Your Mountain Training Stories

MT 200 Mountain Training celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary in 2014 and since then we've been celebrating your experiences!

Over 143,000 people have registered for an award since 1964. Find out what some of them think of their journey in their own words.

(The stories scroll through every 5 seconds. To pause the scroll and read a story, just move your cursor over the story.)

Have you got a story to tell? Click here to find out how.

My Mountain Training Story :

Kimberley Vardy

I have always loved swimming and used to swim competitively when I was younger. I hadn't thought much about swimming for quite a while until I had children. Water confidence is very important to me and I knew that I wanted to give my childred the opportunity to gain the skills and experience they needed to be happy in and around water and be able to get themselves to safety if needed. Once they started swimming lessons my interest for swimming returned so I did some volunteering with the local swim school and from there did my level 1 Swimming assistant course quickly followed by Level 2 Swimming Teacher. I qualified in September 2019 and am teaching 4 days a week. I teach all ages and abilities including babies and disabled adults.

My Mountain Training Story :

Ray Allwood

I’m a fully qualified International Mountain Leader and UK Summer Mountain Leader and an Aspirant UK Winter Mountain Leader. I’m a full member of BAIML (British Association of International Mountain Leaders) and the MTA (Mountain Training Association). A little bit more about me, I was a bit of a latecomer to the outdoors, although holidays with my parents and sister usually involved trips to Yorkshire and other parts of the UK, the walks were short and on good paths. When I was 16 I joined BT as an apprentice and the normal induction for apprentices was a week on an “Outward Bounds” course. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the camping, abseiling, walking and canoeing on the Isle of Purbeck, it took me another 8 years before I finally joined a Mountaineering Club and started climbing and walking all over the UK and overseas. Since joining a Mountaineering Club, I have constantly sought to improve my outdoor skills. In 2008 a friend and I booked onto an International School of Mountaineering (ISM) Alpinism course, and a love of Alpine climbing was born (added to my addiction to skiing which started in 1991). Since 2009 I’ve used the services of Andy Perkins (whose photo of me you can see in my profile picture) a British Mountain Guide based in Chamonix. Although I've walked, climbed and trekked across the UK and overseas for the last 20 years, I took my Mountain Leader Summer qualification in 2016 and then followed that with the International Mountain Leader qualification which I passed in 2018. I currently freelance as a Mountain Leader in the UK and hope to use my International Mountain Leader in the next year.

My Mountain Training Story :

Gillian Millar

I qualified as a Mountain Leader in May 2019, which enables me to lead groups in remote or mountainous country all year round, except when snow and ice prevail. I have over 30 years experience of walking and wild camping in the Scottish mountains, both in summer and winter conditions. Access to my online logbook of mountain experience (my Mountain Training Association’s Digital Logbook) can be provided on request. In addition to mountain walking and wild camping, I love scrambling, rock climbing, sailing and kayaking.

My Mountain Training Story :

Keith McGregor

Primarily I have used my awards to develop students at The university of Central Lancashire to achieve leadership, coaching and climbing skills. I have though also helped to develop friends and colleagues with their rock climbing and mountain management. I have also worked in leading and coaching groups in all the mountain ranges of the UK. I have climbed throughout the world in the past 30 years and have, I believe, excellent skills in mountaineering and climbing. I have foe the past few years been ski touring in the European Alps and the Pyrenees. I recently completed my Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors training and am happy to take take you out climbing and scrambling free of charge in order for me to gain the prerequisite days. Look on my web-site for further details. Keith

My Mountain Training Story :

Frances Reader

I started working with people's bodies in 1994 when I qualified as a massage therapist. sports therapist and gym instructor/personal trainer followed soon afterwards. Exercise Referral and then a number of level 4 qualifications followed over the years: BACPR, Pulmonary, Mental Health, Obesity & Diabetes, Postural Stability Instructor, Cancer rehabilitation. Basic and advanced Pilates courses (back, pre & post natal etc) have happened over 30 years and more recently, Nordic Walking, Tai Chi for Rehabilitation and PD Warrior. Various nutrition courses and my Cert Ed are also in my portfolio along with minor qualifications. Previous experience includes Diabetes, Cardiac Rehab and physiotherapy classes within the NHS. Based in the Banbury/Brackley area I teach classes for Age UK Generation Games and as a freelancer, most of my work being preventative or rehabilitative in nature. Private clients are often referred from local surgeries and streamed in to classes when they are able to join in. I enjoy helping people retain or reclaim function and control of their bodies, returning to work or retaining their independence.

