Winter 2015-16 Round Up

Walking out from Ben Eighe cJCousins

At the time of writing the avalanche forecast for four of the six Scottish regions covered by the SAIS is ‘considerable’, so winter is definitely not over yet. However, Mountain Training winter courses have come to an end which gives us an opportunity to look back at the 2015-16 season.

Winter Mountain Leader

As we all know winter weather is unpredictable and can create very serious conditions such as significant avalanche hazard, rapidly deteriorating weather conditions either becoming cold and stormy or warm and stormy or any combination thereof! This winter was no exception.

Registrations for 2015 (137) were down compared to 2014 (152) but the year to date is already ahead of last year, despite a problematic and challenging start to the year. Poor winters south of the Scottish border impact on registrations as the majority of candidates gain their initial experience in the Lakes/Wales. Given that winter in the Lakes and Wales in 2015 was fickle and slow to arrive, this may have had an impact on those gaining sufficient QMDs to register in time for this season. Compound this with challenging weather in Scotland and it can be enough to dramatically slow registrations.

Huge thanks to all six providers who ran 16 training courses and 13 assessments (not including reassessments) this season. As a result, 107 people (26 women, 81 men) completed training and 62 people (9 women, 53 men) passed assessment. Congratulations to them!

Anyone interested in becoming a Winter Mountain Leader can find more information on the scheme page and in the frequently asked questions. You can also buy a copy of Winter Skills from our shop.

Winter Skills

International Mountain Leader

Winter training and assessment elements of the International Mountain Leader scheme took place in the French Alps, Pyrenees and Bavaria this season. Variable amounts of snow were encountered in each location with all teams able to adapt well to the conditions. Thanks to Plas y Brenin and Glenmore Lodge for delivering the seven courses (and three reassessments) in which 55 people (11 women, 44 men) were trained and 37 people (5 women, 32 men) passed the winter assessment, becoming fully qualified International Mountain Leaders. Congratulations!

Summer training and assessment season for the IML has started already so best of luck to everyone completing these elements of the scheme this year.

Feeling inspired? More information about the International Mountain Leader scheme can be found here, you can buy a copy of International Mountain Trekking from our shop or visit the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML) website.

International Mountain Trekking

Mountaineering Instructor Certificate

The Scottish Highlands hosted four training courses, five assessments and six reassessments this season in which 23 people were trained and 15 people passed the assessment to become Mountaineering Instructor Certificate holders. This is the highest level of qualification in UK mountaineering so a huge congratulations to those 15 people (13 men and 2 women).

If you would like to find out more about the skills involved in becoming an ‘MIC’ read the information on our scheme page or visit the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) site.

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