What is being a Mountain Leader (ML) all about and how did I get there?

Richard Duckworth ML chatting with two walkers

The Mountain Leader scheme is for people who want to as a walk leader in the mountains, hills and moorlands all over the UK. It is a combination of technical skills, personal experience and leadership qualities which form the basis for effective group leadership. The scheme has been around since 1964.

It took me a couple of years of focussed effort to gain my qualification and that was after several years beforehand building up a log book of walks up and down the UK.

In order to become a Mountain Leader you have to attend a 6 day training course and build up enough mountain walks including a bare minimum of 40 “Quality Mountain Days”. When you’ve done this and practiced the required skills you attend a 5 day assessment which includes day and night sessions.

I was assessed by www.grahamuneymountaineering.co.uk

Graham is a very well respected outdoor instructor with over 30 years experience in the profession. I can highly recommend him if you’re thinking of starting on your own Mountain Leader journey.

My walking started around 12 years ago as something better to do than be hungover on a Sunday. I never imagined at the time it would lead on to me being a Mountain Leader but one thing leads to another I now have nearly 3000 walking miles and around 300 days in the hills behind me.

Those who have spent time with me in the hills will know how keen I am to share my enthusiasm of the outdoors with others. It’s my view that this is what being a Mountain Leader is all about.

If anyone wants to know more about my personal experience of Mountain Leader training or assessment let me know.