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 :

James Steel

I'm a keen hill-walker who has walked extensively in the British Isles and overseas since I was a student (currently half way through the Munro's). As a teacher I run my school's DofE scheme and am currently undertaking Summer ML in order to deepen my leadership skills and allow me to safely lead groups in the hills.

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher Pink

I am a very keen walker of valleys & mountains. Have had a varied and wide working life, from the Armed Forces, Ambulance Service and working for myself. Travelled all over the world and enjoy getting involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme along with planning long distance walking routes in the UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Wilson

The Mountain Leader award has allowed me to supervise groups of young people in some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland whilst taking part in Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions. They have also given me valuable skills and techniques to devekop navigation and hill walking skills in young people in order to allow them to enjoy the great outdoors for themselves.

My Mountain Training Story :

PETER BENNETT

After turning a youthful passion for random scrambling, climbing up trees and buildings into a profession - I have 15 years experience as a RFS Cert. Arboriculture climbing arborist - I took up indoor wall climbing, and am gaining instructor qualifications in order to teach climbing to beginners, youngsters and people who face challenges. I have worked in mental health and believe climbing can promote positive mental welbeing. I have been a community organiser for many years in Hackney, London, as a director of social enterprises that run workshops with the local community. I'm a manager of a sustainable and ethical business: Grow - bar, venue and community arts space in Hackney Wick. I'm an artist and music composer: when I can't climb it I draw it, and sometimes, the converse. Who knows where this will lead me. Upwards, certainly...

My Mountain Training Story :

Jonathan Carter

I am a Former member of the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team between 2007 and 2012 Completed the National 3 Peaks (Snowdon via the Llanberis Path, Scafell Pike from Seathwaite and Ben Nevis) in under 24 Hours. Completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks (Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough) on numerous occasions in all weather types in under 12 hours. Trekked as part of a guided group to Mount Everest Base Camp in 2009 reaching an altitude of 5368m An active member of the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club and a member of the Club Committee. I have climbed on the tough Cuillin Ridge, Isle of Skye, for a number of years. Thus far I have climbed 208 of the 214 peaks in the Wainwrights guides to the Lake district. In 2016 I completed the Welsh 3000m peaks alone. In September 2016 I climbed the Zugspitze which is the highest mountain in Germany (2962m) which involved the use of Via Ferrata climbing

My Mountain Training Story :

lee simmons

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

My Mountain Training Story :

Alice Varley

The Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor introduced me to hillwalking and navigation at the age of 13. I completed the 35 mile challenge twice, as well as the 45. At 14 I was lucky enough to fund-raise and take part in an Outposts Expedition to Nepal for 3 weeks. Inspired by this experience, I joined an Outdoor Instructor programme at Dynamic Adventures in Devon at the age of 18 and gained my MIAS level 1, Kayak and Canoe 2*, FSRT, BCU Level 1, 16hr outdoor first aid and am working towards my Summer ML, CWA and SPA. My goal at the moment is to achieve my IML and work as an expedition leader for a company such as Outposts.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Mycroft

After years in the military and enjoying walking in the mountains, i joined the Army Cadet Force. I took an interest in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and wanted to lead and prepare groups for their expeditions. I completed the Mountain Leader Summer training as this was the only requirement at the time. I also completed the DofE wild country assessor course, so i didnt think much about doing my ML assessment. I ran and assisted on may DofE expeditions from bronze, silver and Gold levels. i left the UK and moved to New Zealand, i spent a lot of my time outdoors on hunting trips. i then moved to Auckland and found out about Auckland Search and Rescue teams, so i decided to join. I was trained in Search techniques and adnvanced tracking, i also completed my Pre Hospital Emergency Care course which is a few steps up from the basic first aid courses. Now i am back in the UK i am going to finally complete my ML Assessment and redo my DofE assessor as this has now expired. I also hold my BCU Kyak level 1 & 2.

