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 :

Mark Thompson

I own and run Earthwomble Adventure Sports, based in Penrith, Cumbria. We provide Hill & Mountain walking, Rock Climbing and Mountain Bike adventures to private clients. We also occasionally work for other companies to meet a high demand and likewise we sometimes draft in extra staff to satisfy our busy periods. I set up my company as I plan for my transition from PAYE employment into working for myself. I've spent over 30 years playing in the outdoors and hold ML (S), RCI and MIAS Level 3 MTB Leader (Mountainous Terrain). My dream is to spend the rest of my working days leading, training and inspiring other people to enjoy the outdoors and the activities that take us there just as much as I do and so I've spent the last 2 and a half years turning my lifetime of experience into solid qualifications and I am running my company alongside my 'day job' until it is time to rely on it full time.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ross Penver

I work for Joint Services Mountain Training Center in Ballachulish.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Simkin

Starting small but dreaming big. I'm incrementally developing my navigational and general mountaineering skills. It's been a fairly slow process as of yet but each year brings noticeable progress. Looking to gain the Summer Mountain Leader award in the next year whilst also progressing to roped climbs and scrambles across the UK, with the help of friends and qualified instructors. The future will hopefully involve transferring the skills I develop to the Alps! “For nature, heartless, witless nature, will neither care nor know What stranger’s feet may find the meadow And trespass there and go, Nor ask amid the dews of morning, If they are mine or no.”

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. Cas Care Qualified. (MRW) Photography here: www.flickr.com/photos/heleniles/ Daily Walking log here: www.strava.com/dashboard?feed_type=my_activity

My Mountain Training Story :

Keith Hulse

For myself gaining the Mountain Leader Award was the culmination of many years of tremendous enjoyment on the hills and mountains of the UK, and of course with lots of studying in between. Over the years, before becoming an ML I walked with groups of all ages with varying experience and fitness which, helped me become the passionate and enthusiastic leader I am today. Since gaining my award I have successfully set up my own freelance business and developed my website "snowdoniawalker.co.uk" This gives me the opportunity to offer my services to all, no matter what their age or ability. Working for other organisations also gives me the opportunity to work with diverse groups of people. My area of expertise is Snowdon and Snowdonia and I do believe it is important not just to lead people safely on the hills but also to be able to share my knowledge of the landscape and its ecology. Snowdon itself is a fantastic mountain steeped in Industrial and Social History, the geology is stunning and interesting, all you need to do is avoid the crowds! In 2013 the National Park set up up a volunteer warden scheme for Snowdon, this was an opportunity for me to be able to give something back to an area that has given me so much pleasure. I applied, and I am proud to say I am one of the first “new” volunteer Wardens on Snowdon. This has been such a rewarding experience for me and has allowed me to become very familiar with the mountain whilst at the same time helping people to enjoy their visit to Snowdon. To hold your Mountain Leader Award puts you in a position of responsibility and I think it is important to continually learn and develop, so I take the opportunity to enhance my skills and knowledge whenever I can, whether it is attending courses, reading books or getting out on the hill to practice, it is a continual learning process and I love being able to do that.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Presley

I've been climbing for nearly 7 years now. I got into climbing by taking my Son to try a taster session at my local center (The Warehouse, Gloucester). My Son didn't take to it but I found it exhilarating so I attended a parent belay course next to try and persuade my Son to have another go at it but he wasn't having none of it so I started to going to Climbing Development session that ran every Thursday for 2 hours where I met a fellow newbie and an alliance was formed. Game over.

My Mountain Training Story :

James Corfe

I am a keen outdoor worker and hobbyist. I currently work as a senior instructor at the outward bound Trust ullswater and Howtown centres. Previously I have worked at obt Aberdyfi, as a freelancer at a variety of lakes based centres, ymca lakeside, acorn adventure in France and the venture centre in the Isle of man. I also hold a 1stdegree in outdoor education which was sat at UoC. I regularly participate in rock climbing, Scrambling, winter walking and all paddle sports. My biggest achivements include curcumavigations of the North and south island by sea kayak, which were expeditions that last more then 3 months each.

