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 :

Gwilym Starks

Whilst a teenager I was introduced to the “outdoors” by being in the Scouts. I enjoyed rock climbing and walking along with many other activities such as kayaking and mountain biking. As a Uni student I was offered the opportunity to undertake SPA Training and then ML Training. Whilst still at University I took the SPA assessment and then promptly started a career as a Police Officer which kept me busy. I managed to get out on days off but shifts made it difficult. In 2005 I finally managed to get round to doing ML Assessment and started to see this as a possible way out. In 2007 I finally left the Police and worked at a FE College teaching Outdoor Education In 2009 and 2010 respectively I gained WML and MIA. In August 2018 I left teaching at a college to concentrate on my own business. I now enjoy running LL, HML, RCI, ML and ESM courses as well as many other NGB courses across many disciplines. Many thanks to Andy Holborn MIA and Steve Spalding MIC (and many others ) for their help along the way

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher Pryke

My connection with the outdoors started with me joining the Air Training Corps 229 Farnham Squadron when I was 13. We were lucky to have an instructor who had a house in North wales and he took the cadets to North Wales on a regular basis. This led to my doing the D of E award and within the cadets I achieved the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards by the age of 17. I went onto help with gold expeditions on Dartmoor for several yeas after that. After a break whilst work got in the way of fun I came back to the hills and moors with the aim of introducing young people to take the same enjoyment that I did years before. I now spend most of my time out doors either training D of E, Bushcraft or Taking forest school classes. The aim of my future training is to enable me to take groups into the hills and moorland and show them the beauty that surround them.

My Mountain Training Story :

Tim Clark

Since becoming a scout leader some ten years ago I have found a new passion for the outdoors. Around 2012 I began to develop my skills and leader qualifications - starting with basic camping and walking qualifications. I also took my leader qualifications for climbing wall and abseiling with the scouts. In 2016 I qualified as a SWMML (South West Mountain and Moorland Leader). I am a qualified D of E Expedition assessor (Bronze, Silver & Gold). I help our local secondary school with their Ten Tors team training. Having been awarded my Mountain Leader award (Dec 2108) I am now looking forward to more work in the mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mike Brookes

Started climbing in 2013 - and was immediately addicted! Passing on my enthusiasm for the sport every day. CWA Assessement passed February 2016. CWLA Assessment passed November 2017. SPA Assessment passed March 2018. Foundation Coach Assessment passed November 2018. Full NICAS / NIBAS Induction. Owner of All CLIMB - specialising in climbing sessions for autistic children and youths.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Tombling

I am a member MTA because I was advised that it is a good idea to be so and it gives news about the fraternity of mountain/outdoor people and activities, other than, say the BMA. I don't really have a story, but I do have a lot of experience which has come about by staying alive for quite a long time and travelling around the globe from time to time. Also working with people in an outdoor environment for many years either on short courses or leading overseas expeditions. My current project is working on a my open university BABsc degree - very interesting and will keep me going for a while. In the meantime I wish all members a happy time in the outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Luca Miceli

I am an experienced mountaineer, In 2003 I completed my joint service adventurous training instructor held in Canada. This intensive training course provided qualification in Mountain Biking, Skiing, Multi pitch climbing and JSMEL, as well as CPD in mountain rescues, glacial rescues, Remote medicine, and fire fighting. following on from this I attended other Military AT Awards, Advanced JSMEL, Advanced Summer Instructor, Rock Climbing Instructor (MIA equiv.), Winter Leader, Ski Leader etc After redundancy in 2008 I have been working in the outdoors and converting my military experience into civilian qualifications. I have been head of Outdoor Education for a Special needs school in surrey, Technical advisor, Mountain Rescue and currently a Senior Instructor/Trainer/Coach at the Outward Bound Trust. I have led overseas expedition for the Army, World Challenge, Outlook and completed many personal trips. I am very proficient in Jungle environments, alpine environment and experienced in Desert and Cold weather. My biggest challenge was going for 36 hours with no water while crossing the Sahara desert. I have led many multi day expeditions in a variety of environments. My highlights have included successfully leading groups up Mt Blanc, Mt Elbert, Mt Marshal, Mt Monarch, Mt Shavo, Mt Antero, Mt Logan and surrounding peaks as well as many peaks in the Banff national park and UK/IRE.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Stevens

I class myself as a true Outdoor professional, enthusiastic, motivated and highly experienced. There's nothing better then being out with mother nature. Adventure at its best, I love to inspire and shire what I have learnt. I have years of experience serving in the military and now as a Freelance Outdoor Instructor, and hope to pass that knowledge on to the younger generation by helping them through conducting there DofE awards, and also expeditions far and wide. I hold NGB's as a Mountain biking instructor level 3 as well as my MLS, and also RCI. My main goal or top of my bucket list, I hope to do Everest. Shot for the stars.

