Key info

Must be a qualified: Mountain Leader
Registration is an application process and requires approval from Mountain Training Scotland
Training: 6 days
Assessment: 5 days

Average time from training to passing assessment: 4.9 years

Ideal for: Experienced Mountain Leaders with winter experience who want to learn how to manage winter mountain hazards.

Entry requirements


To register
  • You must hold the Mountain Leader qualification.
  • You must have current experience of hill walking and mountaineering in winter conditions, in at least three different UK mountain areas
  • You must be well-practised in the personal use of ice axe and crampons
  • You must have recorded a minimum of 20 winter quality mountain days* (ideally on DLOG)
  • Register for the Winter Mountain Leader qualification (cost: £75)
  • Click the ‘Send to MT’ button to let us know your DLOG is ready to be reviewed
  • Your logbook will be reviewed by a Mountain Training Scotland technical officer – this can take up to 14 days
To book a training course
  • Your Winter Mountain Leader registration must have been approved

To book an assessment course

  • You must have completed a Winter Mountain Leader training course
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have recorded a minimum of 40 winter quality mountain days with at least 20 gained in Scotland, distributed over a period of at least three winter seasons (75% of the minimum requirements must be UK and Ireland based and at least 50% gained in Scotland)
  • You must have logged at least 10 Grade I (or above) named UK and Ireland winter climbs and/or equivalent mountaineering routes**
  • 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

Training and assessment courses are delivered by our approved providers in the Scottish Highlands. A variety of cost packages are available, depending on what's included (food, accommodation etc) so you can choose one that's right for you.



Winter Mountain Leader training lasts for five days and will cover:

  • The Winter Mountain Leader syllabus
  • What to expect at assessment
  • Feedback and areas to focus on prior to assessment



  • Leader responsibilities
  • Leadership and decision making
  • Planning, weather, snow and avalanches
  • Hazards and emergency procedures
  • Snowcraft and walking skills
  • Navigation
  • Security on steep ground
  • Teaching and learning skills
  • Access, conservation and the environment
  • Background knowledge



After completing a training course, use the feedback from your course director and the skills checklist (download below) to identify syllabus areas you need to practise.

Our membership association (Mountain Training Association) offers peer-led learning opportunities and formal workshops on a range of topics, from navigation to leadership skills, to help you during this phase.

Join our association



The Winter Mountain Leader assessment is five days long, and may include a three day, two night expedition.

NOTE: As a result of climate change the likelihood of snow holing being inappropriate due to adverse weather and conditions has increased. When this is the case, assessors will use other methods of assessing the syllabus.

You will be assessed against the syllabus competencies in the candidate handbook. At the end of the assessment you will receive one of three results:

  • Pass
  • Defer (requires a partial reassessment)
  • Fail (requires a full reassessment