Mountain Training England has delivered leadership qualifications in mountaineering and climbing for candidates since 1964. Their aim is to educate and train people in walking, climbing and mountaineering. To make this a reality they have developed a range of nationally recognised mountain leadership, instruction and coaching awards, as well as skills courses.
The awards and skills courses are run by approved Providers who are scattered all around the UK and Ireland. When you book onto a course, they’re the ones who will train and assess you, teach you how to climb, navigate, lead etc.
The Climbing Wall Award
Have you ever wanted to teach indoor climbing? This new award was launched by Mountain Training in January 2008.
It is the outcome of considerable consultation with voluntary youth organizations, the education sector and the climbing community. The award will cover the skills and leadership qualities needed to introduce and supervise novice climbers on typical top roping and bouldering climbing walls.
Candidates will learn how to manage groups in a busy indoor climbing environment. They will learn how to carry out appropriate warm-ups and cool downs, to prepare their clients for the activities ahead and to prevent injury. They will learn how to coach climbing techniques and how to spot the potential Leo Holding. They will also learn how to prevent and overcome problems in a simple and safe way.
There is an additional module in supervising abseiling from artificial structures.
Before candidates can attend a training course they must fulfill the following requirements
- be at least 17 years of age
- be registered for the CWA with Mountain Training
- be members of the British Mountaineering Council
- have climbed on at least 3 different walls on 15 occasions, one of which must be a major venue
- have led climbs
- have at least 6 months personal climbing experience
This award will appeal to teachers, youth leaders, scout and Duke of Edinburgh Award supervisors who have access to a climbing wall or artificial climbing/abseiling structure. It is also useful but not essential if candidates have an understanding that climbing indoors is just a small part of climbing and that ultimately climbing is about the big outdoors and the crag environment.
See The Calendar for the next Climbing Wall Award Training and/or Assessment run by Ali Taylor at UCR Bristol. Ring 0117 908 3491 to book a place. Cost: £149 for 2 day Training Course and £85 for Assessment.
Climbing Wall Lead Award
This award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to teach lead climbing skills on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection. It builds on the skills gained through either the Climbing Wall Award or Single Pitch Award, one of which candidates must hold to access the Climbing Wall Leading Award scheme. Registration for the Climbing Wall Leading Award is an application process, during which your experience of logged sessions as a Climbing Wall Award holder or Single Pitch Award holder, along with your personal indoor climbing experience, is taken into account.
The prerequisites for registration are as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must hold either the Climbing Wall Award or the Single Pitch Award
- You must have an up to date logbook (ideally DLOG) with evidence of the following…
- 50 led routes
- Climbed at 3 different major climbing walls
- Belayed a lead climber 50 times
- 25 lead routes at grade F6a on indoor climbing walls
- 20 supervising sessions after passing either Climbing Wall Award or Single Pitch Award
- A referee within your digital logbook who can endorse your experience
If you can tick all of the above boxes, here’s what to do next:
- Log in to the Candidate Management System
- Register for the Climbing Wall Award scheme (this costs £50)
- Notify Mountain Training (via the SEND TO MT button in DLOG) that your DLOG is ready to be reviewed
Training course bookings must not be made until your Climbing Wall Leading Award registration application has been approved by Mountain Training.
See The Calendar for the next Climbing Wall Lead Award Training and/or Climbing Wall Lead Award Assessment run by Ali Taylor at Undercover Rock in Bristol. Training and Assessment cost – £95 including entry to the Climbing Centre. Please ring 0117 941 3489 to book a place.
Site Specific Instructor Courses
There are many climbing walls scattered around the country in sports centres and schools that rarely get used. They are often included in a new school or commercial sports centres but there is no infrastructure to make them work.
The wall needs to be maintained structurally, operating procedures and risk assessments in place, as well as a qualified (minimum MIA) technical adviser who can oversee the whole picture and train instructors to work safely with clients at the new wall.
Instructors can be trained to work solely at one climbing centre – commonly called Site Specific Instructors, enabling them to understand the working systems of that particular centre and learn the necessary techniques and safety implications.
Monsterclimbs has trained Instructors at: Malvern Sports centre, Tewkesbury School, the Summit Climbing Centre,Bargoed, The Warehouse Climbing Centre,Gloucester, Bredon School, Bristol Grammar School, Bishop Rd Primary School, Bristol and North London Collegiate College(pictured).
Instructors learn how to use all the essential equipment and how to transfer this information to their clients whilst managing the dynamics of a group. They become aware of the legal responsibilities of a climbing instructor, of the Duty of Care especially where under 18’s are involved and instructors are working ‘in loco parentis’. They become familiar with the BMC participation statement and the potential for injury and/or death.
They learn different belaying techniques that are appropriate to client needs, whether they are there for a one off session or are actually learning to be independent climbers. By regularly checking equipment and by constant observation they learn to avoid problems and know how to solve them.
Warming up appropriately for climbing is essential to avoid injury and SSI’s develop the skills to do this and learn basic climbing techniques to promote a solid base on which new climbers can build. Indoor climbing is only the tip of the iceberg and new instructors are encouraged to look at the bigger picture to inspire their clients to take climbing beyond the confines of the climbing wall.
A consolidation period follows the training, whereby trainees visit climbing centres and shadow other instructors, assisting where possible to cement their knowledge and extend their experience. The assessment takes the form of running a live group climbing session, which must be safe, informative and fun.
If you have a climbing wall that needs developing please contact Miss Ali Taylor 07814555378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form.
Single Pitch Award Refresher Courses
The Single Pitch Award scheme is for those who are in a position of responsibility during single pitch rock climbing activities. It is primarily concerned with good practice, leading to the safe and quiet enjoyment of the activity. Completion of a training course alone, without passing the assessment course, is not a qualification in itself, although it may be of considerable personal benefit to the trainee.
It is valid throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland (Mountain Training UK National Guidelines 2004) and is recognised by the Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme.
For the purposes of this Single Pitch Award scheme, a single pitch route is one which:
- is climbed without intermediate stances.
- is described as a single pitch in the guidebook.
- allows climbers to be lowered to the ground at all times.
- is non-tidal, non-serious and has little objective danger.
- presents no difficulties on approach or retreat, such as route finding, scrambling or navigating.
Refresher days with Ali Taylor are custom built to ensure you are ready for your assessment. You will be given scenarios based on your strengths and weaknesses and will highlight areas that need further consolidation. Cost per person £140 per day or £95 each for 2 people. Please contact Miss Ali Taylor 07814555378 or email email@example.com or use the contact form for further information or to book a course.
Mountain Leader Refresher Courses
Mountain Leaders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered during your six day training course:
- Group management
- Access and the environment
- Hazards (including steep ground and rivers) and emergency procedures
- Expedition skills
- Background knowledge
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Mountain Leader Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment. Refresher days with Ali Taylor are custom built to ensure you are ready for your assessment. You will be given scenarios in Mountain Environment in North Wales, The Lake District or Dark Peak depending on your location, based on your strengths and weaknesses and will highlight areas that need further consolidation. Cost per person £140 per day or £95 each for 2 people. Discount for 3 or more. Please contact Miss Ali Taylor 07814555378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form for further information or to book a course.