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 :

Kevin Windmill

Hi I'm Kev, I first got inspired to go walking when I started walking with my father from 6 years of age, after my father passed away I spent these walking days walking with my uncle. I have mainly used Britain as my outdoor playground and have also been volunteering for Central Beacons Mountain Rescue team for the last 5 years, I love it. Lastly I'm very new to this so if I've missed anything please let me know. Thank you Kevin

My Mountain Training Story :

Emily Stone

Currently completing my summer Mountain Leader award. I enjoy hillwalking all over the UK and hiking in the alps and Canada, as well as climbing, ski touring and scrambling. I am currently residing in Southern England, with regular jaunts up the A1 to the hills of the Lake District! Having lived in Canada on and off for the past two years, I have enjoyed the long winters and ample ski touring options. I have completed roughly 14 day hikes and 2 overnight hikes in BC, in addition to those completed in Europe. When I lived in Glasgow whilst studying for my Undergraduate Earth Sciences degree, I had countless weekends and 'skive days' spent walking and climbing all around Scotland and was an active member of the legendary Glasgow University Mountaineering Club. I still regularly visit friends in Scotland and am more likely to be found in the Perthshire hills than anywhere else. As part of my Earth Sciences degree, I completed a summer mapping project on Skye as well as multiple geological mapping field trips. All of these required spot-on micronav in order to place outcrops of rock in their accurate locations on an OS map, and whilst the distance covered each day was not always huge, they were intensive mountain days. In my logbook, I have included all of those which I deem to fulfill the criteria of Quality Mountain Days, however the repetitive and circuitous nature of many of the days makes them difficult to log. I have around 25 days wandering through Scottish glens and bogs in addition to what's logged, but it doesn't make for very exciting reading, nor do I remember the routes taken on some of the days! I hope to obtain my summer ML so that I can assist with D of E expeditions, and maybe have the option of going into expedition guiding further down the line. Above all, I enjoy the learning process of the ML course and wish to further my navigational and group leadership skills through this award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Roberts

I fell in love with mountains in my native Wales in the winter of 1985/86. Over the next few years I explored Snowdonia in summer and winter. After Uni I spent three months in East Africa and trekked up Mount Kenya (Point Lenana) as well as a 5-day guided trek in the Ruwenzori Mountains. This experience was eventually topped in 2001 when I went on a 2-week guided trek to Everest basecamp. I discovered Munros in a book shop in the Lake District in 1995 and immediately became an un apologetic Munro bagger. I've climbed in all seasons and all weathers (often in the same day). I've wild camped, stayed in bothy's, done multi-day trips, solo and with friends. I've run up Munros and mountain biked down them. I've only got 44 left to go... I moved to Scotland 10 years ago and spend as much time as I can in the hills; whether this is my local mini-mountain Dumyat in the Ochils or further north. I love mountain biking in Scotland, and am lucky enough to have biked in the French Alps. I've done day trips and multiday expeditions, wild camped and bothied and in all weathers and seasons. I also enjoy the sense of freedom from hill running in Scotland. I've gained a lot of experience through trial and error (with a fair amount of error) as well as more formal training. I'm still in love with mountains and am hoping that through the ML scheme I'll find opportunities to share some of what I've experienced with others, particularly folk who've not had the opportunities I've had, and introduce them to the great outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Leaver

My passion for climbing began in 2009 where I spent three full summer seasons climbing in the Haute-Savoie region of France. These concentrated climbing seasons gave me the foundation for safe ropework and movement, and a real passion for mountain climbing. In 2012 I took my first steps into the world of multi-pitch climbing in Orpierre, France. On my return to Bristol, I continued to train indoors and to climb some of the crags in the South West of England. We are very lucky in Bristol to have 4 great indoor centers, to help improve bouldering and sport climbing technique, as well as being close to crags such as Avon Gorge, the beautiful Cheddar Gorge and the coastal climbing of Portland to name just a few. Since these early beginnings I have spent 7 weeks in Tonsai, Thailand - time in Arico, Tenerife and further time in the UK and France, improving my strength, lead-climbing and bouldering technique. After working as a manager at both a sports club for 5yrs and youth hostel for 2yrs, I am now beginning my teaching qualifications in order to help others to become inspired by this fantastic sport. My goals are to learn traditional climbing techniques and to continue improving as a climber and also as a coach. My love of climbing comes primarily from a love of nature and wildlife - but I also find the movement very similar to yoga and as such I believe climbing provides the perfect balance of movement, breathing and strength. It is also a very psychological sport, thereby dissolving the ego and builds and strengthens positivity in everything you do in your life.

