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 :

John Walker

I started fell walking in 1971 aged 11 with the Scouts and my school which booked the old Achille ratti climbing Club hut at Dunmail Raise each year. Many epics and teenage adventures followeduntil University at Leeds where I started climbing at the old (rudimentary) climbing wall. I continued to walk climb (badly) and scramble over the coming years, mostly in the Lakes as the University had a hut in the Duddon Valley. Getting married and having kids meant mountain days were easier but no less rewarding as the family all enjoyed the hills. Things took a more adventurous turn when my sun started climbing and we began to do some sport climbing and bouldering together before beginning a series of holidays to Chamonix. Mountaineering and cliimbing alternate days on holidays to the Alps and Scotland ensued, interspersed by solo days on the hill where scrambling (summer and winter) became a focus to avoid the crouds. Easier days with friends and my wife were always welcome too. Over the past few years I have been involved as a "dogsbody" withthe Lake District Mountain Rescue search Dog Association attending training weekends each month as well as the week long avalanche rescue course in the Cairngorms. Recently I have got a taste of leading in the mountais because of my involvement with the charity events run by Lakeland Mountain Guides (e.g marshalling for Lakes Festival of Light and Striding Edge by torchlight) as well as the annual Real Three Peaks litter pick on Scafell Pike. So I thought I would do my DLog and see if I had enough experience to start training towards my ML at the age of 60.

My Mountain Training Story :

Rebecca Eke

My name is Bex, I have most of my working life worked as an oncology or palliative care nurse. I have always been into exercise in a big way and In 2019 I started my journey in retraining as a level 2 gym instructor and there after a level 3 personal trainer. I have always been passionate about helping people and I feel my nursing skills and experience lends its self well to the fitness industry and inspiring others to not only become more active but to also feel more confident & to love their bodies. Since becoming trained, I have largely ran outdoor bootcamps, ran online zoom classes and had face to face 1-1 PT sessions before we were all affected by Covid. These are also running online at the moment. I have enrolled on both the GP exercise referral and the level 4 Cancer and exercise rehabilitation as I would love to continue to be able to support people with long term conditions and those living with and surviving cancer. I see this as an exciting journey and look forward to where it will take me.

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. I am also a Outdoor Discovery Award (ODA) Provider for the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS)

My Mountain Training Story :

Philippa Sanders

I have enjoyed walking in the UK, Europe and beyond for as long as I can remember! Whether exploring the many local footpaths near my home, walking one our fantastic National Trails or hiking the exhilarating mountain paths in the Italian Dolomites or Julian Alps of Slovenia, I just love it. I also have a wealth of experience planning and leading group walks (Lowland and Hill & Moorland Leader). I am also passionate about Nordic walking (BNW/INWA qualified instructor). For me, Nordic walking combines fitness, sport and leisure all in the great outdoors - perfect! As an environmental planning professional I have enjoyed a great career to channel my interests in all things relating to the environment – from landscape, geology, flora and fauna to built heritage and archaeology and local history. I established Pipsticks Walks in 2015. Whether walking with or without poles, I work to inspire others to learn to appreciate the places and landscapes that I treasure and to enjoy their precious time outdoors.

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Timms

I am highly experienced trainer/assessor and Fellow member (FSTA) of the Swimming Teachers Association and have been a qualified STA Tutor/Assessor since 2004. I run my own business on a freelance/sole trader basis and operate an STA Approved Training Centre promoting, organising and delivering the following qualifications in Northern Ireland: STA Level 2 Swimming Teachers Award & Level 2 Certificate STA Level 2 Open Water Swimming Coaches Qualification STA Level 2 Teaching Aquatics - People with Disabilities STA Level 2 Teaching Aquatics - Baby & Pre-School STA Aquatic Tutors Qualification STA Level 3 Award in Education & Training STA First Aid Courses In addition I also provide a range of CPD's for all of the above aquatic and first aid disciplines. I am also a qualified level 4 Internal & External Quality Assurer. I am also an RLSS Trainer/Assessor (Mentor) hold from the Royal Life Saving Society Approved Training Provider Status (10016485) and deliver the following qualifications: RLSS NPLQ 9th Generation RLSS National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers & Coaches RLSS Emergency Responder (Pools) 4th Edition RLSS AED & FAW Qualifications RLSS Open Water Endorsement RLSS Pool to Pond Instructor I am also a qualiifed RLSS IQA

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Saker

I’ve had my own struggles, both being very overweight when I was younger and undergoing serious back surgery so I know change isn’t easy but I also know that with the right commitment, motivation and plan you will become a healthier, happier, stronger you. I believe continuous education is very important and so far, I have achieved certification as a Transformation Specialist, L3 Advanced Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Specialist , Diet Specialist and I hold the Diet and Metabolism Specialist Diploma I’m here to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Together we’ll make an unstoppable team.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Bignell

Ive personally trained in kickboxing for many years and this year I reached 4th Dan Blackbelt in this. For me this was where my fitness journey started. In 2011 I qualified as a kickboxing instructor under the martial arts instructor program, which is a national training program and register operated by the Cobra Martial Arts Association. Ive ran my own kickboxing club for many years and alongside this Ive always been in to my running, having completed 10k's, 1/2 marathons and the London Marathon in 2016. Last year I qualified as a run leader and co hosted a running club. Both of these functions have been a massive blessing for me and I have been so privileged to have taught and instructed many people. For a long time I have been keen to further my general understanding and knowledge of fitness, so very recently I completed my level 2 fitness instructor course. I have honestly loved the training and filling in the gaps in my knowledge. I plan to continue to grow in this area and further my competency in fitness. This is all part time for me and is being done alongside my main job - which is a Facilities Manager and a world away from this field, which is the thing that makes life worth living, well for me. It may sound a bit much for some, but its genuine! I really do get immense satisfaction from teaching and instructing in the exercise, fitness and martial arts arena. Anyway, that's me!

