Your Mountain Training Stories

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

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

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

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My Mountain Training Story :

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.

My Mountain Training Story :

Anita Aggarwal

started climbing in 2008. was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis Relapsing Remitting in 2009. have being climbing since then to help my body recover. Teaching in my personal time to all friends and children of friends as a hobby. Photographing climbing when i can not climb. Time to change from the office to work in the climbing community - thus decided to get my instructor courses as i have being a Trainer in software and material development for over 18 years in various professionals. In 2016 i attended the BMC ParaClimbing Series and became the 2nd in the Neurological/Physical Disability Category. This has provided me an opportunity to think about working in the Para Side of Climbing as a coach. My idea behind this is trying to find a coach for myself in order to compete is very hard and most climbing instructors are not willing to take me on as a client as they do not understand my condition and are not sure what they can do for me. Climbing is my life now. Now coaching kids on a one to one basis. Competition result best in 2018 - Bronze at my first World Championship in Innsbruck 2018.

My Mountain Training Story :

Peter Phillips

Hi Community, I have just signed up to take the FUNdamentals course and I am really excited about it.

My Mountain Training Story :

Martyn Willows

I am a freelance indoor climbing instructor and mountain leader. I have the role of Course Director at a local climbing wall overseeing and delivering NICAS sessions, learning to climb and learning to lead courses. I am a qualified D of E assessor and World Challenge Leader. I have taken expeditions to the Lake District, Brecon Beacons, Peak District, and the Cairngorms in the UK; and worldwide to Honduras, Tanzania, Uganda, Morocco, Ecuador, Swaziland, Indian Uttarakhand and Malawi. I enjoy working with young people, adults and people with disabilities in the outdoor and adventerous environments. Living in Northamptonshire is a little distant from the hills and crags, but the road network to get away is excellent! I am always keen to get out and about.

My Mountain Training Story :

George Rowntree

Growing up in Lancashire I was introduced to mountains in the Lakes from an early age and still have fond memories of scaling Stickle Pike on family holidays. This enjoyment of walking and the mountains continued through Scouts where I learned the skills to enable me to enjoy the hills on my own before becoming a Leader, Instructor and Permit Assessor. Through Scouts I was also introduced to rock climbing and further developed my skills to climb independently before becoming an Instructor. I continue to enjoy the mountains walking, climbing and mountain biking. Holding the Mountain Leader and Rock Climbing Instructor awards enables me to enjoy sharing this passion with others. I have started my own company, Lodestar Adventure, offering walking, climbing and mountain biking.

My Mountain Training Story :

Matthew Smith

Hi all, I’m currently building up my portfolio as I have changed careers. I will be attending a sport science degree in Bangor university in 2019 and am looking forward to being so close to where my passions lie. I have currently got my Sumer mountain training complete, which is great as I’m currently still in the forces and this allows me to take up to 6 MOD personnel out on the mountains, helping me to gain plenty more experience as time goes by.

My Mountain Training Story :

Leo Berry

Leo’s Story I was diagnosed with PTSD back in 2005 after an attempt at taking my own life, I survived due to the fact there was a hill walker out with her dog and the dog found me unconscious. Not proud at all of this, but at the time I honestly thought that I was doing the world and my family a favour. How wrong was I! Following this event, I lost everything, family, included. Since that moment I have spent a lot of time and money training to become a counsellor and Mountain Leader. It is positively the best thing I have done since leaving the army. I am busy getting my mountain leadership qualification so that I will be able to take people out in the hills, Mountains as well as the countryside, and do some therapy with people. I would just like to help people see that there is hope and spending time out in the hills and mountains can really be life life-changing, a combination of wild places (without social media) and some talking therapy really can help people grow and develop in a positive way. It's time for people to stop hiding, and come forward for some help. You are not alone. Help is out there, anger, anxiety, depression, stress, and work place stress not just PTSD. Helping those that have served in our uniformed services and suffer as a result of things they have seen and done to help others life a normal life. I am a Counsellor and Outdoor Therapist, Mountain Leadership, first-aider and follower of The Law of Attraction and positivity.

My Mountain Training Story :

Agnieszka Parzniewska

I have finished ML training in summer 2017. Probably will do my assessment next couple of years. Due to love of climbing I have started climbing indoors last year winter time and started volunteering at the Perth College Climbing Wall beginning of 2019. Working on improving my skills to become a Climbing WalL instructor by taking part in NACAS sessions, private sessions with individuals, sessions with colleagues willing to learn . Top roping to grate 6a- 6b+. Leading to grate 5-6a+. Summer 2018 started climbing indoors . Did first session with Instructor then fallowing by weekly trips to local crags to improve by skills. Second to HVS and leading S.