My Mountain Training Story :

Darren Parkinson

I grew up in the Outward Bounds Centres in North Wales and every weekend I was out on the mountains and at 14 years old I was accepted as a junior member of the Moelwyn Mountain Rescue Team. At 16 I joined the Army where my love for the outdoors continued and I successfully completing the Army's Mountain Training Course. After leaving the Army I continued my walking and mountaineering with regular visits to Scotland, Wales, Dales, Lakes, Peak District, Alps and the Pyrenees. Then family life and work commitments kept me away from the hills for a few years until about 10 years ago where I took one of my kids up onto Bleaklow and the fire was re-ignited. Since then I am working my way through the Wainwrights and Munro's. I regularly enjoy getting up at silly o'clock to climb a hill and watch the sun coming up with the Jetboil roaring away in the background. I recently took a colleague suffering from depression on a walk around the Carneddau. On returning back to the car he was a completely different person and he wanted to know when we could go out again. This really was a rewarding experience which prompted me to start on the qualifications ladder and currently hold my Summer Ml and looking forwards to the winter ML. I am currently a Wildlife Crime Officer with West Yorkshire Police and I have a real interest in wildlife, geology and photography. I retire from the Police Service in 4 years and along with my business partner David Taylor we have set up "Compass Trekking", which is our retirement plan for guided walks, navigation courses, trips to Scotland and Norway.

My Mountain Training Story :

Craig Watson

I passed my SPSA, as it was, in 1997! I'm not sure where the last 20 years has gone... Back in 97' I worked for Acorn Venture and PGL in Wales and France. After then I spent the next 8 years working freelance, mainly in Yorkshire, for a variety of organisations, including climbing walls, Local Education Authorities and the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. I stopped working full-time in outdoor education after completing my degree in psychology and getting a 'proper job'. I did my ML Training in 2001, which was memorable due to being on the course on 9/11 and watching the tragedy of the twin towers unfold in the bar at Plas-y-Brenin, a very poignant day. I never got round to doing my assessment as there was enough work at the time with just the SPSA. Recently I've decided that a 'proper job' isn't for me and I've returned back to instructing for a living, hence attempting to fill in this DLOG! Things have changed somewhat from updating my written log in the old MTLB white folder. In March 2017 I was bored stuck behind my desk at my office, fed up of office and organisational politics and by May I was standing on a ledge belaying a group during a gorge walk in Nidderdale, whilst the heavens opened and wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else! My plan over the next few years is to gain enough freelance work to pay my mortgage, whilst concentrating on getting my ML and coaching awards. Long-term I'd like to do my MIA and develop 'mind coaching' programs as it would put my academic training to good use.

My Mountain Training Story :

Scott Mearns

Since I started climbing I managed to build myself quite the logbook on UKC which includes about 150 climbs last time I checked. That isn't even half of it though! There are far too many entries to transfer over so I figured I would just put it all here. Go back to 2013 when I had a good group of equal levelled climbing buddies. We use to hit the local crags nearly every night during summer and as much weekends as possible. We lived on the crags. Regular crags we visited were the likes of Deceptive Wall, Meikle Patans, Souter Head, Alans Cliff and Clash Rodney. I have officially lead climbed every single route at Deceptive Wall (Zero E's haha). I did lead an E1 one time which was pretty scary to be honest. Eventually my climbing trips got bigger and in 2015 me and a friend travelled nearly every weekend to go climbing. One trip took us all the way to Stanage which is to this day, the single best trad climbing experience ever! We've been to Torridon, Rogart, Reiff, Aviemore and the Cairngorms. Now for the sports. Highest lead was a 6B at Sierra de Toux. I've spent a lot of time at Kirrie... Europe though, that's something else! I've done 2 trips to Costa Blanca for some sweet Limestone routes. One year I visited a friend in Austria and we nearly managed to get a climb in before the rain hit... hard! 30 minutes later and we are on the road to Arco, Italy. Holy hell if you haven't been then I highly recommend it! All you can see is climbing. Huge multi pitch climbs. I didn't lead anything here but I enjoyed every second of following my friend. On the last day we left Arco and stopped at a single pitch crag so I got to do some leading in Italy before heading back to Austria. Didn't get to do any climbing in Austria, or at least finish what we set out to do! Well that's about all of my climbing history summarised. I took the last couple of years out but I've been drawn back. Now my story continues and the training starts

