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 Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for walkers interested in transferring their walking skills to more mountainous terrain. Ideally, participants would have some basic hill walking experience and have a reasonable level of fitness. Courses are run in the higher mountain areas of the UK and Ireland.
What does the Mountain Skills course cover?
Planning – how to successfully plan a walk in the mountains 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, steep ground 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 mountains and your day out.
Navigation in the mountains – everything from selecting a compass and using a map to navigation in poor visibility and an intro to GPS.
Environmental knowledge – how to minimise your impact on the hill, information on good practice and useful organisations.
Hazards and emergency procedures in the mountains – how to respond to any hazards you encounter and what to do in an emergency.
A Mountain Skills course will start with an opportunity to meet the other people on the course and take part in a short planning session with the Tutor. After that you will be out in the mountains, moving away from the trails and into steeper, rockier terrain in order to learn about the differences in weather, navigation and managing risk in the mountain environment. The physical effort required on these days will be more demanding than the Hill Skills course and you can expect to be out in the mountains for between 5-6 hours. In addition, many of our Providers will run an evening session that can either be a walk into darkness or an additional teaching session on other elements of the course syllabus.
Examples of areas that courses are run:
Snowdonia – Brecon Beacons – Lake District – Mountains of Mourne – Scottish Highlands – Galloway Hills