Walking in the hills can be a daunting prospect if you have never done it before. To stay safe and enjoy your time on the hill you need some basic skills and expertise to guide you on your way. The Hill & Mountain Skills courses are designed to teach you just that. They aim to equip you with the basic knowledge and safety skills required to participate in hill and mountain walking in your own time.
People hill walk for many reasons, but a significant motivating factor is the sense of freedom that you gain from exploring the great outdoors. Discovering new places and challenging yourself adds to the whole experience and within the UK and Ireland there are vast areas to explore and enjoy.
The Hill & Mountain Skills courses are nationally accredited and developed by Mountain Training. The courses are widely available through our network of course Providers. The courses are delivered by our approved course Tutors, who are all experienced Mountain Training award holders and work on behalf of the course Provider.
The Hill Skills course is your key to getting started in countryside and moorland walking. There is no experience of hill walking required to attend a Hill Skills course because the content of the course is aimed at beginners. If you do have some experience of hill walking but aren’t confident about planning walks, navigating and understanding the equipment required, then the Hill Skills course is an ideal way to learn.
What does the Hill Skills course cover?
Planning – how to successfully plan a hill walk in the UK or Ireland.
Walking skills – what things should you consider while out walking and what can make life easier (pace, nutrition, movement skills etc.).
Clothing and equipment – being suitably dressed and equipped can make the difference between a great day out and a complete disaster.
Weather – how it affects the hills and your day out.
Navigation in the hills – everything from selecting a compass to navigation strategies and an intro to GPS.
Environmental knowledge – how to minimise your impact on the hill and information on good practice and useful organisations.
Hazards and emergency procedures in the hills – how to respond to any hazards you encounter and what to do in an emergency.
During a Hill Skills course, you can expect to start each day at about 9am. The first part of the course is spent indoors, getting to know the other people on the course and gaining an understanding of basic hill walking planning. The Tutor will outline the plans for the course before you head out into the hills. The end of the day will usually involve a short indoor session to review the day and plan the following days’ outing. You can expect to be out walking each day for around 4-5 hours and generally on Hill Skills courses this will be on footpaths or trails that are rough underfoot. Much of the journey during the course will involve learning opportunities and as such, the pace of the day is friendly and will include plenty of breaks.
Some good examples of locations are:
Peak District – North Yorkshire Moors – Pennines – Lake District – Cheviots – Clwydian Hills – Pentland Hills – Lammermuirs – Dartmoor – Brecon Beacons – Snowdonia