Take on your Winter Mountain Leader assessment at Plas y Brenin. You're ready to lead groups of hill walkers in winter conditions, and demonstrate all you have learned about safely leading and providing basic skills instruction to parties on mountain walks within the UK. 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 non-residential course will be delivered from our scenic winter base in Scotland, the Alltshellach hotel in North Ballachulish.
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
Management of a party in winter
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.
Why Choose Plas y Brenin?
Our instructors are some of the UK’s most experienced. We train other instructors and help to write the national syllabuses for NGB qualifications in mountaineering, paddlesports, cycling and climbing. Our goal is to teach you skills to last a lifetime, and at Plas y Brenin you know you are getting training from the best.
If your course is based at Plas y Brenin, the residential price includes accommodation for the night before, and the duration of your time here. If you’re staying with us, we also provide delicious meals to keep you going as you learn, meaning you can concentrate on enjoying yourself.
When it comes to equipment, at Plas y Brenin we have a wide range of top-quality kit for you to use, all included in your course fee. This means if you’re just starting out, there’s no need to rush out and buy a load of expensive gear, and if you’re already pretty well kitted-out, it’s a great chance to try something new.
This is a non-residential course, so please organise your own food and accommodation for the duration of the course. Your equipment hire and in-course transport is included. 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.
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