Mountain Leader Assessment Winter
  • Scotland
  • 5 Days
  • 4 People to 1 instructor

Mountain Leader Assessment Winter

  • Hike
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain Training Award


If you want to lead groups of hill walkers in winter conditions, look no further than the Winter Mountain Leader qualification. You'll learn how to safely lead and provide basic skills instruction to parties on hill walks within the UK under winter conditions. You'll need to show that you've built on the skills learnt through the Mountain Leader scheme to prepare you for the complexities associated with taking people out walking in winter conditions in the UK. This course will be delivered from our scenic winter base in Scotland, the Alltshellach hotel in North Ballachulish.

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Can I book privately?

Yes. If you would like to book a private course then give us a call to discuss your needs.

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The Objectives

You'll achieve the qualification by showing development of the skills learnt through the Mountain Leader scheme to prepare you for the complexities associated with taking people out walking in winter conditions in the UK.


* Please note: Itinerary is subject to weather and availability.

The 5 days are generally split into the following areas


Movement on neve slopes (30-40°) with axe only

Use of axe for self-arrest


Introduction and teaching of ice axe and crampons

Assessment of weather conditions and avalanche potential


Grade I terrain

Personal performance on Grade 1 ground

Appropriate emergency ropework techniques in ascent and descent

Three day, two night winter mountain expedition::Ice craft and security on steep ground (especially in descent)::Movement up, down and across an ice step::Prepare the ground and safeguard your party::Descent of a short section of difficult winter terrain e.g. iced up rocks, narrow snow or rock ridge, cornice or short steep scarp slope::Equipment, ropes, axes, slings and krabs only::Overnight stay in a snowhole - bivouac skills::Navigation including poor visibility::Route finding::Management of a party in winter

Experience Required

Prior to assessment, you must; hold the Mountain Leader qualification and have attended a Winter Mountain Leader training course. have attended or have gained exemption from a training course; have completed an absolute minimum of 40 QMDs under winter conditions, 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 based and at least 50% gained in Scotland); have completed at least 10 x Grade 1 or above named UK winter climbs or equivalent mountaineering routes; hold a first aid certificate recognised as appropriate for the scheme. identify your best 40 Winter QMDs in your logbooks.

We want to help you focus on achieving your goals so if you're staying with us, comfortable accommodation (with WIFI included) and good food are part of the deal, you don't need to think about sorting this out for yourself. Your equipment hire, including snow safety equipment is included, as is in-course transport and parking. Support is on hand from our friendly, and exceptionally well qualified staff, to help develop your understanding and personal skills. They also help you to formulate an appropriate action plan for your further development. The address of Plas y Brenin in Scotland is HF Holidays Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Inverness-shire PH33 6SA.

What do I need to bring?
Equipment List
How should I prepare?
Preparation guide
Course Schedule

Start your training

Sorry, we don’t have any spaces available right now.

Please get in touch for more information about future availability.

This course will help you become

ready to lead groups in the UK mountains in winter conditions. If you hold the Mountaineering Instructor Award you may want to progress on to Mountaineering Instructor Certificate Training

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