My Mountain Training Story :

Darren Jones

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

My Mountain Training Story :

Tom Livingstone

Freelance Outdoor Instructor and semi-professional sponsored climber. Based in Llanberis, North Wales and hold MIA (Training), ML(S), SPA, UKCC Level 1 and WML (Training). Worked on the Plas y Brenin Centre Assistant Scheme (2014/15). Sponsored by Mountain Equipment, La Sportiva and DMM Climbing

My Mountain Training Story :

Patrick Hickie

My first taste of the mountains was doing Bronze DofE Award in the Black Mountains in South Wales in the 1970s. I don't mind admitting that I found it tough, and as I approached the finishing point on the Assessment expedition, I made a silent promise to myself that I really didn't need to repeat the experience. But a healthy bit of peer pressure had got me dragged into Silver. Then Gold. By then I was hooked, especially having had a taste of the ruggedness of Snowdonia in the process. I joined the Army, and the opportunity to try rock-climbing came up. It seemed the obvious progression to me, and back then that was 'the' normal pathway into climbing and mountaineering. A variety of courses, meets run by the Army Mountaineering Association, and the opportunity to participate in expeditions to far-flung corners meant that by the time I left the Army in 2001 I had done a huge variety of mountain activities all over the UK, Europe and the world. I also completed the Summer and Winter ML awards at the start of the 1990s. A change of career to an exclusively indoor line of work meant that I wasn't out and about as much as I once had been, but I continued to climb regularly from my new home in Yorkshire. This included some local gritstone climbing, but it was always the bigger mountains that attracted me and so I tended (and still do) to climb more in Snowdonia, the Lakes and Scotland in the winter. There were trips abroad too, of course - Norwegian ice, Mediterranean sports climbing, and Alpine mountaineering. Now, I have made another career switch into professional mountaineering and climbing, enjoying sharing what has been my passion for over 30 years with those just starting out. Over a period of time I have completed both the MIA and IML awards and the openings created by those awards are now the mainstay of my work, including delivering NNAS courses. I am also progressing towards MIC and developing my climbing coaching skills through the coaching awards.

My Mountain Training Story :

Patrick Diskin-Barr

Most of my career has been based in high ropes. One of my first qualifications were with ERCA (European Ropes Course Association). Then moved to site-specific qualifications within the different high ropes companies I worked for. My last role was as Lead Guide/Operations Supervisor for a Zipline company in New Zealand has required my highest level of competency within the sector so far. For now, the challenge is to gain more qualification and broaden my skill set.

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 Trained and in-House Assessed for Lead instruction. SPA Trained. Foundation Coach Trained.

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard King

IML aspirant with just my winter assessment remaining. Current MLS and CWA holder working for Collett's Mountain Holidays as a Trek Leader/Organiser in the Italian Dolomites for the past 5 years. Have logged close to 500 UK and International Mountain days from the UK, European Alps, Dolomites, New Zealand, America and Nepal. Keen enthusiast for all mountain pursuits including mountaineering, Via Ferrata, Trekking and Climbing. Currently working towards my IML to hopefully run my own trekking company leading treks worldwide being based in the European Alps and leading treks further afield to the Nepalese Himalayas.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alasdair Monteith

I teach Geography at Gordonstoun as well as contributing to the variety of outdoor education activities offered at the school . I have been walking and climbing In the UK and abroad for over 20 years.

My Mountain Training Story :

Adrian Wardrop

well hi there , start of by saying hi I'm ady and my story is , I left school joined the military, where I served abroad and here, until I left in 2003 , since then I have been in hgv driving work , but always enjoyed walking and mountains . 2012 I did a charity for scottys little soldiers within the 10 challenges I did 3 peak challenge was one in 24hrs. we did it in 22hrs 50min ,but it was here really I thought I would love this as a job ,and that's where this started ,2013 more walking then registered with mountain training and with phill George in llamberis . completed my dlog and training in 2015 and completed assessment sep 2016 and passed. This is just the start as I want to do my winter ml to, and other courses at the same time . and gain experience with the qualification I have .