My Mountain Training Story :

Steven James

I starting training with the MTA and NNAS after falling for the bug that is Hill & Mountain Walking which was purely by accident after a holiday diversion to visit some friends and subsequently then doing the 3 peaks. This was back in 2013 and now after 5 years of training, lots of Hill, Moorland and Mountain Walking all over the UK i am now offering the opportunity to pass on all that i have learnt over this period. I am available for DofE Exped training/supervision at Bronze, Silver, (Gold only up to 600m at present) Please get in contact.

My Mountain Training Story :

Maria McGerty

I began walking this year in relation to a challenge I found in Country Walking Magazine, the aim is to walk 1000 miles over the period of one year. I have walked nearly every day this year to date, in doing so I reached my target on the 26th April. I have set a further target to walk 500 miles over the summer months. During my walks I have met a number of people, one of whom I have walked with a number of times and who suggested that I could build skills and confidence through the MTa walks leaders courses.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ronan O'Neill

I Started climbing just over two years ago when I joined the universities Mountaineering club, since then I have come a long way. I 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 enjoyment and try to push my grade to a higher standard. Two years ago I identified that I had a lack of experience leading trad routes, as a result I have spent the past two summers 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 two years ago as chairperson for my universities mountaineering club and since then I have gained my CWA (Climbing Wall Award). I have attended my SPA (Single Pitch Award) training, and have aspirations to pass the assessment within the near future. Through my university I was required to gain a years work experience that relates to sport or physical activity. As a result I chose to work at Greenhill YMCA National Outdoor Centre, which offers basic, introductory courses from archery to climbing at the climbing tower. Working at Greenhill helped to improve my trad climbing as I lived 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. Last year a work colleague and friend Mike Smith asked me to help out at his weekly climbing classes located at Tollymore Adventure Centre. Currently I actively work as a climbing coach for Sticky Feet, Mobile Team Adventure and Greenhill YMCA National Outdoor Centre.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Harrop

After a very boring life as a joiner, I made the decision at the age of 40 to turn my passion for climbing and the mountains into a business, I purchased Highpoint Mountain Guides in 2011 and hope to continue the previous owners great work in the beautiful Lake District national park. Since owning the business, I have had to learn all the different areas of running a successful outdoor activity company, from health and safety to delivering exciting, engaging activities for people of all ages, it has been a very steep learning curve, but I have met some great people who have helped me immensely along the way, and I can safely say that Highpoint is going from strength to strength. We now deliver superb outdoor experiences, activities and skills courses, as well as providing Professional mountain leaders up and down the country, we deliver courses and activities to families, school and youth groups, corporate groups and attract work from schools and companies such as Berghaus, Nike, Puma and The North face. We also work with TV production companies by providing location scouting and crew safety services and helped the BBC with locating shots and provided outdoor models for the Countryfile opening credits.

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher Allewell

Chris has been working in the outdoors for over 25 years. This has been interspersed with senior management and CEO roles in training and development both within the UK and internationally. He has pioneered new routes in the Himalaya and New Zealand Alps although his greatest claim to fame is multiple first ascents on the popular cliffs of the Falkland Islands! Chris has spent a significant amount of time living remotely in mountains, deserts and jungles around the world and, having climbed and instructed on every continent, brings a huge diversity of experiences to his work. He is also member of Edale Mountain Rescue Team. Chris is also passionate about the environment and a keen amateur naturalist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and holds a plethora of outdoor and management qualifications.

My Mountain Training Story :

George Packham

My first proper taste of the mountains was in Scotland in 2009. Since the I have developed a passion for mountaineering. I have hiked in many locations in the UK, and I have also hiked in Belgium, Cyprus and Switzerland. I want to become an ML because it is another challenge and I believe that it will developed my skills and confidence.

