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NOT how to pass your Mountain Leader

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

We’re too often guilty of teaching people how to pass exams and qualifications, myself included by writing blogs like “How to pass your ML”. This has even been mooted as one of the reasons the Mountaineering Instructor Award pass rate is so low.

This brief blog therefore isn’t how to pass your ML, it’s how can you be a great ML. I think there’s a difference.

Be a people person. If you’re not then being a great ML could prove tricky. Don’t get me wrong there’s loads of grumpy MLs, but you want to be one of the best right?

Be knowledgeable. What’s that bright flower? What’s a contour? Why’s there a duck on the map? What Rock is this? Who won the footie last night? What’s Gore Tex made of? Is that a sheep? Why’s there no trees? What do you think about austerity in the UK? We need to know about our environment but equally we need to be able to hold a conversation with people from all walks of life.

Be safe. Well yes it is a given that your technical ability to navigate, travel through steep ground, set up camp etc, all whilst looking as cool as a cucumber, needs to be well dialled. You’ll gain all that through experience, if you’re rusty go out and practice.

Never stop learning. Develop. Go on CPD courses, learn from others, do more qualifications. The day we think we know it all is a sad day.Love what you do, be inspiring, be a role model. Being out in the mountains sharing your passion and enthusiasm gained from all your experience, teaching people all sorts of things along the way whether that’s navigation skills or camping tips. Easiest thing in the world surely!

So what does your assessor want to see on your assessment? Who cares?! Of course to be a quality ML you need to pass your assessment first, but honestly, go and have a lovely time being a great ML and you’ll pass.

Like a meerkat might say, “simples”.

This might not be the most in depth blog I’ve ever done, and I’m not even touching on the obvious things such as being professional, punctual, presentable etc., but I hope it stimulates some thought.

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