My Mountain Training Story :

Patrick Hickie

My first taste of the mountains was doing Bronze DofE Award in the Black Mountains in South Wales in the 1970s. I don't mind admitting that I found it tough, and as I approached the finishing point on the Assessment expedition, I made a silent promise to myself that I really didn't need to repeat the experience. But a healthy bit of peer pressure had got me dragged into Silver. Then Gold. By then I was hooked, especially having had a taste of the ruggedness of Snowdonia in the process. I joined the Army, and the opportunity to try rock-climbing came up. It seemed the obvious progression to me, and back then that was 'the' normal pathway into climbing and mountaineering. A variety of courses, meets run by the Army Mountaineering Association, and the opportunity to participate in expeditions to far-flung corners meant that by the time I left the Army in 2001 I had done a huge variety of mountain activities all over the UK, Europe and the world. I also completed the Summer and Winter ML awards at the start of the 1990s. A change of career to an exclusively indoor line of work meant that I wasn't out and about as much as I once had been, but I continued to climb regularly from my new home in Yorkshire. This included some local gritstone climbing, but it was always the bigger mountains that attracted me and so I tended (and still do) to climb more in Snowdonia, the Lakes and Scotland in the winter. There were trips abroad too, of course - Norwegian ice, Mediterranean sports climbing, and Alpine mountaineering. Now, I have made another career switch into professional mountaineering and climbing, enjoying sharing what has been my passion for over 30 years with those just starting out. Over a period of time I have completed both the MIA and IML awards and the openings created by those awards are now the mainstay of my work, including delivering NNAS courses. I am also progressing towards MIC and developing my climbing coaching skills through the coaching awards.

My Mountain Training Story :

Davide Trevisan

Italian climber and alpinist. Certificate italian alpinist AR1. Snowboarder. I work in Edinburgh for The North Face, I would like to improve my personal level and understand the different culture of climbing from Italy to UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Leanne Atlee

My passion for hill walking, climbing and generally being outdoors started at a your age as a result of trekking in North Wales with the family. From there I carried on exploring in the outdoors as part of the Air cadets and getting involved in DofE. I went on to university to study Outdoor Education and graduated from LJMU, while at university I freelanced and worked in the U.S. instructing kayaking sessions and running expedition for a summer camp. Since graduating in 2012 I have been working and travelling around the world (mainly middle east and South East Asia). I currently work as part of an Outdoor Education team running expeditions for an International School (United World College South East Asia).

My Mountain Training Story :

Katie Comer

My love of the mountains drew me away from a life chained to a desk, and into the great outdoors, although initially not in a style as orthodox as mountain leading. Having completed my training, I set about contacting different companies to register an interest and to find out what experience they were looking for, and stumbled across my current employer, Dragoman Overland. This lead to five years of literally driving across the world, from West to East, leading groups though the majestic Andes, the wild and desolate deserts of Central Asia, the formerly war torn countries of South East Asia, the crazy vibrant colourful madness of India, and beautiful Nepal. My next year is dedicated to a trans across Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, but I haven't forgotten where it all started with that love of the mountains, so finally achieved my dream of becoming a qualified mountain leader. With an abundance of experience in leading groups across the world, dealing with issues involving visas, permit problems, medical situations, political unrest, and still mange to ensure that everyone on the trip has a great time - I'm basically a great person to have around when things aren't going to plan! I'm looking forward to taking my current skills forward into the mountain leading environment, and combining it with my personal experiences in the Andes, Alps, Himalayas, Africa and New Zealand Alps.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alan Maclean

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

My Mountain Training Story :

Joel Self

Hiking: 11 years Rock Climbing: 7 years Shooting: 4 years Caving: 4 years Roped Tree Climbing: 3 Years Loving the great outdoors: A Lifetime

My Mountain Training Story :

