01690 720214

Mountain Leader Training (Summer)

Course Overview

The training course is based around the Mountain Leader syllabus and the particular needs of candidates. Inparticular we will look at the practical skills and techniques required when leading groups hill walking and camping in the mountains of the UK and Ireland including aspects of navigation, group management,
supervision on steep ground, risk assessment and emergency use of the rope. Consideration of the weather, mountain rescue, the environment and other related topics will also be covered.
The majority of the course is practically based, however, some is of a theoretical nature. At times you may find yourself outdoors in adverse weather and you should be prepared for this. There will be an overnight camp and night navigation exercise. You must be registered on the Mountain Leader scheme with Mountain Training prior to attending this course and have the required experience.

Experience Required

Mountain Training (MT) strictly requires that all students have registered with them for the Mountain Leader Award prior to commencing the course. You need to have completed and logged in your DLOG a minimum of 20 quality mountain days, these can have taken place at any point (before or after you have registered). You will benefit most from the course if you are fit and have experience of using a map and compass in the mountain environment.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.


Mountain Training (MT) strictly requires that all students are registered prior to commencing the course. They will not recognise completion of the course by non-registered participants. Copies of the guidance notes are available from MT. Ensure your DLOG (online logbook with Mountain Training) is fully completed with your experience. You need to have completed and logged in your DLOG a minimum of 20 quality mountain days before attending the course, these can have taken place at any point (before or after you have registered). You will benefit most from the course if you are fit and have experience of using a map and compass in the mountain environment.

Course content

The MT Mountain Leader syllabus for the course is closely followed. In particular we will look at the practical skills and techniques required when leading groups walking and camping in the British Mountains. The programme may be revised at short notice to take account of weather and other considerations, in such a way as to satisfy the spirit and detail of the Mountain Leader syllabus. The six days are generally split into the following areas:

Day 1 - Mountain navigation

  • An introductory day looking at key skills of mountain navigation and environment

Day 2 - Leadership and group management

  • Example of a Quality Mountain Day

  • Managing groups over different types of terrain

  • Navigation

  • The mountain environment

  • Route finding

  • Mountain hazards, medical hazards and accident procedure

  • Equipment e.g.Leaders Rucksack

Day 3

  • Managing steep ground

  • Confidence roping

  • Water hazards and river crossing

  • River crossing

  • Route planning

Day 4

  • Emergency use of a rope - actor selection and safeguarding ascent and descent

  • Camp preparation

Day 5 & 6 - A two day, tent based mountain expedition

  • More time spent on topics already covered

  • Night navigation

  • Campcraft

In addition, there will be evening classroom or centre based sessions, covering some of the more theoretical aspects of the syllabus. We intend to look at the following areas:

  • Weather forecasting

  • Legal responsibilities of Mountain Leaders

  • Planning a mountain journey

  • Access and conservation

During the expedition, all food will be provided. However, you may wish to bring your own, perhaps some goodies.

Useful Books

  • “Hillwalking” by Steve Long in preparation for the more theoretical aspects of the course.
  • Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff

Also recommended reading 
  • Looking at Weather by Ingrid Holfard
  • Mountain Weather by Pedgley
  • Weather for Hillwalkers & Climbers by M Thomas
  • www.mltuk.org - Website of the MLTUK
  • Reading relevant magazines is also a good way to keep abreast of current issues. 

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Personal mountain clothing

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sunhat

  • Walking boots

  • Day rucksack

  • Rucksack liner (e.g. rubble bag or dry bag)

  • Drink bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Headtorch

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

  • MT number

  • Compass (Silva Expedition 4 recommended)

  • Fine permanent pen (for writing on laminated maps)

  • OS Explorer 17 1:25,000 Snowdon & Conwy Valley (ideally laminated if not bring a map case) (Can be purchased from our shop)

  • A stopwatch

For the ML Training you will also need:

  • Expedition rucksack

  • OS Explorer 17 1:25,000 Snowdon & Conwy Valley (ideally laminated if not bring a map case)

  • OS Landranger 115 1:50,000 Snowdon (ideally laminated if not bring a map case) (Can be purchased from our shop)

  • Old trainers and clothes for the river crossing

  • Tent

  • Sleeping bag

  • Sleeping mat

  • Stove and pans (plus fuel)

  • Knife, fork, spoon

  • Mug

At this level we expect students to have most of their own equipment. It is possible to borrow the following items from our equipment stores:

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Walking boots

  • Gaiters (optional)

  • Rucksack (day and expedition)

  • Compass

  • Tent

  • Sleeping bag

  • Sleeping mat

  • Stove and pans (plus fuel)

  • Knife, fork, spoon

  • Mug

Customer Reviews For This Course

A very useful, thorough and well out together week...

