Our Winter is Over

El Alamein Refuge Glenmore Lodge Winter ML Training

Ropework Glenmore Lodge Winter ML Training

Stob Ban Summit Plas y Brenin Winter ML Training

Thank you to Providers and well done to candidates!

It has been, without doubt, a unique and challenging season in Scotland with an unprecedented (in our lifetimes) snow depth and almost constant gale force to storm force winds. After months of what has felt like near incessant storms and rainfall, this winter is on track to be the wettest since records began in 1910. As most of our Providers and candidates spend a great deal of the winter above 600m, this has meant enduring being alternately frozen, blasted and drenched. These challenging weather conditions have placed huge physical and mental demands on everyone involved in Winter Mountain Leader and Mountaineering Instructor Certificate courses.

This has inevitably meant that training and assessing staff have had to balance the syllabus requirements with the ability of the candidates, and work out the most appropriate way to manage the course given the prevailing conditions. This balancing act has been exceptionally well managed by our Providers, ensuring candidates experience the challenges of operating as a Winter Leader or Instructor in often seriously hostile weather conditions, whilst syllabus topics are appropriately covered. As the people ‘on the ground’ our trainers and assessors are the ones best placed to make these calls, putting safety considerations before syllabus requirements, and Mountain Training is always supportive of their decisions and their competence (this is particularly relevant when it comes to managing candidates on steep ground and overnight snowhole expeditions).

Snowholing is often potentially one of the most hazardous undertakings on any Winter Mountain Leader course; training or assessment. This year a high proportion of our Providers’ course reports have contained accounts of managing overnight expeditions in very challenging weather and snow conditions. We fully support all the decisions that were made regarding not snowholing or curtailing an expedition in the interests of safety, and are confident that candidates have not had their training or assessment compromised in any way. On the contrary, such adventures have been used as very useful learning opportunities and if anything, serve to underscore just how potentially serious snowholing can be.

So our thanks to the 8 Providers, well done to the 125 people who attended Winter Mountain Leader training and the 28 people who attended MIC training.

Mountain Training would like to congratulate the 13 new MICs and 76 new Winter Mountain Leaders on a job well done. Additionally we would like to thank our winter International Mountain Leader team from Plas y Brenin and their associates who’ve delivered courses in Norway, France and Spain that have resulted in 66 trainees and 23 new fully qualified IMLs.

Photos of the courses moderated by George McEwan are on our facebook page.

Stob Ban Summit Approach Plas y Brenin Winter ML Training Avalanche Stob Ban path Plas y Brenin Winter ML Training

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