My Mountain Training Story :

Isaac Griffiths-Key

I have been working in the Outdoor Industry for most of my life. I left school in and started my first employment at Outward Bound Ullswatwer in the Lake District where I developed my love and passion for the outdoors. I worked in numerous outdoor centres for many years before continuing my education At College and University. Presently I work as a freelance outdoor instructor as Summer ML and SPA holder but I also hold a British Canyon Guides Cerificate.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jeffrey Sewell

First off, I'm rubbish at updating my 'DLOG' but am making a concerted effort since my CWLA trainer promised that he would 'scrutinise my log' prior to my CWLA assessment. I have been climbing, almost daily since starting in January 2015. Since then, I've worked part time for Big Rock Climbing Centre (MK) as a freelance instructor on top of continuing to be a primary school teacher. I am currently developing myself as a freelance provider and have begun to develop ideas for a small climbing business. I love climbing outdoors as often as possible where I have bouldered, trad (multi pitch) and sport climbed predominantly in the Peaks District and Wales. I've spent some summers in northern Italy where I camp and climb via ferrata. Indoors, I consistently flash up to 6a/b while leading, but still like to have a practise on top rope before attacking 6c and 7+ climbs. I've delivered 'Beginner Learn to Climb' courses consistently for over a year, usually with more than one group on different days of the week. Ultimately, I hope to gain enough skills, knowledge and experience to become an expedition leader and work towards my MLS award as I have travelled extensively and am an avid 'backpacker'. Right. That's enough for now. I'm off to update my 'DLOG'. :/

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Hobdell

Stephen has been attracted to wild terrain since scrambling up Grindsbrook Clough in the Peaks as a boy while on family holidays. He eventually escaped the flatlands of Suffolk to study in Bangor, where for some reason he chose rowing instead of mountaineering. He returned to North Wales in 1995, and tried to stay, when work took him away again in 1998. Stephen finally committed fully to North Wales and the outdoors in 2012, learning to climb trad in 2013 and gaining his Mountain Leader qualification in November 2014 and SPA in 2015. Stephen enjoys a steady amble in still conditions as much as going out in foul weather and high winds; and sometimes reaching the top the difficult way (scrambles and classic trad routes preferred). Stephen's passion for sharing skills and knowledge are matched only by his enthusiasm in seeing someone else fully enjoy his favourite area of Britain.

My Mountain Training Story :

Katya Thomson

I have always enjoyed the outdoors but fell in love with the mountains properly 12 years ago, as I unzipped my tent on the first morning high up on the Inca Trail, and saw clouds floating below me. That view changed my life. But not straight away – it took a few more walking and climbing trips (and getting hit by a falling rock in Nepal) before I decided that I could no longer ignore my passion for the mountains and embarked on an alternative career to my original one of strategy and finance. Now I am a qualified International Mountain Leader and ML(S). I enjoy working with all sorts of people – from DofE groups to private guiding (walking and Grade 1 scrambling) and navigation coaching. Helping someone become more confident in the amazing playground that it is the outdoors is a great privilege. I also look forward to leading more trips abroad: having travelled to over 60 countries, there is plenty of knowledge and experience to share!

My Mountain Training Story :

Kevin O'Brian

I’m a keen, enthusiastic photographer from North West Wales UK. I currently Hold the military MLT and SML award, I 'm lucky to live just within striking distance of the Snowdonia National Park. It is a magical place to walk and photograph. I'm very privileged indeed to be living in such a natural, beautiful and interesting part of the world. The reason I got into photography in the beginning was the need to try and capture that special moment. It was when I worked night shifts a long time ago I discovered that the pay back was the early morning walks home. I recall thinking to myself so many people are missing out massively as they're all still in bed. I soon then realised I needed a camera! Now when I'm not doing the day job or spending time with my young family, I like to be out and about enjoying the countryside and who knows I may one day get that perfect capture.

My Mountain Training Story :

Kevin Parnham

After 12 years of walking in the high places of the UK I was convinced by my partner to carry out the training for Summer Mountain Leader,which I did in July 2016 at Pla Y Brenin in Snowdonia. Originally intending to carry out my assessment in late summer 2017,injury at an organised fell running event put paid to this plan. Eventually I got to a point of being fit and well after several months of rehabilitation and signed up for my ML assessment in September 2018 in the Lake District. I was over the moon to be told I’d passed my assessment and am now busy setting myself up as a company to carry out freelance mountain guiding and am looking at other possibilities of employment in the outdoor industry and what I can offer With my knowledge and experience. I shall go for my winter ML next but my main objective is to secure employment in the outdoors so I can share my passion and experience with those who would love to spend time in the outdoors but don’t have the confidence to take the steps alone.

