In the Bluestack Ramblers Walking Club, all club members are encouraged to improve their skills and enhance their knowledge through training. From time to time courses will be arranged by the club for the club members. Details of these courses will be listed on this page and also circulated to club members.
However, all club members are encouraged to take responsibility for their own individual training requirements. If you are new to the hill-walking scene and want to find out about what skills you should be acquiring, contact the Training Officer. If you want to take a specific course contact the Training Officer, who will help you find a course provider if that particular course is not planned to be organised by the club in the near future.
Mountaineering Ireland recognised courses
The Mountain Skills (MS)
The MS training scheme is for hillwalkers. The course provides all the basic skills required to walk safely and competently in Ireland when accompanied by people of similar abilities. The training does not include leadership skills /techniques. It is suitable for near beginners to those with considerable experience. Topics covered include route planning, equipment, map reading, navigation techniques, movement on steep ground and coping with emergencies. Typically the training is divided into two blocks; MS1 and MS2, each run over a two-day period.
The Walking Group Leader Award (WGL)
The WGL trains and assesses people in the skills required for leading walking parties on the easier hills in Ireland and Britain. This award is below the level of the ML, as the terrain for WGL is limited to non-mountainous areas that do not have steep or broken ground. Before registration, WGL trainees must have a minimum of one years walking experience and must have logged at least 20 walks in suitable terrain. Training includes group management skills, navigation, understanding upland hazards, awareness of environmental issues and more. Training and assessment courses are both three days.
The Mountain Leadership (ML)
The ML scheme is intended for those who wish to lead others, particularly beginners or young people, across the mountains of Ireland and Britain. It is ideal for teachers, youth leaders and hike leaders in mountaineering clubs. Even for those without leadership ambitions, it is a useful way of learning more about topics such as navigating in difficult conditions or coping with the steep ground, and overnight camping. Trainees must pass the Mountain Skills assessment before starting ML training (5 days). Trainees who complete the ML scheme and successfully pass a 3-day assessment are granted the ML award.
Training web links
- Mountaineering Ireland – MI – full list of courses and training information
- Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre