Winter Mountain Leader Assessment

Passing a Winter Mountain Leader assessment is often cited as being the high point of people’s Mountain Training journeys, and for good reason.


5 Days

Instructor Ratio1:4




5 Days

Instructor Ratio


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It’s an incredibly well-respected Mountain Training qualification and is a big tick for every outdoor professional or enthusiast, as our WML trainers and assessors know only too well, having been there themselves. When you’re ready for your assessment, we welcome you to join us in Glen Coe and demonstrate your ability to safely lead groups in winter. We hope you not only show you’re at the standard but leave the course with extra skills and confidence in the mountains.

These courses are all fully residential to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety for all candidates are always maintained. Accommodation and catering are provided from the night before your course starts and finishes with breakfast on the morning after your course ends.

Non-residential options can be considered, please contact PYB directly to discuss.

The Objectives 

You’ll achieve the qualification by showing the development of the skills learnt through the Mountain Leader scheme to prepare you for the complexities associated with taking people out walking in winter conditions in the UK.

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What to Expect

We encourage all participants to read the syllabus which can be found on the MTS website. The programme is subject to change according to weather and snow conditions, but courses aim to follow this outline.

  • Sunday – Arrive at Alltshellach from 5pm and settle in, with dinner at 7.30.
  • Monday –  Introduction to the course and scheme Mountain journey demonstrating personal skills, leadership and decision making Teaching and coaching crampon and ice axe skills
  • Tuesday – Snowcraft Ropework
  • Wednesday – Start of expedition Winter navigation strategies Emergency shelters Overnight experience as appropriate to conditions (possible night in a snow hole)
  • Thursday – Continuation of expedition, second night out (possibly in a snow hole)
  • Friday – Return to hotel early afternoon Course review and results
  • Saturday – Breakfast and farewells

Experience Required

Before booking and attending an assessment you’ll need to have completed a Winter Mountain Leader training course or have been granted exemption by Mountain Training Scotland. You also need to have fulfilled (and evidenced by DLOG) the minimum experience requirements as stipulated by MTS ;

  • Logged a minimum of 40 Winter Quality Mountain Days, with at least 20 of them gained in Scotland, over a period of at least 3 winter seasons
  • Completed and logged at least 10 Grade I (or above) named UK winter climbs or equivalent mountaineering routes
  • Attended and completed a first aid course in person of at least two full days, or sixteen hours of instruction, and included an element of assessment.
  • Completed a home paper which can be found here.

How Should I Prepare?

You’ll be spending an arduous and demanding five days in the mountains for this assessment, so prepare accordingly. Candidates will be expected to complete the home research paper.

This will test all areas of the syllabus, but particularly:

  • Winter weather
  • Snow structure and avalanche risks
  • Physiological hazards

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Note: Our instructors will assess any safety equipment you bring with you. If they consider it to be below the required standard, you will be asked to use equipment provided by Plas y Brenin.

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Why Plas y Brenin?

Plas y Brenin is at the forefront of outdoor instruction. Whether you are starting a career in the outdoors, or just want to take an adventure holiday, PYB is the place for you.

We inspire explorers. We train trainers. We’re internationally recognised. We’ve been around since 1798, with our earliest guests including Queen Victoria. Since then, we’ve focussed on providing the best customer experience, working alongside some of the greatest, 007 included.

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Expert Tuition

You’ll receive expert supervision from fully qualified and psyched instructors, creating the perfect environment to learn and enjoy something new!

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Explore Eryri

Your experience will take place in the heart of the extraordinary Eryri National Park. Our National Outdoor Centre features accommodation, a bar, dining, and more. And while you’re here, why not check out some local gems?

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Develop a Passion

Everyone at Plas y Brenin, from staff to visitors, is excited about adventures and inspired to get outside. Our guests return year after year to experience all that North Wales offers.