There are two different types of courses you can do in mountaineering: skills based courses to improve your own personal mountaineering skills and instructor courses to help you lead expeditions and guide others around the mountains
If you are just getting into mountaineering, read our beginners introduction to mountaineering.
MOUNTAINEERING COURSES IN UK - PERSONAL SKILLS
Which mountaineering course you should choose totally depends on what you are interested in pursuing first. You can take courses in summer hiking and navigation, rock climbing, scrambling, winter mountaineering, winter climbing and ice climbing.
Needless to say, it’s best to hone your summer skills first before embarking on the winter courses.
Learning to climb? Check out our climbing tips for beginners here.
Peak Mountaineering run mountaineering courses in the Peak District for people of all ages and skills.
Glenmore Lodge is in the heart of the Cairngorms in Scotland. They run a full range of mountaineering courses from basic to advanced in both summer and winter.
Plas Y Brenin have over 60 years experience guiding and teaching people about everything from hill walking, navigation to First Aid and mountaineering in Wales.
Snowdonia Adventures can provide you with guided winter mountaineering and climbing in Snowdonia North Wales.
Tollymore National Outdoor Centre have a range of mountaineering and rock climbing courses based in Newcastle, County Down.
MOUNTAINEERING COURSES IN UK - INSTRUCTING AND COACHING
Mountain Training is the main body that oversees the training of walking, climbing and mountaineering leaders, coaches and guides in the UK.
They have five branches - the main UK hub as well branches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Here is a great graphic produced by Mountain Training to explain what it takes to become a mountaineering instructor and guide.
You need to first start with gaining your Mountain Leader award. It’s a six-day course that will allow you to lead groups in the mountains in the UK and Ireland.
Before you sign up, you need to have logged a minimum of 20 Quality Mountain Days (you can find out what that actually means on the Mountain Training FAQs)
Then it’s a case of logging another 20 more Quality Mountain Days after you finish the course to validate your qualification, among other requisites.
From there, you can take other courses to become a Winter Mountain Leader and International Mountain Leader.
Climbing is a separate strand of training - starting with the Single Pitch Award - but will become necessary if you want to become a mountaineering instructor.
To become a mountaineering instructor, you will need to have completed the Mountaineering Instructor Award and Winter Mountain Leader qualification.
Alongside this you need to have 20 winter quality mountain days as a leader, plus led winter climbs at Grade 3 or above and logged 10 routes at Grade 2 or above and 10 routes at Grade 3 or above in at least 3 main mountain areas of the UK.
Becoming a British Mountain Guide is another big step up. There are 107 training and assessment days in total. It takes around three years to complete.
You need to have an extremely high skill level in both summer and winter rock climbing, ski instructing, guiding cascade ice climbs and evaluating avalanche risk.