Whats A Quality Mountain Day?

I’ve struggled with what to write about recently. I started tapping away in the early hours but it was way too personal. I have some other ideas but they aren’t fleshed out enough yet.

I’ve put pressure on myself to write and publish something. To generate content. People who write blogs tell you to keep to a schedule and try to write weekly or monthly at least. Given everything else I have going on it seems like hard work and not high on the list of priorities.

I’m starting my mountain leader training and on top of the self studying involved in subjects like navigation, geology, geography and weather, I have to accrue experience in the mountains. These are in the form of Quality Mountain Days (QMD)

According to the Mountain Training Association a QMD is a technical day taking into account route planning & choice, exploration of new areas, terrain covered, conditions overhead and under foot and any challenges faced. It gives the candidate a chance to practice navigation away from marked paths and potentially lead less experienced people. The idea is to contribute towards your development as a mountaineer and leader.

Mountainous areas in the UK might include Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, Scottish Highlands and parts of Ireland. As a bare minimum I need 20 of these days before I can take the training. After that I have to get more experience in the mountains and complete at least 20 more QMD. This on top of trying to get experience leading or assistant leading groups before I take the assessment.

The planning of these days needs to be thorough including route cards, mapping and any risk\hazard management (if I’m going to do it properly) I have a stack of places I want to walk so as you can expect things are pretty busy for me as I try to map them out.

However, for me personally, a QMD is not all about making a summit or finishing a trail, its about having fun, enjoying being out and being safe. As an ML that would be my priority for any group I am managing.

So in the summer, while everyone else is working, spare a thought for me as I take time off again to travel around England, Wales and Scotland immersing myself in the mountains.

Anyway. That’s all I have to say. I might have something more substantial in a few weeks to write about. We’ll see.

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