Updated: Feb 2, 2020
Whilst I was still at school I sent a letter off to Mountain Training requesting the scheme booklets for the Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA) and Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC), I still have them in my mum's attic somewhere. These slightly confusingly named qualifications were the ones which qualify holders to teach pretty much all things climbing and mountain in the UK, in summer (Award) and winter (Certificate). They have since been renamed to Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor add Winter to the front of that for... you guessed it, the winter version.
To me at the age of 16 or so and really only just starting out climbing and hill walking, they seemed almost unobtainable and the people who had these tickets were like mountain gods or something. The instructors I met seemed to have so much experience, with tales and annecdotes to back up the things they were teaching me when I went on a couple of courses at Plas y Brenin, tha