My Mountain Training Story :

Brett Mahoney

Outdoor Education Tutor at a Behavioural School, DofE Gold Assessor and Expedition supervisor. Based in the Brecon Beacons taking freelance work for all things ML and CWI.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ben Westwood

I started working in the outdoor sector in 2006 having never rock 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 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 :

Paul Weller

I have climbed and trekked throughout most of the UK, Bavaria and Spain. The Peak District is my main base where I spend most of my time, I also spend a significant amount of time in The Lakes, Snowdonia, Yorkshire. Climbing, walking, Mountain Biking and mountaineering are my main cravings and I have consolidated over 18 years’ experience with the Mountain Leader Awards. I am available for all UK Mountain Leader opportunities and happy to support and lead a group of people, one to one or business groups anywhere in the UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Kevin O'Brian

I’m a keen, enthusiastic photographer from North West Wales UK. 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 :

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. With the summer ML I now 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 :

William Close-Ash

I started out as a summer ML in 2002 and have been running expeditions in the UK and overseas since then. As a school teacher and a youth group leader with the air cadets, I understand the importance of getting young people out into the wilderness and to help them appreciate nature. For many years, I worked exclusively with young people, but in 2009 I started my own company with my wife and we've branched out to running courses and expeditions for adults and young people alike! We've run expeditions to South Africa, Namibia, North Africa, Europe and South America over the last 10 or so years. This in addition to running courses and training in the UK summer and winter mountains. I enjoy giving something back and am now a fellow with the Royal Geographical Society where I have supported their annual Explore conference for the past 4 years and through whom I deliver the Off Site Safety Management Course. I am also a cas carer with Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.

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. I love to travel in my spare time to visit friends in USA and my family in Canada.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sam Peett

Every story has a start, a middle and an end. My story is in the middle and hopefully not near the end.

My Mountain Training Story :

Michael Griffiths

I've enjoyed the outdoors for as long as I can remember. My father's side of the family hail from Dolgarrog, so the Conwy Valley, its high lakes and the Carneddau formed some of my earliest memories. As a child I rock climbed on many traditional routes in Snowdonia and enjoyed the hills in all conditions. I later developed a passion for skiing, learning the basics over a few years on the flanks of Cairngorm before enjoying my first true Alpine ski experiences in Europe. I've skied for over 20 years in a variety of European resorts. I've trekked and travelled abroad extensively from the jungles and rainforests of Thailand and Costa Rica to the deserts and canyons of South West USA; the savannah and bush of Africa to India and Arctic Scandanavia. I've recently returned from my first trip to Nepal and a trek to Everest Base Camp. I've enjoyed a few technical Alpine skills courses in the Alps , from a guided ascent of Mont Blanc to an introduction to ski-mountaineering course which included a descent of the Vallee Blanche in glorious conditions. In recent years I have become increasingly involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, helping as a casual volunteer then attending the Leaders' course before moving on to becoming Expedition Supervisor and a fully accredited Assessor, including Gold. Most of my work has been based at a local school but I have also worked with commercial organisations such as H5 Adventures. I was proud to be honoured in May 2016 with an invitation to Buckingham Palace to join the celebrations for the Award's Diamond anniversary. My aim is to provide safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences for all. I strive continuously to improve my personal skills and experiences either formally through accredited courses and training or informally by getting out there and enjoying the great outdoors. I've had some great times out there and met some smashing people. I hope you can join me sometime.

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 passed my SML assessment and I’m very keen to progress further and gain lots of experience in the outdoor industry. Also working my way towards becoming a Rock climbing instructor

My Mountain Training Story :

Jason Coultas

Hello! I am new here and am looking to gain the summer mountain leader qualification I am currently logging mountain days so then I get to a point where I feel confident to start my training for the summer mountain leader. I want to gain summer mountain leader qualification so I can take people up mountains to let them experience the joy I feel when doing it! I plan to also in the future gain the winter mountain leader qualification and then the international as I would love to work abroad guiding people up amazing mountains! I have always had a passion for the outdoors and always itching to get outside in the wild and experience what this amazing world has to offer I also love any type of fitness and keeping fit so also helps with that. My dream job would be a mountain leader as hiking and scrambling mountains is the thing I love doing the most!

