Mountain Leader


This qualification is the original and most sought after,  for those working professionally in the British hills and mountains or taking responsibility for groups as part of national and community schemes, such as The Duke of Edinburgh Award. It was established in 1964 and is still held in high regard today.

The Mountain Leader scheme is designed for people who want to lead groups in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the UK and Ireland. If you love being out in the mountains and want to share your enthusiasm with others, become a Mountain Leader and you’ll never look back.

Mountain Leaders operate the length and breadth of the country with all sorts of groups of people; from Scouts and schoolchildren to outdoor instructors and OAPs. The qualification is what you make it and there are countless opportunities for passionate Mountain Leaders.

To get started on the Mountain Leader scheme you need to meet the following prerequisites:

• You must be at least 18 years’ old
• You should have at least a year’s worth of experience of mountain walking
• You should have an interest in leading groups in the mountains
• You must be a member of a mountaineering council: British Mountaineering Council (BMC) (join here), Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland (you can join one when you register if you're not already a member)

If you can meet all of the above requirements, here's what to do next:

1. Create an account on the Mountain Training Candidate Management System or log in if you already have one.
2. Register for the Mountain Leader scheme (this costs £49)

As with all Mountain Training leadership and instructional schemes the Mountain Leader scheme is divided as follows:

• Record your experience (minimum 20 Quality Mountain Days (QMD’s) prior to attending Training)
• Attend a training course (minimum contact time of 60 hours, usually over six days)
• Consolidate your experience (Gain a further 20 QMD’s minimum, also 8 nights camping, 4 of which should be wild camping)

• Attend an assessment course (Minimum contact time of 60 hours, usually over five days)
• There is also a requirement to attend a two day first aid course but this is not needed until the assessment

A copy of the ML Handbook is available free to down load here or for more information from Mountain Training click here


Training – six days (60 hours minimum) 


Assessment – Five days (60 hours minimum)




Training - Over the six days on training you can expect to look at the following: leader equipment personal and group, using and walking on maps of varying scale (usually 1:25 and 1:50K, leadership and positioning, emergency procedures, emergency use of a rope, a minimum of a two day / one night camping expedition, campcraft as well many other topics relating to the mountain environment


Assessment - As above but five days.  There is a requirement to spend three days/two nights out on the hill on an expedition, wild camping.


Accommodation: A combination of hostel (should you choose that option) with shared dorms and tents while out on the hill and on expedition


Staff Ratio minimum:  Training 1:6 and 2: 12 
                                   Assessment 1:4 and 2:8

Venue: YHA Langdale (The Lake District)


Cost:  Course only £360

          Half board in the hostel £490 

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