My Mountain Training Story :

Diana Maria Zilioli

Diana was born and bred in Venice where she achieved her PhD in Environmental Sciences. In Venice she also qualified as a environmental and hill walking guide and for more than ten years she delivered courses on environmental education in various contexts. Mountain hiking has always been part of her life, especially in the Dolomites (Italian Alps). Among other roles, Diana covered the prestigious role of Director of “Serra dei Giardini di Venezia”, a victorian greenhouse and a hub promoting cultural events and located in the heart of the Biennale Gardens of Venice. During her University years, her passions led Diana to develop a special interest for environmental communication and sustainability. After a period spent in Ecuador, her love for Scotland brought her back where she now lives with her family. Here she combines her love of academic interests, passion for hiking and love of nature and the outdoors with her linguistic abilities as a Blue Badge Guide Scotland. Upon qualifying as a member of the Scottish Tourist Guiding Association, she decided to fulfil her dream: designing tailor made trips off the beaten tracks, showing Scotland to her guests through her eyes and ultimately through her direct experience of life and love of this country. Obviously, being hill walking and wild camping her passions, she is planning hiking tours of Scotland and that's why she is now joining the Community and trying to achieve a qualification to guide groups through the Scottish Hills in total safety and professionally.

My Mountain Training Story :

Gabrielle O'Hare

As a child I had zero natural sporting ability. As excruciating as this was during school PE lessons, it soon became a driving force for me to prove that I could do something! I bought a bike when I was 14 and went off on long rides after school, got addicted to boxing-style skipping and worked my way upto a blue belt in Jiu Jitstu. My passion took on a new level during the early stages of my career, when I discovered how running supercharged my energy. I eventually discovered weight training and kettlebells, and learned about nutrition which took my confidence and mental clarity to another level. From then on, being strong and mentally sharp (through exercise and diet) became my number one priority to give me the drive and the edge at work to build a successful career. Now almost 50 (49 !) I've experienced how hormones (hello menopause), ageing and years sat in front of a laptop affect your body, your energy and even your mojo. Determined not to let my age get the better of me, I retrained as a personal trainer and nutrition adviser during lockdown. I believe that age is just a number and shouldn't limit or diminish how we feel about ourselves and what we can achieve, and for women, going through the menopause doesn't need to be a negative turning point which marks an inevitable decline. As a trainer, specialising in strength training for women in their 40s, 50s & 60s, I help women stay strong, independent and energetic, so they can life the second half of their life to the max.

My Mountain Training Story :

Angela Miller

HI, MY NAME IS ANGELA You may not know this about me, but after suffering various mental health issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD and sleep apnoea. I started at a healthy weight (53Kg) but I lost control causing my weight to spiral to (69Kg). I tried Slimming World, Keto diet, Weight Watchers and many more. Having to lose this weight forced me to be diligent about what I eat just like you. Over the last 4 years, I have learnt that the best way to lose weight is to keep it real. I don’t believe in diets, diet foods, cutting out food groups, cutting carbs or calorie counting for long term success. I believe in eating simple, satisfying, unprocessed foods in order to have a balance so you can enjoy the occasional glass of wine, a burger or in my case chocolate cake. Eating foods to blast fat is surprisingly simple, and you will find along the way reaching your goal is easier and more enjoyable when you have a simple solution. i am now an experienced personal trainer, coach and martial arts instructor. Promoting health and fitness the healthy way and constantly improving my education to help both adults and children, get health fit and lose weight.

My Mountain Training Story :

Sip Powers

I have completed numerous expeditions all over the world be it climbing, mountaineering, kayaking or MTB. I have been both student and instructor on countless UK and International Adventure Training (AT) expeditions and fortunate to have lead on high altitude expeds in the Alps, Africa, Canada and the Himalayas. I am a keen sea and inland kayaker and Performance Coach, and share a passion for open canoeing with my wife who is also one of my climbing partners. My most avid activity is supporting BattleBack as an adaptive AT instructor having been involved with DMRC for the last 9 years. These guys are inspirational and I am proud to be part of the team and give them something back. I intend to become an MCI now having qualified as an IML before I leave the HM Forces. I am also currently training to become a climbing development and foundation coach in order to continue for as long as I can to support and develop all who have an interest in the great outdoors. I have recently set up the H4H Paraclimbing Team for injured veterans and serving personnel working closely with the support of the GB Para Team. Finally I have set up EXtreme Outdoors to help service personnel and veterans to assist them to gain military and civilian AT awards at no cost in order for them to benefit from my experience and assist with their health and wellbeing. There is no better office than the great outdoors!