My Mountain Training Story :

Ben Mcallister

I began my love for the mountains when I was taken out in to Brecon Beacons when I was quite young. I fell in love with the sights, sounds and smells of the mountain environment. I continued my involvement in hillwalking whilst I was a teacher and began to explore the mountains of the Uk and the Western Alps. I found myself yearning to be outside and after a spell abroad I relocated to live in the Brecon Beacons to run a smallholding and work as a ML throughout Wales. I now work mainly with adults, running courses and leading guided walks throughout Wales. I work for myself under Welsh Mountain Walks. When I am not in the hills I am usually to be found down my wood or in the workshop.

My Mountain Training Story :

Morgan Specht

I have now worked in the outdoor education and adventurous activity industry for over 20 years. I am a self confessed jack of all trades now working to master some. I work for Hampshire County Councils Outdoor Centre in the Brecon Beacons. My aim is to achieve my Cave Instructor Certificate. I was born and raised in Maryland on the border of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, where I got my first job in the outdoors as a Raft guide. I worked my way up to Trip leader and guide manager/trainer. I rafted and kayaked on Class IV-V rivers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I hiked parts of the Appilation trail, and enjoyed exploring the outdoors in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Wyoming. While at Uni in Portland, Oregon explored the incredible venues in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and California. I moved to the UK in 2004 and started to outdoor training and development at Fairbrige West in Bristol. I became a British citizen in September 2018. My favourite adventures are Canyoning in Europe and any vertical cave trips. Switzerland, Dales, Wales, Dolomites, Pyrenees to name a few. Tickets: Mountain Leader Single Pitch Award Climbing Wall Award Level 2 Local Cave and Mine Leader 4 Star Canoe Leader Level 2 Kayak Coach 4 Star Whitewater Kayak REC Outdoor First Aid (16 hour) Whitewater Safety and Rescue D1+ E drivers licence Training: 5 star Whitewater Kayak DoE Introduction, Expedition Training Course

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Brown

I am looking to establish some formal recognition of my outdoor skills and experience in order to lead groups of people in the countryside. I am keen to enable people to use the outdoor to increase their physical and mental well being through sustainable activity and exposure to natures green and open spaces. In order to do so, I want to establish best practice in leading groups and individuals in order to evaluate risk and apply appropriate measures to ensure everyone has safe and rewarding adventures.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Mcintyre

Being the youngest of 4 brothers has its perks. Born into a family of all things scouting I had extensive exposure to the outdoors from a young age. I have a genuine love for the outdoors and all things mountains! The experience continues . . . Standby.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jason Till

I first got into mountaineering when I was in the Army, but had always loved the outdoors even from an early age. I then joined the Army Cadet Force in 2001 & my friend in that organisation soon got me walking with the Adventure Training team. I did my Walking Group Leader Award (WGL) in 2002 & I will never forget the elation of being told that I had passed. I'm sure it kept me awake during the drive home as I kept repeating to myself that "I can lead groups!!!". However I was not content with leaving it there & was quickly pushing for my Summer Mountain Leader Award (ML). I passed this with relative ease as I had been out at least once a week to ensure I passed (as they say in the Army, train hard, fight easy). My next step is the Winter Mountain Leader Award (MLW). I became a Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) & I have also passed the Rock Climbing Instructor Award (RCI). With my Summer ML I have been lucky to work in some beautiful places both in the UK and abroad in Africa, India, Peru and many other places. All in all, I can honestly say I love every minute of being in the hills (regardless of the weather) & the fact that I am an instructor means I can pass my knowledge & enthusiasm to other people. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction when I lead people up a mountain for the very first time in the hope that they too will catch the mountaineering bug. I'm also a provider for the Mountain Training Hill & Mountain Skills courses, Lowland Leader Award and the Expedition Skills Module as well as the new Rock Skills courses (Introduction & Intermediate)

My Mountain Training Story :

Nathan Jones

I started out climbing everything I could as a kid, growing up in somerset we regularly went to great climbing venues to walk the dogs so I naturally explored the rock. Then as I got older I started going on an adventure camp in north Wales and started top roping on upper tremadog I think. I did a learn to climb course through school and at that point started to think about being an instructor. Some years on and I trained and started work in a centre and hold various NGB's including SPA and ML(s). I used these tickets to help train our instructors throughout the year as well as when I got the opportunity to take groups off site. I have moved on and now work delivering leadership academies on the Isle of Skye, but I still get out plenty in my own time! I am working towards my MIA and ML(w) next. I was fortunate enough to be able to go on the Jonathan Conville scotland course a few winters ago and hope to get my first trip to the alps in the not too distant future. I am equally happy to be on ice, rock, a mix or even the water!