My Mountain Training Story :

Maurice Darwen

I took my MLC intro with Shropshire CC at their outdoor centre at Arthog, N Wales. (this is not shown in my records for some reason) I had been a walker since a very young age and my first "mountain" was Scafell Pike at age 11 with my father. As a teacher I used that experience over 30 years of teaching environmental education, but also leading walks, ski holidays, Duke of Edinburgh groups and so on. I moved to France in 2005 and was awarded the Brevet Federal as a group organiser and leader in 2009. (At the present time the award cannot be credited) this allowed me to organise residential and long distance walks on any waymarked path anywhere in the world. In 2010 I became a departmental trainer for map and compass work for intending walk organisers. I was vice president of a French walking club with over 200 members and organised local walks and residential walking holidays in both France and the UK. I have just returned to the UK due to family needs>

My Mountain Training Story :

Owain Williams

I use my awards to instruct and lead individuals to raise confidence, fitness, health and well-being. I will teach the skills required for individuals to access the outdoors independently, so that they can share their skills with friends and family / work towards gaining NGB qualifications / lead a more active lifestyle.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Merrall

Despite growing up a long way from anywhere even resembling a moor or mountain , by the time I left school I had walked extensively in the Lake District - usually wild camping and backpacking up to a week at a time - and sampled a few other regions. I continued to feed my love of the outdoors thereafter - completing various long distance paths and trekking a few times overseas, the highlights of which were trekking trips to the Indian Himalaya and the Pacific North-west/Alaska which I organised with friends. Alas, the responsibilities of adulthood and an office job in engineering consultancy meant that I neglected the walking, particularly mountain-walking, side of my life for many years. However, having lived on the edge of the Dark Peak and then the Yorkshire Dales I have still amassed a great many days out over the years. I took the new Mountain Training Mountain Skills course as a refresher (with David Bartles-Smith) and then an NNAS Silver course (with Jack Oliver). Having enjoyed these so much and realised how much more 'alive' I feel out in the hills, I have vowed to get back 'into it'. Step one has been trawling through old diaries of what I've already done. I started this process when I first looked into the Mountain Leader scheme and am slowly populating my DLOG somewhat nostalgically, more for my own interest than to get a place on the Mountain Training leaderboard - my presence there is somewhat embarrassing amongst such august folk who have dedicated their careers to it! At the time of writing, Step two will be to do the Mountain Leader scheme and Step three to get some part-time outdoor activities role, even if voluntary.

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher Wright

It all started at The Storey Arms in 1988 when for some reason I thought that it would be a good thing to do. I was quite 'green behind the ears' then but had a passion for the mountains. Shorthly after this, I trained to become a teacher and that is when the ML scheme really became valuable. Upon passing my assessment in '94, I began using it straight away with DofE groups. MLs in schools were quite rare in the early 90's. Rock climbing and scrambling was the natural progression, along with winter routes, so I started to log days for SPA and MLW. Living in Kent, this took quite a while but I eventually made it, facilitated by a move to North Yorkshire. I now use all of my MT qualifications (well, perhaps not the winter aspect) on a weekly basis in my role as Head of Outdoor Pursuits at Giggleswick School. I'm currently consolidating towards my MIA and plan to go for assessment next October. I have become more interested in ultra running over the last few years and combine my love for the mountains and navigation with endurance running, both in the UK and in the Alps. Planning to do the UTMB in August 2018.

My Mountain Training Story :

Teän Hewson

Hi there, I am working towards my Lowland Leading Training Course . I want to be a competent, knowledgable and fun Mountain Leader someday and I starting at the bottom :) I walk alone a lot for my own freedoms and look forward to the moments when I can share them with other people. That's all for now.

