Do you love being up in the mountains, if your anything like me you do. But, have you ever thought about increasing your level of safety by making sure you have the appropriate knowledge of what to do when things go pear-shape, or even better to stop that coming about in the first place. If your anything like me you haven’t.
With Covid putting the brakes on foreign adventures, in the UK people are inevitably going to think about the Lake district, the Peak district and the Highlands. So, maybe it is time to start thinking about mountain safety, its always better to be prepared.
Then of course there are other things that we might benefit from such as navigation skills; introductions to rock climbing; footwork; route planning; avalanche awareness; climbing and much more.
Well as I mentioned I am not exactly on top of the game and have never really thought beyond a casual, unprepared jaunt up a well worn path in the Lakes in the middle of the summer when there are a throng of other casuals doing the same thing. Google as ever is our friend and the results made me think a bit. So, I started on the BMC website, and pretty soon realised becoming better prepared could open up a whole new interest or at least a more rewarding and deeper one. Even if all you want to do is stick with Hillwalking they have a lot to offer and can almost certainly help you find a club near you with whose members you can share in the experiences of likeminded people, share transport and just socialise.
Of course, they are not the only place to look. I said I started with Google but actually it was through my Facebook news stream where I saw a link to AFS Mountaineering who also offer a number of courses but also guiding, wilderness treks, climbing and winter mountaineering activities.
My simple googling also found Peak Mountain Training who certainly have some interesting qualifications, with their guys holding the IFMGA carnet, said to be:
“the highest qualification in the world for leading people in the mountains, be it skiing, climbing or mountaineering.”
The IFMGA carnet is issued by British Mountain Guides the organisation and national association that trains the trainers; training and assessing mountain guides in all forms of climbing, mountaineering and ski mountaineering. The only UK qualification valid abroad for climbing and skiing in high or glaciated mountain terrain.
So maybe, just maybe, its time to delve a little deeper and open up the vistas I have long dreamed of.
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