Mountain Skills

Mountain Skills

A Mountain Skills course is an ideal choice for people interested in exploring mountainous terrain and want to develop their confidence in the mountains.
Participants should have some hill walking experience and a reasonable level of fitness. Courses are run in the higher mountain areas of the UK and Ireland. 

Useful Resources:   The Book - Hillwalking       FAQ's      Providers              

Getting Started

The Mountain Skills (MS) training course provides the essential personal proficiency skills you will need to enjoy the mountains in the UK & Ireland safely. 
Offering a solid foundation for gaining personal mountaineering proficiency, Mountain Skills training teaches the necessary skills in mountain safety, navigation techniques, knowledge of hazards, and personal equipment, so that a person finishing the course may be in a position to safely, and competently, take to the hills.
Mountain Skills training and assessment also provide foundation training for those who wish to progress to further leadership qualifications, such as the Mountain Leader (ML).
Mountain Skills courses are available throughout the island of Ireland. Click the Find a course button above.

Courses are delivered by approved providers who will introduce you to the skills and techniques required to enjoy mountain walking in your own time. You will have plenty of opportunities to practise these new skills as well as learning more about the environment and how to manage the risks associated with mountain walking. Click the Find a course button above.

Course Registration:

One registration with us gives you access to all of the Mountain Skills Scheme courses. Registration is free for under 18s and €28 for adults. The Mountain Skills Scheme is accessible from age 10. 

This fee contributes towards the administration and quality assurance of the Mountain Skills Scheme, gives you access to DLOG (a digital logbook for recording your activities) and material to help you develop as a hill walker.

In registering you will give consent for Mountaineering Ireland & Mountain Training to hold your data and details of training completed and assessment outcome.

If you are already a member of Mountaineering Ireland and register for the scheme, details of your training and assessment will be automatically updated on your DLOG.

There is no requirement to join Mountaineering Ireland, but there is a cheaper membership offer of €35 at the point of registration, should you wish to join.

Successful completion of the Mountain Skills Assessment is a registration requirement for the Mountain Leader Award. The Mountain Skills is not a qualification or a leadership award.

Completion of Mountain Skills training part 1 or 2 is one way to access registration for the Lowland Leader Award.

To register, please click on the ‘Registration’ button to the right and follow the instructions.

Your registration pack includes:

  • A copy of the Safety on Mountains book
  • A navigational timing card
  • A certificate of attendance for completing each course
  • Lifetime use of our digital logbook (DLOG) for recording your mountain walking

Do you have additional needs?

Do you have a physical or mental impairment or disability which may require a provider to make reasonable adjustments so that you can take part in a training or assessment course? 

Connect with your Mountain Training account after your course

Your course provider will create a record of your training course on our Candidate Management System (CMS) - if you would like to view this record and start using your digital logbook, please log into your account.


Mountain Skills training is divided into two blocks, Mountain Skills 1 & Mountain Skills 2. MS1 and MS2 are the fundamental training blocks covering all aspects of hillwalking that the candidate will require to become a self-sufficient hill user.

MS1: This course includes map-reading and simple navigation techniques, recognition of natural features, distance measurement and timing of walks, the mountain environment & access. Mountain hazards are also covered, as is personal equipment such as correct clothing and emergency equipment.

MS2: This course builds on MS1 and covers the use of a compass, route-planning and the preparation of route cards, the tools of navigation, night navigation, poor visibility navigation, movement on steeper terrain and broken ground, mountain rescue and emergency procedures.

MS1 and MS2 are generally run over two-day periods and comprise a mixture of indoor informal lectures/discussions and outdoor practical sessions.

The ratio for MS1 and MS2 is one instructor to six candidates.

Mountain Skills courses typically last for 2 days, although some providers deliver them over 3-5 days.

Our approved Mountain Skills tutors offer courses in the higher mountain regions of the UK and Ireland. Find a course above.

Examples of areas that courses are run:

Connemara - Cork/Kerry - Donegal -  Dublin/Wicklow -  Mountains of Mourne


The consolidation period gives candidates the chance to practise and consolidate the skills they have learnt during training. 

At least 14 walks in a number of different upland areas of Ireland should be recorded in an official logbook during this time. 

At least four of these walks should be within two months of the Mountain Skills Assessment date.

For those opting to bypass training, 28 logged walks will be required. Please contact the training office for details.


Mountain Skills Assessment is held over two days, and comprises both written and practical evaluation, including a night navigation exercise. 

A current and valid First Aid Certificate is an assessment requirement. Details here.

Assessment can be arranged through individual providers, find a course above. 

The Mountain Skills Scheme is not a certified qualification and Mountaineering Ireland does not produce certificates upon successful completion of the assessment. 

Mountain Skills is a personal proficiency scheme and not a leadership award. Please see walking qualification for leadership awards.

A certificate of completion is provided to candidates on successful completion of the assessment with a pass result. 

The ratio for Mountain Skill Assessment is one instructor to four candidates.


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