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 :

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 on jaijonesfreelance@hotmail.com or 07539203741

My Mountain Training Story :

Matt Robinson

I work with schools across the UK, based in Scotland, and some International Schools. I lead long and short term outdoor learning courses with teachers and early years educators in service related to outdoor learning and play. This often involves advising on policy or risk management issues. I am responsible for LTL's risk management system, using Risk Benefit and based on the Play England proforma. You can see our system in its entirety at https://www.ltl.org.uk/spaces/managingriskinschoolgrounds.php I hold B.Ed (hons) in Outdoor and Science Education, a variety of outdoor qualifications including Winter and Summer ML, UKCC L2 Paddlesports Coach with 5* & MWE, UKCC L2 Cycle Coach with MTB Endorsement, DofE Asessor and lapsed of: RYA Senior Instructor, GNAS, BOF L2, High Ropes Instructor etc. I also hold IOSH Managing Safely.

My Mountain Training Story :

Brian Armstrong

I am based in Sheffield within walking distance of the Peak District and run my own company (Armstrong Ecology and Mountains Ltd.). This allows me to combine my passion for ecology with my passion for being in the hills and mountains and sharing this with others. I hold the Mountain Leader (summer) award and have hill and mountain experience in most parts of the UK, including the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Wales and Scotland. I bring with me a wealth of knowledge of the natural history of the range of environments encountered at all levels in the UK from the lowlands through to hills and mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Anthony O'Donnell

I started hillwalking when I joined the Scouts aged 11. By my mid-teens I was spending most weekends in the Yorkshire Dales. By my late teens I had amassed substantial experience of walking in hill/moorland/mountain areas, including the Dales, Lakes, Howgills, Snowdonia, South Pennines, Peak District and North York Moors. In 1988 I took part in a Venture Scout expedition to the Austrian Alps for high level trekking/via ferrata. By now I was spending around 40-50 quality days per year on hills, moorland and mountains, including wild camping/bivouac expeditions throughout the year between 2 and 5 days long. Some were supervised (e.g. a supervised trip to the Lakes in winter 1987/88 for ice axe/crampon training) but most were self-planned, usually but not always solo, in fact often with little planning other than working out start and end points. I also planned and led activities trips for the Scouts. In 1988 I took up rock climbing; mostly trad climbing on Yorkshire gritstone and limestone up to E2, but also many trips to the Dark Peak and several Lake District trips for day-long multi-pitch climbs on some of the big crags. By 1995 I was very experienced in mountain activities across a range of terrain types and disciplines (I was also into mountain biking). Around this time I became very involved in my career and became a dad. With these additional commitments I all but gave up sport of any kind for 15 years. I returned to mountain biking in 2010, and through that took up road cycling. I rediscovered my love for the hills when I became involved in D of E two years ago. I obtained the LEL3 qualification this year, and am now taking the HML qualification. While this has been driven by by involvement in D of E, I find the training allows me to operate in the hills with more "professionalism" than might have been the case in my youth! I now try to keep a balance between hillwalking, cycling and trail running.

My Mountain Training Story :

David Kirkby

Teach up to Level 6 in Leadership & Management at Coleg Llandrillo. The course I teach on are Foundation Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Management and Business and professional courses for Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Decided to expand the opportunities for students by being able to take them out of the conventional classroom.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Tombling

I think the NNAS is a great award scheme. It starts off at basic level and encourages/inspires candidates to get better. It is such a long time ago since I did my Bronze, Silver and Gold - probably sometime in ninetees! But I thought the courses would help me on my way to gaining an ML award. There is no doubt that the courses I did with CNDo in Sterling helped me a great deal. My story now is that I went on to gain an ML(W) award and also attend the Tutor Workshop for Gold training and assessing. On my expeditions around the World to East Africa, India and Nepal Himalaya, China and quite a few other countries including Mexico and South America since taking the NNAS courses I have had to navigate. Even when I've had a guide I found it useful and sometimes necessary to utilise the basic navigation skills I've learned and practiced. The skills have saved me and my groups unnecessary time wasted and, perhaps at times, discomfort from having to spend a night on the hill or mountain, lost. Passing on these skills, mainly to DofE participants at all three levels for their team expedition element, is great because it gives me a reason to be out in the countryside and, most importantly, to be useful. I have been living in South Wales on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the small village of Aberfan for around eleven years now and cannot think of a better place to live in (for me anyway). Posted 06/12/2018

My Mountain Training Story :

Scott Norris

Currently building radventures.co.uk and training to become an ML.

