Getting started
Registration for the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor qualification is an application process and you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • You must hold the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor qualification
  • You must have gained 20 days experience teaching/leading post Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor assessment. These days must be logged in DLOG
  • You must hold the Winter Mountain Leader qualification
  • You must have gained 20 winter quality mountain days as a leader, at least half of which must have been gained post-Winter Mountain Leader assessment. These days must be logged in DLOG
  • You must have led winter climbs at Grade III or above
  • You must have logged (in DLOG) at least 10 routes at Grade II or above and at least 10 at Grade III or above in a minimum of three main mountain areas of the UK
  • There must be a reference in the Referee tab of your DLOG, supporting your application, preferably a Mountaineering Instructor, Guide or training board approved provider. A long term climbing partner or suitable employer would also be considered as an appropriate referee. The referee should be able to endorse the your suitability as a potential winter Mountaineering Instructor and vouch for the accuracy of the application. It is therefore vitally important that potential referees have an overview of your climbing and work experience.
If you can meet all of the above requirements, here's what to do next:
  • Log in to our Candidate Management System
  • Register for the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor scheme (this costs £77)
  • Notify Mountain Training (via the 'Send to Mountain Training' button on the 'Share' tab in DLOG) that your DLOG is ready to be reviewed
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You will be notified by email by Mountain Training with the result of your application. Applications with less than the minimum experience cannot be approved.

The registration fee is non-refundable. However, if your application is not successful, you will receive feedback on how best to fulfil the experience requirements and your registration application will be held open for six months, during which you can submit an updated record at no extra cost.

Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor candidate handbook

Mountaineering Instructor Certificate Handbook
This qualification has been renamed - the handbook will be updated to reflect this change shortly. Other than the name, all other content in the handbook is up to date.

Not quite right?

If this doesn't sound like the right qualification for you, consider the following: You could also read through our 'Which scheme is right for me?' page.
Training
Training course bookings must not be made until your Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor registration application has been approved by Mountain Training.

There are two providers of Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training: Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin. Courses are delivered in a continuous five-day block. At the end of the training course feedback and advice on consolidation will be given individually. In order to assist this process candidates must present a completed logbook at the start of the course. The training course includes knowledge and skills not assessed on the final course. For this reason there is no exemption from training.

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The Syllabus

Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors should be competent in the following key areas:
  • National qualifications
  • Personal winter mountaineering
  • Winter mountaineering instruction
  • Winter climbing instruction
  • Assessment of risk and its application
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor candidate handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.
Consolidation The period between training and assessment (often referred to as the consolidation period) varies in length for each person. You should make every effort to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. You will also need to log a number of climbs and days with groups during this period (see the Assessment tab for details of the prerequisites.

The Book - Winter Skills

Winter Skills has been written specifically for people pursuing Mountain Training's winter leadership qualifications and it includes essential tips and information for those who wish to lead in the hills in winter as well as being a useful learning aid for recreational walkers and winter climbers. The book is split into six parts: the winter environment, basic winter skills, snow and avalanche, security on steep ground, winter climbing and winter incidents. Its functional design with easy-reference pages, striking illustrations and images make this book an indispensable guide to the skills required for winter mountaineering.

Winter Skills

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Association of Mountaineering Instructors

AMI supports trainee and qualified Mountaineering Instructors and offers a range of workshops to assist with their development as well as a quarterly magazine, gear deals/discounts and an insurance deal.

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E-learning

E-learning modules can be accessed through the 'Awards & Training' tab of your CMS account.

Mountain weather

Weather elearning slide

Created by the Met Office for Mountain Training, this free module is packed full of useful information about weather systems, forecasts and how to use this information as a leader to plan your journey. The module takes approximately 1 hour to complete and is available to anyone who has registered on one of our schemes.

Geology

Geology elearning slide

These three modules are free for members of the Mountain Training Association - they have been developed in partnership with Paul Gannon, author of the Rock Trails series of books.

Mountain building
This module covers a basic understanding of mountain building and plate tectonics.

Mountain landscapes and rock types
This module covers a basic understanding of various rock types and how they appear in the landscape.

Mountain destruction
This module explores the ways in which weathering and erosion slowly dismantle mountain ranges and should help you spot signs of the on-going processes of mountain destruction.
Assessment Before you book onto a Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended an Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training course
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 10 days in the mountains managing parties in winter conditions
  • You must have logged a minimum of 5 days climbing experience at Grade III or above
  • You must have physically attended and completed (i.e. not online) a first aid course which involved at least two full days or sixteen hours of instruction and included an element of assessment
The Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor assessment is 4 days long.

Assessments are run by Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin.

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"I love being able to give people experiences of places and challenges that they would not do without some help. I love what I learn from all the people I get to work with..."

Lou Reynolds - August 2016

Support & Development

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MTA offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as great deals and discounts

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