Hill & Mountain Skills

Walking in the hills can be a daunting prospect if you have never done it before. To stay safe and enjoy your time on the hill you need some basic skills and expertise to guide you on your way. The Mountain Training Hill & Mountain Skills courses are designed to teach you just that.
They aim to equip you with the basic knowledge and safety skills required to participate in hill and mountain walking in your own time. People hill walk for many reasons, but a significant motivating factor is the sense of freedom that you gain from exploring the great outdoors.

Discovering new places and challenging yourself adds to the whole experience and within the UK and Ireland there are vast areas to explore and enjoy.

Which Course is for me?

There are two courses as part of the scheme: Hill Skills and Mountain Skills. Both are open to anyone aged 12 or over. The Hill Skills course is the introductory to hillwalking and the Mountain Skills is a progression on from this. Prior to attending a course, candidates must register with Mountain Training.

This can be done here: http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/hill-and-mountain-skills

Hill Skills

The Hill Skills course is your key to getting started in countryside and moorland walking. There is no experience of hill walking required to attend a Hill Skills course because the content of the course is aimed at beginners. If you do have some experience of hill walking but aren’t confident about planning walks, navigating and understanding the equipment required, then the Hill Skills course is an ideal way to learn.

During a Hill Skills course, you can expect to start each day at about 9am. The first part of the course is spent indoors, getting to know the other people on the course and gaining an understanding of basic hill walking planning. The Tutor will outline the plans for the course before you head out into the hills. The end of the day will usually involve a short indoor session to review the day and plan the following days’ outing.

You can expect to be out walking each day for around 4-5 hours and generally on Hill Skills courses this will be on footpaths or trails that are rough underfoot. Much of the journey during the course will involve learning opportunities and as such, the pace of the day is friendly and will include plenty of breaks.

Our Hill Skills courses take place in the Cheviots.

What does the Hill Skills course cover?

Planning

how to successfully plan a hill walk in the UK or Ireland.

Walking skills

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

Clothing and equipment

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

Weather

how it affects the hills and your day out.

Navigation in the hills

everything from selecting a compass to navigation strategies and an intro to GPS.

Environmental knowledge

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

Hazards and emergency procedures in the hills

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

Mountain Skills

The Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for walkers interested in transferring their walking skills to more mountainous terrain. Ideally, participants would have some basic hill walking experience and have a reasonable level of fitness. Courses are run in the higher mountain areas of the UK and Ireland.
A 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 Tutor. After that you will be out in the mountains, moving away from the trails 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. In addition, many of our Providers will run an evening session that can either be a walk into darkness or an additional teaching session on other elements of the course syllabus.

Mountain Skills courses take place in Borrowdale, in the Lake District.

What does the Mountain Skills course cover?

Planning

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

Walking skills

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

Clothing and equipment

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

Weather

how it affects the mountains and your day out.

Navigation in the hills

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

Environmental knowledge

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

Hazards and emergency procedures in the hills

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

There is a one-off registration cost:

For 12 -17 years: free
For 18 years and over: £20

This is in addition to the Course cost of £130 per person.

The courses are non residential; however we can recommend various accommodation options in the area the course will be taking place.
Book your place via the booking system below, or, complete and return a Booking Form.

Ready to get started?

Book your next adventure

This is a list of upcoming courses. If the dates you require aren’t listed, or you would like to arrange a private Course, please get in touch. You can reserve places on a course by clicking on Book. Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking.