Jamie Rooke - Mountain Leader

Jamie Rooke has been an MTA member since 2015 and is a qualified Mountain leader. Read more about Jamie:

Jamie Rooke
MTA 200

Have you always been interested in the outdoors? And what inspired you to do a qualification with Mountain Training?

I suppose in some ways I have. Some of my earliest memories are of playing on some rocks at our caravan in Llanrug and thinking back to my youth, I was always happiest going off exploring places - playing in the woods and things like that, but I kind of lost that for a few years. It was only through Instagram I reconnected with it in about 2012! Even now, my time in the hills is still interconnected with sharing my experiences on Instagram. As I spent more time in Snowdonia and connected with more people, I would often get asked to take them out and when I did, I loved it! I loved giving people the sense of freedom and escape that I found away from Birkenhead. I can’t even remember how I heard about the Mountain Leader thing but it soon became a pipe dream for me. I remember saying to my mate Nick ‘One day I’m going to pass my ML and come to live in Snowdonia!’ and would dream my shifts away, back in the factory. He was the first mate I spoke to the morning I passed and reminded me of that conversation! It was really satisfying. I am quite literally living my dream.

What awards do you hold? What awards are you working towards?

I am a Mountain Leader and am now looking to do my Single Pitch Award, with the long term goal of MIA and Winter Mountain Leader and why not?! Might as well set the bar high and have something to focus on!

What do you do for work?

I am extremely fortunate to be working at YHA Pen y Pass who have been amazing in helping me settle in Wales- I should say that in early 2016 I reached a cross roads with my work and just moved up here! Pretty big thing to do on a whim but it panned out ok. It was not long after I figured I best get qualified as a Mountain Leader so I can start earning a bit of money!
Jamie Rooke in North Wales

How do you use (or plan to use) your qualifications?

I plan to become a full time instructor and engage with as many people as I can through social media to get out into the mountains and experience the freedom and escape that I have found. To be able to inspire people and give them the skills and confidence to seek freedom is a really amazing thing and I absolutely love it. I am already growing my own brand through Instagram and Facebook and it is called Exploring Snowdonia Eryri. It was important for me to add the Eryri as I firmly believe in encouraging a respect and understanding of the Welsh history and culture of the mountains we love.

What did you find most challenging and most enjoyable about working through your qualifications?

Most challenging- Nav! and I nearly got deferred on my night nav! But I am getting the hang of it now and really love teaching people. It is what I love most about the whole thing. I also love meeting and making friends with people of the same mindset as me and paying forwards the huge amount of support and encouragement I received. There is this amazing culture in the outdoor industry of helping each other up and wanting people to succeed that I haven’t really encountered anywhere else.

What advice would you give to anyone going through their qualifications?

Enjoy it. Do it because you love it and be passionate and that will shine through. Ask for help and connect with people through social media. It can be a hugely constructive environment if you use it in the right way.

At what stage in your outdoor journey did you join the MTA? What was your main reason for joining?

Pretty much as soon as I registered for Mountain Leader so I could get 20% off at Cotswolds haha! Seriously though, there seemed to be so many benefits, it was just sensible to join.

What do you find most valuable about being a member?

The opportunities to learn and meet people.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

Yes, I love the CPD workshops. I went along on one with Jim from Nature’s Work and he logged it as CPD for me and that spurred me on to get my training booked. Another good one was Paul Gannon’s geology walk. I have actually done two and still struggle to understand it but they’re really interesting and Paul is great. Another one that sticks out was Beyond ML (steep ground) with Tim Harrop; it really helped my scrambling skills, which in turn boosted my confidence in the hills. I may have even met Tim through Paul’s workshop, so you can see that the learning and networking opportunities are there.

Would you recommend the Association to others and why?

Yes, for the opportunities to learn, meet people and save money!

What are your leadership plans for the future?

Just to build on what I am already doing. It’s all about engaging with people and fostering a love and respect for the outdoors with a good dose of safety awareness! I want to build Exploring Snowdonia into a sustainable and respected brand, both by peers and clients. I am also looking to get involved with DofE as I think it can really help young people. I wish I had done it myself and wonder if it would have changed my course at a younger age

If you had a day to go for a walk or climb anywhere, where would it be and why?

The High Sierra Mountains because my mate Rob in work tells me about hiking through there when he travelled the Pacific Crest Trail. Maybe I’ll visit someday.

Jamie Rooke

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