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2016 Mountaineering, Matt Harmon, Mountain Leader Assessment

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The Jack Bloor fund helped me to complete the Summer Mountain Leader award by contributing costs towards both the training and assessments part of the course. The Mountain Leader award is designed for people who lead groups in the mountains, moorland and hills in the UK and Ireland. My parents have taken me walking in the mountains since I was a kid and during University, my relationship with mountains has only grown. I have spent most of my free time over the last few years escaping the city of Sheffield and heading wherever the weather looked good- Wales, Lakes, Scotland, Cornwall, even the Alps have been visited, and many an adventure had. By completing this award I will be able to share my enthusiasm of the outdoors with others and allow them to enjoy mountainous areas safely.



My training course took place over six days in October 2015 at the national mountain centre, Plas-Y- Brenin (PYB) in Capel Curig, Wales. The weather was surprisingly good for October with only one day of rain during day one of the expedition and night navigation elements. Each day had a different focus with the two-day expedition at the end of the week to allow the camp craft and night navigation skills to be taught/practised. Feedback from the assessors at the end of the week was positive only minor things to improve on, mainly learning more flora and fauna.


Before the training course, I had thought I would need a longer consolidation time but with the positive feedback from the assessors and the 40 quality mountain days already acquired I resolved to get my assessment done as soon as possible. After getting a few more wild camps in April 2016 (an amazing week of bagging Munroe’s in Scotland) to fulfil the pre-requisite requirements I booked the assessment course for August 2016 at PYB. A scheduling oversight meant I completed an ultramarathon the weekend before starting the five-day course on the Monday, so my main concern for the course was being recovered enough to keep up with everyone! Luckily, the weather was perfect, little wind and no rain at all until the final morning of day five, which as it was the final day of the expedition element, all we had to do was walk out of the hills to the waiting minibuses. I was delighted to find out on the Friday afternoon that I had passed. I had felt strong all of the week, with no major slip ups that helped keep me relaxed and led to an extremely enjoyable week.

A huge thanks to the Jack Bloor fund for helping through this essential award.Β 

Camp after day one of expedition

Camp after day one of expedition