Piaras Kelly

Piaras Kelly has been walking, scrambling & climbing for over 20 years and has gained an in-depth & extensive knowledge of all of Ireland's mountainous areas but in particular the mountains of Kerry and the SouthWest. He is the owner, driving force and lead guide with KerryClimbing.ie - the leading provider of mountain activities in the South of Ireland. Piaras has a vast experience of running Safety/Rescue backup for a variety of mountain and charity events/challenges and organise the annual "High Peaks Challenge", which has competitors traversing 16 of Ireland’s highest summits over the course of 1 tough day, taking in a total height gain of over 2500m and of 25km. He has a deep passion for the history, geography & ecology of the area and is part of the team of 8 which are responsible for path and trail improvements/maintenance in the Reeks. He is a highly experienced mountaineer and climber and spent 12 years as an instructor with a cliff and coastal rescue unit of the Irish Coastguard and is currently a member and training officer with the Kerry Mountain Rescue team as well as having a background in rope access work. He is a qualified summer Mountain Leader, Single and Multi-Pitch award holder with many notable impressive first ascents in the MacGillycuddy's Reeks in both Summer and Winter to his name. He has recently self published Ireland's first and only Winter Climbing guide book - "MacGillycuddy's Reeks Winter Climbs - Selected routes" which has to date received glowing reviews and has gone along way in providing overdue concise information on Winter Climbing in Kerry. He has been trekking and climbing in all seasons in the Himalayas, Europe, Britain and Ireland with Scotland in Winter a personal favourite. He has a reputation for being competent & highly safety conscious as well as being great fun and easy going and has introduced and guided many 1000's to the mountains and as a result KerryClimbing have become widely known, successful and award winning.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alison Stockwell

I began hiking as a teenager, when I spent hours exploring the Berkshire Downs near my home and developing a fascination for maps and the detail they contain. As a young adult this developed into a love of hillwalking and I joined the Bremex Mountain Expedition Training scheme to further this interest and develop my skills. Through Bremex I became a mountain leader and instructor, and in order to challenge myself and provide good value instruction to my students and clients, I also joined the Alpine Club and met many inspirational and talented people in the mountaineering world. Since then my mountaineering life has remained a balance between personal enjoyment, and voluntary and professional work. My life has been enriched beyond measure through mountaineering and I get immense pleasure through passing on that experience to others. For me, mountaineering in all its facets is a lifestyle and one I intend to continue to enjoy for as long as possible.

My Mountain Training Story :

andrew beebe

Hi my name is Andrew beebe im 54 years old after suffering a heart attack in 2015 iI used to b active playing Football, cricket, gole ivsuffered with back pain & musle pain in legs im looking forward to joining the course to help others who are struggling with their condition

My Mountain Training Story :

Jason Freeman

Spent 3 years British Army where my passion for the hills was set. Ever since leaving the forces I have been persistently keeping fit with running and taking part in high velocity running events, and regularly visiting the mountains. Actively working with Duke of Edinburgh Awards Bronze Silver and Gold levels. Qualified Basic Expedition Leadership Level 3 Award from Sports Leaders UK. Have decided to take things a step further and get qualified with higher level mountain skills so that I can take my work higher into the mountain regions of the UK.

My Mountain Training Story :

Joanne Barrett

I am yet to complete any awards, having only registered with the community, but have been walking, primarily in the Lake District, for around 20 years, falling in love with the area instantly. I completed my Wainwrights in 2014, and am now undertaking a second round, this time with my children. I started running a few years ago, and quickly got into trail running, and especially long distance events from marathon distance and up, with my longest run to date being a 30 hour completion of the 110 mile Cleveland Way. I regularly hike also in the Yorkshire Dales (got to love the 3 Peaks!) and run on the North York Moors, and am starting to become interested in Mountain Marathons for the navigational challenge! I would like to qualify as a Mountain Leader now I am regularly taking my own children on longer day hikes, and who knows where having the qualification may lead?

