Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Summer Mountain Leader assessment courses have a three day expedition in wild, remote mountains to test the candidates leadership, navigation and camping skills. It is an assessment of the whole package as mountain leaders. These last three days were certainly quite testing and the candidates all did a fantastic job.

We went to Lochailort to walk over Roisbheinn and Drium Fiaclach with two nights out in high wild camps. The first day was quite nice with amazing views out to the islands of Eigg and Rhum. We had a bit of mist on the top of Roisbheinn but it stayed dry all day and for the night navigation as well.

Then it started raining. It rained all the second day, into the evening and for most of the second night. Streams were swollen, the ground was saturated and everything got really quite soggy! Thankfully our route was a brilliant ridge with very narrow sections and excellent views (apparently). Druim Fiaclach west ridge in particular demands careful route choice and some movement over rocky sections in exposed positions.

Camping out for two successive nights is much more than twice as tricky than camping out for one night. If anything is wet after the first night it will be very wet after the second night. The candidates (and assessors) were very well tested!

Thankfully my Jottnar gear was up to the challenge as were the candidates. They all worked very hard and put in a great performance. They will all go on to be excellent mountain leaders.

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