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Mountain Skills Courses - Learn skills for walking

Hill & mountain skills course

A Hill & Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for people interested in exploring mountainous terrain and want to develop their confidence in the mountains.  This is our recommended course for those looking to gain independence for hill walking in the UK mountains. 


Our Hill & Mountain skills courses are accredited by Mountain Training.  

You will receive accreditation for this course, we will register you on the scheme with Mountain Training and create an account for you  

Participant Handbook - Click Here 

2 DAY COURSE (18hrs)


Itinerary PDF - Click Here

View Dates Below

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A Hill & Mountain Skills course will start with an opportunity to meet the other people on the course and take part in a short planning session with the course tutor. After that you will be out in the mountains, moving away from marked paths and into steeper, rockier terrain in order to learn about the differences in weather, navigation and managing risk in the mountain environment.

The physical effort required on these days will be more demanding than the Hill Skills course and you can expect to be out in the mountains for between 5-6 hours. Day 1 will be an extended day so that we can either walk into darkness or have an additional teaching session on other elements of the course syllabus.

On day 1, we will meet Honister Slate Mine and use the cafe for meetings, briefings and course background before we head out onto the hill to cover the navigation elements of the syllabus around the Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike area. 

Day 2 will meet in Seathwaite, ready for an adventure day towards the mountains of Great End and Great Gable, looking at moving onto some steeper and rockier terrain as we ascend towards a mountain summit high above Borrowdale. 



How to successfully plan a walk in the mountains in the UK or Ireland.

Planning tools and setting up for success.

Walking skills 

What things should you consider while out walking and what can make life easier (pace, nutrition, movement skills, steep ground etc).

Scrambling skills and efficient steep ground techniques.

Clothing and equipment 

Being suitably dressed and equipped can make the difference between a great day out and a complete disaster. 

Learn how to efficiently pack a rucksack. 


How it affects the mountains and your day out.

Where do we get wether forecasts?

How to interpret synoptic charts and other weather models.

Understand the effects of cold and warm fronts. 

Navigation in the mountains 

Everything from selecting a compass and using a map to navigation in poor visibility and an intro to GPS.

Understanding the map.

Technique for effective navigation: Distance, Duration, Direction, Description.

Angle, Aspect, Altitude. 

Contour interpretation. 

Using a compass and taking a bearing. 



Environmental knowledge

How to minimise your impact on the hill, information on good practice and useful organisations.

Learn about flora, fauna, lichen, geology and more! 

Hazards and emergency procedures in the mountains 

How to respond to any hazards you encounter and what to do in an emergency.

What to pack for mountain emergencies. 

How to call Mountain Rescue and give an accurate location and what information is needed when making a call.  

hill walking and mountain skills
mountain emergency procedures


Be able to plan routes effectively and tackle them in all weather 

Have the confidence to move away from marked paths and into steeper, rockier terrain and know more about the differences in weather, navigation and managing risk in the mountain environment.

Be able to confidently navigate in mountainous terrain using a series of techniques such as timing, pacing and contour interpretation



Small Group Sizes:

Our low instructor-to-participant ratio ensures personalised attention and maximum learning opportunities.

Certified Instructors:

Our experienced and certified instructors are dedicated to your safety and skill development.

Real-World Application:

The course is designed to equip you with practical skills for independent adventures in the UK mountains.

Beautiful Locations:

Enjoy learning in some of the most scenic mountainous areas of the UK.  This area of the Lakes is stunning!


We will register you on the Mountain Training website, once registered you will have:

Access to the Mountain Training Digital Logbook (DLOG)

A copy of the ‘Safety on Mountains’ book *

Timing card *

Certificate of attendance upon completion *

Access to technical advice from Mountain Training

15% off with Cotswold Outdoor

*Given out on the course


6th-7th April 2024

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25th-26th May 2024

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10th-11th August 2024

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28th-29th September 2024

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19th-20th October 2024

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Course Ratios

1:6 Ratio 

This is an open course designed for you to meet like minded individuals 

An instructor can teach up to 8 people on this course - we can provide additional instructors adhering to a 1:6 ratio. 

Minimum of 2 for courses to run

We can run bespoke courses all year round, please get in touch to organise a private course for you and your group


16+ yrs to attend this course


Under 18's must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian

We can accommodate under 16's on private days.  This means you can attend as a family for example. (12+)

Basic hill walking experience desirable

We want to help you develop your walking skills to be independent in the mountains so you can achieve all of your mountain walking aspirations 


We will share kit lists with you during the booking stage

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

A good rucksack to carry everything you need for the day is advisable

Lunch, snacks and water for a full day

15% off with Cotswold Outdoor and Snow and Rock when booking this course; this will help you kit yourself out for the mountains


These courses use the North Lakes and we will meet at Honister Slate Mine cafe on the first day for 9:00am


There are public transport links from Keswick, or we can look set up car shares. 

For day 2, we will meet at Seathwaite in Borrowdale and use the mountain areas around here towards Great End/Great Gable/Scafell Pike

This is a great opportunity to get high in the Lakeland fells and learn some vital skills towards mountain safety 

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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Hire our Lake District Mountaineering instructors for private and tailored programmes.

Suited to your goals & ambitions to make the most of YOUR time in the mountains. 

Day rates: 

1:1 £195

1:2 £110pp

3 or more: £140pp

for a 2 day course

Hill and Mountain Skills Courses


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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