I was in my early 20’s when I first started to introduce others to my love of the hills. I then started to discover Scottish winters and the Alps and suddenly it was about climbing and mountaineering too. I had begun to gain qualifications in both climbing and hill walking, gaining my ML & SPA in 1994 Since then I have been lucky enough to work all over the UK and worldwide. For example I climbed classic ice routes in the Scotland, long rock routes in the Alps, Yosemite and Morocco, summiting a number of 4000m peaks. In addition to mountaineering I am also a keen caver having descended a large number of caves in the UK as well as a few deep caves in Europe including a classic 1200m deep cave. As a qualified MIA, Winter ML, IML and CIC work with lots of young people and teach mountain skills to adults; navigation, climbing and mountaineering. I love working with people and seeing them develop, it’s why I do this job

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Gardiner

Took out Scout Leaders Warrant in February 1983. Moved to Venture Scouts to help mainly with outdoor activities in November 1984. Asst Venture Scout Leaders Warrant in July 1985. Given Scout Association Form M ( long since out of date) authorizing Mountain Walking for Scouts covering England/Wales all weather conditions plus rock climbing to VS and abseiling. After break, returned to run 1st Brightwell cum Sotwell Scout group in around 1990 and ran a few Lowland and Hill Walking trips. After many years away from leading and supervising I am planning a return to assist with Duke of Edinburgh's Award based in Guernsey. Looking forward to finally finishing various Mountain Training Assessments.

My Mountain Training Story :

Tim Howell

I first got interested in the outdoors as a career on a management course. I wish I had known what opportunities there were as an 18 year old instead of trying to create a career in my 40s with two children and a mortgage to pay! I am a qualified youth worker, teacher and lecturer and have found it really hard to get instructors with the right balance of interpersonal and relationship skills and ability with challenging behaviour. when it works it is nothing short of transformational. I could count those that meet that standard on one hand despite buying in instructors over seven years across the South East and Midlands. When I started my first day running an adventurous activity project I told my new manager i wanted L2 coach BCU, SPA and ML by the end of the three year contract. He laughed in my face. Six years later I am summer ML qualified, Level 1 paddlesport coach and CWA trained. I am open to partnership opportunities to bring my youth work expertise, especially with the most challenging behaviour into outdoors contexts where genuine transformation can be facilitated. I am completing my MA in Outdoor Education at University of West Wales, Trinity St David. Watch this space. I aspire to run my own centre on my own land in the midlands or North / West Wales or somewhere in between.

My Mountain Training Story :

Benjamin Collins

I found my love and enthusiasm for the outdoor whilst on a sports outdoor activities college course in 2011. The course gave me a great stepping stone of experience into the industry. I was now determined to gain as many qualifications as I could to share my passion among various different activities. In 2016 I passed my SPA and went to work as a senior instructor for Acorn in the Ardeche (South Central France). This was a great stepping stone into the responsibilities of centre management roles. I learnt so much from the 5 month season and I still reflect back on the experience. Moving on from my Senior Role in France I went to Australia to work for Outward Bound Australia as a group expedition leader. This was another fantastic step up for me as I was now facilitating a group to achieve their schools objectives but also each participants goals. With a new exciting environment and work routine I was even more passionate about educating young adults to the benefits of the outdoors. The Expeditions would run for 3 to 14 days depending on the clients request, every night would be spent out on a planned route with various activities along the way. The ratios were higher than I had previously worked with, 1 leader, 1 adult/teacher and 18 participants maximum. However this never arose as an issue for myself. I found that the longer courses had the biggest impact on the groups with the most success too!

My Mountain Training Story :

Chris Norris

Having always been interested in the outdoors, I have know decided to take the plunge and complete my first two NGB's.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jonathan Wade

I'm quite a sporty person I enjoy lots of different sports and active activities. I work as a multi sport activity instructor and have been for about 3 years now. I have gained lots of experience in running climbing session and lots of other activities you would find at an activity centre. I am ERCA qualified and enjoy working at height on wires and man made structures. I have also gained the girl guiding level 1qualifaction and a lot of experience running sessions on climbing towers and other set ups such as crate stacking, Jacobs ladder and many more. I enjoy my job and really like instructing all these activities for the groups that come in. I would like to keep progressing in this industry so I am pushing myself to get more and more qualified so I can keep doing what I enjoy. I enjoy going out climbing personally because I find it very fun and challenging at the same time. It also helps me to progress myself as a person while providing me with the experience and knowledge needed to perform. I am looking forward to gaining even more awards and experience in the future!