My Mountain Training Story :

Rachel Bolton

Hello I'm Rachel Bolton For the past 25 years I have worked in primary schools in Derbyshire with the last 10 years as a head teacher. I hold the summer mountain leader award which I have used to lead walks for children at mine and other schools and also supporting Whitehall outdoor centre and other local providers. I have also observed and helped on navigation and easy scrambling days in North Wales. I am hoping this year to do my winter ML training. Although I enjoyed my job, I decided to leave education in July 2015. I am currently studying Alexander technique in Kendal and I am very keen to use these skills working with climbers and walkers. I'm very active in the outdoors and I am always out and about in Scotland the Lake district and Peak District, backpacking, walking, scrambling and climbing. Also my life has changed dramatically since the death of my husband and my passion is to use the outdoors to support the bereaved by organising and leading walking trips. I am also taking a councilling qualification and hold a post graduate certificate in emotional education. I've recently trekked in Slovenia and Patagonia and just completed the cuillin ridge traverse in a day. I am hoping to return to the Cuillin mountains this year to make a short film including poetry and music ( I play the fiddle ) on how the mountains have supported me in the recent changes in my life.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jack Ramsden

My name is Jack Ramsden from Derby. I love climbing, climbing and more climbing! I particularly enjoy my indoor bouldering as I'm in the GB Bouldering Team and have been since 2013. I love getting out on the grit to send some hard projects and often travel around to go climbing. I love walking and do the odd bit of trad or sport if I feel like it! But for me, bouldering is key. Youtube- 'Jack Ramsden' to see my videos I film and edit in my own time showcasing what I do in my spare time. Visit www.jackramsden.co.uk to keep up to date with my climbing life. Follow jack.ramsden7 on instagram for some cool snaps of my bouldering, nature and general outdoorsiness!

My Mountain Training Story :

Alex Renfrew

Currently I am where I am. Working towards my MLS and looking to chase down the SPA also. I have had a lifelong love for the mountains but limited for my younger years to once a year in Scotland with my dad. Bit by bit as I have grown older I have built up my own experience mostly in Wales and the Lakes still with the odd visit to Scotland. I travelled for a couple of years and when I came back a few years ago I started climbing. Now I climb around 3 times a week at local crags like Pex Hill and Frogsmouth and the weekends further afield. I am now devoted to growing and developing my skills in these much loved activities so I can leave the office environment and work in a job I love. I currently help out on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and find it incredibly rewarding when someone takes a skill you have taught them and utilises it successfully outside with much enjoyment!

My Mountain Training Story :

David John Robinson

Dave holds the Climbing wall Awards (CWA,CWAA) Single pitch Award (SPA) Hill & Moorland Leader Award (HML). Dave as just resantly set up his own outdoor company "Reach Out Adventures" www.reachoutadventures.org.uk And as become an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) Licenced to provide Training & Expeditions for Bronze and Silver Awards for Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

My Mountain Training Story :

Claudia Fiedler

I have a passion for traveling and outdoor learning, so when in 2010 I came across World Challenge expeditions, I knew that this is what I want to do. At that point, I was living in Asia which meant I had to pack up and move to the UK to work on my ML (summer) qualification. I started leading for WC in 2012. The same year, I went on a 3 months expedition as an Adventure Project Manager for Raleigh International during which I led two 21 day treks in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, an unforgettable experience (and something I would do again in a heartbeat). At the moment, I am working towards the IML qualification which I aspire to complete within the next two years. Ultimately, I plan on complementing leading school expeditions with working for other expedition providers as well as leading my own hiking and snowshoeing trips.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Kivell

I have been working in the Outdoor industry for the past 18 years. After leaving college I was inspired to work in the outdoors so I applied for a job working as an assistant instructor In an outdoor centre in Glencoe where i gained a vast amount of experience working with a variety of groups and experienced instructors. With this experience i gained NGB qualifications in many different outdoor activities. Climbing and mountaineering has always been My passion, because of this I wanted to travel as often as possible searching for mountains to scale and rocks to climb, I travelled to many different places such as Australia, France, Spain, Switzerland, and throughout the UK such as Cairngorms, Lochaber, Skye, Lake District, Peak District, Snowdonia, Cadir Idris, Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and Cornwall. I eventually settled in South Wales working as a duty manger for a small outoor centre, where I was given the oportunity to lead groups in a variety of outdoor activities and also lead groups all around the UK and parts of Europe, while gaining qualifications along the way. I hold the Mountain Instructor Award, Winter Mountain Leader, BCU Level 3 kayak, 5 star Canoe leader, Cave Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, Stand up paddle board instructor, Technical Advisor for Gorge Walking, Climbing and Hill walking for Parc Bryn Bach and more recently an aspirant paragliding club pilot.