My Mountain Training Story :

Gary Butler

I started hill walking in the mid 1980s with trips to the Lake District progressing to the mountains of Wales and then Scotland. I originally attended the then MLTB training week in Snowdonia in 1990 with the aim of taking the assessment shortly thereafter but for a a variety of reasons that didn't happen. Over the years I continued to intermittently add to my Log Book, complete a round of the Munros and continued to climb the Corbetts and other hills when the opportunities arose. Whilst currently somewhat in denial about the Corbetts it is my intention to complete them as well! I have again attended the Summer Leader training week and this time intend to get to the assessment and who knows what I will do after that! Possibly something in winter perhaps? For now, I am just enjoying my time in the hills and mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Bryn Hughes

My name is Bryn Hughes and I was born and raised in North Wales. Although I lived in the mountains for all of my life, I didn't notice that I loved the outdoors until I left to live in a coastal town in mid Wales to study at University. I must have been about 20 when I first realised this, I would have already done a fair bit of walking as I grew up, nothing big, just the hills around Snowdon. My cousin invited me to do Ben Nevis and I thought why not, it was that day after I reached the summit in quite a quick time that I realised this is something that I'm able to do well and enjoy it. Since then I've done more of Snowdonia, I've travelled to New Zealand to hike around the country and in 2014 did the Tour Du Mt Blanc. In March 2015 I completed the summer mountain leadership training scheme at Plas y Brenin. I learned quite a bit from them and am now trying to add as much experience as I can before I go for an assessment. In August 2017 I moved from London to Lancaster to be closer to a national park. I'm hoping to add some voluntary experience while I'm up here so that I can maybe someday work as a park ranger/warden. I believe this would give so much more knowledge that I would then be able to share with a group that I might one day lead. I believe my passion for the outdoors and not only for the activities but also for cultural and geological history would make me a great guide. I'm great with others and love to meet new people. Knowledge can always be gained, even from those who have little or no experience in any given activity.

My Mountain Training Story :

Rob Davies

My name is Rob Davies and I live in mid Wales. I have always been a walker and a bit of a peak bagger. I have completed all the Welsh 2000's (Nuttall's) and about half the Engilsh 2000's and Wainwrights. Further afield I have been a regular visitor of Scotland with a number of Munros under my belt. I'm also a member of the LDWA and long challenge walks are always on the horizon and I have currently completed eight 100mile challenge walks. I have a keen interest in local history and wildlife and love nothing better than to take out walkers and show them whats on their doorstep. In September 2013 I was a founder member and Chairman of the Devils Bridge Walkers are Welcome Walking Club. It was the formation of the club that took me form being a normal hill walker into a walk leader. Since than I have led numerous lowland walks and a desire to show walkers our wonderful Cambrian mountains has led me to register for the Hill and Moorland leader certificate.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sol Armer

Current freelance instructor leading sessions; rock climbing, abseiling, mountain walking, gorge walking, canoeing, kayaking, and mine exploring in Snowdonia. On top of my MTA SPA and ML; I currently hold a: BCU L1 Coach - 3* Canoe - 3* Sea Kayak - BCA L2 Mine Leader - 16hr REC - D1+E - Drivers CPC - DBS

My Mountain Training Story :

Alan Maclean

I soon discovered once I started getting into these sort of activities, I wanted to share them with people of all ages and abilities. Doing things that are active taking you out your comfort zone, giving you the all natural buzz to up lift your spirits. I work at the Edinburgh International Climbing arena though have been supervising in other centres/ crags /tree climbs / high ropes, canyons . Assisting groups coasteering to assessing in the hills for Dofe . All great fun! Love it!

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Morris

Hi, I'm a student currently studying Geography with Mountain Leadership at Staffordshire University, I am passionate about many outdoor activities and want to work in the outdoors industry one day. In September 2017 I passed my Mountain Leader Assessment, as a part of my university course it was great to go through the process with good friends. With my award I hope to share my love for the mountains of the UK, and to develop my instructing and soft skills to develop myself as a leader. I am also passionate about the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and am a supervisor for all levels. I have helped out and supervised many teams on DofE expeditions and instructed on numerous training days. I also really enjoy climbing, both outside and indoors, and have the intentions to complete my Single Pitch Award very soon. As my D-Log might not be the most up-to-date, here is a link to my UKC Profile, with a logbook in: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/profile.php?id=205511

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Bradbury

Geology graduate with a history in competitive orienteering. More recently I have worked as an outdoor instructor/guide in the UK, Hong Kong, Norway and America. I am looking to get a ML(s) award in order to access more work in this sector.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ian Parker