My Mountain Training Story :

Albert William Park

Hi I'm Bert, I have led 20 overseas expedition (WCE, True Adventures & Far Frontiers), 29 UK based expedition training weekends and 50 DofE expeditions. I am looking looking for opportunities to work in the London & East of England area (based in Ipswich), but happy to travel further for longer periods of work. I am interested in any work involving challenge events, I have completed over 500 orienteering events, 19 mountain marathons, 22 cross country/LDWA marathons, and 3 ultra marathons (50 miles+). I was a school DofE centre coordinator for 5 years, so have a good working knowledge of the whole DofE System, trained Events Visits Coordinator (EVC) on Evolve. Aspirant IML (awaiting final winter assessment - Feb 2019), DofE Gold Assessor(walking), DofE Group Supervisor, Level 2 Bushcraft instructor, and working towards being a CLA Course Provider. I am now focusing fully on outdoor work , after a 24 year army career and 13 years as a teacher in a state secondary school. Own insurance, transferable DBS, FAW & Outdoor/Wild Country First Aid.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Mycroft

After years in the military and enjoying walking in the mountains, I joined the Army Cadet Force. I took an interest in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and wanted to lead and prepare groups for their expeditions. I completed the Mountain Leader Summer course. I also completed the DofE wild country assessor course. I ran and assisted on many DofE expeditions from bronze, silver and Gold levels. I left the UK and moved to New Zealand, I spent a lot of my time outdoors on hunting trips. I then moved to Auckland and found out about Auckland Search and Rescue teams, so I decided to join. I was trained in Search techniques and adnvanced tracking, I also completed my Pre Hospital Emergency Care course which is a few steps up from the basic first aid courses. Now I am back in the UK I am leading walks with groups both college and through Army Cadets. I also hold my BCU Kayak level 1 & 2.

My Mountain Training Story :

Thomas Amy

Hi, I'm Tom. I'm currently a Indoor Climbing Instructor in Northampton with a passion for climbing! I am fully CWA and CWAA qualified since 11/2016. I am also a qualified rope access technician with my BS7985 rope access qualification. I now also hold a CWLA award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Johannes Petersen

I started supervising groups in the outdoors aged 17 through a school outdoor education programme. As a student I worked at Alien Rock in Edinburgh which was the start of my instructing proper. However I would say I really started teaching in the outdoors during my PGCE year at Bangor Uni 2005-06. Since then I have taught in a variety of schools, outdoor centres and on expedition. I now work as a freelance MIC based in Inverness from where I run www.johannespetersen.scot mountain navigation courses.

My Mountain Training Story :

Felicity Kettle

I have a genuine passion for the outdoors, love the wildlife, nature and landscape of what our beautiful country has to offer! I'm definitely slightly obsessed with getting out and exploring, predominantly north Wales but all over... Lake District, Yorkshire, Brecon, Scotland etc... - Strong points...... I love navigation, this year have set up some navigation workshops. I hope to share my enthusiasm for navigation and hopefully give people the confidence and knowledge to safely visit places. I also enjoy wildcamping, being at one with nature. I've started to help run a few MTA sessions at Llandegla, it helped me to pass my ML so feel it's important to share that and now help others in return. - Last year I passed my summer ML with Phil George in LLanbris. -I've also just got my DofE gold assessors certificate and registering for North Wales. I'd also like to try and organise some training for people taking part in DofE gold, ready for expeditions part of the syllabus. - I have 2 years left on my 16 hr first aid in remote areas. I like helping out with fundraiser's , and will be helping with LLMRT this year. Helping mountain rescue is very important to me as it's so important for the community and keeping everyone safe in the outside environment.

My Mountain Training Story :

Iona Murphy

I'm an outdoor enthusiast that loves to climb.

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Bereit

I still remember my first "proper fell". A teaching colleague asked me if I was busy at the weekend to which I replied, "Other than some marking then no"! Consequently we spent a cold, wet but thoroughly fantastic day on the Helvellyn range in the Lake District. Ever since then I've been "hooked" on mountains! The mountains of the UK hold a special place for me; a place to breathe, relax, unwind and test my mind and body. They never fail to put a smile on my face and although it sounds a little cliché I am always happy and content when in the hills. Since my first outing on Helvellyn I've built up a range of experience in both UK hills and further afield. In 2009 I was lucky enough to spend 3 fascinating weeks in the mountain kingdom which is Nepal. We spent a fabulous week trekking in the Langtang region; what a place, the people are just so humble and welcoming! One day I intend to return to Nepal and hopefully summit a trekking peak in the Khumbu valley. I've also been lucky enough to spend a fabulous week in the High Atlas (Morocco) culminating in a fabulous summit day on Jebel Toubkal. My Summer ML assessment is booked for this August and I plan to use it as a stepping stone onto bigger and more varied things, not least sharing my passion for the hills both in the UK and abroad with lots of different people. Thanks for stopping by and reading my profile and keep "getting out there"! :)

My Mountain Training Story :

Tim Harrison

Family holidays to the Lake District gave me access to the hills during my childhood, but I really found my love of the mountains as member of the Manchester University Hiking Club. We took groups into the mountains and national parks on a weekly basis, and that's where I learnt my group leading skills, honed my navigation, and passed those skills onto the next keen group of hikers. I gained my summer ML more as a confirmation of my skills, rather than having any specific use for the qualification. I have now put the ML to good use as I lead silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh groups. I always enjoyed developing people as navigators and leaders in my university hiking club days and have rediscovered that pleasure, working with young people and giving then the skills and the confidence they need to complete their expeditions.

