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This summer I completed my Mountain Leader Assessment in Snowdonia. This is a government recognised qualification which will allow me to try my hand at working in the outdoor industry. The mountains in the UK are my favourite place to be and as a result of working towards this award, I have spent lots of time in them.

When the week of my assessment arrived I was feeling excited if not a little terrified, but the assessor quickly put me at ease and explained what we would be getting up to. The main focus of the week was navigation – this is one of my favourite things to do and is how I got into walking. Quite frankly the harder the nav the more fun it is! 

 The first two days involved micro navigation, movement over steep ground and interesting facts about the area we were in. On the first day, we headed up into the area to the East of Tryfan and got to know one another. There were four of us on this expedition and it turned out that one of them went to my school! The world of mountaineering is very small indeed. 

The view over to Tryfan on Day 1

 Day two was spent in Llanberis Pass with a similar focus to the day before except with significantly less rain and some sun.

 The final three days involved a very damp expedition in the Snowdon area. The middle day was my birthday and despite a rough start (broken tent and wet clothes), it turned into a wonderful day with cake and biscuits for tea. The sun even showed itself for a brief period.

 

Day 2 in the Llanberis Pass

 

Once we finished the expedition we headed back to the café to dry out and find out how we had done. We were all pleased to find out that we had passed and were now qualified Mountain Leaders. All my practice in the run-up to the assessment was a success and made the week as stress-free as possible. I am looking forward to my next adventure, however, I hope that it will be a little drier than this one!

Watching the rain approach on Day 4



Preparation for my assessment: taking my friends out in the Lakes and a cloud inversion in Snowdonia on a solo expedition

 

I would like to thank the Jack Bloor Trust for helping me to gain my ML and therefore being able to pursue my dream career.

Matilda Scott 

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