Fred King

I'm really glad I chose the residential ML training at PYB (April 2017) - good clean and relaxed accommodation at the centre and the amazing food makes it a lot easier as you can just focus on what you're doing on the course without worry. I was slightly apprehensive initially about being good enough to do the course, (even as someone who works outdoors with school groups and has walked/climbed in ML terrain for about 17 years)- did I have a good enough handle on the skills, was I fit enough etc. to meet the minimum criteria just for the training? I'd also heard a couple of horror stories about other ML training providers from friends that spent the week absolutely exhausted! But, fear not, as the PYB staff are very good at starting everyone off at the lowest level and then bringing everyone up to the required standard. The only downside of that on my course was that at times I didn't feel stretched, but that wasn't often. Mo Barclay was a great instructor on the course, as were Iona and Rich, but my group spent most of our time with Mo. She gave me some very useful tips and ideas for groups on the hill which will make a big difference and has already come in handy with a DofE group. My only criticism of the course would be that it would be good if the entry requirements were pushed a little more for all candidates, just to minimise the "catch up" element at the start of the course, and really get into stretching the candidates, but I guess that's more of an issue with the course spec as designed by Mountain Training, rather than PYB as a training provider. Overall I'm really happy with the course and any fears about being good enough were soon settled and I found it a brilliant week with useful feedback and a good idea of what I need to do next for the assessment.

Exellent preparation for being a Mountain Leader

Antony Hill

Helen and James were top notch instructors; imparting crucial and current information in an accessible and practical style. The course was well prepared and despite awful weather all of the objectives were achieved in excess. The staff at PYB were friendly and very supportive and the food and accommodation were of an excellent standard - The PYB team's passionate support was only rivalled by our passion for the mountains!

Super Summer ML training

Guy Willson

I would thoroughly recommend the course at PYB. Not only were all the staff both friendly and well trained, they were also personable and entertaining. The food on offer is very good, indeed better than expected and the same goes for the accommodation. The location too is fantastic and we could access most relevant areas straight out the centre with minimal road travel. Overall a superb experience and I'll be back next year for the assessed. Cheers!






I would like to thank all involved for a good week

i will be attending further courses in the future and openly recommend the center to any outdoor people due to the high level of instruction and equipment that is on hand


Mark Susca

Came not knowing what to expect, with an understandable level of apprehension both for the course and the group I'd be with. The group were great, good mix of people from very experienced to lesser so, either way it didn't matter. The course was fantastic and delivered in a way that no matter your level of previous experience you felt that you got a huge amount from it. The facilities are second to none and more than your monies worth, and that's just in food alone! You'll not go hungry nor will you feel you're not getting something from it about becoming a mountain leader. Had two amazing instructors, Simon Lake and Lou Beetlestone - different teaching styles but just awesome! Highly recommended... clue is in the title I guess - The National Mountain Sports Centre!

Absolutely Awesome...

Rich Vincent

... and thats just the cakes!! :) Seriously, it was an awesome week, in awesome scenery with awesome people and instructors and we even got to experience some pretty high winds and wintery showers to boot!
This didn't matter as it just added to the experience and the training. With limited experience compared to others in the group, I was a little apprehensive about whether I'd be able to take it all in. I didn't have to be, the instructors, Simon and Lou, were excellent and took us from the basics and built on that knowledge throughout the week. I learned a lot of new skills that I hadn't even tried before, such as rope work on steep ground and crossing a river. I left armed with what I need to work on and develop and have now set I time frame for my consolidation period before I had back to the Brenin for my assessment. Although I may be there sooner as have seen a couple of other courses I'd like to attend :)
As for the accommodation, it was clean, warm and comfortable. The food was excellent with various choices, friendly staff and the beer didn't go down too bad either!
The facilities were great with some of the group making plenty of use of the climbing wall, although I headed outdoors for a night run at the end of most days. The stores had plenty of equipment and clothing and took out some boots while mine dried dried out.
All in all it was a superb course and I'll be back for more.

ML training (summer)

nick dimmock

I was a little nervous about the training as ive not really done any training before apart from my 16hr first aid (with another company) but I was soon put at easy by Dave & Ross.
They were both very friendly & approachable with extensive knowledge of the outdoors in general no just about the ML training coarse.
PYB as a whole I was very impressed with as it was my first visit & I can honestly say I will visit again not only to do my ML assessment but just to stay when I want to explore the local area a little more, the food was great with plenty to go round, the room was great with everything I needed, PYB is very clean & tidy with all of the staff being very friendly.
The stores are very well equipped & I think its a great idea to be able to test out other gear.
Thanks very much to PYB & I will see you soon!!