I have had a love of the outdoors for as long as I can remember with memorable family holidays to the Lake district and North Wales, a member of Speak Town Outdoor Pursuits and then Merseyside Army cadets. After the Army cadets I joined the Royal Marine Reserves, and once I had completed my A levels, I joined the Royal Marines full time. As well as the physical demands of Commando training, there was a great emphasis on navigation, leading to solo night navigation exercises on Dartmoor. Commando training culminated in a final exercise consisting of 10 days on Dartmoor, navigating, "bivvy'ing" out and covering a distance of over 100miles. Later as a member of 45 Commando, based in Scotland, as well as military mountain training and skiing in the mountains around Glenshee and Ben Nevis, I was also able to use my free time to participate in more mountain walking, rock climbing and skiing. After leaving the Royal Marines I didn't visit the mountains as much as I would have liked, however more recently I have renewed my enthusiasm and started to refresh and develop my skills again and build on my experience to pursue the Summer ML qualification. My ambition is to leave the 9-5 behind and spend more time in the mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Lee Maddison

I've just recently passed my ML assessment in Sept 2017 during a memorable and inspiring week on the Isle of Rum. I decided to train as a Mountain Leader with the aim of tying it in with my career as a singer songwriter with the idea of reducing my hours working as a registered mental health nurse for the NHS. However I do intend to approach my NHS Trust to talk about getting people with mental health problems in the hills. My earliest memory of the great outdoors is via frequent visits to my grand-parent’s home in Horsforth near Leeds from our home in Hartlepool in the North East. At the end of the Cul-de-sac, where my grand-parents lived, was a narrow lane that led to a few acres of old mature deciduous woods with the woodland floor being strewn with great moss covered rocks - a magical sylvan sensory playground of earth, roots and greenery – I remember rubbing my cheek up against that damp moss - I never wanted to leave. That small piece of woodland remains the most vivid, enduring and warmest memory of my childhood, and my gateway to a life-long relationship with the natural world. I still get that same restorative feeling. Now, as an ML, I hope to inspire people to capture that same feeling I described above - to share that wow! feeling that I get everytime I stand above a cloud inversion, see the rising sun light up a ridge, see the reflection of the moon in a tarn during a wild camp or here the plaintive mewing of a buzzard echoing around a remote corrie.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Burfield

I have been providing navigation courses for individuals and small groups for the past twenty years, covering basic navigation skills and also an advanced navigation course. These have been designed to run over two/three days in an appropriate setting. For example the Basic Navigation course has been undertaken in the Chilterns, Wiltshire Downs, South Downs etc. whereas the Advanced Navigation Course has only been undertaken in the mountain areas of England and Wales (primarily Wales). I am also an approved Duke of Edinburgh Gold level Expedition Assessor. I enjoy passing on the skills of interpreting maps and fieldwork, having had experience of walking and climbing in Europe and further afield.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alex Hardman

I got into working in Adventure Education after a career change from The Parachute Regiment of the British Army. I turned up for NGB training courses (SPA, ML) with an 'alternative' attitude towards assessment which included - because I passed P Coy ( a test to become a Paratrooper) I shouldnt have to do this assessment ! Ive learnt alot since then and for the past 14 years have worked full time mainly in the FE sector encouraging, motivating and supporting people who also want to work in the Outdoors. Ive changed my job recently and now manage the Adur Centre in Shoreham, Sussex - www.adurcentre.org.uk I love helping people get out into what they perceive to be impossible environments i.e. cold, wet, dark mountains and I love watching them feel the freedom that the mountains can bring. Ive recently added to my 'client group' to groups of people leaving the military and all that goes with that transfer. Not easy but something very personal and worthwhile. I'd love to do more Winter and Alpine work as my skills and experience progress and I dream of ascending a mountain and skiing down in descent, one day ..... until then "this is how you pack your rucksack". Love it. Al

My Mountain Training Story :

Ashley Rubens

Mountain Rescue team member (Cas Care and Mod 2 Water certs), Gold Duke of Edinburgh Assessor, Traveller. All a hobby really - day job as a veterinary surgeon!

My Mountain Training Story :

Marcus Dix

Passionate climber from Manchester. Currently climbing in Bristol - beautiful city, great people, what's not to love!

My Mountain Training Story :

lee simmons

Climbing has been a great recreational activity to have in my life. It now seems fitting to link it with my work as a therapist, hence signing up for CWA and starting this log.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sebastian Morgan-Clare

Great journey from surviving cancer to becoming a fully fledged outdoor professional. In addition to my MLT tickets I can now boast BCU (New) Level 2 Coach - 3* Canoe and Kayak, 4* Open Canoe trained, BCA LCML Level 1 - BCA LCML Level 2 trained, DofE Assessor, D1 and E1 licence entitlement with MiDAS! What a great life so far!