My Mountain Training Story :

Martin Wall

I am a qualified freelance Mountain Leader (ML) Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) and Climbing Wall Development Instructor (CWDI) based 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 Mountaineering Scotland. I hold a valid First Aid at Work, Rescue Emergency Care (REC) qualification & MREW Advanced First Aid Cas Care Certificate. I spent my childhood 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 at night. I later passed the 21st SAS British Special Forces selection process during winter and continuation training program. I am actively involved in and have a passion for climbing, mountaineering (both summer & winter), 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 and I have been a mock client on MIA, MIC and BMG assessments 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 and trekked in Scotland, Switzerland, France, the Austrian Alps, Western Ghats in India, Norway, 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. I have a passion for winter mountaineering and have recently completed ML winter training in February 2018 at Glenmore Lodge.

My Mountain Training Story :

Derek Yates

I first walked up Fairfield in the Lake District when I was 4 1/2, Scafell Pike before I was 10 and twice more before 15. The Pike weather was always shhhoking and I've never been up it again since. (Some memories for my sister and I are of returning by moonlight crying with frozen home made denim flares and pyjamas underneath!). I grew up in the Eden valley close to the Lakes, so by walking with my parents and their friends, by the time I was 18 I had done all the major and many of the minor peaks in the Lake District. Trent Polytechnic hiking club enabled me to occasionally escape the city (as did the canoe club and scuba diving club!) to bag some welsh peaks too. Since coming to live in Sheffield in my mid 20s I have had many trips to Snowdonia, The Lakes and Scotland at all times of the year camping, bivying or bothying to get to more remote peaks. More trips than I can remember for my DLog. Now my kids are 12 and 10 and members of the Woodcraft Folk. I'm starting taking the group kids for walks with other adult members in the Peak District, and intend to revive/continue the more adventurous trips to the more mountainous areas. I'm hoping to pass my summer mountain leader soon so I can provide the added security and knowledge the award gives. Working towards the award has been very enjoyable and has also provided further security and confidence to my own walking experiences.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Lukes

I became hooked on the outdoors aged 13 in the Air Cadets pottering along the Berkshire Downs Ridgeway with a rucksack that weighed the same as me eating beans on an open fire and sleeping under an old parachute with a bunch of mates. This somehow led me to Sandhurst and a career in the Army. Now after a 38-year career as an Artillery Officer I have recently retired to a quiet village near Taunton. My career was varied with much of it spent outdoors, and much of it spent planning and delivering training that would be challenging, effective-and fun. There have been some great opportunities for Expeditions and I have had some great experiences along the way. Some highlights are from spending 4 weeks langlauf skiing in the high arctic in Norway in the winter and a 10 day expedition further south trekking and sea kayaking in the summer. I have been a member of two epic sea kayak journeys in SE Alaska (4 weeks) and in the Queen Charlottes Islands of NW Canada (8 weeks). I have also completed a solo kayak circumnavigation of Cyprus, much of which was still wild and undeveloped. I am an enthusiastic but stately runner with Quantock Orienteerers and enjoy map making and the planning and setting out of orienteering courses. I have competed in a number of 2-day ‘Original Mountain Marathons’, navigating in two-person teams and carrying all the required overnight camping stuff plus food and water. Weaved throughout this has been my developing passion for ancient history, navigation and cartography which has developed over the years. I currently give volunteer support to Devon and Somerset Wing Air Cadets with DofE as Leader, Supervisor and Gold Exped Assessor and Ten Tors as a Trainer (8 weekends annually) and Team Manger. I am on the Somerset DofE County Committee and part of the DofE Network Volunteers for Dartmoor and Exmoor. In 2017 I completed a wave of NCS as an Assistant Leader and in 2018 I started to Freelance as an Outdoor Instructor.

My Mountain Training Story :

jordan greenwood

Hi Im Jordan Greenwood im 25years old I have been a Below Knee Amputee since the 18th May 2017 Due to being involved in a RTC whilst on my Scooter vs a car. I am already walking and cycling in 10 months since the accident, i am into my fitness and am very determined to succeed and not let this stop me achieving things.

My Mountain Training Story :

Richie Clark

As a Physical Education Teacher of 20 years, I have always had a passion and genuine enthusiasm for Physical Activity of all kinds. None more so than taking part in outdoor activities within our beautiful country. Kayaking, hill walking, rock climbing, sailing, camping and skiing have provided me with some fantastic experiences and memories. Now that family life, and the resulting impact of umpteen injuries, has curtailed my personal involvement in many of these activities, I aim to encourage as many young people to experience the benefits that our great outdoors has to offer. Being qualified to offer the DofE Awards programme to the pupils within my school will play a very big part in achieving this aim.