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. I am also a Outdoor Discovery Award (ODA) Provider for the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS)

My Mountain Training Story :

Mohd Harridon

Holder of Football License - Asian Football Confederation / FIFA - C License Holder of Grassroots Football Certificate - Football Federation Australia

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher John Butler

Born and bred Pembrokeshire, I started working in the industry back in 2010 at large multi-activity centre in South-West Wales. Whilst at this centre I obtained my SPA, Coasteering Validation, Gorge Walking Validation, White Water Safety and Rescue, D1 Minibus License with CPC and Archery GB Award. I eventually rose through the ranks to become their Lead Instructor, and in 2016 I got the opportunity to become a Centre Manager in a different centre in the Brecon Beacons, which offered better working conditions. Since leaving the old centre, I have obtained my LCMLA Level 1 Cave Leader qualification.

My Mountain Training Story :

Thomas McKee

After 10 years in Teaching I chose to follow my passion for the outdoors and retrain as an Outdoor Activity Instructor. I am based in Devon and Cornwall. I spent my first season at The Ultimate Adventure Centre. I have worked on a part time basis with Adventure 24/7. I spent the 2019 season in an Instructor Role at Moorland Hall on Dartmoor, where I returned for the 2020 season until lockdown began. Since May I was able to continue working part time for Adventure 24/7, from August I moved onto a full time contract. Although the business is now closing, so I am actively seeking new Instructor opportunities. I am keen to do some freelance or more long term work if the opportunity arises. I am always keen to collaborate, learn and share ideas with other Instructors if you want to get in touch.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ellie Ryan

Hello, My name is Ellie and for those of you who don’t know me here is a snap shot of my journey in the fitness industry so far… I’m 27 years old, personal trainer with a passion for educating and helping people fall in love with exercise and fitness. After graduating in 2015 from the University of Chester with a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science I went on to complete my personal trainer qualifications. It was from here I began my professional career in a health retreat, not only helping people to get fitter and healthier but also educating on how to make cooking and preparing food easy and hassle free. Since then I have moved on to work in gyms, instructing both groups and individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as training people from the comfort of their own homes! One of the things I am most passionate about is continuing to expand my knowledge and understanding in an ever-evolving field to ensure I can deliver the very best quality training. I have gone on to complete my Level 4 Strength and Conditioning, Pre and Post Natal, Sports Massage Therapy and most currently Pn1 Nutrition which have enabled me to help my clients further. Now for an insight into my life outside of work… I do and always have loved fitness. From an early age I was always very sporty, joining in on anything I could from dance, netball, athletics, to mixed martial arts and currently rock climbing which is my sporting challenge at present. I am a great believer in trying to show people that exercise isn’t about being in a gym but about trying new things and enjoying them. Ellie xxx

My Mountain Training Story :

Claire Williams

I got into rock climbing in my 20s and 30s and loved everything but grit stone. I love the outdoors environment so I started the ML Award and in my 30s I immersed myself fully in UK mountain environment whether climbing and walking in summer or winter across Scotland, Wales, and England. Having reached ML Standard in 2011 and IML standard in 2016 I settled in the French Alps as part of a long term snow shoeing plan having worked as an expedition leader in Peru, Himalayas, Morocco on varied international treks with school groups commercially. I never found the time to finish the assessments for SPA (2013) or WML (2014) but I did the training and have put the skills into practice in the field. I still adore UK climbing so continue climbing when I can, I think UK offers the finest variety of experiences for any rock enthusiast with no need to be extreme.

My Mountain Training Story :

Morten Lindholm

I am a Danish-born photo-journalist and expedition leader based in Oxfordshire. Up until November 2020 I was working as a Product Manager for World Challenge Expeditions organizing expeditions to East Africa including Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru as well as Nepal & Mongolia. Since November 2019 I have run my own company organizing Mental Health First Aid coursed through Mental Health England (www.ResponderMHFA.co.uk) and I also lead youth and adult expeditions all around the world. I have started the process of updating my DLOG but are still far off as many of my overseas days are still only in diary-form/or in my old paper DLOG (I started my (I)ML journey back in 2003) I have always been fascinated by mountains and have spent a lot of time over seas including 2 years in Chamonix (mainly for summer climbing and summit bagging) 3+ years in Greenland, 5 years in Australia and now almost 7 years in the UK where I live in Wallingford with my British wife and kids. In my (relatively) short carer as a mountaineer I have summited more than 20 x 4000m peaks (including 8x Mont Blanc and 2x Matterhorn, Weismies, Dom etc) as well as Kilimanjaro (2 times) Mount Meru (3 times) Mount Elbrus and Stok Kangri. I was also a member of an international expedition to Lhotse back in 2009 (partly as a photographer and partly as a paying member) I did not make the summit but made it up app 7150m before one of my lungs collapsed. I have done the EBC trek three times as well as Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna BC plus a assisted on a Leader Training course for World Challenge in the Langtang Valley in Nepal I hold the MLS qualification and am slowly working towards expanding this portfolio. I am fully DBS certified

My Mountain Training Story :

