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What does MTA mean to our members?


Our members come from a wide variety of backgrounds; some work full time in the outdoors as freelance professionals or run their own business, others work in full time education, outdoor centres or climbing walls as managers or staff. Many are involved in DofE and volunteer with schools, Girl Guides and Scouts and some seek the qualifications for personal competence.

They are either working towards a Mountain Training award scheme or already hold qualifications and are actively working in the outdoors and they utilise their membership of the association to support them on their qualification journey and beyond.

Our members are very important to us and are proud to be a part of the association.

Read what some of our members have to say below:



Vivian Day

VIVIEN DAY

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA? What was your main reason for joining?

I joined it as soon as I heard about it and realised I could get skills & a qualification!

What do you find most valuable about being a MTA member?

The amount of workshops and CPD events that are available. The staff in the office at Mountain Training have always been so nice and so helpful when I have contacted them.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

My navigation and steep ground refresher workshops counted towards my CPD (these were both MTA workshops run by Paul Poole). I have been on a Bremex led weekend, which then led to me attending a few events with them, I have done navigation practise and a fantastic flora & fauna day and a scrambling day with them. They are a really good group led by qualified leaders so you get a lot of value out of your day. I have also been to the Women’s climbing symposium last year – that was amazing to see so many positive women in one place. I am looking at completing the online courses which have been put on-line in the last few months, these also contribute towards CPD – bonus!

Would you recommend the Association to others and why?

Yes and I have done – a great way of working towards qualifications. And don’t forget to ask for discount in outdoor gear shops using your MTA card – I got a great discount in Joe Browns in Llanberis when I finally found some 4 season boots that fit me properly!



Branwen McBride

BRANWEN MCBRIDE

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA?

I think it took me a few years to realise that the MTA existed and that just because I’d registered for a Mountain Training award, that didn’t mean I was actually a member of the MTA. I definitely decided to pay for membership whilst working towards my ML because the workshops alone made it worthwhile! I really liked having access to an informative website, I enjoyed a whole host of workshops, and met lots of new friends.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

For me, the most valuable things about being a member of the MTA are the amazing network of like-minded friends I’ve made since joining and the access to the evening workshops which meant I could train towards my ML after work as well as at weekends.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

I loved the CPD workshops whilst on my ML training; and now I’m setting off on a new adventure into the world of climbing the regional events here in North Wales are proving to be quite awesome when the weather plays ball! These are social events rather than instructional, but as a relative novice I learn loads each time and it means I get the chance to ‘climb’ (be hauled up like a sack of spuds) much harder routes than I’d normally attempt which has been great for my confidence and skills.

Would you recommend the association to others?

I’m always happy to recommend the MTA every time one of my friends mentions working towards a qualification. The workshops alone make it worthwhile, and the discount in some outdoorsy shops can be handy too!



Alex

ALEX KENDALL

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA and why?

I joined when I passed my Summer ML. It just felt like the natural step to be part of a wider group of people, to get support and continue learning beyond the award.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

Getting the chance to sign up to CPD and being part of a network. The workshops I've done have been brilliant, and have definitely made me a better leader.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

Two CPD days I've been on recently were a look at management of Wild Ennerdale with Friends of the Lake District, and a bird ID course in the Brecon Beacons. They were both excellent and totally backed up my belief that a good leader in the outdoors has a responsibility to try and learn as much as possible about the landscape and nature, and to pass that knowledge on.

Would you recommend the association to others?

Yes, just to be part of a wider network of similar people, and for all you'll get out of it.



Kirstie Macmillan

KIRSTIE MACMILLAN

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA?

I joined the MTA to access workshops which will help me through my qualifications and give me refreshers before assessment.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

Access to CPD and workshops, although the discounts in shops are handy too!

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

A month before my SPA assessment I did a ‘Rope Tricks and Rescues’ course with the exceptionally enthusiastic (and often humorous) BMG Chris Ensoll. It was a fantastic day in sunny Langdale exploring a whole range of the SPA syllabus and beyond including abseil rescues, rigging, use of prussiks and group scenarios. I left the workshop knowing exactly what I needed to practice before my SPA assessment and took away some handy hints and tips on preventing and resolving any trouble whilst doing personal climbing. Highly recommended!

Would you recommend the Association to others?

Yes – for access to CPD and workshops!



Ali Evans

ALI EVANS

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA?

After completing the Walking Group Leader qualification (now renamed the Hill & Moorland Leader award). I had talked to other members about it and wanted to be able to attend workshops run by MTA Co-ordinators. The discount at outdoor gear shops I also useful!

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

Updates and newsletters attending MTA workshops.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

Yes, quite a few including night navigation and ML Refresher day. They were excellent. Well organised, great opportunity to meet other members and share experiences and information. The MTA Co-ordinator always starts by asking the group to set their own learning objectives which means everyone gets to benefit from the content of the day. I look forward to many more in the future.

Would you recommend the Association to others?

Yes, it provides valuable information and updates, allows you to progress through Mountain Training's recognised awards schemes with support.



Alex Frood

ALEX FROOD

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA?

For me it is for the CPD events. I went to a local one just before my Summer ML assessment, I found it a lot of help and great networking too, I also found the insurance deals helpful as well.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

The access to CPD events and industry deals.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

I’ve been to the regional north-east CPD events and I've also run one of the workshops at the North-East CPD event on flora and fauna.

Would you recommend the Association to others and why?

Yes, I believe the information, events and help you can get, make it well worth it.



