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Mountain Leader Assessment

Qualify LEVEL | 5 day(s) | Ratio 1:4 | From £460.00

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The Mountain Leader Award (ML) was established in 1964 to promote the safe enjoyment of the hills and mountains. The scheme provides training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required by those who wish to lead groups in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the United Kingdom and Ireland under summer conditions. It integrates experience, training and assessment in a variety of testing conditions in mountainous country. Before you book onto a Mountain Leader assessment, make sure you have done the following: You must have attended a Mountain Leader training course (or have been granted exemption) You must be familiar with the syllabus You must have logged a minimum of 40 Quality Mountain Days in three different regions of the UK and Ireland You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as a Mountain Leader You must have logged at least 8 nights camping, including at least 4 nights wild camping The Mountain Leader assessment is 5 days long and includes a two night expedition.

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The scheme provides training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required by those who wish to lead groups in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the United Kingdom and Ireland, other than in winter conditions. It integrates experience, training and assessment in a variety of testing conditions in mountainous country.


You need to have:

Completed the Mountain Leader training course or obtained a letter of exemption from training from Mountain Training

A First aid certificate (If you do not have a valid first aid certificate, we will charge an administrative re-assessment fee of £100 when you subsequently re-submit your log book).

A Completed logbook. It is a requirement that you have a minimum of 40 QMDs when you come to assessment and that these are clearly recorded in your Dlog.

QMDs For summer ML a QMD is clearly defined within the MTUK Dlog informtaion, in all the ML award information on their website and during your training course.

Glenmore Lodge is keen to support candidates gaining a successful result. Currently a lack of QMDs is a significant yet unnecessary reason for deferral across the UK for this award and it is usually reflected in the performance on the hill. To be clear your training course does not count as these are not self planned and managed days. The vast majority of days should be in the UK and in summer conditions. Duplicate days do not usually count nor a skills training day a couple of kms from the car. It is entirely within the hands of the candidate to meet this requirement in their own time and clearly record it.  Please ensure you comply with this requirement of becoming a mountain leader.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have updated your Dlog on the Mountain Training Candidate Management System and have logged evidence of 40 Quality Mountain Days

Your course director will check your Dlog ONE WEEK prior to the start of your course.  If you have not logged the appropriate number of Quality Mountain Days at that stage, then you will not be allowed to attend the course and no refund will be given. Need a reminder of what a Quality Mountain Day is, then check out Mountain Leader FAQs (


Prior to booking this assessment course you must have: Completed the formal ML award six day training course or successfully gained exemption from training. (Please note that the military courses such as MT /UEL/JSMEL do not currently count as the formal ML training course).

Prior to attending assessment, you must have: Completed and recorded in DLog or a log book with an absolute minimum of 40 quality mountain days. This needs to be done before you arrive. Completed the written home paper – ideally printed and bring with you. This needs to be done before you arrive. Prepared 2 x 5 minute talks on an environmental subject. This needs to be done before you arrive. A valid and current 16 hour First Aid Certificate. Remember to bring it with you.


Please ensure you meet the minimum pre-requirements above. It should be borne in mind that candidates who present themselves for assessment with the minimum number of quality mountain days tend to find the assessment process challenging. It is our recommendation that you have in excess of this number as you will find the assessment less challenging.

The syllabus is contained in the Mountain Leader Award Handbook which you receive on registering with the ML Scheme. This assessment course is five days long, ending late on Friday afternoon.

Although the course is divided, with certain days concentrating on specific aspects it is not viewed as a modular type of assessment. The assessment looks at your overall performance over 5 days. The first two days are day walks on the hill looking at leadership, navigation, security on steep ground, water hazards emergency proceedures the hill environment and the contents of a leaders rucsac. The last 3 days are an expedition, camping over 2 nights. All of the above topic areas may be revisited and there is camp craft and environmental topics to be covered as well. This outline programme may be amended due to weather or other constraints.

Home Paper

A home written paper is at the end of this information, please research and complete it to bring with you.

Environmental Talk

You will need to prepare 1 x 5 minute environmental talks to be given on the hill during the course. They ought to have significance to the general UK mountain environment. These are assessed and the topics can range from flora, fauna & lichens to landscape, history, aspects of land management, animal husbandry, access, footpaths, glaciology, food chains, birds, forestry, military history, geology, climate, historical, social and economic benefits of outdoor sports. The list goes on and the aim is to broaden everyone’s knowledge of the mountain environment as the week goes on. As these talks are usually done outside on the hill you may want a few notes or other props in a plastic bag. If you see something relevant to your subject then grab the opportunity to do your chat.