David Parker

I has been involved in sports and fitness since childhood. I first swam for Bexley swimming club where I developed a love for what was called land training. I was also introduced to Olympic lifting by his father who was a PT in the military and I completed my first Olympic snatch at the age of 10. From that moment on I was hooked on weight training and has never stopped since. At the age of 13 I started training in martial arts and I hold various Dan grades across a number of disciplines. Currently I hold an 7th degree black belt in a style of Japanese jujutsu and I teach two classes a week. I opened up Conquest Martial Arts about 7 years ago and since then it has grown. I love being a trainer and seeing my clients develop over time, from a 4 year old child how has his first martial arts lesson to an adult who manages to squat his body weight. I am a qualified trainer and assessor with years of experience of teaching children and adults. I am available for running exercise classes and teaching courses Director at Conquest Martial Arts LTD

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Davison

I started hillwalking over 40 years ago. I completed the Munro's in 1997 and in recent years I've done quite a bit of ski touring. Since gaining my Summer Mountain Leader Award in 2016, I've led walks with C-n-Do Scotland and HF Holidays. In 2018, my wife (Brenda Clough) and I set up our own walk guiding business, Perthshire Treks (see www.perthshiretreks.scot). Perthshire Treks provides guided walking adventures in Perthshire and elsewhere in the Scottish Highlands. We have a number of "standard" guided walks in Highland Perthshire and also do bespoke walking trips. It's been a fun and interesting challenge to set up and run a small business after many years in the public sector! I retired in 2017, after 28 years of working with Scottish Natural Heritage (now called NatureScot). One of the highlights was leading work with the national Access Forum and writing the Scottish Outdoor Access Code in support of Scotland's wide-ranging and world-class access rights). I'm also an Ambassador for the Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) and write occasional blogs for their website.

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Ball

Warranted Scout Leader for over 25 years

My Mountain Training Story :

Alice Carty

Grew up in Yorkshire, walking a fair bit with family over the years, before pursuing the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards as a teenager. Once I started university in London I strived for an escape from the big smoke and landed back in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme world, this time as a volunteer leader (2013). I very gratefully received my ML Summer training at a subsidised cost through Plas Y Brenin Future Leaders Fund (2015), and have continued volunteering with local schools and the Camden DofE Open Award group. I was Expeditions Officer for University College London (UCL) DofE Society (2015-16) and held positions as Treasurer (2016-2018) and President (2018-19) with UCL Hiking Club, involving weekly lowland day walks and trip planning for groups of up to 110 people. Project Leader with UCL's Let's Get Out There volunteering project for a year, getting students into outdoors-based volunteering positions with Camden DofE (2019-2020). Passed ML(S) Assessment in 2020.

My Mountain Training Story :

Kevin Cook

I started my outdoor pursuits back in the army doing hill walking, canoeing, mountain biking and caving i left the regular army and joined the TA where a friend introduced me to climbing i was hook and enjoyed the excitement and exposure that came with the sport. i stepped away from climbing for around 5 years due to family and work commitments early 2017 i applied for a foundation climbing course making sure i still had the skills to able me to climb like putting a harness on and tying in once the course was complete i went on to apply for the next course which was the rock climbing supervisors course since i have completed the course i have done as much as i could to build my experiences up with my personal climbing and taking people and groups out climbing to a crag or the climbing wall i am trying to work towards my RCI which is similar to my RCS course which I did in the army.

My Mountain Training Story :

Charlotte Harrison

Multi Activity Instructor leading either outdoor top ropes, artificial wall climbing, mobile climbing wall, or high ropes on Dartmoor. Now Climbing wall instructor at indoor Devon wall

My Mountain Training Story :

David Hopwood

My involvement with Mountain Training strts with my own awards and then progresses to providing grassroots training and leader accreditiation in the community.

My Mountain Training Story :

Richard Tarran

I have trekked in the Mountains since the 1970s, starting in Scouting with numerous Lyke Wake Walks and Challenge Hikes in parkas and jeans over heavy wet bog laden moorland in the N. York Moors, Peak District and Lake District. I trekked the full length of the Outer Hebrides with a school mate aged 16. Went to Ridgeway's Ardmore in 1973 aged 14. In 2000 I took the role of Deputy Expedition Leader for Prince William's Raleigh International Expedition in Chilean Patagonia. I was inspired by the Mountain Leaders (including Al Halewood) to qualify as an ML which I did in 2002. I have led numerous World Challenge personal development treks around the world, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Peru, Iceland, Indian Himalayas and Morocco. South America is probably my area of greatest knowledge having spent over 18 months there in one go and driven both way along the Andes from Ecuador to the southern tip, allowing exploration of plenty of remote areas along the way. In 1994 I spent a month in the western Nepalese Himalayas surveying and designing gravity feed fresh water systems for 3 villages with no fresh water. This involved trekking large distances between villages along remote tracks. Since becoming an MLS I have delivered dozens of NNAS navigation (Bronze, Silver and Gold) training weekends largely in my native Swaledale (Yorkshires Dales), as well as Walking weekends. I am a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Assessor and an Accredited Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (APIOL) and MTA Mentor. I set up an adult trekking company Morocco Guides and have taken over 80 people to the Toubkal area. I also lead to the Pyrenees, Alps and Slovenia. I am also an Executive Coach and Master NLP Practitioner. The combined skills of MLS and Coach are used taking senior executives from SME's and Blue Chip companies into the outdoors as a personal and team development experience. Recent corporate clients have been taken out in the North of England National Parks and The Pyrenees.