My Mountain Training Story :

Neil Godding

Currently working as a teacher in North Wales, love walking and camping in the mountains of snowdonia. Booked into an ML Summer training course this Easter with the intention of qualifying next year to suport local DofE groups and outdoor clubs for young people.

My Mountain Training Story :

James O'NEILL

Hi, my name is James. I grew up exploring the Countryside, walking, mountain biking and shooting for which I used to compete nationally and came 1st in national under25's Rifle Snap Shot. I completed my DofE Silver when I was in secondary school, I was a qualified Youth Sport Leader trainer whilst I was in college and enjoyed teaching these courses, exclusively with Young Offenders. I spent a lot of time walking Dartmoor, the Cotswolds, Peak districts and Snowdon and it is something I really enjoy. I joined the Police in 2013 and in 2015 I joined the Ambulance Service, I am now a County Coordinator and Training Officer working with people who volunteer as First Responders across the Civilian, Military and Emergency Services. In this role I act as Bronze Operational Commander at Major Incidents as well as responding to major trauma and medical emergencies both on call from home and also from station. During my first year with the ambulance I joined Warwickshire Search and Rescue as a Trainee Search Dog Handler. I left at the end of 2016 due to a change in my job role and also due to my dog becoming injured during search training and she needed a whole to recover. However she is now back to full health and I am about to go back into Search and Rescue but this time in the Mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Emma Harrison

As well as running a popular bunkhouse in Bwlch, I am a Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador, Fforest Fawr GeoPark Ambassador & Dark Skies Ambassador (plus volunteer) for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. I am also a highly experienced walking group leader: I provide guided walks for bunkhouse guests, and occasionally freelance for other companies (past clients include A to Z Expeditions, Explorers Connect, and Mountain & River Activities). I also lead walks on a voluntary basis for a charity group called Welsh Women Walking, and for local walking festivals such as Crickhowell, Monmouthshire & Forest of Dean, and Talgarth. I help organise an annual walking & mountain biking challenge called 'Bwlch With Altitude', and I appeared on BBC1 Wales, leading Derek Brockway, presenter of 'Weatherman Walking', on a guided walk in the Black Mountains (Series 10, Episode 2).

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Lee

Outdoors feels like being at home, without the walls; somewhere that I can be free to listen to the birds singing, watch the world and wildlife, a place where there is abundance of opportunities to explore, learn, develop, to grow. I am passionate and enthusiastic about the outdoors, and have been a facilitator and learning provider for over 30 years. Through my personal experiences and work I can recognise the importance of the part that these activities can play in helping us to be healthier and happier on all levels; physically, emotionally and mentally. Some of my fondest and earliest memories are of climbing trees, exploring, of being outside; and have continued to follow that journey in one guise or another. Whether it's working with 8 or 80 year olds, regardless of it being the first time on a climbing wall or hundreds of walks under the belt, the work that I am part of with youth and adults is a dream come true. I love helping others to achieve their dreams or goals and turn them into reality; seeing that spark or lightbulb come on in someone's eye, that self-realisation that 'I can….' or 'I am……', that's priceless!! Very humbling and rewarding. I've 16 years' experience serving in the Royal Marines, and integrate coaching techniques and therapeutic interventions into outdoor related activities for both individuals and groups. In addition to working with a national network provider of youth clubs, I run a not-for-profit organisation delivering community programmes that focus on outdoor activities to support personal and community based development. If you'd like to know more, then please get in touch and I'd love to hear from you.

My Mountain Training Story :

Christiana Naziris

Currently hold military Rock Climbing Multi Pitch Leader, looking to gain/convert to SPA.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alana Lee

My name is Alana and I have been involved in a wide variety of outdoor sports for several years now. I began rock climbing when I joined the Royal Navy in 2010 whilst visiting the Brecon Beacons. To date I am competent with top roping, bouldering and leading indoors or out on single and multi pitches leading or seconding. I have also climbed numerous mountains within Wales and the Lake District, my most memorable experience being Scafell Pike in the winter of 2014 with zero visibility. I used to work for PGL the market leader in outdoor activity holidays for younger people where I taught rock climbing and high ropes activities day in day out sharing my passion and inspiring the younger generations with my love of the sport. I currently live in Dorset and enjoy climbing on Portland most days. Through PGL, I gained all my supervision experience and undertook CWA and SPA to work as a freelancing instructor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Pamela Barr

Full time Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist and part time climbing instructor working in Stockport. The outdoors is my passion, especially climbing and mountaineering. Although I love working with children and helping them to communicate better I am hoping to pursue a career in the outdoors where I can share my passion with others.

My Mountain Training Story :

Roger Litherland

This is an introductory story as I haven't yet completed any training. I am hoping to complete my Mountain Leader this year (2018). I have been walking in the mountains (especially the summits of the Lake District) since I was 7 years old. My Father was a very keen walker and it was his influence that began my love affair with walking in the hills. I am close to completing the 214 Wainwright summits and have summited the 4 Highest peaks in the UK and Ireland.