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Robertson

Having been 'on the hill' in most of my spare time over the last 25 years I feel a career change is in order before i'm 'over the hill' involving my love of the mountains. First steps are summer mountain leader and then winter mountain leader. If that goes to plan then the international mountain leader.

My Mountain Training Story :

Seren Stacey-Jones

In the summer of 2016, following an eight year career in the NHS, I decided to pursue my passion for climbing and the outdoors and become an outdoor instructor. I hold a Single Pitch Award qualification and largely work providing climbing instruction. One of the things I love about this work is how much it varies.With work taking me around the country from the granite of Dartmoor to the grit of the Peak District and Yorkshire. I also instruct indoors, providing coaching for junior and adult beginners as well as NICAS and GCSE groups. Over this year I aim to work on other NGB qualifications, such as Level 1 Local Cave and Mine Leader and Summer Mountain Leader. I have assisted on a number of outdoor activities apart from climbing, following on with my groups to go caving, adventure walking and scrambling. I have also developed an interest in supporting wider access to outdoor activities; volunteering at The Lake District Calvert Trust. To try and give something back to the natural areas I work in I volunteer with organisations such as Friends of the Lake District as well as trying to encourage good practice through my instructor role. As part of my roles I am trained in First Aid and fully DBS checked. My main aim is to share my love for the outdoors and the variety of activities used to explore these spaces withas many people as possible!

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Woodhead

I teach in a secondary school and have that to thank for a great deal of my recent experiences on the hills of Britain. I started out going to Snowdonia with work colleagues on walking weekends an we would spend Saturdays and Sundays bagging summits. My very first ascent of Snowdon was on a crystal clear day ascending from Rhyd Ddu path and the south ridge to the summit. I will never forget the exhilaration of crossing that ridge and feeling the drop on each side !! From that point onwards I was hooked and my second ascent was to be the north face of Tryfan swiftly followed by a round of the Glyders Fach and Fawr, descending via Devils Kitchen into Llyn Idwal. Since those early heady days I have become involved in youth outdoor activity and have developed my role to the point that I am now a DofE Supervisor and assessor, and hold a terrain 1 permit for hillwalking in the scouts association of which I am an assistant leader. I've done expeditions from bronze through to gold for my school and scout groups in the area and have just taken my second group of Gold Explorers through their expedition in Snowdonia, summiting Snowdon and Glyder Fach along the way ( in the company of a qualified ML by the way!) I completed my ML(s) training at Plas Y Brenin in August 2015 and am currently consolidating my log book to go for assessment in 2017.

My Mountain Training Story :

Louis Kennedy

I am originally a boulderer from South London, however a series of injuries prevented me from climbing as hard as I would like indoors, so I've been focusing my attention on transferring my enthusiasm for climbing into trad climbing, winter climbing and mountaineering.

My Mountain Training Story :

Charlie McCarthy

My enjoyment of mountains started in my teens and has lasted a lifetime. My first hills were climbed with Scouts and Penilee Secondary school hill walking club. The hills of Argyll and the mountains of Glencoe were my first adventures. From this base it’s only got better. Now as I entry and enjoy the freedom of the Third Age I want to share my enjoyment of wild places with others. For this I need qualifications, hence enrolment with the mountain training board. I regard this as the start of a journey. Like all starts I will try and take it slowly and see where it all leads. I know I will enjoy the trip.

My Mountain Training Story :

William Morris

Well my story starts in 1978 when I got involved in the DofE awards, not really sure what made me fall in love with the hill and navigation because as a kid I wasn't the fittest of children! I complete my Gold DofE in 1980 and went off to join the army where I spent a lot of the time in exercise training areas that always seemed to be "bolted" on to the side of a very big hill! I completed a course that exposed me to lots of mountainous terrain and I got the hill bug from that point and it still remains in me to this day. I have been lucky enough to complete expeditions in Kenya and Tanzania, The Picos Mountains and Germany as well as most of the UK ranges. I am involved in the DofE awards scheme as an Assessor and am registered with the Adventurous Training Group (Army) and can deliver the 5 day Summer Mountain Foundation course to members of the Army, TA and the ACF, which is similar to the Hill & Mountain Skills course. I am very conscious of my own CPD and have booked myself on to a Winter Mountain Foundation course in Jan 2016 in Scotland, which I am looking forward to as this is one skill I would like to master as I wish to attend my MLWT course in the next 18 months. I am registered with the National Navigation Awards Scheme and have completed several military navigation training courses including the 14 day Map Reading Instructors course at the Royal School of Military Survey. I am also registered as a First Aid Trainer and teach Expedition First-Aid to members of the Army Cadet Force as part of their CPD and preparation for involvement in the DofE awards. I live in South Wales with my wife (Nicola) and work for Local Government and am fully security cleared with a current DSB. I drive and am willing to drive to most locations in the UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sean Dunn