My Mountain Training Story :

Mark Reid

I first fell in love with the Yorkshire Dales landscapes when I was 16. This inspired me to go to Lancaster University where I got a 2:1 in Geography. I then worked for various breweries from 1990 until 1997 as an area manager, then gave up my job to write walking books about the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Peak District, Northumblernad and North York Moors. I've written 17 walking guidebooks. In 2007 I decided to diversify and undertook my Walking Group Leader award, followed by my Mountain Leader (summer) in 2011. Since 2007 I have taken over 12,000 people out walking in the North of England, from map reading courses to wild camping, Yorkshire Three Peaks and corporate team events. I love to share my passion, experience and knowledge with people. Since 1997 I have also walked over 22,500 miles of paths, and counting...

My Mountain Training Story :

RICHARD EBBAGE

I am currently serving as a Royal Marines Physical Trainer who now specialises as a Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor. I participated in Triathlons from 2014>2017 where i raced on the British Super Series. I was combined (UK FORCES) service sportsman of the year 2016 when i won such raises as: IM Vichy ICAN Valencia British Championships (Liverpool) Weymouth 70.3 Cardiff Triathlon The Vitruvian 70.3 I am now a very keen golfer playing off 4 at a rather challenging links course (Saunton G.G). During my time playing golf, I have had a huge interest in Golf performance i.e. S&C, Biomechanics etc.... I have completed a BSc Hons in Sport and Exercise Science as well as a L3 & L4 ITEC Sports Massage qualification. I have had the pleasure of representing the Royal Marines Human Performance Cell at the Welsh Rugby Union Ground (Vale Glamorgan) and Leeds United Football club to see how we could extract ideas to implement, and further improve the Royal Marines. I also carry out Physiological lab testing on my current Triathletes. I conduct FMS testing, Lactate testing/Ventilatory Testing and strength and conditioning.

My Mountain Training Story :

Simon Mobberley

I was lucky enough to do my summer mountain leader training course through the royal marines reserve adventure training programme in 2000. Although I still managed to get out and about in the hills I did not do my assessment as life got in the way. One of the most significant events during this time was being diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis which eventually resulted in having to have open heart surgery and a mechanical valve fitted , this was in September 0f 2013. the previous two years running up to this saw me unable to do any of the activities I had been used to which was a massive blow. However, I had the operation in the September and was back out in the hills in the Lake district in the November (under the supervision of my rescue team - at the insistence of my wife). I was given a second chance with the excellent medical team at the Freeman road hospital I n Newcastle and I feel strongly that I should do every thing I can to live life to the full. Since then I have been able to continue my passion for the out doors with the now added benefit of my young son who has developed an active interest in climbing and hillwalking. recently I set my goal to pass my summer ML assessment and finish what I started all those years ago.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stuart Beeston

As an avid outdoor person I have walked and climbed for over 25 years. I have followed the pathway to gaining qualifications. My forte is Cycling, particularly mountain biking, Which I have done competitively as well as for fun and socially. Having concentrated for many years to gain not only mountain bike leader qualifications, but a full range of cycling tuition qualifications, it is in the last 10 years that I have been working to extend my qualifications into other outdoor sectors. Over the years I have been lucky enough to not only walk and climb in the UK but to travel around the globe. Some trips include trekking in the jungles of Central America and Malaysia, the deserts of the Middle East and the Sahara. I have been a member of expeditions into the foothills of the Himalayas. Climbed in the Banff area of Canada. Walking in the Greek islands of Cyprus, Crete and Corfu, several summits of Kilimanjaro and the inca trail. More recently I have been involved in, a short winter expedition around the Hovden area of Norway and an expedition to the Khumbu region of the Himalayas. Having completed many instructional courses upto and including a diploma in coaching and mentoring, I have changed my career entering the world of freelance in outdoor pursuits.

My Mountain Training Story :

Karl Mather

After gaining my ML award I moved into Outdoor Education, obtaining more senior positions as I progressed with my International Mountain Leader, Mountain Biking and higher Academic Qualifications. After gaining a more senior management role & effectively saying goodbye to day to day contact with students I began to miss the human contact, interaction that teaching/lecturing had given me. To replace it I began to lead more as an IML, picking up work and experience of leading groups winter & summer throughout Britain, Europe, N. Africa & Scandinavia. I eventually resigned from my secure job in Education to begin the adventure. Almost from the start my Calendar became pretty full usually spending around 32 weeks a year in the mountains. Snowshoeing in winter, trekking in the summer months. My Hut to hut treks have, over the years, given way to hotel based treks, mainly nowadays in the Italian Dolomites, but still the thrill of being out in the mountains is there, along with an enthusiasm to lead and continually learn more.