My Mountain Training Story :

Susanna Daniel

I have always loved spending as much time in the outdoors as possible, especially in mountainous areas and love hiking, trekking and exploring new areas. I first rock climbed in my early twenties, mostly in Wales and The Peaks, after a long break due to having young children and living overseas I came back to climbing about 15 years ago. I live in the South East, just a 5 minute drive from the Southern Sandstone outcrops of Harrisons, Bowles , Eridge and Stone Farm Rocks. Six years ago I obtained my Southern Sandstone Leaders Award, followed soon after by my CWA and CWAA and I have since been teaching climbing at various venues indoors and outside in Sussex. I work indoors at Tonbridge Boys School and at Skinners school in Tunbridge Wells and I teach outdoors to a variety of groups of both children and adults at Harrision's Rocks. Outdoors I work for Extreme Ventures, Nuts4climbing and Kent and Sussex climbing. My work grows each year and it is now my primary source of income. I have found that I absolutely love teaching , especially outside; I love the variety of the groups, being a part of their achievements and working in the outdoors. I am now working towards my SPA, however living so far from other climbing areas and being a busy Mum of 2 it could take a while! My grade has also dropped since I climbed in my twenties when I never considered instructing or logging routes. I love walking and walk every day with my dogs and recently became involved with local D of E groups, I have now gained my LLA and am working towards my MLA . I have done the ML training which was a fantastic week where I learned so much, but as I live in Sussex, achieving that award will be much harder and seems a very distant goal!

My Mountain Training Story :

Neil Turney

My love for climbing and the great outdoors started at very early age, I was fortunate to be born in Scarborough and had the whole of the North York Moors and Yorkshire Wolds to call my playground. We would spend every weekend out doing something, either camping out in one of the many disused quarries or just out walking in the forests of Langdale or Dalby. Whilst serving in the Army in my late teens and early twenties I was exceedingly fortunate to take part in many Adventure Training exercises at home in the Lake District or abroad in Canada (The Rocky Mountains around Jasper), Germany (Harz Mountains & Bavaria), Austria & Italy (Glockner Group & Maine Ridge). My climbing days are well behind me now and my main passion now is just been out in the hills in any weather. I have completed the 214 Wainwrights and 116 Outlying Fells, I complete the 40 miles of the Lyke Wake Walk at least once a year. I am currently a Hill & Moorland Leader and will be completing my Mountain Leader Summer assessment in 2019. I run my own guiding company (All Weather Walks) and love sharing my experience with others.

My Mountain Training Story :

David Waterhouse

Passionate about all things outdoors since childhood, I originally decided to get the ML award as a reason to spend more quality time in the UK Mountains again. Living in Oxford at the time it would involve long pre-dawn drives to North Wales or The Lakes for the day, or longer trips up to Scotland. I spent much of my twenties living and working abroad, predominantly in Tasmania where the terrain and climate has a certain similarity to the Scottish Mountains only with a greater degree of isolation. Frequent multi day hikes exploring there stood me in good stead for becoming reacquainted with British landscapes in which I hadn’t spent much time since my teenage years. I love navigation and studying maps and enjoyed ML training and assessment as it reaffirmed the methodology learnt as a boy and complemented the intuition and instinct that I’ve nurtured since. Now living in the northern Lake District, and with a young dog and younger baby, I’ve come to appreciate an hour or two on the valley and lakeside trails as much as a day in the fells running or mountaineering. I split my working time between guiding, garden-landscaping and professional musicianship, but ultimately am happiest in the hills! The thing I most enjoy about working with my ML qualification is the opportunity for quality social interaction and mutual learning with such a variety of people in my favourite environment.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jason Syrett

I am a teacher working at a special needs school in Leigh-On-Sea Essex where I predominately teach P.E. but also for the last three academic years have led the bronze level DofE award at our school.

My Mountain Training Story :

Chris Rondel

I’m the Team Leader Outdoor Education for the Jersey Youth Service providing adventure opportunities to young people in Jersey.

My Mountain Training Story :

Scott Webster

Scott has been working full time as a mountaineering instructor and expedition leader since 2009. He has a particular passion for expeditions in the polar regions. Scott has worked in the Antarctic since 2011 and has spent 7 summer seasons as well as two winters working on the continent. Scott worked for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) for 6 years as a Field Guide and was responsible for safety and logistics on numerous scientific expeditions. Additionally Scott is the author of the BAS' Field Operations Manual. In 2017 Scott joined the guiding team at Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). His first season for ALE saw him working at an Emperor Penguin colony on the frozen Weddell Sea, on Mount Vinson (the highest mountain in Antarctica) and at various other locations within the Ellsworth Mountains. Scott also works in the Arctic and has led expeditions to East Greenland, including guiding the winning team in the 2016 ICEMAN Polar ski race. In 2017 Scott managed the snowmobile logistics for Tangent Expeditions Ltd. as well as running several Polar Training Courses and guiding ski expeditions within Liverpool Land. Other expeditions have taken Scott to Alaska - where he summited Denali (6190m); Kyrgyzstan - attempt on Khan Tengri (7010m) with a successful summit of Peak Chapayev (6210m); Mongolia - summited several 4000m+ peaks in the Altai range including Mongolia's highest peak Mount Khuiten (4374m); Russia - guided Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus (5642m), and throughout the European Alps. When in the UK Scott runs training courses in all aspects of climbing, mountaineering and ski touring as well as offering guiding services. In addition to running courses through Scott Webster Mountaineering, Scott also freelances for numerous other organisations such as Glenmore Lodge, Skye Guides and Cairngorm Adventure Guides.