Would recomend


I've just completed my ML training and have nothing but praise for centre and staff. The centre is clean and warm with plenty of facilities for down time, the staff are friendly and approachable and full of mountain knowledge. The food is great with cake at teatime. I am defiantly going to do my assessment back here.


Erik Gale

Did this course back in July, sorry I'm late in filling this out....or maybe I have already, I can't remember!!!

The week was absolutely brilliant, the centre, accommodation and food were great, but the staff and especially the instructors were excellent. So knowledgeable and excellent teachers.

I came away after the week, more determined and feeling so much more confident in my abilities out on the mountains. Since the course I have been out 3 times and found all the course information so useful. Though I haven't eaten quite as much of the local flora and fauna as we tried :) !!!!!

I would recommend PYB to anyone wanting professional training in outdoor activities, I can't wait to return.

Many Thanks


Mountain Leader Training

Mat Grafton

A challenging, interesting, fulfilling, enjoyable 6 days learning about the whole scope of the Mountain Leader Training. Great location, instructors, accommodation, instructors and food!

I came away more enthused and more committed to the Mountain Leader qualification and with a greater knowledge and love of Snowdonia.

Excellent training in a relaxed environment

Simon Bereit

My summer ML training course has been superb. Excellent facilities and the food was amazing. Got to mention the tea and cakes too! Both Kath and Harry were superb with their knowledge and experience and the course was delivered in a relaxed but very informative manner. If you are looking to gain your Summer ML award then I would definitely recommend PYB for your training week. They are excellent.

No regrets

Roy Ibbotson

epic week, great facilities, great instructors. You wont regret choosing PYB

Fantastic, Friendly, Fun Training Course

Andrew Leah

Just got back from a fantastic few days completing my ML(s) training at The Brenin. My experiences from start to finish are something that will live long in my memory and the stuff I have learned will make me a better leader for years to come. I'll start with the accommodation:- comfortable, clean, twin en-suite rooms. Shower is good and hot. There was a TV on the wall but not connected until end 2013 - this was not a problem as there is very little time to watch TV with such a packed course.
After initial introductions we spent the first afternoon on the hill praticing Nav techniques. If you you think you know it all already you may be in for a surprise.
Second day was spent learning Group Management Skills on steeper ground in the Glyderau. The instructors all the while imparting the benefits of their experiences.
Third day was mainly classroom based and allowed the instructors to cover opics which cannot be cmpletely covered on the hill such as environmental, route planning, access laws etc.
Fourth Day covered some of the recently changed procedures for river crossing and ropework and we put these into practice close to the centre.
Fifth and Sixth days are the exped with overnight wild camp and night nav. This gave us chance to put all the newly gained skills into action. Personally I found the 1:50000 nav the most informative and something I had not done a lot of before.
Food throughout the course was excellent with many choices and always vegetarian options (which I sometimes went for despite being mainly carnivorous!) The legendary 5 o'clock cakes certainly lived up to their reputation. Most days there was a lecture available in the evening or for those who wanted to just chill, the bar area was very comfortable and friendly.
I would like to finish by saying a few words about our instructors, Simon Lake and Matt Stygall, both very different in teaching style but both very knowledgeable, at times patient and always willing to give that extra piece of info that will make us better leaders. Thanks to you both and to all at PYB.

ML (S) Training - Take me back!

James Drury

To start off from the beginning, booking onto the course, dead easy stuff with good communication between PYB and myself by both email and snail mail.
On arrival greeted by centre staff at reception where you can get your room key and key information for the next morning (Namely breakfast time), followed by a short shuttle run of kit from the car park to your room. I personally shared with one other bloke (Sorry for my snoring Sam), comfy beds with extra blankets if it's a little cold for you, kettle and brew making gear, en-suite shower/toilet with constant hot water, plenty of space to store a weeks worth of gear including a wardrobe for two. Everyday starts the same and generally ended the same, wake up to a hot shower then a cracking hot and cold breakfast with plenty of tea, then on day one its a quick brief by the duty manager then meet your training team.
For me it was a week of intense learning, experience and fun. Nearly everyday out on the hill learning new techniques and practising them, except for the middle day which was all practised around the centre, then a two day mini break out in Snowdonia.
Other cracking facilities included packed lunch every day, hot food for evening meal, drying rooms, boot cleaning sinks, washing machines, all the tea you can drink, centre run bar (with local ale!), stores/shop, climbing wall/bouldering wall and not to forget, every day at 5pm each course gets cake!
Cheers Dave and James for a cracking week! Looking forward to coming back.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes

The PYB instructors were very knowledgeable and friendly, and always able to answer questions. They were always happy to share their knowledge and I made the most of this opportunity! I found them inspiring and a good role model in the mountains. I have never used a guide or leader in the mountains before so this course also gave me the opportunity to observe the instructors to learn what made a good ML.