My Mountain Training Story :

Emma Harrison

I run an award winning bunkhouse in Bwlch on the western tip of the Black Mountains, overlooking the Brecon Beacons. In addition, I am a Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador, Mountain & Moorland Ambassador, Dark Skies Ambassador & Fforest Fawr Geopark Ambassador. I am also an Uplands Volunteer for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority helping with tasks such as footpath maintenance and various environmental projects. I use my Mountain Leader award (along with MTA's CPD programme) to be the best guide that I can be when taking bunkhouse guests on guided walks or providing expedition training. I occasionally freelance for local companies (past clients include: A to Z Expeditions, Black Mountain Activities, Explorers Connect, Might Contain Nuts, Mountain & River Activities Ltd., Treads & Trails, Welsh Mountain Walks). I also lead walks on a voluntary basis for charity groups (e.g. Welsh Women Walking, Forces Wives Challenge) and for local walking festivals - Crickhowell & Talgarth. I help organise an annual walking & mountain biking challenge called 'Bwlch With Altitude', and I am very proud to have the opportunity to be filmed for BBC1 Wales, leading Derek Brockway, presenter of 'Weatherman Walking', on a guided walk in the Black Mountains (Series 10, Episode 2).

My Mountain Training Story :

Albert William Park

Hi I'm Bert, I am a Director of East Coast Outdoors CIC, based in Ipswich, Suffolk. We are an AALA registered DofE foot expedition provider, we also offer Forest School, Beach School and Bushcraft activities, as well as being a provider of the Countryside Leader Award. I have led 20 overseas expedition (WCE, True Adventures & Far Frontiers), 29 UK based expedition training weekends and 80 DofE expeditions. I have completed over 600 orienteering events, 20 mountain marathons, 34 cross country/LDWA marathons, and 3 ultra marathons (50 miles+). I was a school DofE centre coordinator for 5 years, so have a good working knowledge of the whole DofE System, trained Events Visits Coordinator (EVC) on Evolve. I am now focusing fully on outdoor work after a 24 year army career and 13 years as a Secondary School Teacher. During COVID I worked as a Youth Support Practitioner in Children’s Homes.

My Mountain Training Story :

Silvia Vazzana

I am a DofE leader for South Lanarkshire Council. I highly enjoying spending time in nature. I usually spend at least one day of my weekend out in nature. It really helps to see life in prospective.

My Mountain Training Story :

Chloe Marsden

Following my younger years of competing in dance as a child, exercise has always been something I have enjoyed and have continued to do by participating in charity runs and regular classes at the gym while studying. I realised my love for yoga when I started my main job as a nurse post university graduation. Helping others in my nursing career is extremely rewarding but it can also be challenging. Yoga allows me to switch off, de-stress and stay active. One of the reasons I chose yoga is due to the diversity it brings in being able to practice a relaxation sequence one day to a strength and heart raising sequence the next, covering everyones needs! I completed my yoga teacher training with YMCA in March 2020 just before lockdown commenced. Since I have qualified I have been teaching online via zoom to my NHS colleagues and friends/family to help us through such uncertain times. My love of anatomy from nursing and movement from dance and yoga encourages me to always want to learn more and so I have registered with yoga international to continue my own learning and have future plans to do more CPD courses/ my pilates teaching course. In the meantime I hope to continue to expand my yoga practice through teaching others and learning from them. In December I am going to agency with my nursing career and so I am currently focused on joining more fitness/yoga companies to hopefully teach in person once covid-19 restrictions allow as I will have more flexibility to cover classes or set up a permanent class. A website of my own is also in construction to help others find me and demonstrate my love for sequencing and movement!

My Mountain Training Story :

Derek Edge

Member of Braemar Mountain Rescue Team since June 2014.

My Mountain Training Story :

Benjamin Halpin

I am a qualified Personal Trainer who is looking for a new career in the fitness industry. I have had previous experience in the industry before going on to join the British Army, completing an eight year career. I love all kinds of sports but my main passion is martial arts. I was a former high performance athlete in the Army , competing at the world stage with England men's Taekwon-Do team (as well as Head Coach for the Army team). I am a confident speaker with a passion for customer service who can deliver structured, fun and engaging sessions to both individuals clients and large classes alike.

My Mountain Training Story :

James Freeman

Hi, I’m a Mountaineer, climber and avid outdoor adventure based in Scotland.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robyn Tennison

Robyn is the creator and owner of Tennison Fitness with almost a decade of experience under her belt. Robyn originally studied at Southampton Solent University completing her bachelors of science in Fitness and Personal Training alongside her full REPS personal trainer qualification. Her real interest lies in pre and post-natal fitness; helping ladies stay fit and healthy during pregnancy. Robyn is so passionate about helping new mums gain their body confidence back! She is a fully qualfiied Pre and Post Natal Trainer as well as a Pregnancy Massage Therapist. Robyn has recently featured in Marie Louise' book - The Modern Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond' and her online ante natal course. Robyn is also amazed with exercise psychology and mental health. Since graduating she has undertaken a series of jobs such as a fitness instructor on NHS mental health wards as well as a fitness instructor at a private Drug and Alcohol rehabillitation centre.? Robyn is also a fully qualified sports masseuse, specialising in injuries and corrective exercise. She has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from a sedentary person with acute injuries, to professional athletes improving and maintaining their mobility along with clients who suffer with life limiting physical injuries. She is also a pregnancy massage therapist helping ladies stay comfortable during this period. ? Tennison Fitness started back in 2014 whilst Robyn was in her last year of university and it's blossomed ever since. She worked in a few local gyms before securing the TF studio in 2016 and hasn't looked back since. Robyn's lifetime aim is to help everyone of all ages and abilities become fit and healthy, regardless of their situation. She is a great believer of getting out what you put in.

