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ML assessment course - lake district

mountain leader course


Join Lake District Mountaineering to undertake your five day Mountain Leader assessment course in the North-West Lake District.  Come along to demonstrate your skills in the mountains of Buttermere, Ennerdale and Borrowdale in a supportive environment. 


The Mountain Leader Assessment course is a Mountain Training qualification.

You must meet the pre-requisites and have attended the Mountain Leader Training course to book.  


Course Handbook - Click Here


PRICES: £430pp

View Dates Below

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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.

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You must be at least 18 years old

You should have at least a year’s worth of mountain walking experience

You should have an interest in leading groups in the mountains

You must be a member (club or individual) of a mountaineering council (BMC, Mountaineering Ireland, Mountaineering Scotland). 

You must create an account on our system and register for the Mountain Leader qualification (cost: £65)

You must have attended the Mountain Leader Training course (any provider) before booking and attending the assessment


Have been assessed fairly in conjunction with the Mountain Leader assessment syllabus, 

Attained a pass, defer or fail result, 

Understand your next steps and be able to develop yourself personally and professionally in relation to the scheme.


Certified Instructors:

Our experienced and certified instructors are dedicated to your safety and skill development.  We are an approved provider for Mountain Training. 

Real-World Application:

The course is designed to equip you with practical skills to undertake the consolidation period and subsequent assessment within the ML scheme. 

Beautiful Locations:

Enjoy learning in some of the most scenic environments in the Lake District.  The western fells and north western fells are quiet, have a remote feel and offer amazing opportunities for mountain learning.


11th-15th Nov

Book Now 

If you are a group of four, or an organisation looking to undertake an assessment privately please contact us and we can arrange this for you.

Course Ratios

1:4 Ratio 

 Min. course size: 2

Max. course size: 8

All candidates will work with more than one assessor during the course.

Course directors hold the WMCI/MCI awards and WML award, plus national Mountain Training organisation requirements.

Experienced ML course staff mean you get great input from instructors that are current and passionate. 


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.

Register here


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

What is a quality mountain day?


We will share a fully comprehensive kit list with you during the booking stage.

You will need to wear suitable outdoor clothing (warm and waterproof) and suitable mountain footwear (boots).

We have a small selection of tents for hire but likely you will need your own. Sometimes it is possible to share tents. 

 Your sleeping arrangements will need to be your own. 

We are happy to discuss your requirements and kit for camping.


This course is delivered from the Buttermere YHA.

It is recommended that you use the accommodation here at the YHA.

We may meet on location on some days of the course, so we can be ready and on the hill quickly, but course intros and evening sessions will be held at the YHA. 

If you need transport during the course, we may able to get you to  lift share with other candidates or an instructor. 

this course is accredited to mountain training

Mountain Training is the collection of awarding bodies for skills courses and qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering that operates across the UK and The Republic Of Ireland.

Our qualifications train and assess people to look after other people in these environments, whether that's leading a walk in the mountains, coaching in a climbing wall or teaching multi pitch rock climbing. People who hold our qualifications have been assessed at a nationally agreed standard.

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Our Vision

A diverse and active outdoor society, supported by inspirational leaders, instructors and coaches.

Our Mission

To inspire, enable and develop people in walking, climbing and mountaineering through the provision of nationally and internationally recognised skills training and leadership qualifications.

Our Ethos - Click here to view 

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Support for people 

Mountain Training is committed to ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to attend our courses. We work in close partnership with the mountaineering councils and a key strand of their work is to ensure that participation is open to all. The BMC Equity Steering Group and initiatives like Adventure for All have been central to this and are an excellent source of information.

Reasonable Adjustment Guidance 

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We look forward to hearing from you and working towards your mountaineering ambitions and helping to achieve your goals. 

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If calls are missed we will respond when possible, please leave a voicemail or text message where possible.

Thank you

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