I first started mountaining from the age of 12 years of age. Walking around Lancashire Dales, then moved to Devon at age 13, where enrolled as a Cadet in the Air Training Corps. Learned map reading skills, partipated in frequent camping exercises covering North and South Dartmoor. Was promoted to Leader for the Bronze award ten tors expedition. Gained further outdoor experience with two years service in TA. Worked as a commercial diver for 10 years, then changed jobs and took up Engineering, upon completion of my HNC I decided to head back to the mountains. I spent 8 days walking Beacon Way in the Welsh Mountains, having reinspired my previous interest for walking I should continue. I then moved to Australia on a student visa and worked as a teacher, while I was there I took the option to visit the Blue Mountains, and visit mount kosciuszko. I returned back to the UK continued working as a teacher for a further two years, then learned about the mountaining award. I decided that I should get recognition for my achievements and maybe one day give back the same experience I was once given.

My Mountain Training Story :

Philip Godwin

I've completed my SML and CWAA and use it regularly with the Army Cadets. I have also passed JSMTC Advanced summer mountain leader award allowing me to take militarily groups scrambling and lead expeditions all over the world with them allowing me to gain experience for my IML and Winter ML which I plan to start and complete in the next few years, Part of my role within the ACF is DofE Administrator for my county so I lead plan and run bronze, silver and gold expeditions all over the UK on foot and by mountain bike as also hold my Trail cycle leader award. I also asses at all three levels of the award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Steven Daniels

I first moved to North Wales in 2011, I was on a voluntary scheme at an outdoor education centre. I quickly fell in love with the mountains and the multiple environments that we're so accessible. I finished my degree in adventure education in 2013 and moved back to north Wales that summer. I then completed a second traineeship at another centre in the heart of Snowdonia. I never left North Wales and became a freelance outdoor instructor. I've been working in all sorts of places since then in a lot of activities including sea level traversing, coasteering, canyoning, gorge scrambling, canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering (summer and winter), climbing, mining and educational trips such as sea shore study's and river study's. I joined llanberis mountain rescue team in October 2015.

My Mountain Training Story :

Martin Wall

I am a qualified freelance Mountain Leader (ML) and Single Pitch Award (SPA) holder living in Gwynedd, North Wales. I am an active full team member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation and Chester Mountaineering Club. I am also a member of Mountain Training Association, British Mountaineering Council and Institute of Outdoor Learning. I also hold a valid First Aid at Work, Rescue Emergency Care (REC) qualification & MREW Advanced First Aid Cas Care Certificate. I spent my child hood in South Wales and was introduced to hill walking on the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons when I joined the Air Scouts. I got to learn this terrain extensively when I later served with the British Armed Forces, this is when I really got to understand the importance of personal navigation and moving quickly in the mountains at day and night. I later passed the British Special Forces selection process and training program. I am actively involved in and have a passion for climbing, mountaineering (both winter & summer), trail running and I am currently preparing for the Mountaineering Instructor Award. I have shadowed several qualified MIA/MIC & IFMGA aspirant holders in their delivery of navigation, scrambling, multi pitch climbing, improvised rescue and single pitch climbing instructional days, taking place in North Wales summer & Scottish winter conditions. In my spare time I like to travel and I have been fortunate enough to have climbed in Scotland, Switzerland, France, the Austrian Alps, the High Atlas of North Africa and the Annapurna Sanctuary of Nepal leading successful expeditions to summit Mont Blanc, Jebel Toubkal and Annapurna Base Camp.

My Mountain Training Story :

Al Grantham

I live in Liverpool placing me equally between the Peak District, the Lake District, and Snowdonia. I get out to the mountains as often as I can to walk and scramble, because I enjoy it. I like walking with friends, with big groups and by myself, I like it in the sun, in the rain and in the snow. I have been involved in the outdoors in climbing, kayaking, snowboarding, scrambling and walking for all of my life. Over the last few years I have done a couple of courses with Glenmore Lodge and enjoyed them this has encouraged me to "upskill" myself and I intend to train and complete the summer mountain leader course over the next 2-3 years.