My Mountain Training Story :

Darren Jones

I've been walking since I was a young boy and became interested in getting more involved and sharing my passion for the outdoors with others. I have recently completed my ML training through my present employment and will be using this in my work environment to gain more experience in order to go for ML(S) assessment. Also working my way towards becoming a Rock climbing instructor

My Mountain Training Story :

Anthony Coleman

I currently have no awards at the moment, my aims is to take all of my outdoor pursuit experiences and acquire the necessary qualification to be able to implement my dream plan to become a mountain guide for a living in Braemar in Scotland. First i have to receive the correct guidance and training, so I'm attending a couple of courses at Glenmore lodge, I will be attending my first course this year in June and July.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert East

I have bee using my HML award to prepare international students for their DofE expeditions in the UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Elton Angle-Smith

Having around 20 years experience of hill and mountain walking in the UK, (predominantly Snowdonia & the Lakes), I was keen to become qualified so that I could lead groups of people confidently, allowing them just to enjoy their surroundings and to not really have to worry about navigation. I have a military background (British Army, Royal Engineers) so can work very well within a team of people or just as well individually. Post-Army, I've generally worked in customer services/office based roles, so I'm now really enjoying the freedom to be outside in the places I love and using my inter-personal skills gained from this. Since having my MLS, I have really enjoyed getting out in the hills and getting paid at the same time! I have met and continue to meet so many fantastic, like-minded people and have made many new friends. The ML has opened many doors for me that were previously shut :) I have recently registered onto the RCI award and look forward to hopefully getting that completed/assessed within 2018. I think ultimately I would like to become MIA within a couple of years. Also a very keen fell/mountain and ultra-runner, I enjoy moving fast and light in the mountains. When I'm not running or mountain walking, I'm also an avid road cyclist.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jeroen Daams

I was 7 years old when my parents put me on the boyscouts. How to make a fire, camping, navigation and being on the road as a team we’re keywords in these years. Together with a friend I made my first hiking trip in the Belgium Ardennes in 1992. Since than I’ve been hiking, climbing and skiing in the mountains of Europe and abroad. From the beginning I was enthousiastic and curious about nature, navigation, hiking and camping. The feeling of being out there, exploring new area’s, self supporting and making decsions based on weather, conditions and my well-being give me still the feeling of ultimate freedom and the experience of being just a tiny part of mother nature. My own pratical tour experience became a resource to tell and inspire others about the mountains and nature. This resulted in giving navigation courses and guiding groups in the mountains for serveral years now in summer and winter. Telling people about my passion about being in the mountains and it’s flora and fauna gives me an extra satisfaction. Especially when the’re getting enthousiastic and aware of the fact that mountains are a special fragile area we need to protect. After following several courses at the Dutch Mountaineering Association (NKVB) I'm a lisenced rockclimbing-/alpine instructor and tourleader at SNP Natuurreizen, Scandinavian Wintersports and the Dutch Mountaineering Association (NKBV). Working more and more abroad made me aware of the need to have international papers for leading groups in the mountaints, there for a joined the MTUK and BMC gaining for a BAIML-status in the future.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jack Carroll

I was coerced into completing Gold DofE when I was at school and was pleasantly surprised at the challenge and reward of being on the mountains. Since leaving university, I've trained to be a teacher and in between telling children about biology I love to get out for walks in the Cotswolds. Having completed my Gold, I'm passionate about others completing theirs and am working towards my LLA and getting in some quality mountain days to one day become a Mountain Leader.

