Winter 2016-17 Round Up

Winter in the UK this season can be summarised as follows: it started late, finished early and there are mixed feelings about what happened in between. One thing is for sure, Mountain Training’s winter is over. It has been characterised by a rather diminished and often patchy snowpack, with frequent thaw/freeze cycles associated with dramatic temperature fluctuations. This consistent pattern has left the mountains with often poor snow cover; the ground at all elevations is not as frozen as it should be (in many areas not frozen at all). It is fair to say that conditions have been tough for our training providers and our candidates so thanks and congratulations to everyone involved.

Mountain Training’s winter season of courses in Scotland and the Alps started and finished (albeit prematurely) without major incident and for that we are very grateful.

Winter Mountain Leader

It has been a very challenging season for prospective Winter Mountain Leaders who have faced poor and occasionally non-existent conditions on the hill.

Registrations for 2016 were up slightly (145) compared to 2015 (137) and registrations for the year to date are down compared to last year, probably as a result of the unpredictable weather.

Huge thanks to all six providers who ran 16 training courses and 6 assessments (not including reassessments) this season. As a result 106 people (17 women and 89 men) completed training and 39 people (9 women and 30 men) passed assessment. Congratulations to them!

A number of assessments were cancelled towards the end of the season and as a result providers are aware that there will be an increased demand for course places next year and are already starting to plan accordingly.

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 courses for the International Mountain Leader scheme took place in the French Alps and Bavaria this year. Thanks to Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin for delivering five training and four assessment courses in which 56 people (18 women and 38 men) were trained and 37 people (9 women and 29 men) passed, officially becoming International Mountain Leaders. Congratulations to all of them!

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 nature of the experience required to hold this qualification is such that assessment courses are typically held from late-February onwards, giving candidates a good amount of time to get out in the hills. This season’s unreliable weather and often thin climbing conditions forced providers to cancel some courses and therefore only two full assessments took place as well as various one or two day reassessments. The end result was that 9 people (1 woman and 8 men) passed an assessment and 10 people (all men) completed a training course. Congratulations to all of them!

We would like to thank our two MIC & IML providers Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin and all the candidates who were involved with the scheme this season for their patience and decision making. It wasn’t an easy year and we hope for a colder, snowier and more stable season next year.

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