My Mountain Training Story :

Scott Mcneish

Personal Profile: Scott McNeish MIC Scott has spent his professional career in Outdoor Delivery and Adventure Training. His career started as an instructor at Loch Insh Outdoor Centre followed by several seasons skiing and mountaineering in Canada. On return to Scotland Scott undertook the Instructor Development Scheme at Glenmore Lodge gaining the Mountaineering Instructor Award aged 24. After gaining further experience working at the Joint Service Alpine Centre in South Germany, Scott embarked on a career as an Adventure Training Instructor in the Royal Air Force where he completed the MIC and coveted Joint Service Mountain Guide Award with remits to instruct and guide on glacial alpine terrain and alpine ski mountaineering. Scotts career involved many training roles including a crew training role at the Defence Helicopter Flying School and coordinator of the East of Scotland Universities Air Squadrons. His most recent post was Head of Training at the Royal Air Force’s Leadership and Development Training Centre in Grantown-on-Spey where he was responsible for the management and leadership of a team of 11 instructional staff and developing instructor training programs across a broad range of Outdoor NGB and Service qualifications. An expert skier and keen Scottish winter climber Scott has led several expeditions to the Himalaya, Greenland, Canada, Spain, Norway, Sweden and various Alpine areas. Scott has now settled in Aviemore and is now the Centre Manager at Badaguish Cairngorm Outdoor Centre responsible for the charities operations, sales, marketing and corporate development side of the business. Scott has recently completed a BA (Hons) in Outdoor Leadership Studies and lives in Aviemore with his wife and 3 children. Scott is available for part time freelance and consultancy work.

My Mountain Training Story :

Joshua Nicholas

My fable begins... In college. Once upon a time, I was about 19... And after making a few mistakes during college years, I'd finally decided that learning how the body works and how to stay on top of physical health, was the route I wanted to learn. I took a long college course and ended up with level 2 and 3 in personal training. Shortly after I'd gained my qualifications, I happened upon an injury one night at my martial arts club, that stopped my training.. at least.. for a while. Well... 2 years almost to be exact. After 2 years of almost time off, my confidence in what I'd learned diminished, I felt like I'd forgotten 70% of what I had been previously taught. I'd tried to get placements in gyms around my area, but unfortunately most of the gyms in Cornwall that I could access weren't taking on, more importantly, they weren't taking someone inexperienced on... Even for free.. So, I worked elsewhere, saved up some money, and enrolled into a Future Fit level 3 course with the trimmings... a year and a half has gone by and here I am today, looking once again to get my foot into the outside world of fitness. Currently I haven't managed to do much with my qualifications due to having to work so much to keep the money flowing, but as work slows, I'm hoping to make an entrance as both a home personal trainer, and pull some hours in a gym somewhere. I would like to be able to eventually specialise in the body mechanics, and how we can gain some insane fitness results with little to no equipment, but this will require much more training. Along side this, I'm looking into opening my own personal self defence classes for both home and group visits, as I hold a qualification in martial arts coaching. Hopefully I can incorporate my training from Future Fit and organically grow a reputation as a personal trainer from the warm-up and conditioning phases. To be continued.... Thanks for taking the time to check out a little background! Ciao

My Mountain Training Story :

Paul Daly

I come from a background in the IT industry which worked in since I left university many years ago. Back in 2013, I decided to relocate to Hertfordshire and that I needed to lose weight and re-invigorate my life. I embarked on a regime that enabled me to lose 3 stone and take part in my first ever OCR in early 2014, Tough Mudder London West, which I did to raise money for Help for Heroes. My life changed for the better. Over the next few years, I continued to take part in various obstacle races and attended a training facility that was specifically designed to help people improve their OCR techniques whilst also having a lot of fun at the same time. One of the PT’s there (Marc) was a huge inspiration for me and gave me the desire that I now have which is to inspire and motivate others in what they want do do – their Dream. A couple of years on and I relocated to Bedfordshire. At the same time I took an opportunity to be able to change my career to that of a Personal Trainer, such that I am now able to help anyone who has even the smallest desire to make a change to their life, whether it is for their nutrition, fitness levels or mental wellbeing. I am now in a position to be there to support and motivate people along their journey, in the same way that others have done for me, my partner being a major contributor to mine. My wish is therefore to bring a healthy wellness to everyone; everyone has their own challenges and circumstances that go towards making them unique and who they are, I don’t want to change who you are, rather I want to help you change how you get to where you want to be. From wanting to be able to get out of bed and climb stairs without feeling like you’ve climbed a mountain, to being able to lift a new personal best at the gym. I have a vision to Respect Every Dream that we each have and provide a way to make them become a reality. – Coach Red

My Mountain Training Story :

