May 10 15

While Pete is occupied at the BMC International Meet in Cornwall I’ve been keeping myself busy with a Mountain Leader Training course in Wasdale. I’d been thinking about doing the course for a while, but never got around to doing anything about it. I eventually booked at the last minute with Carol Emmons and I quickly registered with MLTE (Mountain Leader Training England) to get my Log Book.

The course follows a set syllabus which concentrates on navigation, rope work, group leadership, incident management, weather forecasting, conservation and access, route planning, and river crossing. It also includes a two day expedition with a wild camp above 600m.

Carol runs her MLT course out of the Wasdale YHA with the help of Richard Sagar. It’s been years since I’ve stopped in a YHA and I was quite impressed. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a youth. You also don’t need a sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner. Pillows and quilts with fresh cotton bed linen is standard now.

There were 10 of us in total on the course, 8 men and 2 women, with all sorts of backgrounds and all ages. The youngest was 22, the oldest 62. We all got on really well and had such a laugh. I’m sure we shouldn’t have laughed quite so much, jokes were flying around all day, and night, while we wandered around the hills looking for the tiniest of reentrants, edges of outcrops, or miniscule tarns.

Luckily for us the weather was pretty good most of the time. We had a little rain, a little snow, quite a lot of wind, but also some lovely sunshine, and starry nights which meant for freezing cold nights.

The wild camp was a great success up at Scoat Tarn. Thanks go to Richard and Rachel for lending me their super light tent and therma rest, and recommendation of Ainsley’s couscous with porcini and sausage – yum yum. The night navigation was great fun. Two hours of micro navigation went really quickly and we all found the marks. Poor Young Dave managed to walk into a bog, which made us all laugh even more.

The river crossing was kept for the last day. There wasn’t a great deal of water to play with, so we just practiced the techniques in a shallow stream. I did get into the stream after I’d taken the photos, honest.

An excellent week of fun.

Here are some pictures from the week…

Series - Mountain Leader

  1. Mountain Leader Training
  2. MIA Training

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