My Mountain Training Story :

Josie McKenlay

I started out as a fitness instructor in London in the 1980's and moved into the mind/body disciplines in 2000, completing my Pilates training with Michael King and began my journey into the world of yoga. I built a strong clientele in London, later moving to Kent and then 7 years in the Middle East. Around this time I created an online Pilates Mat Teacher Training Course aimed at fitness professionals and therapists who wanted to add Pilates to their skills. Prior to returning to the UK I continued my yoga training in India. Now back home I continue to develop my teacher training courses with a view to offering convenient and affordable ways for professionals to continue their professional development.

My Mountain Training Story :

Russ Pidgeon

I've done several years of mountaineering/climbing/hillwalking, especially since graduating from Keele Uni. I'm now hoping to move onto winter mountaineering and harder trad routes, whilst getting some qualifications I can use in the future

My Mountain Training Story :

Steven Bower

Being in the mountains is a passion and being able to share my passion with others is without doubt the best feeling in the world. I believe that bieing in the mountains as a way of life that is very rewarding, to be embraced and cherished; whether climbing high on an alpine mountain or walking on a Lakeland path. I love introducing new people of all ages and abilities to the mountains, sharing their joy and sence of achievement working together on a wonderfull shared experience that they can carry with them. My climbing and mountaineering awards have enabled me to work with charities, corparations and individuals delivering achievable yet demanding experiences. I have over 35 years of proffesional outdoor education and mountaineering experience, including three tours in Norway with the Royal Marines, working with RCD on the development of high ropes courses in the UK and overseeing the continued training and standard of oudoor activities throughout Centre Parcs and Pontins within the UK and Europe. I am a qualified and registered social Worker and I have the ability to draw on my experience as a social worker and child and family therapist to work with people of all ages and abilities. My outdoor education work often entails me focusing on the strength and ability of the person. I find working collaboratively to facilitate change and achieve goals particularly rewarding.

My Mountain Training Story :

Eric Stamp

I started walking as a child with my parents, the first summit I remember was Skidaw when I was still in primary school. As a child I loved being in the scouts and enjoyed everything about the outdoors, especially the camping trips. In my late teens/early twenties fell walking trips with friends continued and I took up canoeing. Slalom competition and white water racing were my favourites but I did it all - sea touring, surf, and river trips. I did various awards and qualified in what was then called Senior Instructor level. I also took up climbing and qualified with what was the forerunner of the single pitch supervisor award and the RCI. I also became a keen mountain biker, orienteer and fell runner over the years, and completed dozens of mountain marathons, however fell walking is what I always come back to and I just love being outdoors in the hills. I completed all of the Wainrights many years ago and have done lots of them many times. I mainly walk now in the Lake District, Cheviot Hills and Yorkshire Dales as these are closest to home, but have spent time in all of the UK hill and mountain regions. I now work as a freelance mountain leader and enjoy passing on my love and knowledge of the outdoors to others.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alexandra Nicholson

Since I visited The Lakes on Discovery and Adventure courses as a child, I have loved the magic of outdoor adventure. I spent 7 years, part time, teaching water based activities, land based activities and expedition skills for BTEC level 3 post 16 students. I really enjoyed these days which I did in Leeds, using the surrounding countryside of Ilkley, Yeadon, Almscliffe and the Dales to give a wide range of venues for all the activities. More recently I have just focussed on my own personal climbing and going out with friends in the UK and sometimes abroad while working full time as an English teacher which was my original career path. I am always available to work with Duke of Edinburgh expeditions in the schools where I work and personally I am working towards an expedition in Kyrgystan to celebrate the centenary of The Pinnacle Club. It's an exciting time for us to be attempting the trip and we have been planning a range of UK based events to prepare.

My Mountain Training Story :

Martine Anson

PT Fitness Instructor Profile Qualified Personal Trainer and L2 Pilates Instructor, progressing towards a L3 Advanced Pilates Instructors Course. Graduated at The University of Salford in English & Drama. Over 24 years of experience working in different sectors: retail, recruitment, health, fitness & well-being, care, and further education, working with people of all ages within the community, networking, and marketing events to encourage partnerships and awareness of individual strength. Seeking opportunities within the sports industry as a sports coach that will eventually lead to working in the Olympics and Paralympics. Achievements • National Three Peaks July 2019 • Edinburgh Festival Aug 2019 • Born Survivor May 2017 • Manchester 10K & Aldi ½ Marathon May & Oct 2016 • Tough Mudder Sep 2015 • Nike Women’s Series 10K May 2015 & 2014

My Mountain Training Story :

Anita Aggarwal

started climbing in 2008. was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis Relapsing-Remitting in 2009. have been climbing since then to help my body recover. Teaching in my personal time to all friends and children of friends as a hobby. Photographing climbing when i can not climb. Time to change from the office to work in the climbing community - thus decided to get my instructor courses as i have being a Trainer in software and material development for over 18 years in various professionals. In 2016 i attended the BMC ParaClimbing Series and became the 2nd in the Neurological/Physical Disability Category. This has provided me with an opportunity to think about working in the Para Side of Climbing as a coach. My idea behind this is trying to find a coach for myself in order to compete is very hard and most climbing instructors are not willing to take me on as a client as they do not understand my condition and are not sure what they can do for me. Climbing is my life now. Now coaching kids on a one to one basis. Competition result - Bronze at my first World Championship in Innsbruck 2018. Silver at 2nd World Championship in Briancon 2019