My Mountain Training Story :

Louise Guest

I have been climbing for nearly three years and started out bouldering with a friend at The Climbing Unit. From here this quickly turned into three sessions a week and I totally fell in love with the sport. Around six months I attended top roping sessions at The University of Derby. I began climbing here weekly and quickly worked my way up to climbs graded 5+ and over time conquered climbs graded 6a, 6b and occasionally 6c. I began lead climbing on a regular basis and enjoyed the 'scary' challenge once I successfully completed a route. Since February 2018 I have been attending the Ladies Night at Awesome walls in Sheffield. I joined this group to get more lead experience on bigger/ higher walls with harder/ different setting and to meet a range of ladies and hopefully learn something from their different climbing styles. I have climbed up to 6b on lead at Awesome Walls. I boulder at least twice a week and really enjoy the process of working out a tricky or dynamic problem or testing my mental game for the slabs. I have been bouldering outside at Curbar Edge, Stanage Plantation and Burbage South. I like/ enjoy climbing outdoors but don't get chance to head out as often as I'd like. I have goals to start lead climbing outdoors soon. I would say my favourite discipline is bouldering as this is where I started out and can really push myself. This is closely followed by lead climbing but I struggle with the mental game in this discipline from time to time. I do find I'm good at pushing/ motivating others through their hard routes and mental battles. Perhaps I should listen to my own advice more often!

My Mountain Training Story :

Jak Radice

When I turned 50 I decided that I should really learn to navigate so that I could enjoy the hills in a safer way. My dad and school had taught me to map read when I was a teenager but I knew I was rusty and that there was a bit more that I needed to know about the arcane pleasures of contours! I started off by doing the Walking Group Leader (WGL) Award, now called Hill and Moorland Leader (HML) Award with a view to seeing how it went first before deciding if I wanted to take things further. I really enjoyed the training, consolidation and the assessment so that decided it for me. I enrolled on the ML and it took me about 2 years to achieve it what with working full time and part time and not living very near to actual mountains, although the Pennines is a pretty good training ground. My friend and I have started up our navigation training business so that we can pass on our skills and our passion for walking in both mountains, hills and moorland: http://mapandcompass.wixsite.com/mapandcompass

My Mountain Training Story :

Steve White

I have been mountaineering and trekking, all over the world, for over 30 years and am a qualified UIMLA International Mountain Leader, hold my Rock climbing Instructors Award . I am also a fully qualified teacher with experience teaching both primary and secondary ages. I have extensive worldwide experience from taking scientists deep into the Antarctic while working for the British Antarctic Survey, working with local Duke of Edinburgh Award groups, facilitating adventurous activities for local authority youth service groups and instructing school children in climbing, walking and kayaking. I have trekked and climbed from Antarctica, in summer and winter, to the European Alps and from Patagonia to Nepal and Africa and led expeditions to Morocco, Malawi, Madagascar, Japan and Slovakia. I enjoy the challenge of working in the outdoors, with individuals and groups of all ages, providing enjoyable, challenging and safe experiences tailored to your specific needs and goals.

My Mountain Training Story :

Graham Wyllie

The Mountains are the driving force in my life. My father took me up Mount Keen back in 1998 and I have enjoyed over two decades of climbing and walking since. In May 2018 I quit my job in the oil and gas industry after almost 5 hectic but fantastic years well testing with Schlumberger and opted to take at least a year out using the time to improve my climbing and get some related qualifications. Since quitting I have so far climbed the Frendo spur (despite the cable car being out of action!), solo'd the Matterhorn and completed both ML training and assessment. My plans are now to completed the WML scheme, improve my winter climbing so that I am steady at V, attempt a 7000m peak next year (probably Spantik in Pakistan) and make the prerequisites and complete MIA training. Looking to the future I am considering going back offshore as a self employed consultant and having the option of doing freelance mountaineering work alongside. Some other things about me: Was a member of the RAF Regiment Completed the Munro's at the age of 23 Have climbed the 3 highest mountains in the alps and a total of 11 4000m peaks Attempted Cathedral peak (6247m) on a non commercial exped in 2008 (high point of 5500m, failed due to weather)

