Mountain Leader

In our Centre in Snowdonia North Wales, which is an ideal base, we run both Mountain Leader (ML) training and assessment courses through Arete Outdoor Centre. These courses are run by highly competent instructors who have experience of working with young people and adults on the mountains of Wales and the rest of the UK. The ML qualification trains and assesses a candidate in the skills needed to lead walking groups up any mountain within the UK under summer conditions.


Training Dates:

9th – 14th April 2023


£380 non residential
£455 residential

Our ML training courses are thorough and up-to date. Our experienced instructors have run many mountain leader courses and take many different groups into the mountains on a regular basis. We will cover all aspects of the syllabus, while tailoring each course, so that extra time is spent on the topics you need to work on.
At the end of the course you will receive individual debriefs on your current standard and key areas to develop if you are aiming for assessment. The course doesn’t end on the last day though, we can also offer advice and answer questions as you practice and develop your mountain leader skills.

ML Training Programme

Day 1: Initial introductions at the centre before moving on to the Welsh hills. Overview of the requirements and the skills needed to be a Mountain Leader, in particular looking at navigation, route choice and general group management. In the evening we run a workshop on mountain weather.
Day 2: After reviewing the weather, we cover further work on macro and micro navigation in the mountains. During the day the contents of a leader’s rucksac will be evaluated plus a continued overview of the mountain environment followed by further work on route choice and methods of managing groups. In the evening we run a workshop on emergency evacuation.
Day 3: Security on steep ground. We move onto a variety of rocky or steep ground features and look at safely managing a group on this ground. This will include grade 1 scrambling ground. Evening workshop covers introducing the rope and uses of an overhand knot.
Day 4: Ropework day. Selecting anchors to safeguard steep steps on ascent and descent, using the rope to safeguard the group and an emergency leader abseil and confidence roping up and down slopes. The evening workshop covers legal responsibilities of a Mountain Leader plus initial preparation for the expedition.
Day 5 & 6: Mountain expedition over the Snowdonia hills. Two days out in the mountains with a wild camp and overview of camp skills. This will include poor visibility navigation and further work on route choice. River crossings will be covered as well over these two days. Return to the centre for debriefs which will finish by 1630.


Assessment Dates:

3rd – 7th April 2023


£400 non residential
£440 residential

Our assessors are supportive and friendly and keen to help you perform to your full potential during your Mountain Leader assessment. They have plenty of assessing experience so know the exact standard required, allowing you to receive a fair ML assessment.
We make sure you are clear on exactly what is required each day and give plenty of time for you to ask questions for clarification. We also see the assessment as an opportunity for further training and hope that you will come away from the course with further useful mountain skills.

ML Assessment Programme

Day 1: Navigation overview on the mountain and initial look at environmental knowledge and route choice.
Day 2: Group management on steep ground. Looking after a group on rocky steps, steep slopes and loose ground as we travel through the mountains. This will include emergency use of a rope.
Day 3, 4 & 5: Mountain expedition days with two wild camps over the ranges in Snowdonia. We will make sure that poor visibility navigation is covered, awareness of mountain hazards, and provide a safe, while enjoyable, day for your group. Debriefs will follow the expedition back at the centre and the course to finish by 1630.


We can provide catered and self catered accommodation during your ML training or assessment course at our centre in Snowdonia, North Wales. This would start on the evening of day 1 of each course. Extra nights can be booked either the night before or after the course. There are shared rooms in the centre or individual rooms at an extra premium. There are communal areas to relax around the centre in the evenings or a friendly public house next door. Self catering prices are £15 pppn, catered £30 pppn.


For Mountain Leader training courses you need to pre-register with Mountain Training and bring along an up to date log book. For the Mountain Leader assessment you need to have either attended a ML training course or have been granted exemption by Mountain Training. You will also need a valid first aid certificate, completed profile page and relevant experience documented.