Linda Moran - Trainee Mountain Leader

Linda joined the Mountain Training Association earlier this year (2018) and is working towards her Mountain Leader qualification. Read more about her inspiring journey so far:
MTA 200

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

I have always preferred being outdoors. As a child I was always scooting about looking for the next adventure. My mum introduced me to walking in the mountains in my early twenties and it became my favourite thing. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to visit a handful of the world’s most beautiful mountainous regions.

I’m a member of a mountaineering club in Snowdonia and it was speaking to other members that sparked my interest in the mountain leader qualification.

What awards are you working towards?

I am working towards the Mountain Leader award.

What do you do for work?

I teach business writing skills to lawyers and support staff in law firms. Good grammar skills are crucial when you’re scrambling up the Llech Ddu Spur.

How do you plan to use your qualifications in the future?

One of the things I’d like to achieve with my qualification is to help get more women walking in the mountains. When working as a lecturer in further education I met women from different ethnic groups who wanted to experience the mountain environment but were not able to due to cultural restrictions. I’d like to be able to provide those women with the psychological and physical safety to do so.

What have you found most challenging and most enjoyable so far about working through your qualification?

The most challenging time for me was shortly after my Mountain Leader training. I wasn’t a member of the MTA then and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the number of things that I needed to learn and practise. Joining the MTA changed all that because then I had access to a ready-made support network. That support network has allowed me to become more confident and focus on what I need to do.

My most enjoyable times have been out on the hill with my MTA mentor. I always learn heaps of things and inevitably go home and rave about my day to anyone who will listen. The other enjoyable times have been on regional and CPD workshop events. The course coordinators are tremendously knowledgeable, and the workshops are a fantastic way of sourcing interesting snippets of information that can be shared with a group.

What advice would you give to anyone going through this process?

Join the MTA early in the process and definitely go to as many workshops as your time allows. If you have the opportunity to become an MTA mentee, grab it with both hands. My mentor's guidance, support and enthusiasm have been invaluable to me.

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

I joined the MTA six months after completing my Mountain Leader training. In hindsight I wish I had joined when I registered for the award.

What have you found most valuable about being a MTA member so far?

Being an MTA member has been genuinely helpful to me so far because of the networking opportunities, the mentoring programme and being able to attend national and regional events. I really feel that I am part of a community of people who are genuinely interested in my learning and development as a mountain leader.

Have you been on a regional event or CPD workshop?

Yes, I have attended a few regional and CPD workshop events including a Contour Masterclass with Paul Poole Mountaineering and a 1:50,000 and Beyond Peak District regional event organised by Stephen Jones. All the events have been informative, good fun and very useful. The most recent regional event I attended was a Dark Peak Access and Conservation course with David Broome. Who knew that solitary leaf cutter wasps cultivate fungus to feed their larvae or that raptors see vole pee in the ultraviolet spectrum?

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

If I had just one day, I would go back to the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia and walk up to the Grey Glacier again, but this time I would take someone to share the experience with.

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