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Webster

Became involved in the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme pretty much as soon as I became a teacher and so very quickly got sent to evening classes to earn my BELA (Basic Expedition Leaders Award) which seems a very long time ago now! Ever since then I have been involved in running the award scheme and it is one of the best parts of being a teacher. I was mostly involved in running Bronze and Silver expeditions but with the aim of leading Gold award expeditions the school signed me up to the ML training course at Plas-Y-Brenin. Getting the mountain days in was a challenge so I switched over to the HML award, which I did through Longtown OEC in the Brecon Beacons; a truly awesome part of Wales! Since then I've been working with DofE groups at my school using my HML awards to train kids for their expeditions as well as taking my two boys on walks over the hills. Just recently I've been back to North Wales and rekindled my love of the mountains so I've decided that I want to finish my ML so I've been heading back to the mountains again to refresh my DLOG. Fingers crossed, I'll be ready for ML assessment in the new year.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sion Gethin Hill

I have worked various jobs in the past including work in film & as a chef, but Im now looking to use my passion for climbing, hiking and the mountains to take my life in another direction. Hoping to gain a Rope Access qualification Im also looking to gain my SPA, CWA, ML and then to move on to an MIA to solidify my ability to work in the mountains and up high, and to hopefully climb as much as possible.

My Mountain Training Story :

Steve Anthony

I quit my job as an IT Techy in 2001 after spending a lot of time being ill with stress and stuff. I had also been through a dark period after separation from my ex wife and children. I wanted a complete change and so I set up my own window cleaning business. During this period, I went on a couple of guided walking holidays as a guest and really enjoyed them. It gave me the idea to apply to become a walking guide and so I decided to apply for the ML Summer Training scheme through PYB. In 2003 I qualified as an ML(S) and at the same time I joined the volunteer leader panel at HF Holidays after passing their rigorous assessment. Since then I have progressed through the IML scheme and also qualified in 2012. I have led over 100 holidays for HFH, mostly as a volunteer and some as a paid IML. I have also done some private IML work under contract. I guide mostly in mountain areas such as the Lake District, Snowdonia and Scottish Highlands. I also spend a few weeks every year guiding in the Alps - Austria, France, Switzerland and the Dolomites. I don't have as much money as I used to but I am not stressed anymore and feel like I am doing a useful job helping other people to enjoy their own lives.

My Mountain Training Story :

Maggie McMahon

Adventure Education student at University of Highlands and Islands. Currently working towards RCI & Foundation Coach Assessments. Completed: CWI, FUNdas 1 and Foundation Coaching training.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ian Doctor

Keen Climber and aspiring Mountaineer. I hold the following Climbing Qualifications; Climbing Wall Instructor (with the Abseil Module) and Rock Climbing Instructor. I am also planning on completing the Moutain Leader scheme within the next year. With my qualifications, I've been a Climbing Instructor, Outdoor Activites Instructor, High Ropes Instructor and Via Ferrata Guide. In my spare time, I make the most of living in the Lake District and try to spend as much time as possible out on the fells, whether trail running, hiking, camping, mountain biking or my absolute favourite; climbing.

My Mountain Training Story :

Natalie Griffiths

I was introduced to outdoor climbing in 2014 , when I joined Hampshire Scout Expeditions and ventured to the Lake District for a long weekend of Adventure. I studied Outdoor Adventure at college and took every opportunity to be outdoors in the mountains, saying this I have not completed any assessments so far. I am currently studying Youth Work at university with an emphasis in adventure education and outdoor pursuits. I have been working at various outdoor activity centres for the past four summers completing a variety of in-house and NGB qualifications. A life once again in the outdoor industry beckons, through university holidays I hope to attain more awards which will put me in good stead for post university freelance work.

My Mountain Training Story :

Michal Klajban

I've been tramping for many years now, mostly in Central / Eastern Europe and New Zealand. Apart from hiking, I like photography & simple life. I'd like to eventually transit from my computer job to a hiking guide / hopefully a mountain leader one day. I reckon it's gonna be a long journey but well - I'm patient and determined.

My Mountain Training Story :

Nathan Stares

I love getting into the hills & the mountains when the opportunity arises and have a passion for the outdoors. I don't work full time in the outdoors but I am available for leading/guiding in the UK mountains at weekends or longer pre-arranged periods. I gained my Mountain Leader qualification in 2006 with the Military with whom I still have links since leaving in 2010. As well as leading & enjoying the fantastic mountains & hills of Britain and Ireland, I have conducted trekking & mountaineering in the European Alps, including France, Italy & Austria. I have enjoyed expeditions to the Caucasus mountains on the border between Georgia & Russia, skiing in Norway, trekking in the Tien Shen range in Kyrgyzstan & the Tatra mountains of Slovakia/Poland. I've had the pleasure of walking in more diverse locations such as the jungles of Borneo & Brunei & mountaineering in the former Republic of Yugoslavia & Mount Kenya, Africa. I like to get out & share my passion for the outdoors with like minded people or friends but I also like to introduce people with little or no outdoor experience to the hills & mountains. Since gaining my award I have enjoyed helping people enjoy the outdoors and have lead college students, youth groups and small groups of all ages. Whilst in the mountains I like to pass on my knowledge, such as navigation tips, security on steep ground, mountain geology, mountain weather or the local flora & fauna. I am happy to lead/guide small groups or couples/individuals in the British hills and mountains with an emphasis on realistic group capabilities, safety & enjoyment. You can get in touch by e-mailing: nathstares300@yahoo.com or by messaging me on Instagram: @nathanstares to discuss a plan for your hill or mountain goals. I live with my family in North Yorkshire.