My Mountain Training Story :

Iain Bainbridge

My name is Iain Bainbridge, Founder and Senior Health, Nutritionist & Activity Practitioner at train4performance. My interest in sports and fitness started (like most people!) at a fairly young age – at school I tried most intense sports, as an adult moving into ‘trying’ out even more intense and challenging sports such as full marathons and triathlons. However, from around the age of 12 years old I discovered a love of Martial Arts and this has continued into adulthood, (including representing the UK in Olympic Taekwondo). I know what it is like working in a high-performing job role and I work with many high-performing, International CEO's helping them to achieve and maintain peak-performance both on a physical and mental level. My desire to keep healthy, and my deep appreciation of how physical activity, healthy nutrition and my understanding of how crucial it is for the body and brain to work in synergy, brought me into the international health & wellness industry over 21 years ago working at a senior level for premium brands such as David Lloyd Leisure, Esporta, and as President for Celebrity Fitness, Asia. People ask me why I'm in this industry - for me, It’s incredibly rewarding seeing my members, from amateur athletes, global CEO’s, professional athletes and the occasional ‘celebrity’, commit to, and achieve, a healthier ‘lifestyle’.

My Mountain Training Story :

Steve Ellis

Since gaining my IML in early 2012, I have been developing Gemini Outdoor as an outdoor and outdoor fitness company. Using my skills as an experienced and passionate outdoor practitioner, outdoor education lecturer, personal trainer and Nordic Walking Instructor/National Coach. We have a great business that allows us to share our experience and passion for the outdoors and fitness. Our clients enjoy the best of both worlds, with our hill and mountain days, being packed full of interesting flora and fauna facts (picked up during and developed since gaining IML), fitness facts, navigation development , and general mountain know-how learned through years of exploring and learning. After over 20 years of outdoor experience gained through canoeing and kayaking (mainly competition) I hung up my spraydeck, packed away the paddles and headed out for the hills the day before Millennium New Year with a group of friends into the Cairngorms. That day out taught me one great lesson "you can never be too prepared!", and it also changed my outlook. I signed up for ML almost immediately on my return in early 2000 - the rest as they say is history! What I get most out of the outdoors is 'time and seeing'; time to reflect and, enjoying seeing what is around me! The IML in particular taught me the latter, picking up flora and fauna books and learning about all those things 'we stand on', 'see but don't see' and generally have a greater awareness has allowed me to enjoy the outdoors so much more, than just going for a walk!

My Mountain Training Story :

Christopher Wright

It all started at The Storey Arms in 1988 when for some reason I thought that it would be a good thing to do. I was quite 'green behind the ears' then but had a passion for the mountains. Shorthly after this, I trained to become a teacher and that is when the ML scheme really became valuable. Upon passing my assessment in '94, I began using it straight away with DofE groups. MLs in schools were quite rare in the early 90's. Rock climbing and scrambling was the natural progression, along with winter routes, so I started to log days for SPA and MLW. Living in Kent, this took quite a while but I eventually made it, facilitated by a move to North Yorkshire. I used all of my MT qualifications on a regular basis as Head of Outdoor Pursuits at an Independent Boarding School for 10 years. I'm currently consolidating scrambling skills following my MCI assessment in October 2019 and have a one day re-assessment in 2021. I have become more interested in ultra running over the last few years and combine my love for the mountains and navigation with endurance running, both in the UK and in the Alps. I completed the UTMB in August 2018 and the Original Everest Marathon December 2019. Having recently finished a 25 year teaching career, I am now entering the freelance outdoor instructor world from January 2020 onwards, developing a small business called 'Mountain Mastery UK' which will be offering a range of climbing, mountaineering and mountain running courses and guided experiences.

My Mountain Training Story :

Oli Boardman

Been part of the Army since 2006 and employed within a Mountain Team, in which I’ve been lucky enough to travel all around the world on operations, training courses and exercises. I’ve completed jungle and Arctic instructors courses as well as an industrial rope access supervisor qualification. Deployed on 7 operational tours of duty. The Mountain Training scheme is very new to me after a new directive from the military. Recently completed a RCI qualification (MIL) and really keen on working towards the Mountain Training MCI qualification. Since enrolling and passing the Summer ML scheme it has sparked a real passion in developing my experience and ability as well as qualifications I want use when I leave the military immanently. Ive started working with a few local companies to widen my experience base, leading and coaching a wider client base from youth groups to injured and ex serviceman’s charities to try and give back to the types of people who have empowered me to achieve what I have so far. Im Conscious that my DLOG is quite minimal in terms of the MCI criteria, I only started the DLOG quite recently and its been impossible to add all the climbing logs, particularly abroad, which I’ve done in the Alps and UK pre 2019. I’m now actively working and using my qualifications so the time between now and Apr will be well spent adding quality experience in different areas before looking to complete MCI training in April 2021. I would also like to think the life experiences I’ve gained in extreme conditions and challenging/emergency situations would allow me to bring qualities and coaching techniques that other candidates wouldn’t be able to draw on.


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