My Mountain Training Story :

Chris Scott

I began an Outdoor Career many years ago and then got sidetracked by other things. Thankfully in 2009 I got back on the right track and took on an Outdoor Course at Northumberland College a couple of years later and a with some NGB's completed I was employed as a Tutor at the college delivering Outdoor Education Courses. I continue to work towards qualifcations in order to keep myself current and through the pleasure of being able to get out and about taking part in the activities. The ML allows me to train and assess Sports Leader UK BEL and BEAL candidates which students on the course take part in and the SPA allows me to faciltate rock climbing sessions both indoors and Outdoors for students on the College courses. I am registered for the CWLA and am looking forward to taking on the training and assessment for this. Another qualification that will enable me to faciltiate even more challenging sessions for students and members of the climbing clubs I belong to. Along with my water based qualifications life in the outdoors is treating me well and I hope to keep updating my Dlog as I go ( just need to get it updated 1st).

My Mountain Training Story :

Fay Manners

I am a 30 year old free-lance outdoor instructor based in North Wales in the Summer and Chamonix in the Winter. When I am not leading hikers up Snowdon or instructing snowsports on piste in Courmayeur, I can be found rock climbing around Europe. I am a qualified Mountain Leader, a qualified climbing instructor and a qualified ski and snowboarding instructor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Sweeney

My name is Andrew sweeney and I've just recently ended a career within the armed forces to which i served for 16 years in 1st Battalion Scots Guards,not planning to leave so soon but having received a career ending injury i had the predicament that i needed a job that could keep my 1 inch long attention span entertained. Since i was a climber and mountaineer in my past time i thought why not transition into this as a valid way to pay the bills i thought , so thats what i have been doing since and I'm happy to say that may attention span is within safe boundaries due to the many great opportunities i have in this sector introducing people to the outdoors. I don't get more satisfaction than when I'm teaching and coaching Serial course and knowledge addict Avid book reader( knowledge is power ) Currently working towards MIA and IML awards as to which will be completed by end of play no later than 2018 ( thats a fact )

My Mountain Training Story :

Fabian Alexander Seymour

I'm Fabian, and I've been out and about exploring the high places of Britain since 2001. I've worked with, and been a member of many University and other mountaineering clubs and have a passion for enthusing others with the mountain environments and landscapes. My interest in the mountains began when I had the amazing opportunity to work in Antarctica for six months (the Antarctic summer of 2001-2002) researching how lichens were surviving in one of the most extreme environments in the world. Since returning to Britain from such an experience, I became hooked on mountains and exploring the wild places in Britain. I have climbed all of the 282 Munros (Scottish hills over 3,000ft), all of the 3,000ft peaks across the UK, as well as many other mountains across Northern Britain. But I am equally happy exploring coast, moors, the wild plateaux's of the Pennines, discovering remote glens or climbing and scrambling crags and cliffs. I have also been mountaineering in the European Alps. I am based in the beautiful and historic city of York, and this is a great launchpad to many of the mountainous (and often overlooked and near-deserted) wild areas of England and access to the Scottish Highlands. I am a qualified Mountain Leader (Glenmore Lodge, National Outdoor Centre, Scotland, 2014) and a qualified wilderness first-aider with High Peak First Aid Training. I am also accredited to provide Bronze and Silver navigation training through the National Navigation Award Scheme. I'm working toward the Winter Mountain Leader Award and who knows what after that. I have a PhD in molecular microbiology and I have published peer-reviewed research articles on the breeding systems of microbial life (specifically lichens) in extreme habitats.