My Mountain Training Story :

Luca Ganz

My name is Luca, I'm 33, I'm Italian and I live in Witney, Oxfordshire. I was born in Falcade, a small magical village in the middle of the beautiful Dolomiti, the mountain range in the north est of Italy. I'm a ski instructor and I have been teaching for 12 years in the sky resort of my home village (of course I love and practice freeride and backcountry skiing). I grew up walking in my mountain as is my natural environment. Even now, after relocating to the UK around 4 and a half years ago, I try to go back as much as I can to visit my family and try out some new mountain hiking routes. I love walking in UK and I'm determinate to reach one day the Mountain Leader award, step by step. I would really like to find a way to transform my passion for walking and exploring in my full time job in the future.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jonty Mills

I am lucky enough to have a father that also loves the hills, so I was introduced to wild places at a young age. I was doubly fortunate to have a superbly enthusiastic teacher running our school hill-walking club, who extended my horizons and gave me my first experience of wild camping. University in the south of England led me onto rock climbing every weekend, then Scottish winter climbing and then Alpine climbing and trips even further afield. The Scottish hills were becoming a real passion, so I jumped at the chance to move to Scotland, first to Edinburgh, and now Inverness. I run my own small hillwalking and mountain biking company--On High Hills--as well as working for other companies with whom I have shared values and aims. I am also a senior medical doctor, and have an interest in Mountain Medicine.

My Mountain Training Story :

Helen Iles

My first memory is of seeing the most beautiful thing ever, it was a shimmering intricate magical thing and I remember trying to touch it - but my chubby fingers were so slow and uncoordinated that it flew away before I had the chance. It was purple, green and glittered silver in the sunlight, it was a alive and part of nature, I remember thinking fairy, and it wasn't until later that I learnt the name dragonfly. My other early memories include always having a bag packed at the end of my bed in case I had to leave in the middle of the night, the bag had a red umbrella and toys in it. My childhood was a wonderful eclectic mix of adventures, hard work, diving, kayaking, art, creating, painting, boats, shipwrecks, beaches, travel, food and laughter. This is who I am now, just a lot older. But I still adventure... I am a part time landscape photographer who leads small groups of photographers to locations in the Snowdonia Area. I want this qualification for my own satisfation that I am of a high safe standard, and also to tell others I know what I'm doing in the hills. I've been a RNLI member for 20 years and I am a creche member with SSSART (South Snowdonia) . I'm also Cas Care Qualified. (MRW) Photography here: www.heleniles.co.uk and here.... www.flickr.com/photos/heleniles/ ... and on social media here ..... www.facebook.com/HelenIlesPhotography/ Daily Walking log here: www.strava.com/dashboard?feed_type=my_activity

My Mountain Training Story :

Nicholas Draper

After my degree in Outdoor & Environmental Education(2:1) from LJMU, I have travelled working as an ML, IML and SPA for 10 years. I now reside in Chamonix for much of the year working as an IML and spend my free time skiing, rock and mixed climbing.

My Mountain Training Story :

Brendan Bolland

As retirement approaches I am looking forward to qualifying as a summer Mountain Leader and share with others the enjoyment I have had from a lifetime in the outdoors and the high fells.

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Gardiner

A Scout trip to Tryfan in winter at the age of 13/14 set me on course for my mountain affairs, closely followed with a school trip to Patterdale Hall for 2 weeks. Never stopped since. Took out Scout Leaders Warrant in February 1983. Moved to Venture Scouts to help mainly with outdoor activities in November 1984. In June 1985 I completed my MLTB Summer training at Plas Y Brenin and moved to 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 ( still walking and climbing personally) I returned to assist with Duke of Edinburgh's Award based in Guernsey. Gained Gold D of E Expedition Assessor accreditation July 2018. Now completed Lowland Leader and Expedition assessment in October 2018. Looking forward to finally finishing Mountain Leader Assessment before I'm 60! Just lovin it! So good to be back climbing with Guernsey Mountaineering Club.

My Mountain Training Story :

Darren Butt

Hi I’m Darren. I purely work within the voluntary sector, primarily with the RAF 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'm a Unit Assistant with Sea Squad Explorer Scout Unit (Corsham) and DofE with Hardenhuish Schools. Additionally I am a member and Team Leader with the Ten Tors Scrutineer team.

