The Hill Skills course is your key to getting started in countryside and moorland walking. No previous hill walking experience is required because the content of the course is aimed at beginners.

If you do have some experience of hill walking but aren’t confident about planning walks, navigating and understanding the equipment required, then the Hill Skills course is an ideal way to learn.

Delivered by our qualified and experienced mountain professionals, the course is nationally accredited and developed with Mountain Training, the awarding body for qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering.

The courses takes place entirely outdoors and cover a range of topics including what clothes you should wear, what equipment you should carry with you, how to plan your day out, what routes you can take, understanding the weather, how to navigate using paper and digital mapping and dealing with emergencies in the outdoors. Our experienced instructors will share their knowledge with you and answer any questions you have about exploring the hills and mountains of the UK.

We run regular public courses in the Snowdonia and Peak District National Parks throughout the year or we can provide a bespoke course for you and your family, small group of friends or whole organisation. If there are two or more of you then we’ll happily put on a private course just for you on a date and location that suits. Prices start from £75 per person on our public courses and private courses start from £300 for up to eight people.

Our Hill and Mountain Skills courses take place over two days and you’ll need to arrange accommodation and we can often help with recommendations if you’re stuck. The courses are held entirely outdoors so be sure to bring everything you need with you. More information is provided nearer the date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mountain Training sets a limit of eight people however we usually have far fewer people on our courses so you’re guaranteed the attention of our tutors.

Both the Hill Skills and Mountain Skills courses take place over two consecutive days and typically run from around 8am to 5pm each day.

The Hill Skills course requires a moderate level of fitness. It is a practical course where you will be walking for a good part of each day, and learning along the way. Any health issues should be talked through with your tutor prior to the start of the course.

The Mountain Skills course is a clear progression from the Hill Skills course. The main difference being that it’s run in the high mountain areas of the UK. As such there is a requirement that you have some experience of hill walking prior to attending the course and also have a reasonable level of fitness. An example of reasonable fitness might be someone who actively participates in sporting activities on a regular basis such as jogging or cycling. If you are unsure about your fitness or experience then speak to one of our course Providers, and if in doubt over which course to attend, the Hill Skills course may be a more appropriate choice.

Of course. The requirements for the Hill and Mountain Skills courses are specified by Mountain Training, the awarding body for qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering and can be found below. Don’t be too worried if you don’t understand all the terminology as that’s what our instructors are there for but it might help you decide which level to start at.

Planning

  1. Overview of the hill and moorland walking areas of the UK and Ireland
  2. Use of walking guidebooks and online resources
  3. Route planning
  4. Health and fitness considerations for hill walking

Walking Skills

  1. Walking techniques and additional equipment
  2. Managing pace for a day walk
  3. Nutritional considerations for hill walking
  4. Movement skills over undulating or loose terrain

Clothing and Equipment

  1. Hill clothing overview
  2. Footwear selection
  3. Equipment selection and functions
  4. Seasonal differences in clothing and equipment selection
  5. Additional emergency equipment

Weather

  1. Effect of weather in the hills
  2. Obtaining an appropriate weather forecast
  3. Effect of weather on route planning

Navigation

  1. Introduction to different maps and scales
  2. Introduction to basic map features and symbols
  3. Measurement of distance on maps
  4. Calculating walking time
  5. Use of Grid References
  6. Introduction to pacing and timing
  7. Strategies for navigating a planned route
  8. Compass selection and features
  9. Methods of relocating
  10. Introduction of basic use of GPS devices

Environmental Knowledge

  1. Understand the impact of humans in hill areas
  2. Gain an understanding of the upland environment
  3. Environmental considerations when walking
  4. Good practice associated with hill walking
  5. Understanding the role of different organisations

Hazards and Emergency Procedures

  1. Identifying potential hazards in hill areas
  2. Managing risk while hill walking
  3. Gaining an understanding of common hill walking incidents related to hill walking
  4. How to call for help while in hill areas
  5. Introduction to the role of Search & Rescue teams

More activities

Hill Skills – Peak District

Mountain Skills – Snowdonia

Introduction to Mountain Navigation – Peak District

Bronze NNAS Navigator Award – Peak District