My Mountain Training Story :

Nathan Stares

I love getting into the hills and the mountains when the opportunity arises and have a passion for the outdoors. I gained my Mountain Leader qualification in the Military with whom I still have links since leaving in 2010. When family and work commitments allow I like to get out and share my passion for the outdoors with like minded friends but I also like to introduce people with little or no outdoor experience to the great outdoors. Since gaining my award I have enjoyed getting out into the hills and mountains and have helped less experienced people experience the outdoors, and enjoyed leading students from Darlington College from 2010 -2013. Since then I have either lead small groups or enjoyed the mountains with friends and people in outdoor groups. Whilst in the mountains I like to pass on my knowledge, such as navigation tips, security on steep ground, mountain weather or the local flora and fauna, the knowledge of which I have built upon since gaining the ML award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Hazel Jonas

There isn't much I don't love about the mountains (well..., I suppose I could give gale-force winds and horizontal rain a miss); I think I have spent so much time in the hills that they would feature in my DNA profile. As I spend so many hours in the mountains, it seemed only natural to do the Summer ML, I don't think my cold hands would cope with the Winter ML but there is always the distant hope of the IML which I hope would be a happy partner with my translation work and time spent in Europe. The ML gave me bags of confidence and I loved the training; I have been involved with some charity events and have arranged my own challenges, plus some guiding work.

My Mountain Training Story :

Steve Dennis

When i have the time, i enjoy getting out into the hills. It's a great way to stay fit, without having to go to the gym. I have been part of Mountain Training since 2015, having firstly held the LLA & Exped Skills awards. I used these skills working with young people teaching AT navigation days, camp craft and delivering DofE expeditions. I am a DofE Leader, Expedition Supervisor and Gold Assessor. I also hold the MIAS Level 2 mountain bike leadership award for off-road experiences. I gained the ML(s) award in Nov 2017 to widen the areas i am able to take the young people for their experiences. I am also currently working toward my CWA so that the young people can use the skills learnt toward their DofE awards.

My Mountain Training Story :

Steve Dennis

When i have the time, i enjoy getting out into the hills. It's a great way to stay fit, without having to go to the gym. I have been part of Mountain Training since 2015, having firstly held the LLA & Exped Skills awards. I used these skills working with young people teaching AT navigation days, camp craft and delivering DofE expeditions. I am a DofE Leader, Expedition Supervisor and Gold Assessor. I also hold the MIAS Level 2 mountain bike leadership award for off-road experiences. I gained the ML(s) award in Nov 2017 to widen the areas i am able to take the young people for their experiences. I am also currently working toward my CWA so that the young people can use the skills learnt toward their DofE awards.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ben Mcguire

Started my outdoor career in college when i enrolled on an outdoor education program. College wasn't for me although i had a fantastic time, I would have rather spent more time on NGB courses. I am now in the British army and hoping to get myself to a competent level to lead and possibly instruct in the Scottish Highlands in both summer and winter!

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 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 :

Emma Harrison

As well as running a popular bunkhouse in Bwlch, I am a Brecon Beacons National Park, Fforest Fawr GeoPark, Mountain & Moorland and 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, Black Mountain Activities, Explorers Connect and Mountain & River Activities Ltd). 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 our local 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 :

Tamsin Isaac

Mountains, rocks, trails and peaks have always been a big part of my life, and I have had the chance to pursue them across the UK and on expeditions to the Atlas, the Pyrenees and the Andes. As a recently qualified Mountain Leader, I will be giving groups of adults and young people opportunities to gain the same life affirming experiences I so benefit from myself.

My Mountain Training Story :

Pedro Serra

Hi, I'm Pedro, from Portugal. Since I was a kid that I 've grown up surrounded by Nature, especially on North of Portugal, Serra da Lousã. Since then, I´ve created a big connection to Nature and felt in "love" with it. I never wanted an office job so I decided to construct a career in the outdoor adventure business. I´ve grown up through outdoor role models (Bear Grylls, Conrad Anker, many others) and listening to their stories and adventures I just felt like to want to do that for life. When finishing High School I decided to go to England to study Outdoor Adventure at Exeter College. May 2018 I finish my Foundation Degree in Applied Outdoor Adventure and my aim is to gain as much experience as possible. I decided to take National Governing Bodies in some areas such as rock climbing, mountaineering, whitewater sports, snow sports and start freelancing around Europe (for start). My dream is to create my own business of outdoor adventure sports in Portugal. Now I´m finishing my RCI training, MLA training, First-Aid and Rescue and BCU 3 Star. Later on, I hope to start teaching a leading people in diverse environments and show them the beautiful world we live in. During my experience in the Outdoor Adventure course, I did many expeditions both land and water based. This just led me to appreciate the outdoors even more and more motivated to work inside the Outdoor Industry. ...

