International Mountain Leader: everything you need to know

Posted by Nicola Jasieniecka on 20/03/2014
It's a hard life! Credit Bob Timms

Fancy a life leading treks abroad? The International Mountain Leader may be the qualification for you.

Who’s it for?
People who want to lead groups of hill walkers in mountainous or remote areas anywhere in the world. It is used both by professional trek leaders and a wide range of people including teachers, youth workers, outdoor instructors and volunteers.

What’s it all about?
Key topics include navigation, group management, expedition skills, emergency procedures, the weather and the environment. Personal experience is essential so this award is perfect for people who love having adventures in the mountains and want to share this passion with others.

How does it work?
To register for the scheme you need to have completed the Mountain Leader Award (or an equivalent UIAA –accredited award).  Get some international and winter personal experience, register for the scheme, do the summer and winter training courses, consolidate your learning, go for summer and winter assessments, continue developing as an International Mountain Leader

The length of time this all takes depends on how much experience you already have, how regularly you visit mountains outside the UK and how psyched you are to get out and develop your skills.

Where can I use it?
The award is designed for use in the mountainous regions of the world. Award holders are eligible to join the British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML).  This association issues an annual carnet for members, that is recognised by regulated countries that are affiliated to the umbrella organisation, the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations (UIMLA), meaning that their carnet is legally recognised for professional work in that country.

Why do it?
Because you love the mountains and want to give other people the opportunity to enjoy them too. For some, it’s seen an opportunity to deliver other Mountain Training awards such as the Hill and Moorland Leader or Mountain Leader.

This article is part of a series of articles celebrating Mountain Training’s 50th anniversary year in 2014



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