This is assessed and requires some preparation. Please do call if you need any further guidance on this.  Please note that although you will be presenting these formal chats on the hill, you are expected to have a wider knowledge of the mountain environment than just what is contained in your talk so please be prepared to be asked about all aspects of the mountain environment in addition to your formal talk on the hill.

Step 1

Book your course place online

Step 2

Call to book accommodation. Prices from £60pn


(with accommodation)
(no accommodation)
Date05/08/24Cost (with accommodation)Call Us – Prices from £60pnCost (no accommodation)£460.00PlacesFULL Contact Us
Date09/09/24Cost (with accommodation)Call Us – Prices from £60pnCost (no accommodation)£460.00PlacesFULL Contact Us
Date14/10/24Cost (with accommodation)Call Us – Prices from £60pnCost (no accommodation)£460.00Places
Date21/10/24Cost (with accommodation)Call Us – Prices from £60pnCost (no accommodation)£460.00Places
Need a different date? Call 01479 861 256 to arrange your own date, or email [email protected]


Start Time:
End Time:
Meeting at:
Glenmore Lodge



Use of kit

Packed lunch and afternoon tea each day

In-course transport


Accommodation in an en-suite bedroom.  If booking as an Individual, you will not be asked to share with a stranger.

Breakfast for each course day (except one day and back-to-back courses).

Dinner for each course day (except the final day, and on one day or back-to-back courses).

Use of the facilities at Glenmore Lodge.

Linen is provided along with a towel, you may wish to bring an extra towel if you would like to use the facilities.



Glenmore Lodge has a large, and very comprehensive store of up to date clothing and equipment. Although we can supply most equipment you will need, at this level you are encouraged to use your own hill gear including emergency gear, tent, stove etc. (Your instructor will of course want to check that personal equipment is appropriate for the activity).

YOU WILL NEED (Glenmore Lodge can provide if required)

  • Waterproof jackets and trouser
  • Insulated synthetic jacket
  • Appropriate footwear for the attended course
  • Gaiters
  • Helmet
  • 40lt rucksack
  • Walking poles
  • Expedition kit (tent, sleeping bag & mat, stove etc)


Listed here are the essentials, this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Personal clothing
  • Warm outdoor wear
  • Insulating layers
  • Trekking / climbing trousers (not cotton)
  • Hat & gloves –  leather palmed Belay Gloves are useful for rope work scenarios.
  • Whistle
  • Compass – Silva type 4 recommended with a 1:40,000 romer
  • Waterproof map case (maps and map cases are not a stores item but can be purchased from our shop)
  • Rucksack liner (or sturdy bin liner) / dry bags
  •  Hydration system (water bottle)
  • Box or bag for packed lunch
  • Personal first aid kit
  •  Personal toiletries & medications (towels are provided)
  • Suncream, sunglasses & sun hat
  • Insect repellent

Map information – we encourage everyone on mountain courses to have a map covering the Northern Cairngorms with a 10km radius from the ski area. There are now a range of scales and maps available OS 1:50,000, OS 1:25,000 and Harvey Map 1:40,000. For candidates on any NGB course such as Mountain Leader summer, you should have a 1:50,000 map and ideally one other scale. For non-qualification courses any scale is fine, OS 1:50,000 map sheet 36 covers the widest area, but the Harvey 1:40,000 has a lot of additional information on the back of it, however it is useful to have the Silva Mark 4 compass with the 1:40,000 scale on it, (only available since 2010)

If you have digital mapping and can print off map sheets a suggested area would be:

NW corner NH8514         NE corner NJ0314

SW corner NN8593          SE corner NO0393

  Glennmore Lodge will provide any technical equipment required on a skills course e.g. climbing ropes and racks. However it would be expected that students attending any climbing NGB courses will have their own technical equipment other than ropes which Glenmore Lodge will provide.

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Can't find exactly what you are looking for? We are happy to create it for you. You can hire one of our instructors or guides from as little as £280 a day, including any equipment. If you’re a group, all of our courses are available on a date that suits you or if you would prefer we can tailor a course to your requirements. Simply get in touch to discuss your requirements.