The end of January saw me tick-off the first item on this years bucket list; the Mountain Training approved Mountain Leader training week with the excellent Phil George in Llanberis.

My compadres and I spent 6 days learning to navigate, judge weather and manage groups over the hills, and indeed, the mountains of Snowdonia National Park. We encountered snow, hale and rain. Winds that chilled bare skin to -10C and climbed up and down the rocky peaks and boggy troughs.

The purpose of was to gain an understanding of the MTA Summer Mountain Leader award. The award will act as a springboard into the outdoors industry and allow me to start leading groups through wild and wonderful landscapes. But before that I need some practice…40 quality mountain days to be precise.

A quality mountain day, or QMD, is vaguely defined on the Mountain Training Association website. It may include 5 hours of travelling on foot over terrain and weather similar to that found in UK and Irish hills using some navigation away from marked paths while paying attention to safety. Chuck in a bit of planning, practice some rope work and leadership and you’ve had yourself a QMD. If the weather is atrocious, all the better!

According to my MTA log book, from all the days spent trekking since joining, only 5 are judged to be QMDs. I’ve got my work cut out for me, then.

I am going to level-up my training this year and am looking for potential team members to join me on weekends away in the hills. If you are based in the UK, or if you’re popping over for a short visit then drop me a line if you’d like to get out into them there hills.

Until next time!