My Mountain Training Story :

Thomas Robertson

I have always found myself in the outdoors through my early life, with regular holidays to the Lake District and around Northumberland. I moved to North Wales at 18 for university opening up a new area to explore. My main passions are Mountain Walking and rock climbing. I am currently working my way through the Hewitts mountains challenge only a small number left!!! I also regularly go to Scotland for multiday wild camping trips to bag some mountains. I have worked in the Sport and Education Sector for a number of years this lead to me gaining my skills and qualifications in the great outdoors. Leading to my current role as a Outdoor Education Teacher and Coordinator at a Special Educational Needs School in North Wales. I also work as a Duke of Edinburgh Assessor for a number of local schools and organisations as well as local companies. I am constantly using my qualifications on a daily basis providing new adventures for the kids in the school.

My Mountain Training Story :

Myles Farnbank

I am an experienced wilderness guide with over 30 years of sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing and mountaineering in some of the worlds wildest places. I lead a range of walking trips across Scotland, England and Ireland. I've been involved in ML and SPA training in the past My technical climbing is now something I enjoy for pleasure only. I am committed to the principles of ecotourism contributing positively to communities and wildlife in the places I work. I am a qualified Marine Wildlife Guide and Trainer for the WiSe Marine Wildlife Watching Scheme. I have a keen interest in the traditional uses of plants and other natural resources and run training on wild food and ethnobotany. As well as delivering a range of educational and adventure tourism experiences, I am involved in staff training, both bespoke and 'off the-shelf' products for practitioner and academic audiences. I am an Associate Instructor at Sport Scotland's National Centre at Glenmore Lodge and run a range of paddlesport training and assessment courses in Sea Kayak and Open Canoe. I am an Advanced Guide and Module provider for The International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA) and can run the full range of ISKGA training through Wilderness Scotland which is an Approved ISKGA training centre. If I were asked to state my USP it would be, expertise at creating outdoor experiences and training to help deeply connect people with both place and experience. I am championing the Leave No Trace message in the UK, liaising with a range of agencies and organisations to get a consistent picture on best practice relating to responsible recreational activity in our wild lands. In recent years I have been providing consulting services to adventure travel businesses and DMO's around the world. To date Namibia, Ireland, Armenia, Georgia, Croatia, Macedonia, Norway and Kyrgyzstan.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Bateman

I love the mountains and was a ski resort manager straight after university, responsible for +100 clients a week in the French Alps, where I was also responsible for 5 BASI qualified instructors, who taught the bulk of the clients, whilst I guided the rest across the resort and off piste. Now I live in the Pyrenees where I accompany non paying guests on local non-technical mountain hikes.

My Mountain Training Story :

David Calvert

After leaving school and becoming a Civil Engineer, I started paddling to get away from the stresses of a long day on the construction site. Living on the North East Coast and having both the Lake District and Scotland readily accessible the rivers, sea and surf became my play ground. After becoming qualified as a paddlesport coach I took the plunge and left the 9-5 grind for a more adventure driven lifestyle. Having worked both in the UK and France I have had the opportunity to develop in the sport and further extend my skill set and knowledge. Qualified with the Water Skills Academy I now spend my days delivering sessions for local schools, beginners and those looking to excel in paddlesports.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Whitby

Keen climber and mountaineer, whose looking to get some qualifications to put to good use and help inspire other people to join the adventure of the great outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Lauren Mccormack

Sport and Exercise Physiology Graduate with a keen interest in Extreme Environment Physiology. Leader of cross cultural teams on International Development Projects in Africa and Asia, progressing on as the Deputy Operations Manager (Training & facilitation) with Raleigh International Nepal. Experience working in the UK as an Activities Officer in the Students' Union, Trustee of a Charity, and more recently working as a Programme Manager with NCS implementing youth led social integration programs. CWA trained, ML trained; and actively pursueing my ML award with a hope to do my assessment in 2018. Hoping to use my ML to work oversees, leading and managing operations for expeditions with a youth or INGO focus. Interested in using my Physiology and project management/operations skills on exploratory or scientific expeditions in extreme environments. Post ML certification i'm hoping to work towards the International Mountain Leader Award, to live the dream and to (eventually) settle in a Chalet in the French Alps. After joining Kingston University Mountaineering Club in 2010 i was quickly hooked on climbing, which soon became a lifestyle choice. I learned to lead climb and boulder indoors, and quickly signed up to club trips, hiking and scrambling in the UK, and sport climbing/bouldering trips around Europe. A keen trip organiser, i had a hand in planning the club trips and in 2014 led the Club as KUMC President during my final year at University. After graduating i relocated, working in a climbing centre where i gained experience for my CWA. In between working and volunteering abroad, indoor climbing became less accessible for me over the last 2 years. I focussed more on hiking while living in the French Alps, and decided to pursue my ML - undertaking my training in October 2017. I continued to broaden my knowledge continue to explore through Wildcamping, Via Ferrata and Mountain Biking.