My Mountain Training Story :

Ben Allen

I consider myself to have a very broad range of outdoor interest - sometimes I even think that I have too many. It all started with Sailing; but quickly spread to include Kayaking and windsurfing. To this end, I plan to become a kayaking instructor once I can get my SSI to get his act together. While on Sailing trips in North Wales, I began to experiment with hill walking as a means of giving our trips a little more variety. This then went on to scrambling, and then climbing. For some reason, I have never taken to sport climbing. I also consider myself to be a very keen cyclist (Mountain biking and road biking) I have currently been enrolled on the ML course via mountain training for about 4 years. I have been a little lazy in progressing onto the next step - partly because once I had the skills & confidence, I didn't see the point in taking out the additional qualification. Also, I had a rather nasty fall in the peak district in March 2017 - which has still not healed. I would still like to take ML and SPA - but I, again, am waiting for my SSI to send me on the courses as the CCT are willing to heavily subsidize it.

My Mountain Training Story :

James Redfearn

I currently work as a manager of an Outdoor Education Centre in the New Forest, work freelance from time to time in various outdoor roles, and volunteer to take young people out into the hills through the Scout Association. I have loved the outdoors and the UK's Mountains for many years. My Mum first got me in to the Great Outdoors, having done a great deal of hiking and mountaineering herself in her youth. Since being taken to the top of Snowdon by my parents (on the train) when still in primary school, I have loved walking generally and spending time in the mountains both here and abroad, getting my Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award shortly after moving to Secondary School. In recent years I have completed the Summer Mountain Leader award, and Climbing Wall Instructor awards - I have ambitions to complete the Winter Mountain Leader award in the future, mostly as a personal challenge and an excuse to get out in the hills more!

My Mountain Training Story :

Graham Oliver

I have walked in Snowdonia extensively since the late 1970s as I grew up in North Wales. Between the years 1990 and 2014 I bagged all of Scotland's Munros. Since then I have climbed many of the Lake District's peaks as well as in Yorkshire. I am hoping to walk lots in Slovakia in the future and have made a start already. Once I have the MLT Award I plan to lead groups of young people in the hills, as the previous generation did for me when I was at school and in the Air Cadets.

My Mountain Training Story :

Trevor Jones

Volunteer leader for 4th Littlehampton Scouts, completing my CWA will mean that I can better pass on my knowledge of climbing and hopefully in the future continue my training so that I can broaden what I can teach and share my passion.

My Mountain Training Story :

Bruce Bynorth

Assisted with multiple mountain military courses to aid individual preparation for arduous courses. Become a Joint Service Mountain Expedition Leader (JSMEL) Oct 2008, and have delivered numerous 'Summer Mountaineering Foundation Courses as Distributed Training. Have completed Winter Mountain Proficiency and slowly trying to build Winter QMD's in order to mover on to military 'Winter Mountain Training' to achieve Winter ML.