Katie Comer

My love of the mountains drew me away from a life chained to a desk, and into the great outdoors, although initially not in a style as orthodox as mountain leading. Having completed my training, I set about contacting different companies to register an interest and to find out what experience they were looking for, and stumbled across my current employer, Dragoman Overland. This lead to five years of literally driving across the world, from West to East, leading groups though the majestic Andes, the wild and desolate deserts of Central Asia, the formerly war torn countries of South East Asia, the crazy vibrant colourful madness of India, and beautiful Nepal. My next year is dedicated to a trans across Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, but I haven't forgotten where it all started with that love of the mountains, so finally achieved my dream of becoming a qualified mountain leader. With an abundance of experience in leading groups across the world, dealing with issues involving visas, permit problems, medical situations, political unrest, and still mange to ensure that everyone on the trip has a great time - I'm basically a great person to have around when things aren't going to plan! I'm looking forward to taking my current skills forward into the mountain leading environment, and combining it with my personal experiences in the Andes, Alps, Himalayas, Africa and New Zealand Alps.

My Mountain Training Story :

Katherine Schirrmacher

I was about 11 the first time I went climbing. That was on Idwal Slabs in North Wales. Coming from the West Midlands, there weren't many opportunities to go climbing outside and so I stored up in my mind that I would take the next opportunity that came my way. That arrived in the form of Leeds University climbing club. From then on my life changed. Since then I've enjoyed every aspect of the sport including trad climbing, sport climbing, bouldering and competing for team GB. It's taken me all round the world and stand out places to climb for me are Arapiles in Australia, the Needles in California USA and sport climbing in the south of France. When I figured out that there was a way to make climbing my career I've really never looked back.

My Mountain Training Story :

Joanne Parker

PGCE in Outdoor Activities. MA student in Outdoor Education

My Mountain Training Story :

Ryan Whitehead

Currently a Trainee Outdoor Instructor at Marle Hall Centre for Outdoor Learning in North Wales, learning on the job and gaining skills to put into practice. BSc. Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Management graduate Keen climber, mountaineer and paddler.

My Mountain Training Story :

Keir McEwan

My name is Keir i live just outside a small town in the heart of perthshire, i have a love and passion for the mountains and outdoors i am a keen hill walker, trad climber i like paddle sports mainly canoeing. i like to ski and would like to get into ski touring in the future. this winter i second my first six winter routes the first one being the seam IV in Stob Coire an t-Sneachda. Awards and qualification. CWI qualified RCI trained FUNDAS 1 NICAS 1,2,3,4 paddle sports instructor and FSRT My future plans are to become a British mountain guide and to bring more people into the outdoor world.

My Mountain Training Story :

Fay Manners

I am a 30 year old free-lance outdoor instructor based in the alps. When I am not instructing snowsports on piste in Courmayeur or Verbier I can be found rock climbing around Europe.

My Mountain Training Story :

Laura Dobie

I certified as a Les Mills BodyCombat instructor in February 2019, and I love teaching BodyCombat! I did the classes as a participant for years, and finally plucked up the courage to train as a BodyCombat instructor at the beginning of 2019 - I hope that I can pass on my passion for BodyCombat and group fitness to others. I have almost completed my Level 2 Certificate in Exercise to Music.

My Mountain Training Story :

Nick Deavin

I was brought up on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and explored them by bicycle and foot as much as I was able during my teen years. Joining the Royal Air Force at 17 years old enabled more challenging expeditions to be undertaken. I took advantage of the adventurous training on offer and visited many countries of the world. Before the age of 21 I had canoed the great lakes in Canada and done the three peaks challenge with work colleagues. After living in Belize CA and enjoying visiting many central American countries, snorkling on the reef and jungle expeditions for a year, I was posted to Germany and spent a significant amount of time becoming efficient in skiing (downhill, touring and nordic) and windsurfing (RYA Level 4). I was a member of the RAF Laarbruch ski team who won the inter-services downhill skiing competition for 2 years running (1992/93) before taking up ski touring on Telemark skis. I toured up to the pistes and skied back down at most of the Austrian ski areas between 1994 and 2000 with a colleague. Due to having been an engineer on Harrier aircraft, I also logged a significant amount of nights under canvas, probably totalling 18 months, due to European field deployments in 12x12 tents and two Gulf Wars for months at a time in communal tents. I prefer cabins and B&B now! I became a Nordic ski instructor, completed Tour Leader Training with the Joint Service Training Centre in Norway, organised 2 ski tours of Norway and was working up to my Winter Mountain Leader assessment just before I left the RAF after 24 years of service. I have since kept fit by lowland walking, mountain biking and am working to update my quals to include Lowland Leader so as to assist the local 211 Sqn Air Cadets I am a Civilian Instructor at.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jo Stapleton

I started in 2001 as exercise to music teacher. From here I qualified as level 2 gym instructor then followed this up with level 3 personal training diploma. After a back injury it lead me to completing a level 3 course in MAT plilates and level 3 full studio course. This covers reformer, bench, wunda chair, ladder barrel, ped a pull and small equipment. I now have a very rewarding career in teaching all levels and abilities as well as actively attending classes for my own wellbeing, strength and managing a former back injury . I truly believe everyone should be doing pilates regardless of age and any contradictory issues which we can all improve and benefit from!

