Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor - Frequently Asked Questions

1/ There are places on an upcoming Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training course, can I book on?

If you have not received an email from Mountain Training confirming that you have been accepted on the scheme, you may not book onto a training course.

2/ I've been winter climbing for years, does my whole logbook count?

Yes, although there must be evidence of experience gained within the last 12 months.

3/ What type of experience as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor do I need?

At registration, candidates must have recorded in their DLOG a minimum of twenty quality teaching days delivered as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor at a variety of venues and with a variety of groups.

A quality MCI teaching day would usually include the following:
  • The instructor is responsible for the planning, delivery and review of the day
  • Appropriate teaching/learning outcomes are identified and relevant skills and techniques are taught – across your experience, this should take place at a variety of levels from beginner to advanced
  • Multi-pitch climbing and/or roped scrambling
  • Attention is paid to safety
  • Five hours or more activity time
Other experience of teaching and coaching rock climbing at single pitch venues should also be logged, and while this is also valuable, it is the practice of multi-pitch climbing and scrambling ropework that is the most valuable ahead of embarking on the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor scheme.

4/ Gaining Quality Winter Mountain Days as a qualified Winter Mountain Leader

The Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor requires experience to be gained as a leader after you have qualified as a Winter Mountain Leader. In terms of leading experience, the quality of a mountain day lies in such things as the conditions experienced both overhead and underfoot, the exploration of new areas, the terrain covered plus the safe and effective management of a group. Such days make a positive contribution towards a leader’s development.

The day should include some or all of the following:
  • The leader is responsible for the planning and decision-making
  • Ascent of a substantial peak would normally be included in the day
  • Five hours or more journey time
  • Navigation skills are required and/or taught away from marked paths
  • Knowledge is increased and skills practised and/or taught
  • Steep ground or easy (grade I) scrambling terrain
  • Attention is paid to safety
  • Adverse conditions may be encountered and managed safely
  • An ice axe and crampons are likely to be required and their safe use taught.
  • Conditions encountered should be in terrain and weather comparable to that found in the UK and Ireland in true winter conditions.
These criteria mean that days as an assistant leader, shadowing, undertaking remote supervision or days spent repeating familiar routes are unlikely to meet the requirements of a leader’s Quality Mountain Day.

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