Skip to main content

Mountain Leader: Assessment Course

Monday, 11 November '24   5 days
YHA Buttermere, Buttermere, Cockermouth, CA13 9XA
18 years and over
4 spaces available


This Mountain Leader training course involves a minimum of 60 hours training over a 5 day period with mountain professionals. This course assesses candidates on all aspects of the Mountain Leader syllabus. 

The results: Pass, Defer, Fail, Not yet completed, Withdrew, Did not show.
There is no exemption from any element of the assessment.
Practical reassessments cannot take place within three months of the initial assessment to allow sufficient time for practice and preparation.
All deferral reassessments must be completed within five years of the original assessment.
Candidates may undertake two short reassessments after a defer result. Subsequently a full assessment must be undertaken 

Once qualified, candidates can lead groups in mountain, hill and moorland environments.  They are able to manage walking groups safely in summer conditions. 

The Mountain Leader assessment lasts for five days, including a three day expedition with two overnight camps. You will be assessed in the skills below, in accordance with the Mountain Leader syllabus that is detailed in the handbook. 

Leader responsibilities
Responsibilities as a group leader with regards to the care and safety of the group. 
Safety management, your own leadership behaviours and ethos as well as dealing with hazards and emergencies.

Leadership and decision making
Vision - Support - Challenge 
INSPIRE leadership models 

Planning and weather
Main air streams, the likely temperature and humidity of the air masses involved.
Sequence of clouds that might indicate an incoming front and see if you can identify those clouds when out on the hill.

Hazards and emergency procedures
Party management in steep ground 
Emergency rope work 
First aid, emergency carries and calling MRT 
Water hazards on the hill

Understand personal and group kit 
Additional leader equipment 
Group needs, water, food and overall nutrition

Walking skills
Pace, rhythm, foot placement, conservation of energy, balance, and coordination.
Individual movement, demonstration and coaching skills

Navigation is a fundamental skill in mountain walking and leaders must be confident of their route no matter how limited the visibility.  We will develop navigation skills towards the Mountain Leader standard and help you become efficient, accurate and confident. 

Undertake a two day, one night overnight camp. 
Learn how to become an effective and responsible camper and supervise mountain camps.

Teaching and learning skills
Teach and promote learning to ensure safe and enjoyable hill walking.

Access, conservation and the environment
Learn about flora, fauna, geology, landform processes (geomorphology), local history, heritage and language, place names, folklore, the evolution of our landscape and future challenges.

Background knowledge
An awareness of the history, traditions and ethics of recreational mountain walking in the UK and Ireland.


18 years +  
Must have completed the Mountain Leader training course.
Must meet pre-requisites for assessment. 
You must be a member of a mountaineering council
You must be registered on the qualification scheme.

You must have an up to date logbook (preferably DLOG) with evidence of 40+ varied Quality Mountain Days minimum



Book Online

4 available
Mountain Leader Assessment


YHA Buttermere
CA13 9XA

We recommend booking accommodation here as we will make use of the YHA for our base. If you are not residing here during the course, you will have to sign in at reception on arrival.


  • Changing facilities
  • Showers
  • Toilets
  • Parking