My Mountain Training Story :

Aled Walker

I am working towards completing the Mountain Leader scheme. I have grown up on the mountains of the Brecon Beacons and always been involved in outdoor activities. From the Duke of Edinburgh's Scheme, Rock Climbing, Kayaking to Triathlons in more recent years. The QMD's I am completing cover the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia ranges regions predominantly. I have been fortunate to be involved in both successful National and Welsh 3 peaks challenges which also covered the Lake District and Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. As a qualified personal trainer and local walk leader I have a large amount of experience in supporting people/ groups to complete physical challenges. I hope to cover more challenging routes, experience adverse weather conditions and eventually progress to international ranges.

My Mountain Training Story :

Andrew Kingdom

I have been a outdoors man since was a young Scout. I am now a 10 year veteran as a Scout Leader and the passion for the outdoors has only grown. A regular hiker along with being a Searcher in the Buckinghamshire Search and Rescue Team, my skills are regularly put into practise. Since getting my NNAS Silver I have had the bug to continue learning. Long term goal is now to become a ML and a navigation instructor.

My Mountain Training Story :

Hanna Zadlo

Qualified nurse with a real passion to outdoor activities and yoga. Regularly practising hiking, climbing and skiing in the mountains, mostly in Britain, Poland and France. An active parent of a child with special needs. Since I was a little child I was always a true hiker. Spending many holidays in the mountains, walking, hiking, scrambling and skiing. Now, I am only just starting my journey to become a qualified Mountain Leader and ultimately a Mountain Guide. Our regular family holidays in the mountains made me realise how much I love being there, hiking and climbing and that I want to be able to tie my passion to the outdoor activities with my future career.

My Mountain Training Story :

Meharsingh Gaha

I am a keen outdoor enthusiast. I enjoy walking and rock climbing. I have not achieved any civilian qualification yet however I aspire to acquire RCI and ML very soon and MCI in the longer term. I am a SML (Summer Mountain Leader) and RML (Rock Climbing Multi-Pitch Leader) in the Army. I have achieved quite a lot through Army by either taking part as a member or mostly instructing and supervising groups on either mountaineering or climbing. Most significantly I have trekked Dhaulagiri Circuit, Annapurna Base Camp, Mt Kenya Peak (Pt Lenana) and led a group to Mt Whitney in California. I have supervised groups on climbing in Cyprus, Slovenia, Norway and Germany. Finally I have experienced almost all National Parks of the UK either hiking or climbing.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jonny Pickering

I am a Sport Science graduate with over 15 years’ experience in the field of sport. In this time I have worked in the charity, public, education and elite level performance sectors. Where driving participation, developing talent and promoting the wellbeing outcomes of physical activity, have been common objectives I have achieved throughout my career. I am very experienced in successfully planning and executing sports projects. Previous projects have included; grass roots sport development, disability engagement and mass participation events. Furthermore, I have a high level business acumen, as a result I am proficient at strategic business planning, effective budget management and delivering sustainable provision. Areas of expertise I am well versed in are; project management, community development, strategic partnership collaboration, elite level athlete management, coaching and education.

My Mountain Training Story :

Nic Bullivant

Mountains and mountaineering run through everything I have done since a teenager. I was a young member of a Mountain Rescue Team in the Peak District National Park, and trainee Warden with the NP Authority. I graduated in Geography and Pure Maths and moved to Scotland to start a 40-year career as a Ranger. First in Fife, then briefly in Ayrshire and most recently 20 years at Cairn Gorm. In this time I started the Scottish Midweek Mountaineering Club, got married, had a family of three children, climbed in Iceland, Norway and the Alps and engaged in roped rock and winter climbing in Scotland. I came late to leader awards, training first in Winter ML (this was permitted in those days) with Glenmore Lodge (Andy Cunningham), and trained for and was awarded Summer ML by Glenmore Lodge in 1997 and 1998. I was deferred on my Winter ML - twice - and thought it was less important to pursue it, and let it lie uncompleted till 2015 when I consulted Pete Hill and he just happened to have a vacancy on a Winter ML assessment he was keen to fill. To my delight, all four candidates passed, but not until after an 'ordeal by snow' I was to write about afterwards. In 2017 I published Cairngorm Ranger about my work at Cairngorm. I am also a musician, playing horn in various orchestras, and after completing a symphony for Sheffield (my home city) in 1998 and a few other large-scale works, wrote Cairngorms Traverse (2006), which has had several performances. I have virtually completed a piano concerto describing a Cuillin Ridge Greater Traverse, and I am working on a piece about Torridon. I live in Erbusaig, near Kyle of Lochalsh and enjoy days guiding or just exploring the Cuillin and other nearby mountains..

