Hill & Mountain Skills


Hill and Mountain SkillsHave you got the skills yet? Our nationally accredited Hill & Mountain Skills courses for beginner and intermediate walkers were launched at the beginning of April and there are providers all over the UK. Quite a few people have already attended courses so we thought we’d find out what they thought.

Colin and Debbie both attended a Mountain Skills course in Snowdonia with RAW Adventures. Coincidentally, they're both thinking about becoming Mountain Leaders, but many people are doing the course purely to support their own adventures. Here are their thoughts on their two days in North Wales…

Find out more about the Hill & Mountain Skills scheme

Colin

"My background was that I wanted to do a refresher having gone through Mountain Leader training a couple of years ago. Since then I have spent loads of time out in the hills - mainly Lakeland and occasionally Snowdonia, but it has been essentially macro navigation stuff for fell running and walking rather than micro stuff which is where I wanted practise. I originally had no intention of going for assessment after training as I didn't think I'd need it in my professional life.

I picked Snowdonia as I know the area a lot less well than Lakeland and I wanted more of a challenge - instead of using existing knowledge and memory of the Lakeland terrain, I wanted to rely on the good techniques we were being taught.

I saw the details of the scheme in one of the outdoor mags - probably Trail but I might be wrong there - sorry not to be more precise!

Kate from Raw Adventures was an absolutely first class instructor - quietly confident and knowledgeable as well as being very aware of the differing backgrounds and experiences within the group which made it two quite tough days out for her and which she handled really well.

The course content was probably "on the money" for the group as a whole - I personally would have liked some true night nav but given the time of year and aspirations/fatigue levels of other group members after a day on the hills, that was unrealistic I think.

The two days on the course have now encouraged me to try for ML Assessment at the end of the summer and I'm also going to do a couple of days out in Lakeland with one of Kate's associates to refresh the ML syllabus in detail before attending assessment.

So, to sum up, a very positive, enjoyable and useful experience which I'm sure was echoed across all our group. Also good value for money for 2 days of high quality instruction."

Debbie

Where did you hear about the Hill & Mountain Skills scheme?


Last year I got in touch with Kate for some training on a 1:1 and she has supported me ever since by email and she emailed me about this course which was good timing.

Why did you choose to do a Mountain Skills course?


Both my husband and I are doing our Mountain Leader training and needed to brush up some skills.

What was your experience of mountain walking prior to attending the course?


I have done a few hills in my time and courses but I lacked confidence, was going to throw the towel in at one point. Andy my husband as not done many but as helped with my D of E students in less challenging areas.

What did you enjoy most about the course?


I liked the classroom set up as I feel some things need to be taught in a classroom environment, even though it was for an hour, it made me feel more confident and I was able to retain the information as I didn’t have other factors to worry about. I liked the fact we had a list of what equipment etc was needed before we arrived and some homework set before we got there i.e. weather forecasts. It was good that we were in a small group and all had different walking experiences, ages were all different and there was a mix of men and women. It gave people confidence as all the bases were covered and people achieved their own challenges as we were asked individually what we wanted from the course.

What’s next for you?


Both Andy and I are doing the training for Summer Mountain Leader. We are now planning our 20 plus days of quality time on the hills and mountains. Next 3 days are booked for Brecon Beacons area. It is nice as man and wife to be able to go out and share this experience together, as we were very active sports people and life just got in the way. So to be able to do something like walking has given us back some quality time together.

Find out more about the Hill & Mountain Skills scheme