My Mountain Training Story :

Phillip Royston

I completed ML Training (Summer) in 04/07/2003 at a course run in Wales from a centre in Indefatigable but it became clear recently that although I was spending a lot of my free time hillwalking again, my skills with navigating weren't as good as they had been and I had lost confidence. There are a few personals reasons for taking the opportunity to re-do the Mountain Leader Training course this year (2017). In the last two or three years I have walked a lot of routes on the North Yorkshire moors and I have got to know some of the mountains in the Lake District with friends and on my own. I have completed Advanced Ski Proficiency, and Ski Tour Proficiency and a week of mountaineering in Canada on the Wapta Ice Fields. This was some time ago.

My Mountain Training Story :

Matthew Ellis

I have been doing Mountaineering and various forms of climbing since I was in my early teens, Unfortunately I have not always kept a logbbok, however I am working on this. I have done a lot of Trad climbing in the Wye valley which is local to me. I have done my Summer SMT, Winter mountain foundation and winter mountain training. I have also completed my Winter climbing foundation. I have completed the GR20 route in Corsica and done lots of hill walking and climbing all over Britain. I have climbed some 4000ers inc the Weismeiss SSE ridge, Allalinhorn, Normal route and Ulricshorn these routes were all PD graded. We used the SAAS valley as a base.

My Mountain Training Story :

James Jarvis

The value of the Summer Mountain Leader Award to me is to let me "put something back" by helping with Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions. I am happy running or walking up or through the hills whether solo or in a group. If asked to choose the best mountain days then they would be: * Bivvy on Suilven with my daughter ahead of her own ML training * Each of my children's "first munro and wild camping" trips * Birthday cake with wife and children on Creag Leacach * Ben More Coigach with Ollie * 2012 OMM with my son. * Lunchtime run up a very snowy Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh * First trip to the Paps of Jura with Willie Gibson * The student team I took on the Scottish Island Peaks Race in 2002. * Meall nan Tarmachan in winter during the Firbush Winter Mountaineering Course * Pap of Glencoe and Aonach Eagach * An eight Munro day in the Mamores.

My Mountain Training Story :

Emma Warren

I started climbing at the age of 17 when I attended a rock climbing course at Plas Y Benin. This lead to a gap year spent travelling from London to Hong Kong overland . I lead my first climb on a new route in Iran. This followed a 3 year BSC in outdoor and environmental education at Liverpool John Moor’s University. I have since gained a PGCE in Geography at Aberystwyth University. I have lead fifteen expeditions abroad, including Nepal, India, Madagascar, Ecuador Peru, Morocco , Egypt. Thailand and Vietnam. Some countries have been visited multiple times. My favorite is trekking in the Indian Himalayas. The most notable was leading a bunch of climbers for a company called “Hot Rock” from South Africa to Jordan, overland, stopping of and climbing at crags along the way. The national mountain center Plas Y Brenin first employed me in 2011 working on multi pitch climbing courses and navigation hill skill course, mountain leader training and SPA training courses. I have personally climbed in,Spain,Greece,Turkey,Iran, Norway, the Alps, Canada, Ecuador, Thailand, Morocco, South Africa. I love to travel, but I also love living and working in North Wales. I also love my regular trips climbing and mountaineering in Scotland during winter. I have also enjoyed some long cycle touring trips, including 10 weeks through Europe, the length of the outer Hebrides and cycling the length of the River Danube. I have a passion for adventure, and education & fun.

My Mountain Training Story :

David Hall

A keen hill walker, climber, camper, pot-holer, kayaker, and anything else that we could think of when we were but boys (circa 1986)! All that kind of stopped when a career and a family came along, but when my son did his Duke of Edinburgh, I found myself getting back into it. I've since done my ML, initially to help the DofE group, but since assisted on organised events. What's next, who know's, a change of career may be beckoning! Regardless, I'm enjoying the outdoors again, I feel healthier and that beer belly has disappeared! I've discovered the Munro's and so far ticked off 35 (as of 2016), including most of the top ten. Still looking forward to Skye, Torridon and a few more in between. I've walked the Welsh 3000's, all separately, and together over 2 days, which was the toughest thing to date. I've graduated to trad climbing and winter mountaineering, and am looking forward to a week in the Alps this summer. I have my SPA training under my belt and looking forward to passing me assessment in the not too distant future!