My Mountain Training Story :

Dean Wagstaff

After 30 years as a Police Officer, Amature Sports Person, Rugby Player, Alpine Ski Instructor, Adaptive Ski Instructor I decided to pass on some of knowledge to others. Keenly interested in the area of Functional Training I have relaunched myself as a PT, Masseur and Referral Therapist.

My Mountain Training Story :

phil Behan

I have been mountaineering most of my life with my family, friends and climbing clubs.

My Mountain Training Story :

Elton Angle-Smith

Having around 20 years experience of hill and mountain walking in the UK, (predominantly Snowdonia & the Lakes), I was keen to become qualified so that I could lead groups of people confidently, allowing them just to enjoy their surroundings and to not really have to worry about navigation. I have a military background (British Army, Royal Engineers) so can work very well within a team of people or just as well individually. Post-Army, I've generally worked in customer services/office based roles, so I'm now really enjoying the freedom to be outside in the places I love and using my inter-personal skills gained from this. Since having my MLS, I have really enjoyed getting out in the hills and getting paid at the same time! I have met and continue to meet so many fantastic, like-minded people and have made many new friends. The ML has opened many doors for me that were previously shut :) I have trekked across Corsica on the GR20 independently with my wife in 2016 and in the Nepali Himalaya (also independently with my wife) in December 2017. I am about to set off to walk the UK Coast to Coast (St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay) completely independently, alone and camping for most of it. I have recently completed the RCI training and look forward to hopefully getting that completed/assessed soon. I am heading off to Bangor University full time in September 2019 to study Clinical and Health Psychology (BSc) during which I will continue to work and play in the mountains I love. Also a very keen fell/mountain and ultra-runner, I enjoy moving fast and light in the mountains. When I'm not running or mountain walking, I'm also an avid road cyclist.

My Mountain Training Story :

Joshua Allard

Many years personal climbing (on artificial structures) and hillwalking experience (Surrey Hills, New Forest & weekend breaks away e.g. Symonds Yat) through my time working through Beavers, Cubs, Scouts & Explorers. Started climbing regularly in January 2013 when I signed up for NICAS 1 to work towards my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award and have climbed indoors almost weekly since then. Progressed to outdoor top-rope climbing on Southern Sandstone for the first time during NCS The Challenge after my GCSE's / Year 11 (2014), completed CWA training two weeks after my 17th birthday (February 2015) and completed NICAS 3 about a month later. Since then I've learnt to lead indoors and shadowed sessions at White Spider. Upon starting University in September 2017 I've been teaching new members the basics of how to indoor climb whilst more experienced members taught me how to lead climb outdoors (sport and then trad) as well as completing further hillwalking / mountaineering activities. I've since eft University after two years study and am now working as an instructor at Legacy / Croydon Youth Zone, a youth centre for 8-19 year olds in Croydon (and up to 25 year olds with additional support needs). My long-term goal is to achieve the Summer MCI.

My Mountain Training Story :

Samantha J Hillcox

I am currently working towards my IML, and have just returned to Cumbria from a recce of the new summer assessment venue in Les Angles, Pyrenees Catalanes, France. I ran a field studies centre in the Cevennes National Park between 1999 and 2016 it was almost like coming home! Granite and schist mountains, hooching with wild flowers, butterflies, birds - but with the addition of marmots, chamoix, ibex... wow! It feels like all my mountains moments have been converging on this assessment week and I cannot wait to share some of my passion for the French mountains with the other candidates. Hit me if I am driving you nuts!

My Mountain Training Story :

Evie Sargrove

P PHi my name is Evie Sargrove I am 26 years old. I have loved sport and outdoor activies all my life I have a learning difficulties with I have overcome I have achieved. Lots awards over the year such as my PADi diving. , My NPLQ Award (lifeguard AWand , First-aid at work D of E I'm a hard working penson. Who never gives up and achieve my goal. !!

My Mountain Training Story :

Pete Edwards

I am now owner and coach at Prowess Climbing Coaching, where I can put into place years of coaching experience, years of climbing experience and a lot of academic knowledge, gained through studying for my Masters degree in Elite Performance. While these days, my personal climbing is exclusively on boulders, my knowledge isn't restricted to any discipline at all. I've led up to HVS and 7a on bolts, completed several grade III ice climbs and was a member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team. Now it's all coming together to create a service that focuses on the client and their needs. Please do get in touch for more information or click the link to my website

My Mountain Training Story :

Alexandra Alves

I have my NNAS Gold standard in navigation. I decided to work my way through the NNAS scheme in conjunction with my summer ML back in 2010. I regularly use these skills when in the mountains with my husband for leisure, when leading international expeditions, and when teaching children during outdoor learning sessions.

