Mountain Leader (summer) - Assessment

This five day course assesses aspiring mountain leaders on their ability to lead groups of walkers in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the UK and Ireland.

The Mountain Leader Award provides countless opportunities for mountain leaders to scale the length and breadth of the country with many groups of people, from scouts and school children to outdoor instructors and senior citizens.  The assessment is the next step for mountain leaders who have completed training and are ready to demonstrate their competency and achieve the Mountain Leader Award.  Candidates will be assessed on a combination of technical skills, experience and personal leadership qualities.
On passing the assessment, candidates will receive the Mountain Leader Award certification.

Course detail

It is a combination of technical skills, wide experience and personal leadership qualities that form the basis for effective group management - and the Mountain Leader scheme assesses all these aspects

The assessment will be delivered in Snowdonia National Park, ideally suited for this course. The region demonstrates the varying terrain required for the training course, with 1000m mountains, exposed ridges, rolling hills, crags and rivers. The exact venues for each day will be confirmed closer to the time, based on prevailing weather conditions.

The course assessor will hold the minimum qualification of Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC). Essex Outdoors instructors are qualified and experienced mountaineers with an excellent knowledge of the award.  The staff ratio for this course is 1:4.

Candidates will be sent a home paper and a 20-minute lecture topic to prepare prior to the assessment course. Equipment can be provided with advanced notice, although we would expect potential Mountain Leaders to bring their own equipment.

Course content will include:

Day 1

· Meet the Instructors
· Outline of the assessment
· Programme briefing
· Candidates introduction, home paper review
· Candidates weather briefs (synoptic chart interpretation)
· The leaders rucksack
· Navigation assessment.
· Emergency procedures

Day 2- Security on Steep Ground Assessment

· Group control
· Leadership
· Crossing steep, loose terrain
· Route selection
· Shepherding, spotting and standing in
· Suitable knots correctly tied
· Lowering
· Thompson knot
· Confidence roping, up, down and across
· Belaying, body belay, direct belay
· Anchor selection
· Self-lowers (retrievable where possible)
· Rope coiling
· Suitable equipment, gloves etc

Day 3 4 & 5 (3 day, 2 nights Expedition)

· Leadership
· Navigation (including navigation in reduced visibility)
· Camp craft
· Emergency procedures
· Candidates lectures at campsite
· Practical assessment on river hazards and different crossing techniques

End of Course

· Individual reviews and result
· Return logbooks
· A detailed action plan (if unsuccessful)
· Look forward to further awards

Candidates will receive the Mountain Leader Award certification on passing the assessment. This certification allows candidates to demonstrate they are competent in their ability to lead groups of walkers in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the UK and Ireland.

Kit list

What you need to bring:

· Waterproof jacket and trousers
· Comfortable casual clothing
· Warm mountain clothing
· Gloves and warm hat
· Expedition rucksack and rucksack liner (bin bag)
· Water bottle/vacuum flask
· Small first aid kit
· Notebook and pencil
· Walking boots
· Gaiters
· Head torch
· Wash kit
· Compass and whistle
· Maps 1:25,000 Snowdonia and 1:50,000 sheet 115 Snowdonia
· Log book
· Tent, sleeping bag and mat
· Cooker pots and pans KFS and mug
· Fuel
· Expedition food
· Climbing helmet

All ropes will be provided.


The following must be held prior to this course:

- A completed MT Dlog evidencing:
- Attended an MLA training course or have been granted exemption from training
- Undertaken a minimum of 40 quality mountain days in a minimum of 3 different mountain areas
- Have experienced 8 nights camping, of which 4 must be wild camps
- Hold a valid first aid certificate
- Be 18 years of age or older

Essex Outdoors also offers the First Aid courses required for this award. For more details


Please note, Essex Outdoors uses an approved Mountain Training provider to deliver the Mountain Leader courses.

Course Info

Five days
Snowdonia, North Wales
Contact us for course date information
Mountain Leader (summer)
Offered by:
CALL US : 0345 200 4220
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