Lorn and Lochaber Ramblers offer a very active callendar of walks at a range of levels of challenge, all of which are led by a volunteer in the group. It's a fantastic way to get into walking and climbing Munros with like minded people. The walk leaders are all volunteers and they all enjoy walks led by others as well. Today we did some training for some of these leaders based in Glen Coe. We drew from many of the things we discuss on a Summer Mountain Leader Training Course as well as the fantastic experience of the leaders themselves. It's a real skill and one that is always improving so getting some training and practice with fellow leaders is a very useful thing to do.
We spent the first part of the day indoors having really good discussions about good practice, duty of care, responsibilities to group members and The Ramblers as well as to other hill walkers. Some of the things are quite practical and easy to implement such as leaving a route card with someone who will instigate a late back procedure. Other topics are more difficult to put in place straight away such as developing different leadership styles to suit the situation and finding the position of most usefulness in the group walking along the trail. Everyone agreed that the focus should be on the security and enjoyment of the group members and the leader's satisfaction will come vicariously.
We went up to Hidden Valley (AKA Lost Valley) in Glen Coe which is a super popular walk through a rocky gorge with some tricky steps in the path. It was just enough to put the learning in to context and to practice a few leadership tools. We also considered what to do in an emergency if a group member became incapacitated and what gear to carry with you. It was warm and dry again and the stream is very low so crossing it was very easy. It's great to see so many people out enjoying the wonderful mountains we have here in the Outdoor Capital of the UK!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.