My Mountain Training Story :

Emma Harrison

As well as running an award winning bunkhouse in Bwlch, I am a Brecon Beacons National Park, Fforest Fawr GeoPark, Mountain & Moorland and Dark Skies Ambassador, and an Uplands Volunteer for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. I am also a highly experienced walking group leader: I provide guided walks for bunkhouse guests, and occasionally freelance for other companies (past clients include A to Z Expeditions, Black Mountain Activities, Explorers Connect, Mountain & River Activities Ltd. & Welsh Mountain Walks). I also lead walks on a voluntary basis for a charity group called Welsh Women Walking, and for local walking festivals such as Crickhowell and Talgarth. I help organise our local annual walking & mountain biking challenge called 'Bwlch With Altitude', and I appeared on BBC1 Wales, leading Derek Brockway, presenter of 'Weatherman Walking', on a guided walk in the Black Mountains (Series 10, Episode 2).

My Mountain Training Story :

Stuart Ross

Hill walking since 2008. Roughly 2/3rds of way round completing Munros. Keen ultra-distance runner.

My Mountain Training Story :

Damian Gielty

Passionate educator who enjoys enjoys being in high and wild places. Mostly outdoors, running, walking, climbing and camping in the mountains, more recently with my kids too. I am currently teaching Physical Education at the International school of Amsterdam and encouraging students enjoy time outdoors. In addition to this I coordinate the schools Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, leading multiple expeditions each year. I enjoy long summers and winter holidays with my family and our camper van usually running and walking around the mountain ranges of Europe and often back home to Scotland for our Winter break and days out in the snow (whens its around). I am really looking forward to working towards my International Mountain leader Award as a natural progression from my ML. I hope to continue developing my skills and knowledge to help enhance the safety and experiences I offer my students and future clients.

My Mountain Training Story :

Matthew Harris

I'm an avid climber and love introducing others to the same feeling I get from it. I've worked at Boulders in Cardiff for six months taking a wide range of activities and introductions from children to adults. Taking my CWI and hoping to do an assessment soon - though my personal climbing is on hold while I wait for a broken rib to heal.

My Mountain Training Story :

Stephen Mycroft

Experienced Mountain Leader both UK and overseas. Previous Search and Rescue for 10yrs in New Zealand. I am looking for either freelance work regularly with a company or full time employment through a centre. I am leading walks and overnight expeditions around the UK. I also continue to work with DofE groups. I have started my own business Peak2mountainexpeditions which you can find on Facebook. Website is coming soon but if you would like to hire me as a guide please get in touch at Peak2mountain@gmail.com.

My Mountain Training Story :

Nikol De Prato

I've moved from my Country (Italy) more than 6 years ago after being a teacher for 10 years. When I arrived in the UK I wasn't sure about what to do next until I stumbled upon one of the fast track course in the outdoors. I got few qualifications and trainings starting most of the activities, such as climbing and paddling, from scratch. I quickly realised I loved especially climbing and hillwalking. At the and of my course I found a job in a multiactivities centre in Suffolk (not great for mountaneering). After that I flew to the Emirates for the winter, working as an instructor for a British Company in Abu Dhabi. When I came back I found a job in a small centre in the Midlands and I've been extemely busy in the last 4 years gaining more qualifications, mainly in water based activities, and a senior position as lead instructor. Few months ago I decided I wanted to start again working towards my RCI and SML qualifications so I applied for the MTA mentorship programme and I've been selected. I'm ready to put more effort and commitment in something I enjoy doing, it's quite exciting! Balancing everyday life, work, training is pretty tricky but I'm getting there. I'm quite proud of my accomplishments but I know I don't want to stop here, I want to progress getting more qualification and skills keeping learning as much as I can.

My Mountain Training Story :

Adam Colston

Raised on the south-west coastline, Dartmoor became our local stomping ground. Young and ambitious, I undertook the local Ten Tors challenge for consecutive years. Providing a great base knowledge for future endeavors. Post graduation, I gained a successful career in adventure tourism guiding all over the globe. Summers have found me leading hiking trips all over the Italian Dolomites, to Sea Kayak guiding in the Pacific North-west with Orca Wales and unique sea conditions. Winters I have spent leading ski, snowshoe and cross country trips in mountainous regions of Europe. Passion has driven these ventures. Through 5 years of leading and guiding I have developed a unique set of skills through experience. Adventure sports have been in my blood from day one. I'm an experienced backcountry skier, surfer and downhill mountain biker. As well as a mountaineer, climber, and hiker.