My Mountain Training Story :

Martin Wall

I am a qualified freelance Mountain Leader (ML) Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI), Climbing Wall Development Instructor (CWDI) , Foundation Coach and Rope Rescue Technician 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, and MREW Advanced First Aid Cas Care Certificate and authorised to administer pain relief. 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 21 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. 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 completed ML winter training Feb 2018 in Scotland.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Glynn

My walking over the last few years has taken several forms. Firstly with my family walking in the Lakes, Snowdonia, Dartmoor, Scotland and elsewhere. Secondly along the National Trails of the UK - having completed 10 of the national trails thus far.(Pennine Way, Offas Dyke, North & South Downs Ways etc). Third as a participant in numerous challenge walking events such as the Fellsman, a 61 mile moorland walk largely away from paths, and an annual 100 mile walk (completed in less than 48 hours). I also lead walks for my local walking group and having gained the HML award I now lead for a UK walking-holiday company. Professionally I spent many years in IT as a problem solver/fixer and enjoy navigating in open countryside.

My Mountain Training Story :

Daniel Wright

Climbing is very important to me. It pushes me to challenge myself and to strive for larger goals. When I decided to get the RCI award, being an instructor just seemed to make sense; I could help motivate others to be challenging themselves, to join an exhilarating sport and the vibrant community that surrounds it . I am currently working as a freelance instructor in Manchester and am looking forward to more work and getting more people involved in the sport.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ian Parker

I have had a love of the outdoors for as long as I can remember with family holidays to the Lake district and North Wales, a member of Speak Town Outdoor Pursuits club and the Army cadets. After the Army cadets I joined the Royal Marine Reserves whilst at college and after I joined the Royal Marines full time. Once I had completed and past Commando training I was posted to 45 Commando in Scotland. Here,as well as tactical Mountain Training and military skiing in the mountains around Glenshee and Ben Nevis, I was also able to use my free time to participate in more mountain walking, rock climbing and skiing. After leaving the Royal Marines I didn't visit the mountains as much as I would have liked, however I have renewed my enthusiasm, refreshed my knowledge, developed my skills and qualified as an ML(S). Next on my agenda is the RCI course in my pursuit of leaving the 9-5 behind and spending more time in the mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Shaun Stephens

Currently ML(s) and Spa and cwla. Since gaining these I have tried to ensure that I have used the awards to enthuse others about the joys of the great outdoors. I have worked both as a freelance and also as an employee of LCC youth service and most recently as senior instructor at Robinwood activities. I have extensive experience in both the hills and crags of north west England especially the Lake District. I have a level 2 first aid at work and for you wet folk out there I also level1 canoe coach and3 star in both kayak and open boat.

My Mountain Training Story :

David Eaton

I have a background in photography and education, and began my hill walking in the Peak District back in the mid-80s, as an extension to my photography. Some twenty-eight years later a chance conversation with a Scout Leader and DofE Supervisor led me to taking on the Hill & Moorland Leader Award, having never previously thought of outdoor leadership. Having shared my skills and passion in other areas (I have 14 years experience as a lecturer in Photography), I'm hoping to do the same with my hill-walking and navigation.

My Mountain Training Story :

Rob Marshall

My name is Rob Marshall and I've always enjoyed climbing since I was very young. A lot of my youth was spent climbing trees and climbing became something of a passion for me. From about 7 years old and onwards I went bouldering outdoors at Brimham Rocks with my family when we could and from 14 onwards I was using my local bouldering wall. For 7 out of 8 years between the ages of 10 and 16 I attended summer camps or other events where I could do outdoor activities. I went to an outdoor centre in Carlisle called Whitaugh Park which is run by ROCK UK for 6 consecutive summers. It is because of these experiences that I've chosen to set my sights on becoming an outdoor adventure instructor. At the time of writing this (26/11/2018) I am 17 years old and in my 2nd year of a two year course in Outdoor Adventure Sport at Askham Bryan College. I am developing as a leader and my knowledge on the industry is increasing exponentially. I also have a membership at my local bouldering wall which I go to at least 2 times a week and am intent on working my way up to becoming a better climber. I enjoy any sports where you have to scramble around such as climbing, caving, abseiling and gorge walking. I'm looking forward to going canyoning with my college in 5 months time too.

