ML Assessment

So, this is what it has all been about so far, preparing for the Mountain Leader (Summer) Assessment. My place is booked and there are just over two weeks until it starts on 21 March.

If you were to look at my logbook, you would notice that I have just covered the prerequisite 40 Quality Mountains Days; some might demand a more extensive array of logged days, but I know I am ready. I have been a mountaineer in my heart and mind for much longer than the time it has taken to put together the pages you will see in the logbook. I look back with satisfaction at the days I spent on school camps in Borrowdale at Stonethwaite, now knowing where they will all culminate.

I am a little nervous. Much of the skills in a mountaineer’s repertoire are only called upon in emergency, which introduces an element of apprehension of the unknown. All fear the unknown, in whatever guise it may take. However, the art of mountaineering is overcoming the unknown and the risk it entails, and I look forward to the possibility of introducing others to the exhilaration of recognising where fear and risk lie, and coping with and surmounting them.

Ultimately, one will never be as prepared as one would like, and I am no different, but I do trust in my ability, and I trust in the path which has brought me to this point and will lead beyond. Indeed, I spent a good day out with Nick last weekend on Y Mynydd Du in the western Brecon Beacons, practising ropework, navigation and talking about various topics on the syllabus. When I say ropework, I actually spent much of the time slithering about in gullies filled with muddy, unconsolidated slag, as we had to make do with disused quarries for steep ground.

Despite a great day out, there was a nagging doubt that it was just not quite enough. We want perfection and no one is satisfied with anything less, hence the persistent nagging doubts. However, I choose to trust, and am prepared to feel uncomfortable and anxious at times, but know that by composing myself and drawing on the training and development I have experienced, I will be seen through.

Next time I post, I hope to be a fully fledged Mountain Leader (Summer) and ready for the next chapters in my chronicles of the outdoors and mountaineering.


2 Responses to ML Assessment

  1. Stuart Brown says:

    The very best of luck Simon, I hope to do the same assessment myself this year. I'll look forward to hearing from you with your ML in the bag!

  2. Simon Cox says:

    Hi Stuart,Many thanks for your comment. I'm mainly looking forward to it now, so hope to have good things to report back next time. I'm enjoying your blog too and think you'll have no problems with the award – just prepare thoroughly and believe in yourself!All the best,Simon

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