My Mountain Training Story :

Jane Ascroft

I have loved the mountains ever since I was a child with family walking holidays to the Lakes and he Alps. I learnt to rock climb aged 17 and became President of Cambridge University hillwalking club a year or so later. Since then I have enjoyed hillwalking, scrambling, mountaineering and rock climbing in summer and winter in the UK and Europe. I have a particular love of scrambling, mountaineering and wild camping. I enjoy teaching new skills to people and watching them develop in confidence and character as a result of their experiences. My aim is to inspire others to explore our wild places and to teach them to do this in a way that minimises our impact. I am currently training for my summer Mountain Leader award.

My Mountain Training Story :

James Abbatt

I started off my mountaineering career at the age of 8 by fell running and competing in the 'Kendal Winter League". I later moved house just below the Howgill Fells in Sedbergh, this was ideal for me as it meant I was able to fell run straight out the back of my home. And it was because of the Howgills that I fell in love with fell running and mountaineering. It was also where the idea of becoming a mountain guide came to light. I began wild camping up on the fells in the snow and running up to 2000ft; to the Calf. I have begun to bag Wainwright with my Dad and Munros in the Cairngorms with my pal Kevin. In October 2018 I started climbing at Kendal Climbing Wall, I began with bouldering ad have progressed to lead climbing. My overall aim is to achieve my ML and progress further to become a mountain guide.

My Mountain Training Story :

Scott Houston

Climbing is one of the many things I have a passion for and untill recently, began studying the art of rope climbing. My background growing up was in martial arts and both as a kid growing up, and now a qualified Parkour Coach, I have always enjoyed the satisfaction of reaching the end of climbs. The path of climbing with ropes and learning about safety lead me to meeting other like-minded people in he climbing community. By always favouring the outdoors it was clear that I had to invest in some equipment in order to stay safe. After 6 months of climbing recreationally I soon began to believe this was another chapter of my future self. Now I find myself typing this shortly after registering and booked onto a Central belt RCI course! The journey of life is strange and what is meant for you will not pass you. I look forward to being a part of this community and learning more from others, as well as sharing my love for climbing with those who wish to learn and explore.

My Mountain Training Story :

Alexandra Alves

After volunteering on various conservation projects abroad, e.g. mountain gorilla tracking in Rwanda, wildlife conservation on The Galapagos Islands, and climate change research in The Amazon Rainforest, I decided to gain the necessary skills and qualifications to facilitate expeditions of my own. I passed my summer ML assessment in 2012 in Wales and have achieved Gold standard NNAS. I have since used the skills to lead various international expeditions for secondary school pupils for both World Challenge & Outlook Expeditions to Borneo, Peru, Thailand, Zambia, Nepal, and Costa Rica. I passed a BTEC in Expedition Management in Madagascar and have gained my Level 4 Forest School Instructor Award, Bushcraft Competency Certificate, Coastal/ Beach School Leader, Outdoor 1st aid, National Water Safety Management Programme, and Climbing Wall Training. I also lead full time outdoor learning sessions for a prep school in The Midlands, where I am Head of Outdoor Learning and Forest School. In addition, I run my own outdoor learning website, offering online outdoor resources for both teachers/ leaders and parents, and run certified forest school and outdoor learning training courses for other adults.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Moreton Smith

John Moreton Smith was born in Oxford, England in the summer of 65, with great potential and promise for the future. He then buggered off to Australia at the age of 20 where he proceeded to spend the next 30 years. Whilst in Australia he worked as a freelance writer producing articles mainly for the construction industry, but also for magazines such as Australian Aviation and Bark Australia. He became a published author putting his name to the children’s picture book ‘The Adventures of Edgar Remington the Third’ (illustrated by Terry Denton, Working Title Press). And he operated a marine detailing business in Ku Ring Gai Chace National Park north of Sydney. Now he has returned. Arriving back in the UK in July 2016 and settling himself down close to the mountains of the Lake District which he had long envied from afar! He currently lives in a town called Sedbergh in house on a hill in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. He is a persistent ultra-runner (despite all common sense) with a number of 100 mile and 100km races to his name both in the UK, the Alps, and Australia, including the Dragons Back Race in Wales in 2019. He is currently focused on getting outdoors and into the hills as much as he can. Having undergone ML Training, he is consolidating his life and cutting back on work as a forklift instructor examiner to allow for more time out on the fells. Keen to embrace all opportunities that come his way he is vigorously diving into this new challenging chapter in his life. John once almost stepped on a funnel web spider while trail running in Australia, and he has been embracing the UK weather since being back in the old country. He is a dedicated ultra-runner, map reader, and filled with an adventurous spirit that won’t let him rest. He is also practised at writing about himself in the third person.

