Mountain Leader

The Mountain Leader qualification allows you to take groups anywhere in the British Isles, in any mountain range on ground where the use of a rope is not intended.

The scope of the award allows you to lead groups in "summer conditions". This does not mean you are limited to the summer months, in fact you can lead people during the winter months however, you should not be going out in "winter conditions" (i.e. with snow or ice on the ground likely to require the use of axe and crampons). You can take groups wild camping in the hills and you can lead groups on easy scrambling ground. This allows a leader huge scope to take groups on interesting and exciting terrain and discover all that the British hills have to offer. The rope work enables you to deal with emergencies on steep ground, but it's your leadership and navigation skills that help you avoid these situations.

As with all the schemes, environmental knowledge is a key element so throughout the course we will be helping you improve your own knowledge and look at interesting ways you can get groups excited about the environment. The award also looks at emergency procedures, the legal and moral aspects of leadership and route planning.

One of the most challenging but rewarding aspects to the scheme is navigation. Being able to find your way around a barren hillside, in the middle of the night and knowing exactly where you are is very satisfying!


Training Course

Training is 6 days long (consecutively or over two long weekends) and specifically involves:

  • Navigation (micro, macro, good & poor visibility, night time.)
  • Practical leadership skills in mountainous terrain inc. steeper ground
  • Expedition skills
  • Environmental knowledge
  • Access and conservation
  • Legal and moral aspects of group leadership
  • Planning day and multi-day expeditions
  • Emergency procedures inc. ropework

Our 6 day courses involve three days in the Peak District followed by three days in Snowdonia (including a 2-day overnight expedition). During the course all the components of the Mountain Leader syllabus will be covered however the emphasis will be on the practical aspects of the award.


Assessment Course

The assessment looks at all the aspects of the scheme, however there is strong emphasis on navigation and leadership. During the assessment you'll be asked to lead and demonstrate your competence in mountain leadership. You need to provide all your own equipment and this will be looked at as part of the assessment. As with all our assessments your job is to show how good you are. Our job is to give you the best possible environment to show your skills.

We offer assessments over 5 consecutive days, or split over a 2-day followed by a 3-day weekend.


Prior Experience for Assessment:

  • Attend a training course or apply for exemption
  • Have logged a minimum of 40 Quality Mountain Days
  • Hold a valid First Aid Certificate


Further Information

Our Mountain Leader course information is available to download.  If you are a group of 4 or more, we can also offer alternative course dates - please contact us for more details.


See the Mountain Leader movie


Mountain Leader Award from team_BMC on Vimeo.