Rob Johnson
Mountaineering Instructor (MIC)
& International Mountain Leader
Photo: Admiring the Milky Way on an ML Training Wild Camp

Mountain Leader Training

A Mountain Leader training course based in Snowdonia, North Wales for people who want to lead groups in the mountains of the UK.
Price: £330 per person
Ratio: 1:6
Previous experience: You need to have registered for the ML and have met the pre-requirements of MTUK.
Length: 6 days

Who is the course suitable for?
The mountains of the UK are remote, technical and exposed to harsh and unpredictable weather. This makes them a hazardous place for novice walkers and the ML is designed to help responsible leaders who wish to operate in mountainous terrain in summer conditions. ML courses develop your group management skills, the ability to navigate in all conditions, the ability to deal with mountain hazards (including steep ground) and increase your awareness of environmental issues. There is an expedition element to the scheme. The Mountain Leader scheme is overseen by Mountain Training UK (MTUK). For full details and to register click here.

How does the Mountain Leader Scheme work?
Here is a summary of the process from start to finish in gaining the Mountain Leader award:

*The definition of a quality mountain day and mountainous areas can be found here.

What does the course cover?
We course follows the MTUK syllabus and comprises full practical days out in the mountains and evening lectures. Here is a sample timetable that may be subject to change based on the weather:

We will meet in the morning, collate logbooks and discuss the aims and objectives for the week, introduce the scheme and then head out for a mountain navigation day. It is essential that a mountain leader can navigate competently. We will look at micro navigation skills to ensure that each candidate is at the same level and we will also look at how to introduce these skills to others including topics such as how people learn and tips and techniques for teaching navigation.
Evening lecture - mountain weather forecasting

After looking at the weather forecast for the day we will undertake a mountain day looking at macro navigation skills and undertaking a Quality Mountain Day, as defined by MTUK. At the start of the day we will look at the equipment a Mountain Leader should carry. During the day we will look at access and conservation issues and mountain hazards including improvised problem solving techniques in the mountains.
Evening lecture - Group management and the legal and moral responsibilities of being a Mountain Leader.

Mountain day looking at leadership and group management skills including route finding, security on steep ground and the mountain environment.
Evening session - Introduction to ropework for the Mountain Leader and visit to Llanberis Mountain Rescue team base to look at the role & structure of Mountain Rescue and how an ML can assist if a member of their group requires evacuation or treatment.

Emergency use of the rope as a Mountain Leader. We will spend a day looking at the practical use of the rope within the context of the ML scheme, this includes confidence roping, short pitches in ascent and descent, anchor selection and abseiling. This day is spent as part of a wider journey on grade 1 ground in the mountains so that it is taught in context rather than a static day where skills are learnt in isolation.

Evening session preparing for the expedition including a discussion on the use of route plans and remote supervision within the context of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Thursday & Friday
We will head out into the mountains for an overnight wild camping expedition. Over the two days we will look further at navigation skills and leadership and we will do a night navigation exercise. We will also look at wild camping skills and how we can introduce clients to this side of travel in the mountains. We will also discuss mountain safety & emergency procedures. On the way out from the expedition we will look at a river crossing session and then individual debriefs before the course ends.


Who runs the course?
The course is directed by me, Rob Johnson and by my fellow instructor Huw Gilbert. We both hold the MIC and I also hold the IML qualification and we have many years of practical experience of working with a wide range of clients. During the week we can also offer advice and assitance in making a living as a self employed Mountain Leader and we are also assisted by other local Mountaineering Instructors throughout the week so that you get a balanced view and some different opinions. My practical experience on the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team also adds an additional element to the course. I am an approved provider through Mountain Training Cymru, provider number 1554. You can join our course in Wales whether you are registered with Mountain Training in England, Wales or Scotland. You can view my MT profile here.

Pre-Requirements & Personal Fitness
In order to attend a training course you must be registered with the Mountain Leader Scheme and have experienced at least twenty quality mountain days. You must arrive with an MLT logbook that records your previous experience. The six consecutive days in the mountains make for a physical week, especially with the expedition element where you will be carrying a heavy pack and be out over night doing night navigation. You should be hill fit and able to operate within a comfort zone where your own fitness is not a limiting factor, the course concentrates on looking after others and your fitness should reflect this. Part of the syllabus examines leadership skills on steep ground (upto grade 1) and you should be happy operating in this type of ground.