My Mountain Training Story :

Samantha Brooks

I am so excited to be a ML! It helps me to run my business, The Adventure Running Company and enables me to feel safe and knowledgable in the mountains when guiding groups of friends and clients. I spend as much time in the mountains as my day job allows and am looking forward to one day being a full-time IML.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Evans

I currently work for the Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS) as a Recovery Worker. My role is to support individuals, recovering from drug and alcohol dependency, to regain and take control of their lives after varying periods of dependency. A big part of my role includes helping service users to improve their health and access/ engage in meaningful activities (including walking, indoor/ outdoor climbing, caving, gorge walking and geocaching)to help increase self esteem and make sustainable positive life changes. I have worked within the substance misuse field since 2006 and previously supported individuals with learning disabilities and/ or mental health conditions to access employment/ training/ education. Since entering into the supporting people field I have witnessed (and have great passion for) the improvements individuals can make with support. I have worked with both individuals and groups and have been involved with outdoor activity groups since 2006 (whilst working with the criminal justice service in Merthyr Tydfil) and have helped to set up and run/ co-run climbing, walking, canoeing, caving, geocaching and bush craft sessions. My passion for the outdoors and my role within employment has led to me completing the CWA award in 2012 and gaining the Lowland Leader award in November 2018. I hope that a combination of passion (regarding helping others) and the skills I have gained, and will continue to gain, will greatly benefit the individuals I support (I must be on the right track as our conservation group won the voluntary environmental award in Monmouthshire in 2016 and completed two North Wales trips during the summer of 2017). I continue to lead GDAS groups on various walks, within South Wales, and survey Pathcare routes for Monmouthshire Borough Council. Our plan for 2019 is to complete a route along the Mon Brecon canal, starting from New Inn and finishing in Brecon (over a period of six stages during the year). Onward and upward!

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Hunter

I first took the ML course way back in 1997, as a response to finding myself in 'The White Room' when up on Braeriach. I wanted to improve my navigation skill set and found the course did just that. I didn't even think of going on to assessment at that time. Fast forward over 21 years and I found myself wanting to work in the outdoors after a lifetime of mainstream employment and business. I took the course again (it was even better this time), and then took the plunge with the assessment. I've taken the RCI course and would like to go ahead with assessment as soon as I can get the shadowing days in. I'm now looking forward to the Winter ML too. Right now, I'm about to get an outdoor CV in order, and see if can get some assisting and leading experience in the coming spring.

My Mountain Training Story :

Gwilym Starks

Having been using a map for the best part of 30 years or so, I really enjoy teaching others about navigation. I now enjoy teaching Bronze, Silver and Gold courses as well as the Tutors Award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Barry Mcadam

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

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher S Starnes

Ex services Army ,retired senior nurse practitioner ,part time teacher Completed mountain leaders training ,HF holidays assessement , Working as HF leader for ten years leading walking holidays in the U.K. Bronze and silver NNAS Award ,just completed Gold NNAS training Over the next years plan to work on my leading qualifications would like to do my ML Summer assessement ,increase my level and lead abroad for HF holidays and gain more experience

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 as a student , mostly in Wales and The Peaks, then after a long break due to having young children and living overseas I came back to climbing about 10 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. Five 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 mostly outdoors and also indoors 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! 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 and such a long way from the mountains it could be a while before I get all my QMD's and achieve the award.

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 led me directly to Sandhurst and a career in the Army. After a 38-year career as an Artillery Officer I have recently retired to a quiet village near Taunton. There have been some great opportunities for Expeditions. Some highlights are .... spending 4 weeks langlauf skiing in the high arctic in Norway in the winter; a 10 day unsupported expedition further south trekking and sea kayaking in the summer. I have been a member of two epic sea kayak journeys; one 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 have competed in a couple of OMMs and did 'the Borrowdale'! 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 and Manager (8 weekends annually). I am a member of 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. Currently delivering NNAS Tutor courses to Air Cadet staff and senior cadets, as well as Silver and Bronze Awards. Gold shortly. Recently completed MLS trg and chasing QMDs for Assessment next year.