My Mountain Training Story :

elliot swinney

expedition leader for 2 years, i have led expeditions in Borneo, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. Most of my focus in in jungle environments where i teach people survival skills and leadership for running expeditions.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andy Heald

I have been rock climbing since my mid-teens and was walking the hills around Wharfedale before that. We were largely self-taught and were doing some scary routes on Cloggy and elsewhere by the time we were 17. Since then, I have come to winter mountaineering, climbed some bigger peaks and trekked in six continents. My 'home ground' has grown from the Peak and Pennines to the Lake District and Snowdonia and now I live on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. I have made a career as a professional geologist, specialising in landslides and high mountain geohazards. I have been lucky enough to work as a geologist in the mountains of Nepal and Peru, as well as in the Middle East, Far East, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. For me, there is a strong link between mountaineering and its geological setting and I try to bring these together when leading groups. I have obtained the ML and WML as a way of passing on my knowledge and experience to others. The greatest reward is from supporting people in achieving something that they thought was beyond them. The aim is always to provide an enjoyable learning experience by means of an adventurous day. I currently lead international groups walking in the UK, school geology trips mostly in Iceland and supervise Duke of Edinburgh groups.

My Mountain Training Story :

Daniel Connolly

Mountain runner from the Shropshire hills with a love for fitness, the outdoors, and the freedom that that comes with it.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Evans

I'm a teacher who became involved with the Dofe award. I wanted to gain qualifications to develop my own skills and share them along with my interest in the outdoors with the young people I work with. Since the early days of my Dof e leadership, I have become involved in a higher level of outdoor education. Training young people to navigate and conduct themselves to a high level in mountainous areas in the UK. These groups take on the three peaks challenge as the culmination of their training. They also have the opportunity to travel to the Alps for an alpine expedition. I am now working towards my own mountain leader award. My next step will be formal climbing qualifications.

My Mountain Training Story :

Angela Owen

I grew up in beautiful Derbyshire, still my favorite place. I moved to the French alps in my late teens fell in love with the mountains; In my twenties, I spent seven years in Mexico City and used the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains as a playground to escape the chaos and stress of living in one of the busiest cities in the world. As a secondary school teacher, both in Mexico and here in the UK, I have done everything I can to get kids outdoors, as I genuinely believe it develops their character makes them more independent, resilient and nicer human beings. After being caught out in a blizzard one Easter climbing Scafell Pike I decided to become a Mountain Leader to learn how to be safe on the mountains and give them the respect they deserve. I am also a team leader for Learning Outside the Classroom and a strong focus on Character Education drives me and my team to take students on some life changing expeditions all over the world. In the UK, our students annually have the opportunity to walk Wainwright’s coast to coast, compete in adventure races, take part in the National three peaks challenge and the Everest challenge. I am the Round Square Representative for our Academy and embed Kurt Hahn’s principles within the school with lots of interesting activities. I have organised three international conferences, developing my abilities as an events organiser with a meticulous eye for detail. I have vast experience of planning adventurous team building activities for adults. I have worked with groups of all sizes and ages helping them access the outdoors in a fun but safe manner. I also have years of experience as a Duke of Edinburgh expedition supervisor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Greg van Heeswijk

I have a love for long distance treks, having walked coast to coast in the UK several times and then solo across the Pyrenees. I have worked a ski season as a Rep and guide in 2013/14 and I'm heading out to Europe again this winter to do it again. I'm currently working towards a CWAA with the aim of working abroad in 2018. I've been climbing nearly two years, predominantly bouldering but increasingly using ropes. Indoor bouldering: f6b-f6c | V3 Outdoor bouldering: f5c/f6a |V2- V3 Indoor bottom roping: F6c Indoor lead: F6a

My Mountain Training Story :

Barry Greensides

I have done 23 Years in the Army with over 15 Years experience in AT. I hold BASI 2 Alpine, BASI SB 1, Snow Sport Scotland Race coach. SPA, Cave Leader 2 with CIC training, MIAS L4 and Powerboat Instructor. In the Army I hold Rock Climbing Leader, Mountain Bike Instructor, Alpine Klettersteig Leader and Joint Service Ski instructor Alpine. I have taught in Slovinia, France, Cyprus, Austria, Germany and the UK. I am working towards my ML and BCU 1. I am now working as a Freelance Instructor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Scott Tyler

Hello my name is Scott, I love to coach and participate in as many outdoor sports as possible, I love the feeling of being in the outdoor environment and pushing my physical limits as much as i can. I am currently qualified as CWA, CWAA, a level 1 youth worker soon to be level 3, BCU level 1 paddle sport coach working towards level 2, level 2 fitness instructor, level 3 personal trainer,British cycling mountain bike leader level 1 and Countryside Leader Award Trained (awaiting assessment). I also assist in coaching archery, orienteering and The Duke of Edinburgh's award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Calum Vaughan

Outdoor & Adventurous Activities Instructor based in the South West of England with easy access to the M4 & M5. 2:1 Graduate in Outdoor Leadership BA(Hons) from the University of Cumbria .