Cath

CATH SINCLAIR

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA?

I joined as soon as I knew I was going to work towards summer ML although I didn’t go for training straight away. Joining the MTA helped me to focus on my goal and network with like-minded people.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

There are many aspects: The Professional Mountaineer magazine, networking online and at local area events, the members area of the MTA website has some useful articles, access to insurance and gear shop discounts…

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

I have been on several regional CPD events which were invaluable, thanks to the great volunteer coordinator for my area. The weekend with a mountain rescue team was fantastic with night nav, ropework, first aid etc covered and great insight in to the working of the team.

Would you recommend the Association to others?

Definitely! I have found it so useful and friendly.
Profile picture credit: Mike Skehel




Jamie Rooke

JAMIE ROOKE

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA? What was your main reason for joining?

Pretty much as soon as I registered for Mountain Leader so I could get 20% off at Cotswolds haha! Seriously though, there seemed to be so many benefits, it was just sensible to join.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

The opportunities to learn and meet people.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

Yes, I love the CPD workshops. I went along on one with Jim from Nature’s Work and he logged it as CPD for me and that spurred me on to get my training booked. Another good one was Paul Gannon’s geology walk. I have actually done two and still struggle to understand it but they’re really interesting and Paul is great. Another one that sticks out was Beyond ML (steep ground) with Tim Harrop; it really helped my scrambling skills, which in turn boosted my confidence in the hills. I may have even met Tim through Paul’s workshop, so you can see that the learning and networking opportunities are there.

Would you recommend the Association to others and why?

Yes, for the opportunities to learn, meet people and save money!



Angie

ANGIE JALEEL

What do you find most valuable about being a member of MTA?

I was pleasantly surprised on joining that there are some good discounts in some of the outdoor shops especially Cotswold outdoors.

I love the CPD. In the dental profession we have to do 150 hours minimum in five years. The modules on MTA make a very pleasant change.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

I have attended the CPD workshop in Kent which was brilliant. I did the climbing workshop but would equally have loved to do the navigation and access and conservation. It was such a bonus to be local. When it's a full days travel to the mountains the priority is being out in them rather than attending workshops.

Would you recommend the Association to others and why?

I would recommend MTA - it's great resource and helps to give an understanding of potential career pathways.



Chris Hobson

CHRIS HOBSON

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA? What was your main reason for joining?

I became a Mountain Leader after leaving the army and while being a member of a mountain rescue team but I stepped away from the outdoors to concentrate on my professional career then joined the MTA to ensure my CPD days were recorded. I fully support the team who work hard on our behalf although (I do struggle with the DLOG as I didn’t become a mountain leader to spend my days behind a computer).

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

Being able to support the leaders of the future, passing on my experience when asked and being within a professional body.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

Yes, I attended the winter CPD days at Glenmore Lodge. I attended workshops on snow holes and steep ground finding them both really rewarding and informative. Im looking forward to attending the next CPD training at the lodge as it just oozes excellence.

Would you recommend the Mountain Training Association to others and why?

Yes, My personal view is the membership is there to represent the needs and concerns of its core members in all elements where the individual may need support with larger organisations or bodies. There are more Mountain Leaders out there than Guides, Mountaineering Instructors or Internatonal Mountain Leaders so the size of the membership should dwarf the other associations. With the support of mountain leaders and others the association should be able to represent the members better to gain their degree of recognition and publicity. This is not to say it should be dictatorial but offer support and guidance to its members.



Rachel Lardner profile

RACHEL LARDNER

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA? What was your main reason for joining?

I joined the MTA after I’d heard about the benefits on my Mountain Leader training course. I was initially a bit daunted by the prospect of having to develop all the knowledge and skills I knew I’d need to perfect before attempting the assessment. The range of workshops that are available to MTA members is pretty impressive, and I’ve learnt a lot through reading the magazine too.

Have you been on a MTA regional event or MTA CPD workshop yet?

I went on a night navigation evening workshop in the Chilterns. It’s a skill I’m less confident in, so I was really pleased to spend a few hours practising with other people, sharing ideas and techniques rather than being out in the dark on my own. For me, practising in lowland terrain was a game changer- I didn’t have to worry about finding an obscure target in complex terrain, so found I could focus on the strategies and skills. It has given me so much more confidence to practice my skills when I’ve been out on my own in mountainous terrain. I’m booked to go on a steep ground and ropework evening workshop, also in the Chilterns next month. It’s great to know that there are opportunities to refine my skills close to home.

Would you recommend the Association to others. If so, why?

I’d definitely recommend the MTA as a way of staying up to speed with news and providing opportunities to develop skills.



Louise Buchanan profile

LOUISE BUCHANAN

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA? What was your main reason for joining?

I joined the MTA as soon as I registered for the Mountain Leader scheme as I wanted access to as much support as I could get from the start. So far I’ve made most use out of the gear deals and discounts available. I find the Professional Mountaineer magazine to be full of interesting articles – I expected the content to be all climbing and it isn’t at all.

Have you been on a MTA regional event or MTA CPD workshop yet?

I’m booked to attend my first events in the next couple of months. I think the variety of workshops available is excellent and I’m planning on attending as many courses as I can to help prepare for my assessment to top up my skills on steep ground management, rope-work etc.

Would you recommend the Association to others. If so, why?

I would definitely recommend the MTA. I’ve found the community and support available, as well as the skills development and networking opportunities, to be really useful during training and look forward to getting even more out of it when I qualify.