My Mountain Training Story :

Trevor Martin

The first expedition I ever took part in, included climbing Mt Kenya, Meru and then Kilimanjaro with some safari thrown in for good measure. That was it, I was hooked and started logging days, mainly in the Mournes but quite a few in Scotland too. I did my MLT in the Lake District and enjoyed that as well. My next big expedition was to The Rockies in Colorado, climbing ‘fourteeners’, which was fantastic, lots of training in Scotland as well. Next I passed my SML in the Cairngorms and now delight in leading others. I have led expends to Canada, Turkey, Spain and twice to the Atlas Mts, climbing Jebel Toubkal twice. I have also completed my WMF and have logged quite a few Scottish winter QMDs but my new focus is on Alpine Mountaineering and I’m off to a great start as I have, already summited Mont Blanc, so now I want to get some qualifications. The story will continue ??

My Mountain Training Story :

Cameron Ree

I like spending time with others in the mountains, sharing strong experiences in exhilarating situations. By leading and teaching you can see people make personal achievements and gain an appreciation for the outdoors that is understandably priceless.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ben Westwood

I started working in the outdoor sector 11 years ago, having never climbed or even been up a mountain. Through work and friends I quickly developed a passion for all things in the Outdoors. I worked up from no experience/qualifications through the SPA, ML CWLA, and Mountaineering Instructor Award schemes. I now actively use my Awards for an Activity Centre company, providing Technical advice and Staff training and Development. I also work as a freelance MIA instructor in, the Peaks, Dales, Lakes, Snowdonia and occasionally Scotland when I can. It's not all about work though, I try to get out as often as possible personally and love getting out there, pushing myself, having adventures and just having fun in the outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jai Jones

I'm Jai I am from East Sussex and I hold the qualifications CWA (CWI) CWAA (CWIA) LLA. I also Volunteer With The Royal Air Force Air Cadets. where I provide Walking, help to run The DofE awards, and I run countless indoor climbing sessions as well as running NICAS up to Level 3. my goal in life is to have RCI, ML and MIA. I am always looking for freelance work, so feel free to contact me.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Birmingham

Ever since I was a child I have always been into my outdoors, so I have spent a lot of my time traveling and seeing the world and I have seen some amazing places. My favorite place ever is Indonesia, this place really did change my outlook on life. Whilst I was on my travels I became very interested in extreme sports. i.e canyoning, kayaking, snowboarding, downhill mountain biking etc etc and I'm always willing to try anything new. Because of my strong passion for sports I decided to pack everything up and move up to the north west were I have the mountains on my doorstep, it definitely beats the big city of London.

My Mountain Training Story :

Benjamin Braven

Being 20 years of age I am really just starting my journey into the thrilling world that's truly out there. I am a DofE Leader and am working with an expedition company called Wildside Expeditions to provide fun and rewarding experiences to participants of all levels. This has been a very self rewarding experience - to be able to introduce people to the outdoor environment, and see them evolve from there own personal experiences. I am currently working towards my mountain leader award and so it's time for me to just head out into the mountains! I love it!

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Mcgrady

Well I've always loved begin outdoors, even as a child I was always off exploring with my bike or going fishing. I guess it never left me. Anyway 4 years ago, I gave up the 9-5 job as I couldn't stand being behind a screen for 9hours a day and I wanted to do something that actually mattered. Not just to me, but to others. At the time, a close friend had just got me into climbing indoors and we were going weekly. At about the same time he got accepted into an instructor role at Kingswood and convinced me to also apply. To which I got the job and had one of the best years of my life teaching children from every walk of life how to climb, abseil, go caving, ride quad bikes the lot! It was this experience that cemented my love for the outdoors and made me realise my calling. I then spend a fantastic 3 years with one of the best outdoor companies I've ever had the pleasure of coming across, The Bushcraft company. During which time, my skills and knowledge progressed as well as my climbing. As soon as I passed my CWA, I started getting as many instructional hours as possible. Something I still maintain to this day, as well as gaining experience for my other qualifications. Be instructing, coaching or route setting. Once completed, my plan is to continue to develop my skills and qualifications, but most importantly enjoy every moment of it and inspire to explore the outdoors and the associated recreational sports.