My Mountain Training Story :

Charles Fulford

Currently studying MA cultural policy at Goldsmiths, am interested in how climbing gyms can be inspiring positive hub of the community. Very interested in studying and working with climbing therapy.

My Mountain Training Story :

Barry Mcadam

Regional Adventure Training Technical Officer for Scotland & Northern Ireland Air Cadets. UK Technical Advisor to Scouts for Hillwalking. Carry out Walking and Climbing session throughout the UK having delivered a large number of NICAS session over the years. Delivered Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions at all levels also an Accredited Bronze,Silver Gold Assessor. A course director for the Expedition Safety Supervisors and Accrediated Assessor courses. Led expeditions abroad to Vietnam,Egypt,Morocco, Norway*2 and Germany. Qualified as a Trail Cycle Leader, Mountain Bike Instructor Award Scheme (MIAS) Level 4. BCU UKCC level Coach for Kayak / Canoe and Paddlesport Leader, Coach with Edinburgh Kayak Club. Delivered a high number of Basic Expedition Leader Courses as a course director. Course Director for Lowland Leader Award and asssisted on other Mountain Training Awards.

My Mountain Training Story :

Gary Evans

I have been Mountain Walking for nearly 40 years, since first being introduced to Outdoor Activities as a Scout. I have spent a considerable amount of time in the Hills and Mountains throughout the UK, as well as in Europe and Worldwide. My role as an Outdoor Activity Instructor and Trainer/Assessor has allowed me to introduce many people to the Mountains for the first time, as well as being able to help a great number of walkers with their skills and experience, particularly in terms of navigation skills. I am passionate about the outdoors and am always keen to encourage others to share in the experiences that they will always remember.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mikaela Toczek

As a photographer, mountain leader and educator I have been working in the outdoors in a range of contexts for over 7 years. Initially this was alongside my own education and then later as an expedition leader during my summers as a full-time secondary teacher. In 2016 I made the commitment to a life educating in the outdoors and left my job as a teacher to pursue freelance opportunities with my ML and to work towards my SPA and IML awards. I am passionate about the power that outdoor education has to inspire and educate people from all walks of life, empowering individuals to challenge themselves, learn new skills and to seek out adventure in all its forms.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Keskeys

I started walking up mountains (big hills as I called them at the time) when I was 11, my father took me to the Brecons to walk the horseshoe and the following year we walked Snowdon and Cader Idris. At the age of 13 I started rock climbing, prior to this I was climbing anything possible, but with no formal training. I took to climbing quite well and had a distinctly sport focus until I moved north, started trad climbing, and inevitably did my SPA training. I have lead walking groups in Wales, the Lakes, Peaks and Dartmoor. Groups have ranged vastly in both age and ability, all have been equally rewarding to work with. In recent years I have been living in the French Alps where I have walked some amazing routes, and climbed some routes I once only dreamed about (including multi-pitch on Pointe Percée in the Aravis at a height of 2753m). In this time I gained a passion for geology and the formation of the landscape we enjoy, this combined with my Environmental Science degree lead me to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I briefly returned to the UK in the summer of 2014 to complete my HML assessment, before doing one last season in the Alps.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alex Hardman

Since 2001 I've been using my climbing qualification (SPA) indoor and outdoors, helping all sorts of people from different backgrounds, ages achieve the aims and goals they set themselves. One of the most rewarding group of people I have worked with recently have been youngsters from a Children and Adolescent Mental Health School. Its not my place to know what stories these people bring with them but I do know that climbing, specifically indoor climbing, has made a huge difference to their lives. One student literally had not talked to people outside their comfort zone for at least 6 months. It was emotional to hear this person talk during a climbing session and I'm convinced that is was the experience this person had that gave them the confidence to take the next step in their lives. This person really got into their climbing and continued to climb whenever they could. Needless to say I was pretty chuffed with that to say the least.