Mountain Training & Education

For a full list of courses and training information visit Mountaineering Irelands website

Mountaineering Council of Ireland Recognised Courses

The Mountain Skills (MS)
The MS training scheme is for hillwalkers. The course provides all the basic skills required to walk safely and competently in Ireland, when accompanied by people of similar ability. The training does not include leadership skills /techniques. It is suitable for near beginners to those with considerable experience. Topics covered include route planning, equipment, map-reading, navigation techniques, movement on steep ground and coping with emergencies. Typically the training is divided into two blocks MS1 and MS2, each run over a two day period.
Details are available on their site.

The Walking Group Leader Award (WGL)
The WGL trains and assesses people in the skills required for leading walking parties on the easier hills in Ireland and Britain. This award is below the level of the ML, as the terrain for WGL is limited to non-mountainous areas that do not have steep or broken ground. Before registration, WGL trainees must have a minimum of one year’s walking experience and must have logged at least 20 walks in suitable terrain. Training includes group management skills, navigation, understanding upland hazards, awareness of environmental issues and more. Training and assessment courses are both three days.
Details are available on the website.

The Mountain Leadership (ML)
The ML scheme is intended for those who wish to lead others, particularly beginners or young people, across the mountains of Ireland and Britain. It is ideal for teachers, youth leaders and hike leaders in mountaineering clubs. Even for those without leadership ambitions, it is a useful way of learning more about topics such as navigating in difficult conditions or coping with steep ground, and overnight camping. Trainees must pass the Mountain Skills assessment before starting ML training (5 days). Trainees who complete the ML scheme and successfully pass a 3-day assessment are granted the ML award.
Download course details and syllabus >>>Mountain Leader Award

Useful books

Navigation for Walkers
A great book for starting out in navigation. Bought in 53 Degrees North in Carrickmines for €13 and available on Amazon etc. Easy to read with good sections which relate the map to the landscape by using a picture above the map.

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From the Author
Hello. While teaching map and compass courses over a number of years I have refined my understanding of the navigation process – as they say: if you want to learn a subject, teach it. Knowing too that using a map to do a walk is much better than taking one from a guide book, it occurred to me that a book might bring the mysterious art to wider audience. Thus I hope that many people will now feel they can gain the freedom that only maps can bring to explore the UK’s magnificent public footpath network. This book is aimed primarily at people starting to do their own walks, or maybe graduating from guide books to maps. It offers quite a bit too if you want to brush up on basic skills.

The chapters build up logically from “What is a map?” through visualising the countryside, and reading the route, to navigating a walk. We look at using a compass to set the map and to point the way. There are chapters too on planning a walk, the extra techniques of hill and moorland navigation, and strategies to use if lost. Over the years on my own walks I have assembled numerous attractive photographs which illustrate map-reading points, and these appear with the related map extract alongside so you can compare the two, this being the bread and butter of map reading. The extracts come from Ordnance Survey maps at the two main scales for walkers. I wanted the book not only to do a thorough job but also to look good with profuse colour illustrations. And I wanted the book to be fun to use.

Here are a few snippets from some reviews: “Will embolden even total duffers.” The Times. “Unusually well organised and well illustrated.” Manchester Evening News. “And most impressively, how to translate lines and symbols into the living landscape.” Birds (RSPB) Magazine. “Delicious photographs…..massively competent.” The School Librarian.

Julian Tippett


Product Description
It is being used as the reference book so l am told for the Mountain leaders and Walking leaders courses.
This is a major reference book for every walker as well as for those who wish to lead groups in the Irish and British hills. It’s functional design with easy reference colour coded pages, striking illustrations that complement the text and accurate mapping make this book an indispensable guide to the skills required for summer hill walking. The publisher (Mountain Leader Training) has been at the forefront in the development of walker’s skills for forty years. This book is the first of a series of manuals for walkers and climbers and has been produced by collaboration between the authors at the Mountain Training Trust’s centre, Plas y Brenin, and experts within Mountain Leader Training.

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