The food was great, accommodation comfortable, rooms clean and modern with a good shower and kettle. No TV in rooms, and some didn't get Wi-Fi (not a problem to me, and Wi-Fi is available in the bar area).

There are a lot of things to learn before becoming a Mountain Leader and this course teaches you what makes a good leader (the instructors are a great example), what you need to learn, and how to learn those skills. The skills are taught well and knowledge freely shared, but they do need to be practiced and developed further. You won't come away from the course an expert in any of the fields but you will have the confidence and the foundations to develop these skills and knowledge further.

I look forward to practicing and building on these skills during my QMD's. I know what I need to learn and how to learn it. Look at the consolidation period as "home study".

It is a training course and not an assessment so enjoy it and don't be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions, that's what you are there for. I also found each day less physically demanding than I expected, which allows you to put all of your energy into learning.

What a great course !

Steve Clark

I have just returned from one of the best courses I have ever attended.
I am now so keen to practice everything I have learned.
I hope to return next May/June for assessment.
Great food, too !!
I would recommend PYB to anyone wanting to MLS traning.
Many thanks indeed to all staff involved, especially Kath, Jake, John & Cath.


Martin Brice

Very professional staff, well organised, good accommodation with loads of good food, ideal prep for Ml assessment.

Excellent Training for the ML

David Adams

An excellent week in a very friendly atmosphere. The centre staff and course instructors are always very helpful and supportive. I felt that the week was a concise and clear prep for the more technical sides of the ML course. The course was differentiated well for the different levels of ability from the start and I felt that even though I was relatively secure in my skills that I still learnt a lot from it. Overall, definitely a good place to do your ML training.

An excellent course

Rachel Adams

Instructors were very informative, helpful and patient - there is no question too stupid to ask them! There was lots to learn and plenty of opportunity to practise new skills. I would thoroughly recommend this course to other people interested in gaining their ML award, and the centre provided excellent accommodation and food.

Great course, great trainers

Yassar Mustafa

It was a fantastic week with excellent teaching from experts. I learnt a great deal throughout the week from the instructors without really realising it - I guess that's what makes a superb teacher! Also getting to know the other participants was thoroughly enjoyable and the facilities at PYB are simply outstanding. I recommend everyone to make good use of the climbing wall!


'Curly' Steve Patterson

Leading up to this course, several anxieties crossed my mind. Am I fit enough? Have I got the right kit? Is my previous experience up to the mark? What are the others in my group going to be like? etc. etc. Probably usual fears when joining a course. My main fear was actually entering this iconic establishment and feeling intimidated by all the staff and their skills, knowledge and experience. So, having driven about 370 miles from Cornwall, I parked up, took a deep breath and entered the building. Suddenly all of my fears disappeared, as I was welcomed with a big smile from everyone I came into contact with. From start to finish, this was my greatest memory of Plas y brenin. Everyone, reception, bar, cleaning, kitchen and of course the instructors were warm, welcoming and seemingly mad keen to pass on their years of experiences.
I found the course extremely informative and worthwhile. I'm quite well known for falling asleep during lectures, but on this occasion I didn't get a chance to. As soon as we had learnt something, we were up and either practicing it, or getting on with the next subject.
The rooms were spacious and clean, with a full range of facilities (drying room, washing machine, dryer, etc.)
The food was incredible, hoping to come away from Plas y brenin a little lighter, those pesky chefs sent me home a couple of kilos heavier!
The stores were packed up with enough loan kit to keep you warm, safe and dry.
Each evening, there was an interesting lecture put on to which all were welcome.
We had a couple of fun evenings playing on the indoor climbing wall.
Plas y brenin is set in the most beautiful of surroundings, beside a big lake and being overlooked by several mountains.
In summary, the whole adventure totally exceeded my expectations. I feel that I am now armed with the tools I need to take my mountain skills to the next level.

My thanks go out to all the staff at The Brenin, however a special 'yeehaa' goes to Dave Evans(Course director) for your fantastic sense of humour and your ability to tell people to 'shut up' without offending!, Ruth Taylor for putting up with our Grumpiness on the night nav!, Matt Stygall for your professionalism and Luke Brooks for your patience and belaying skills on a very wet and windy day!. And of course, the lovely lady who worked behind the bar, who, I rather embarrassingly can..t remember her name, for smiling all the time and making us all feel absolutely welcome.
You guys rock......


Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

Other Courses you should consider?

Hill and Moorland Leader Training

Also consider this

Level 2 British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership Award Training

Also consider this

Mountain Leader Assessment (Summer)

Also consider this

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.