My Mountain Training Story :

Zachary Odum

Missionary in love with the outdoors, I feel at home in the mountains.

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Cooper

I 'discovered' mountains in my early twenties - thanks to my wife - and haven't looked back since! We enjoy mountaineering of all sorts: rock climbing, scrambling, summer walking, winter walking, and Alpine. We were fortunate to live in Germany for two and a half years, and have explored much of the Alps in summer and winter. Now we are back in the UK, the British mountains are our playground, but we still try to get to the Alps at least once a year.

My Mountain Training Story :

Matthew Shaughnessy

Outdoor instructor at peak pursuits.

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 MTLA white folder. In March of this year 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 walk leader awards. Long-term I'd like to do my International Mountain Leaders Award as I fancy spending the next few decades leading groups in amazing places and getting paid for it...

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Lomas

I am ex military of 23 plus years and a qualified Mountain Leader. I have vast experience and i am confident that people i lead will have a safe and fun mountain day or night. I have a particular passion for finding aircraft wrecks and this is usually part of my mountain day, it just adds that little bit more to the adventure.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sofie Elise Quist

Four years ago I made the decision to leave Denmark for the, to me then, mysterious Scottish highlands. After joining the Glasgow University Mountaineering Club I was completely sold to the sport, a good step up from the tree climbing and small indoor walls I was used to in Denmark. I started my journy into the world of outdoor instructing with the Germany-based Sprachcamp Allgäu summer camps in 2014, where I still work as a senior instructor in the summer season. In the mean time, I am working towards the SPA award and looking forward to the doors it might open.

My Mountain Training Story :

Conor Meehan

Whatever you do, be it walking, climbing or mountaineering; remember, venturing in to the hills is about reconnecting, not disconnecting. In order to gain the skills and confidence to safely travel in these environments you must have the opportunity to experience them. Tip: Surround yourself with people who share that love and who are preferably more experienced than you are. In my own experience that someone should be able to impart that knowledge effectively and with enthusiasm. If you find a guide, friend or stranger who inspires that love for the great outdoors, even in the most miserable conditions, keep them close or book them quick! A Bit Of Background: My first experiences of these environments was in the days as a cadet with Air Training Corps and for the subsequent 18 years I have never been too far from a mountain. Since then I have learnt, trained and experienced how to safely enjoy these places, in their most extreme conditions, by learning from and training with some of the most experienced mountain leaders in the UK and Europe. The Present: I now spend whatever time I can trekking in Wales during the summer and then the Scottish Highlands for the dark/exciting winter months. When I am not teaching I lead small groups of all levels of ability, skill and age in to the peaks of Britain to practice their mountain skills and navigation or just to reconnect with whats important. My day-to-day job is a primary teacher with an extensive background in working with young people with behavioural and emotional issues. These past and present experiences have given me an experienced and effective insight into how these natural environments can be used to support young adults in their personal lives and ensure the desired itinerary for the day is pitched at a level that allows small and large groups to enjoy and learn in a safe way. Thanks for taking the time to read. Remember, 'Happiness is a way of life, not a destination'!!! Conor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Dominic Roe

My name's Dominic Roe, I'm currently a trainee instructor at an outdoor education centre in Snowdonia, Wales and a photographer for my own company and a publication. I hold my Mountain Leader Award and I'm working towards my SPA along with other training courses like the RPIOL, UKCC and LMCLA. Raised in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, I completed a degree in Primary Education at Edge Hill University in 2016 and have spent my time exploring a variety of areas in the UK, having taught in schools in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Liverpool, Luton and the Isle of Man whilst completing my degree before returning to the wilderness to becoming an outdoor education instructor.