/ Applying for exemption from training on summer ML
I'm going to do it and I'm fairly sure I'll get exemption but just wondered about other peoples experiences.
For example, I've been told the pass rate is much lower but only anecdotally.
I do think you need specific reasons why you don't need it, I'm not sure experience alone will be enough, I don't know though, maybe someone with 30-40 years would.
Have you gone through the process yourself?
It seems to be entirely experience based and based on the number of quality days you've done rather than years of experience as that's a better indicator.
If you're adamant that this is the way you want to go I'd suggest hiring an assessor for the day to get you up to speed with what to expect. Even though training is training there is still an element of having someone breathing down your neck - adding some spice to the situation i.e. simulating the pressures of leading.
Read the syllabus too, and know it inside out.
Think a little about the average person that goes for their ml. They probably don't have the opportunity or experience of time spent that you may have done. I would recommend applying for exemption and have a read through a couple of books and the syllabus and chat to some people who have done their assessments.
Any decent assessor will be able to tell if you are competent to lead a group in the mountains even if you may not do something the text book way.
I speak as someone who had exemption from both summer and winter ml training.
Hope this helps
I've no doubt the training would be useful but the exemption route is attractive to me for a few reasons.
> chat to some people who have done their assessments.
I've got a few mates who are MIC's and assessors so I've got plenty of ears to bend.
Actually as a coda on what I said a useful thing to practice is actually leading a party, this is something that you can practice on the training or with some friends, but you need to make your friends moan a bit and put you under some stress. ( actually the only person who will put you under stress on an assessment is yourself - don't do it!)
And on a practical note are ski touring / ski mountaineering days valid as QMD's and if so where do I put them in the logbook? ;)
'four hundred quid' came the reply.
I still went for it and had the same instructor for assessment. He was very thorough to say the least. Fair though, in my opinion. Expect to be first up to demo anything and never switch off.
I think I have what you suggest James. There's 200 days in my logbook which are a selection of the bigger / better / more interesting day's I've had over the last 20+ years. As it's the summer ML I'm going for the largest portion are summer munros.
I am ashamed of that.
I'd had plenty of climbing/walking/mountain experience before I elected to go for the assessment without the pre training.
Big mistake. I'd not come across using handlines, using ropes only for re-assurance and some of the mountain /rope work skills you might only need for the inexperienced. Nor had I any idea about the degree of navigation skill I'd need to succeed. I struggled - failed on rope work and had to get that assessed separately after I paid to have that put right! - missing the pre assessment training out caused me a lot of stress.
Probably about 30-40% of exemption applications are rejected at first. From your later post I would probably guess that your personal logbook might just about meet the minimum required however :-)
At assessment those who have successfully gone through the exemption process actually have a slightly higher pass rate than those who go the 'normal' route. Perhaps a reflection of the confidence in their own competence?
Nor had I any idea about the degree of navigation skill I'd need to succeed.
What sort of demands were made of you in this regard?
I looked into it and got told the failure rate was higher with expemtion- I then managed to get on a training course this easter and am looking for assessment this summer.
I enjoyed the training a lot and got a great deal out of it. The rope techniques were very different to the climbing rope work i'd done before and the micro navigation and night nav training were very useful as although I could navigate adequately the night nav and finding very small map features was still challenging and it was really good to see the standard required.
I'm pretty glad I didn't go for exemption tbh and if I'd just jumped straight into assessment I think I'd have probably failed!
I went for a 2 day ML refresher a few months earlier, partly to make sure my slightly odd logbook was OK and to make sure that the techy stuff was OK and get my Navigation given the once over. Very pleased I did, it boosted my confidence no end and led to a thoroughly enjoyable and relatively stress free assessment.
Probably like many others I was reasonably used to navigating in poor vis and at night. But I always chose to navigate to and from obvious features that were particularly obvious to such as, tops, cols, and ridges and so on.
On the assessment (PYB) I was asked to navigate to tiny micro features (Spot heights, tiny tarns that were dotted amongst tiny tops and other tarns, features you could not see until you were on top of them and that were only just noticeable on a map. Somewhat innocently I assumed I could do this without much reference to counting paces, or using timings, something else I'd avoided where possible in the hills. The assessor was quite good in that he chose spots which could only be located if you counted steps and/or timed yourself.
The navigation was over two days/nights in mostly thick mist and rain. It bucked my navigation up somewhat though, but didn't do my stress levels much good!
Cheers Andy. Nice to get some comment from someone who is involved on the assessment side.
Dave - nowadays I do statistics rather than assessing people :-)
I, personally, got granted exemption from ML training via an interview (!) at the then MLTB/BMC office in 1991. I remember walking into the assessment course and sensing 'so - this is the cocky sod...'. But it all worked out fine and I actually had a great time on my assessment. If you are comfortable in what you are doing then the 'stress stories' shouldn't come up.
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