Mountain Leader Courses in the Lake District

mountaineers with big rucksacks walking in the high mountains - chris ensoll mountain guide

The Mountain Leader scheme is a national qualification administered by Mountain Training, providing a level of basic competence for those who are in a position of responsibility in mountainous terrain in summer conditions in the UK. It focuses on good practice which allows safe enjoyment of mountain walking, and it is valid throughout the UK and Ireland. Chris is approved by Mountain Training as a course provider for the Mountain Leader scheme.

This page gives you all the info you need about the scheme in general. Please see the following pages for info about the training course and the assessment course:

Mountain Leader training courses

Mountain Leader assessment courses

Why book with us?

There are a huge number of Mountain Leader courses throughout Britain, so why should you book with us?

  1. We present the course syllabus in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, with the emphasis on interactive learning to encourage you to ask questions and get the most out of your time with us.

  2. We view the assessment course as an opportunity for extending your learning and competence.

  3. We offer discounts to returning clients: 5% off to any candidate who has previously done a Mountain Training qualification course with us.

  4. Our clients think we do a great job! Check out some of their comments on the Mountain Leader Training Courses page and the Mountain Leader Assessment Courses page.

Where are the courses based?

Our Mountain Leader courses are run in the mountains of the Langdale and Coniston areas of the Lake District, so bear this in mind if you are booking accommodation - Ambleside is a good place to base yourself. The expedition element of our assessment courses sometimes starts and finishes at Seathwaite in Borrowdale. Our choice of venue for each day varies with each course, depending on the weather conditions and the participants.

Info and ideas for accommodation can be downloaded here: Lake District travel and accommodation

We can also provide courses in other parts of the country on request.

What equipment will I need?

A detailed equipment list can be downloaded here

Useful blog posts about equipment: 
Mountaineering boots: La Sportiva Trango S Evo
How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #1: Waterproofs
Review: Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System
How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #2: Boots
Lightweight Tent Review & Comparison: Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 vs Hilleberg Akto
How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #3: Walking In The Rain
So What Do I Carry In My First Aid Kit?
My Top Three Favourite Rucksacks and Why I Like Them
What's The Future For Maps?

two mountain walkers navigating in the mountains - chris ensoll mountain guide

What about transport?

You may be asked to use your car during the course to travel the short distances to the training venues each day. If you would like to travel to the Lakes by train, we may be able to pick you up from Windermere railway station

How much will it cost?

2019: £390
2020: £395
Course fees are non-residential (you arrange your own accommodation)
5% off to any returning client

When are the courses?

Mountain Leader training
November 3rd-8th 2019
March 23rd-28th 2020
August 17th-22nd 2020

Mountain Leader assessment
April 6th-10th 2020
June 1st-5th 2020
August 10th-14th 2020
October 12th-16th 2020

Training courses are six full days, and assessment courses are five full days. If you have a group of 4 or more for training, we can provide a bespoke course on a date to suit you. We can also provide split courses over two weekends - please ask if you are interested in this.

What can I do to prepare?

Any of the following books would be useful pre-course reading:

  • Hill Walking, Steve Long (Mountain Training, third edition 2014)

  • Navigation in the Mountains, Carlo Forte (Mountain Training, 2012)

  • Call Out Mountain Rescue? A Pocket Guide to Safety on the Hill, Judy Whiteside (Mountain Rescue Council, second edition 2010)

  • Hostile Habitats, N Kempe, M Wrightham (Scottish Mountaineering Trust, 2006)

  • How to Shit in the Woods, K Meyer (Ten Speed Press, 1994)

  • Safety, Risk and Adventure in Outdoor Activities, Bob Barton (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2006)

  • Nature of Snowdonia, Mike Raine (Pesda Press, 2009)

  • Mountain Weather (A practical Guide for Hillwalkers & Climbers in the British Isles), David Pedgley (Cicerone, third edition 2006)

  • Outdoor Navigation Handbook for Tutors, P & B Mee written on behalf of NNAS (Harvey)

Useful blog posts

You might find the following blog posts useful for information on topics relating to Mountain Leader courses
Four Happy Campers
A creative course summary from our MLA assessment candidates
My Top 10 Tips for Wild Camping
How to Navigate Like a Pro
7 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Time In The Mountains
Beef Stew & Camp Meals vs Dog Food: Surprising Results
Confused? You’re Not Alone
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable in 2017
What Should You Expect On Your Mountain Leader Training Course?
Do You Recognise The 10 Early Warning Signs Of Hypothermia?
Why do some mountaineers end the day with energy to spare?
Why Do Hill Walkers and Mountaineers Need Movement Coaching?
So What Do You Actually Do On A Mountain Leader Steep Ground Masterclass?
Top Tips for Progressing from Mountain Leader to Mountain Instructor
7 Top Tips For Rock Climbers & Mountaineers
7 More Top Tips For Rock Climbers & Mountaineers
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable In 2018 (And How We Did In 2017)
A Dutchman's Eye View of the Mountain Leader Training Course
How To Pack Your Rucksack The Minimalist Way
Managing Risk in the Mountains #1: The Three Variables
What Should You Expect On Your Mountain Leader Course?
Managing Risk in the Mountains #2: Heuristics & Mind Sets
How To Stay Dry Whatever The Weather #4: Wild Camping
How To Prepare For Your Mountain Leader Assessment #1: Quality Mountain Days in the Lake District
How To Pass Your Mountain Leader Assessment
What's To Love About Lichens?
My Top Six Expo Food Choices
My Philosophy About Mountain Leader Assessment Courses (& Other Inside Info)
Everything You Need To Know About Ticks
5 Reasons Why You Should Learn To Navigate Using Contours
The Great Gift, 19th July 1919
5 Really Cool Things To Look Out For In The Mountains
Mountain Leader Assessment: The Other Side
Who Needs A Mountain Mentor?

Useful resources

Mountain Training
Mountain Training walking awards downloads
Hillwalking, by Steve Long
The British Mountaineering Council
Mountaineering Scotland
Mountaineering Ireland
Mountain Training Association
Mountain Training e-learning modules: Mountain Geology and Mountain Weather. Access these by signing in to the Mountain Training CMS and choosing the E-Learning tab under Accounts & Settings

two small tents at a high mountain camp - chris ensoll mountain guide