/ Summer ML assesment kit.

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AG - on 07 Sep 2016
Ok, I'm doing the ML assesment in the next couple of weeks and i'm pretty confident on most things....however one thing i'm not too sure about is whether to pack a rope as part of my bag for taking a group of novices out ( i have to turn up with this packed on day 1).
I was told on the training course that the rope is not part of the standard kit for a ML and you would only condsider carrying it if you were venturing onto certain ground e.g Glencoe munros, skye etc. ...but reading the handbook and in other places some folk say it must be packed for emergency!.
If i was taking a group of novices out, I wouldn't be going antwhere near ground that would require a rope - even in an emergency...any suggestions from those who've done the assesment?
JIMBO on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

They will provide a rope and helmets... ring them to check
peterbayliss on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:
The assessment requires you to demonstrate ML rope work, therefore you will need to provide your own rope or have arranged with your assesor to borrow one.
There is a "Mountain Leader Skills Checklist" document on this page: http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader which is worth a read before your assessment.
Post edited at 15:50
GrahamUney - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:


An ML shouldn't go out intending to use a rope on any terrain, but is expected to be able to use one should the need arise. On your assessment you will need to be able to demonstrate that you know when it is appropriate to use a rope to safeguard members of your group, and how to use it within the scope of the award.

You will need a rope to do this on your assessment. Depending on where you are being assessed, you may be able to borrow one from the assessor/centre, or you may need to have your own. You should check with the place you have booked your assessment if ropes are available. The same goes for a helmet.

Hope that helps.
Wheelsy - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

I would think it would be better to pack the rope and then not need it, than not pack the rope and end up needing it. It can go in a dry bag at the bottom of the rucksack and, unless they ask you to turf out all of your kit and then justify its purpose, nobody need be any the wiser. As you may know already, many people advocate keeping the rope like this so that it doesn't freak people out when you rummage in your rucksack to get out your sandwiches.

Unfortunately you can never tell how people may react on ground that appears to most people to be very benign. I remember passing a group of very large rugby-playing type blokes coming down Grisedale Pike a few years ago, with one of them shuffling on his bottom because he just couldn't cope with the perceived exposure, and this was in the middle of the path.
Tony the Blade on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

On my assessment I didn't pack a group shelter, if I'm honest I didn't realise that I/we would need one of our own (I've got two, the issue was carting to Wales on the train with everything else).

We did need one, and the assessor after checking my kit inquired where it was, I explained what I'd done and she just shrugged and said You will need one.

Fortunately I was at PyB so I managed to borrow one from stores.
Fiona Reid - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

I did my assessment in September 2013 at Glenmore Lodge. Like you on the first day we were asked to have our ML sack packed.

I had a 30m half rope, 4-6 person group shelter, belay jacket plus all my regular hill kit. You were asked why you had the different kit etc.

I didn't pack a helmet for that first day, I only took one on the safety on steep ground day and we were all told to make sure we had helmets that day.

At many of the big centres you can borrow kit but the assessors may question why you don't have your own as if you're intending to lead groups etc then you probably ought to have your own stuff, eg rope, group shelter etc etc

On my assessment I used one of the centres large rucksacks. My assessors queried this as they felt a large sack was something I should own. I have one but was going straight from assessment to a club weekend at a hostel with minimal drying facilities and thus figured anything I could do to minimise the amount of wet kit I had would be good.

All the best with the assessment.

lordyosch - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

I did mine last year with PyB. We were told that ropes would be supplied for when they were needed. I do own a 30m confidence rope but never took it with me.

If it is any help I wrote about the assessment we did on my blog...


good luck!

AG - on 08 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

Thanks for all the replies. I've been told that ropes will be provided for the steep ground day so I probably won't take one for the rucksack kit check.....fingers crossed...hope the weather and midges are kind on the exped!

annieman - on 08 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

On my assessment, many years ago, we used the ropes from the centre for the steep ground day. However one person insisted on using/carrying his own 50M x 10mm. (heavy). When it came to using the rope he was proud to announce that it was brand new. Watching him then cut the cable ties off the brand new rope and saw it all fall into a birds nest. He had never used or practiced with this rope. In the end he used the centre rope. He didn't pass as he twisted his ankle on the expedition.
AG - on 27 Sep 2016
In reply to annieman:

Quick update - no rope was required in the day sack...no one in the group of 12 had a rope in the bag.
After an extremely windy and wet exped in the Cairngorms this weekend, I passed the assesment!. well happy.
zimpara - on 27 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

Well done! What is the plan now?
AG - on 27 Sep 2016
In reply to zimpara:

No idea!... try and get the odd days work I suppose. Still recovering from the weekend - it was quite brutal at times. We all barely had any food (or water stops). Started on friday morning and walked for 12 hours (constant micro nav) only stopping to do some emergency senarios, then into the night in really crap weather. Tents up around 1am ( had my only meal of the day then)....tent blew in at 6.30am....which sucked!. next day carried on until 7/8pm continuous nav in the mist/rain....had another meal. Then next day up and away early and back for midday. Although we only did 40km and 2400m ascent in the few days , the lack of sleep,food and constant wind and rain made it much harder (as did the heavy wet kit). I lost around 1.4 kg in body weight!.
The course director did say it was the toughest summer ML assesment he'd been on since he could remember. On the plus side I think I could do just about anything after that!
jezb1 - on 27 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

Who did you do the assessment with?
jezb1 - on 27 Sep 2016
In reply to jezb1:
And well done on passing!
Post edited at 19:36
Mike Rhodes - on 27 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

Sounds like you had a really tough assessment and great that you passed. I am surprised that you didn't have to do any " security on steep ground" work using a rope. Normally on assessment they insist that you carry a "full weight" rope rather than a "confidence" 8mil rope as they do "intend" to use it. I had to carry 50m of 11mil for my assessment.

Now that you have passed, why not look at the IML award as it gives you access to much more work in the rest of the world. You will not regret it and working in Europe gets you much more sunshine.
AG - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to Mike Rhodes:

We did the steep ground work but not on the exped - we had a whole day of steep ground work which we used confidence ropes for part of the day.
Working in the sunshine is def the way forward!
pjcollinson - on 28 Sep 2016
In reply to AG:

Sounds like a tough assessment, well done for passing.
I don't quite understand the need to beast people on assessments, surely a good assessor can tell if people are competent without going until 1am without a break. On my assessment the assessor looked to the group to call the stops etc. as a sign of good leadership. I think I would have said, 'I'm getting hot, cold, hungry, thirsty etc so why don't we take some time to take off layers, put on layers, have a drink, food or whatever" You as a leader taking responsibility on such things takes the pressure of clients who may feel uncomfotable asking to stop and as such shows good leadership skills.
lordyosch - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to AG:

On one of our assessment wanders we were given 'what if' situations by the assessor.

"What if one of your clients has their rain coat blown away in the wind?"
-we needed to improvise a covering for them using the stuff we had -we weren't carrying a spare jacket!

With PYB we were explicitly told that they would provide ropes for us but we had our own bothy bags

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