My Mountain Training Story :

Giles Davis

Started surfing at my local beach, Rest Bay / Porthcawl, when I was 12 years old and continued surfing until I was in my early 30's. During this period I was a member of the Welsh Surfing Team as both a Junior and Senior competitor and traveled frequently throughout the UK, mainland Europe and the Canary Islands. I also made several longer trips to Indonesia, South Africa and New Zealand surfing at world famous breaks such as Uluwatu, Bingin, Padang Padang and Raglan (New Zealand's premier left hand point break). In my mid 30's I changed my passion from water sports to more traditional outdoor activities such as hill walking and then climbing.

My Mountain Training Story :

Giles Davis

Keen climber, walker, naturalist and environmentalist. I started out hill walking as a way of reducing stress whilst studying for a Masters Degree. I then became interested in Winter Mountaineering, Snow & Ice Climbing and Alpine Climbing before voraciously filling my outdoor appetite on Trad and Sports Climbing. I sports climb a lot more than I trad climb even though trad climbing is more my passion. This is simply down to accessebility. I've climber all over Europe to a certain extent but as I love to travel and experience new cultures and people I still have a lot of countries on my "hit list". I still do a lot of walking and trekking and use "rest days" from climbing to walk and trek wherever we are.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Mitchell

EX-Warrant Officer from the British Army Infantry of 22 years. Leader of a platoon (24 men) within a Mountain warfare Battalion during 2001-2003 over the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Various mountain walking in different countries e.g. Canada (rocky mountains) Cyprus (Troodos mountains) Pyrenees Mountains and other countries. Exercised in various climates i.e. jungle, winter, middle east, europe, africa, etc. Now working with RAF Air Cadets and looking to pass on experience via DofE and other activities.

My Mountain Training Story :

Calum Watt

Growing up in the Yorkshire Dales helped spark my passion for the mountains and outdoor activities. My parents shared with me their enthusiasm for hiking from an early age, taking my brothers and I on regular trips to Scotland and the Lakes, as well as trekking holidays abroad in the Atlas Mountains, Himalayas and Alps. I now love to spend my time in the mountains either walking, climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking or skiing, and I have been lucky enough to pursue these interests throughout the UK and the world. I have decided to undertake my MLA training to improve my mountain leadership skills and share my enthusiasm for the mountains with others!

My Mountain Training Story :

Tiago Lucas

Hi :) I’m born and bred in Madeira Island, Portugal. From a very young age I was fascinated and in love with the mountains in the north of the island, where I lived. I’ve spent many summers working in the mountains and countless times through the years in the valleys below doing all sort of agricultural work. I’ve moved to the UK 8 years ago in the search of a better life and due to work/education I’ve not got the chance (or shall I say, did not make the time) to get to enjoy and explore. However, in 2017 in the light of some bad news (close friends being diagnosed with cancer and another with kidney failure) I’ve decided to change. As none of my friends are not into the outdoors (What!!) I’ve went back home and done some solo hiking, before heading to southern Norway in two occasions in 2017 to hike. I’ve done a night hike on the first time I’ve visited the country and on the second time I’ve visited some of the most known natural features of Norway and wild camped for the first time (scary!). This year I’ve hiked in Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons and I’m going back to Norway (yes, I’ve fell in love with this amazing country) to spend 13 days in the mountains. I’m working towards completing the Mountain Leader Award next summer. While I don’t work in any outdoor related profession, I’m starting to prepare for a change in career to do what I truly enjoy and makes me happy, being in Nature. Any advice, support, invites on hikes/expeditions would be highly appreciated. Thanks Tiago

My Mountain Training Story :

Edward Dalton

19th March 2014 I am based in the High Peak and have been climbing for over 30 years. I am currently a member of Buxton Mountain Rescue service based in the Peak District national Park. I was also a member of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for 20yrs. I am currently taking my SPA award with Cliff Lowther of Roxool, story to continue as it unfolds. So Dec 1st 2015 SPA Assesment passed with Roxcool. Started to look for suitable work with my new found skills. I have setup my own business under the name of Peak Athlete Climbing. www.peakathleteclimbing.co.uk Next steps ! Signed on to MTB for the CWLA course, looking to attend my training course on May 8th 2016. See more on our Facebook page at:- Peak District - In On & Above