My Mountain Training Story :

Benjamin Slessor

I recently graduated from Loughborough College with an extended diploma in sport (development, coaching and fitness) with an MMM grade, As part of my RFU Level 2 Rugby coaching qualification, I was responsible for designing and delivering group sessions. I put this into practise by becoming an assistant coach for National League 2 side Leicester Lions Mens 1st team (season 2018-2019), helping develop the specific techniques and strength needed for the forwards positions. During my BTEC Level 3 fitness training and exercise module, I was also able to create and deliver personal and specific exercise programmes through specific research, design and delivery, to allow my client to achieve their goal. During Sports Massage and Exercise, health & lifestyle module I was responsible for holding consultations where I had to advise people on their correct nutrition alternatives and also suggest ways in which they can personally track their progress. Furthermore, I had the responsibility of providing my client with tools and techniques where they were able to decide for themselves how to actively change their lifestyle for the better, and highlight the health benefits that are attached to this. In addition to my academic and professional experience, I have had the opportunity to work alongside professional strength and conditioning and nutrition coaches having played International representative rugby for Scotland U16’s, Lambs U16’s, Leicester Tiger academy, Yorkshire U17’s and Nottingham Academy. This has given me a great insight to performance sport and has helped develop my professionalism and overall knowledge base. I have moved to Edinburgh after being invited to play for Scottish Premiership side Currie Chieftains 1st team with the goal of achieving Scotland U20’s representation.

My Mountain Training Story :

David Pearce

Started to get involved with DofE back in 2018, as a civilian instructor at RAF Air Cadets. Aiming to complete Lowland Leader course to benefit the young men and women at my squadron doing DofE.

My Mountain Training Story :

Hilary Nixon

Hi! I've always loved the outdoors whether that be the mountains, the snow or the water so I took a decision a few years ago to work towards being able to change my life to where i can spend more time in those environments. That big moment arrived in 2015! Since then I have qualified as a mountain leader and a snowboard instructor as well as volunteering for Fix the Fells in the Lake District. I now work as a Ranger in the beautiful Lake District and have to pinch myself to have got this job. I'm based at High Wray volunteer centre which is quite a unique place. I get to go out and share my passion for the outdoors with volunteers from all walks of life most days of the week doing all sorts of work such as dry stone walling, mountain path work and hedge laying amongst other things. There is never a dull moment. I still get to play in the snow too and keep up my training. Next steps are to tackle some more water based activities. Hope to meet many of you out there!

My Mountain Training Story :

Cat Forster

I live in Llanberis, North Wales, working as a climbing and mountaineering instructor and teaching Outdoor Education. I am passionate about working in the outdoors and the exceptional opportunities it can provide for young people and adults. Originally from London, I moved to Leeds in 1998 and worked as a youth worker; developing programmes for the personal development of young women, using a range of outdoor activities, team games and art-based work. A personal love of being in the hills and in wild open spaces led naturally to encouraging others to find such pleasure. I started to run courses on teaching Outdoor Education, and gained qualifications in rock climbing (SPA) and the hillwalking (ML). I worked for Leeds City Council at their residential outdoor education centre, Herd Farm, running climbing, high ropes, mountain biking and archery activities. In 2007 I packed it all in to travel and work in New Zealand. On my return to the UK, I moved to North Wales, where I worked at the Mountain Training England office. I also gained the Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA) which allowed me to become a full time freelance instructor. In 2019 myself and Pete Marshall set up Latitude 534 - With a combined 30years working in the outdoors we wanted to build a company that reflected not just the wealth of our experience, but also the quality of the work we provide. Not just ‘run of the mill’ activities, but quality instruction; supportive and inclusive access to the outdoors. The rest of the time I have free to spend climbing and walking in the incredible mountains of Snowdonia. And hiding from the rain!

My Mountain Training Story :

Leo de Frettes

Hello! I've been climbing since September 2016 mostly indoor bouldering up until mid 2018.

My Mountain Training Story :

Robert Colin Pugh

Over 25 years of experience of the hills in both the UK and Europe. Did ML(S) training in 1996 in the Lakes and then lived in Europe for over a decade. Returned to the UK in 2015 and now back into Mountain Leader and looking to do ML(S) assessment in 2019. Living on the edge of the Peak District I have also rekindled my love of rock climbing (nothing too serious!) and have become a full hill going and casualty care qualified member of the local MRT.

My Mountain Training Story :

John Tokley

My qualifications and experience to date includes: - Mountain Leader Training (April 2015) - Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Supervisor Training Course (May 2016) - Single Pitch Award Training (June 2015) - Bridging the gap SPA to Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) (May 2019) - BMC Fundamentals1 (Sep 2019) - Foundation Coach Training (Sep 2019) - St John’s Ambulance Activity first Aid Course (Valid to March 2021) - current DBS certificate (Issued Nov2013,Nov2016,Nov2019)


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