Where and when is the course held?
We run the course in Snowdonia and use a variety of mountain locations throughout the week. Training and assessment courses are run throughout the year and dates of open courses and spaces available can be found on the diary page. If you have a group who would like to undertake a training or assessment course we can arrange dates to suit your requirements.

What about accommodation?
You will need to arrange your own transport and accommodation. The course will be based at Plas Curig Hostel in Capel Curig. Formerly a YHA the hostel is now a family run business that has been extensively refurbished in 2011. You can choose single or bunk rooms dependant upon budget and you can self cater or choose to eat in or at one of the nearby pubs. We do not get involved in organising accommodation and you are free to source alternatives if you prefer.

When does this course run?
You can view the dates of all of our courses throughout the year on the diary page. Below are forthcoming dates, the spaces are not always as accurate as the diary page:


Other Questions
If you have any questions that you can't find answers to on the website visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch. We look forward to meeting you!

Other Pages of Interest
If you would like to prepare for ML Training you could consider:
2 day mountain navigation and hill skills course
5 day mountain navigation & scrambling course

If you have done your training we can offer ML Assessment courses.

The following page is a great resource for understanding weather:




Book this Course

If you have any questions about booking a course then please just email. Booking is a simple two stage process:

1. Choose a date.
Visit the diary page for details of open course availability

2. Book the course
Online: You can book online securely by clicking on the "buy now" button
Download a postal booking form from our booking page.

Deposit Option: If you are booking more than 8 weeks in advance you can choose to pay a deposit of £100 to secure your booking. Click here to pay a deposit.

Funding: If you are a teacher or youth group leader and require an invoice please email me and we will email an invoice across to you. Once payment has been received we will allocate your course space. Alternatively your school or employer can use a school debit card to book online below.

Course type Location Price Quantity  
Mountain Leader Training Snowdonia £330 pp




Useful Links

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Mountain Training UK


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Instructors Tips

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Instructors Tips

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A HUGE thank you to @RobJohnsonMIC for this weeks ML training. Passionate, humble and very knowledgable. Highly recommended @MtnTraining ! Callum - ML Training - May 2015

Hello Rob,

I just wanted to email with a quick message to express my gratitude for the ML training you recently provided. It was a thoroughly enjoyable week and so beneficial to learn new skills and further develop my existing ones.
Please do pass on my thanks to Jez and Huw as well, they were both a joy to learn from and clearly experienced professionals.

I hope to be ready for assessment some time in 2017 so I will perhaps cross paths with you again then.

Thank you once again.

Kind regards

Adam - October 2015

ML course was awesome and a very high level of instruction from Rob and Huw who were willing to go the extra mile, give advice and answer literally hundreds of questions. highly recommended.
David - ML Training May 2014

Just wanted to thank you again for this week Rob, it's been absolutely brilliant and learned a great deal. Thought the delivery of the training was top draw. Ill be happy to recommend you to others. Take care, hopefully see you again soon.

Wayne, ML Training - July 2013

Morning Rob,
Just a quick line to thank you for last week. I really enjoyed it and whilst it was a learning curve, it felt like a week on the hills with a few pals….. perfect!
Just so you know, I can now do a perfect overhand knot (practiced on Friday night!) and have bought a lime green Jet Boil and a scrambling book for the Dark Peak! Trangia, what trangia.
Have a good week and stay safe - Richard. ML Training April 2013

Hi Rob, thanks for a great course, very informative but in a relaxed atmosphere that's given me new skills & honed in some existing ones as well. Paul - ML Training August 2012

Hi Rob, Thanks again for being so brilliant, I really enjoyed the course and learnt so much over the 6 days! Cheers, Sarah ML Training August 2012

Rob, thanks again for a cracking 6 days of ML training.....only one more thing to say " tra la la la la". Cheers buddy. Simon - ML Training November 2011

Have to agree with Simon, it was brilliant, learnt so much, many thanks!!! Nik - ML Training November 2011

Read more testimonials here.





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