My Mountain Training Story :

Gavin Bate

I have been leading treks and expeditions for most of my life and I founded an adventure travel company called Adventure Alternative in 2001. My main experience has been in the Greater Ranges and I have led many high altitude mountaineering trips, especially in Nepal, as well as trips to deserts, jungles and several big polar expeditions. I have also set up regional companies in Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Borneo and Russia and provided all the training for my staff over the years. I also founded my charity Moving Mountains Trust in Nepal and Kenya which came from many years living and working in those countries, and the company underwrites the cost of it. The work is in education, health and social welfare. I'm also involved in personal development with a number of leadership schools and I run training trips around the world for students and professionals. I enjoy very much the challenge of bespoke expedition logistics and leading interesting trips around the world. I have worked with film crews, people with disabilities, wildlife enthusiasts, eclipse chasers and many more!

My Mountain Training Story :

Kirstie Smith

Hi, I'm Kirstie Smith and I live on a the Isle Of Arran on the West coast of Scotland.. My passion for the hills started at a young age as my dad used to take me up the Arran hills and I loved the sense of adventure and freedom of the outdoors. Unfortunately my passion for the hills was put to one side as a teenager but in my early twenties and after returning back to Scotland/Arran from spending a year in Austrailia my passion for the mountains began again. From there I basically spent all my free time taking to the Arran hills with my Collie dog and sharing adventures with my family and friends. My other passions are photography and hill running and being in the mountains inspires me. In my early twenties I joined my local mountain rescue team and have been a volunteer member for over 12 years now. Although i know the Arran hills fairly well, I'd like to build my confidence tackling more unfamiliar areas and gain further knowledge and skills to enable me to push myself solo and lead groups in the future. I would like to become a mountain leader for this reason and also to share my passion of the mountains with others and continue to gain experience as a mountaineer.

My Mountain Training Story :

Tom Wells

Kids have grown up and left the nest I now have time for me Always loved being outdoors exploring new places having spent all of my working life behind a desk I want to switch career and open a new world of opportunities whilst working out in the glorious mountains and hills of the UK. At the moment I am on the first ladder of this exciting journey and look forward to ML & RCI assessment in 2019 after consolidation of my new found skills. Watch this space..... Learn Lead Inspire!

My Mountain Training Story :

John Carmichael

I've been involved in outdoor activities for recreation for as many of my 54 years as I can remember ! Hillwalking, mountain hiking, rock climbing, paragliding, via ferrata, skiing and a bit of sea kayaking along the way. I've been lucky enough to do these things around the UK, the European Alps, Norway and Canada with one amazing trip to Nepal thrown in. These days my main activities are mountain hiking, hill walking and skiing (some with the dog, some without !). I escaped from the oil industry after a long career with lots of travel and good experiences and have rediscovered 'the real world', spending more time in the mountains and generally being happier, healthier and fitter ! I have registered to do my Summer ML and am working on building more QMDs to go along with the many past adventures and glories I'm gradually logging. Since August 2017 I have also been volunteering with DSUK (Disability Snowsport UK), a charity providing opportunities for anyone with physical and / or learning disabilities to participate in snowsports. I regularly assist on the slopes at Edinburgh dry slope and assisted throughout the winter with lessons at Cairngorm and on two residential weekends also at Cairngorm. These are some of the most rewarding, inspiring (and at times humbling !) experiences I have had the priviledge to participate in and I look forward to lots more ! Currently planning to do my BASI Level 1 Alpine and Adaptive ski instructor courses this year. Always on the lookout for more opportunities to get involved / volunteer and build experiences for my ML. Often available in the week as well as at weekends...