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Alternative to shambolic DLOG?

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 Tom Last 04 Jan 2020


Can anyone advise as the whether a simple paper logbook or a spreadsheet is acceptable as an alternative to Mountain Training’s DLOG for training and assessment purposes for the various awards schemes, or am I liable to be penalised in some way? 

I’m hoping to complete some training and assessment this year, but DLOG is just virtually unusable. The cumbersome and ridiculously time consuming input procedure is particularly onerous but not only that, having uploaded my UKC logbook, it’s utterly f***** a great many of those entries, now suggesting the likes of me having top-roped Centurion and sport climbed Beinn Alligin Traverse etc. 

So I can try to find a way of deleting the uploaded logbook without deleting all previous entries and then re-enter everything one at a time, or I can go through thirteen hundred entries one at a time, correcting the many mistakes DLOG has inputted, or maybe I can sack DLOG off entirely? I also have a load of other stuff to enter from summer 2019, which I’m loathe to do at the moment. 

Apologies for the moan to any MT bods on here, it’s not personal. I appreciate that databases are expensive things to build in the first place and possibly difficult to maintain, but DLOG really doesn’t seem fit for purpose from a user input point of view. Others must surely have experienced similar, or maybe I’m missing something? 

Any thoughts from anyone appreciated.



 SebCa 04 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

There are a few course providers on here and its been asked before, Im pretty sure it has to be on DLOG but if you did have the old file o fax system they will accept scans of that uploaded into the documents section.

When I did mine, I had the same issues, it took a bit of fettling but now Im logging into it most weeks and updating it...it gets easier and reasonably slick, its just the initial getting it going that is poor.

Keep at it and good luck with your MT journey.

 jezb1 04 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

I provide RCI, RCDI and ML.

For RCI and ML, Dlog is preferred by MT.

For RCDI, your stuff needs to be on Dlog.

 Tom Last 04 Jan 2020
In reply to SebCa:

Thanks for the help SebCa and Jez.

I guess my time will be better spent having another go, rather than moaning on here ;)


 girlymonkey 04 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

No real help from me, just my condolences that you are having to waste time on a crap system. When I was doing my winter ML, my logbook regularly got flung across the room in frustration at how awful it was. I would have hoped they would have improved it by now, but sounds like they haven't.

In reply to Tom Last:

Hi Tom,

I posed myself a similar question a couple years ago and in the end I went down the 'sack it off' road and uploaded my logbook as an attached excel spreadsheet. I figured that so long as I made it easy to read (highlighting the pre-reqs etc) then the information is still "on" DLOG so should be fine, particularly if I brought along a paper copy on day one of the course for the assessor to view. This was a bit of a risk but I wasn't happy with having DLOG as a half-version of the truth and I wasn't prepared to lose months worth of evenings playing with the DLOG system when the information existed elsewhere.

This was accepted fine on my WML Ass't and then in early 2018 (on my MIA Assessment). But in 2019 I got some stick on my WMCI Training for this. The trainers had gone onto DLOG in the days preceding the course and weren't impressed that I wasn't bought into the DLOG system. (So before I go back for Assessment I'll be uploading a representative sample of winter climbs/days that demonstrate I'm above the min standard, although probably still including my 'full' logbook as an attached spreadsheet.)

My advice (and from someone that has stubbornly evaded its use up until now...!) would be to get stuck into DLOG. The expectation of its use will only increase. As a minimum, I would recommend inputting a select sample that shows you're way above the pre-reqs for whatever assessment you're doing, even if you choose to also attach your full logbook or bring it along hardcopy on day one of the course. If you choose to do anything other than input your whole logbook then I would make that clear on the 'front page' of your DLOG for the trainer/assessor to see when they view.

Hope that helps? Good luck.


PS. When I was battling with DLOG entries a while ago (before I sacked it off!), I kept a list of the glitches and improvements required which I later sent on to TahDah, which they were grateful for. I'd recommend doing the same, and hopefully the system will improve....

 Joel Perkin 05 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

I feel you Tom, DLOG is rubbish! I especially love the bit where a vast quantity of crags & routes aren't on the DLOG so "don't count".

I'm mainly commenting in the hope that someone from MT see's enough complaints and makes a change...

 jezb1 05 Jan 2020
In reply to Joel Perkin:

> I especially love the bit where a vast quantity of crags & routes aren't on the DLOG so "don't count".

They count, just add 'em.

 Giles Davis 05 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

Hi Tom, 

My advice would be stick with it. When I imported my UKC Logbook into DLOG I ‘lost’ about 500 climbs and like you appeared to have abseiled a few hundred climbs that did import. I just went through them when I had a bit of time and soon got them changed. 

Yes, DLOG is not great but I view it like any other database, sh*t in, sh*t out. Once you’re on top of it it’s fairly easy keeping it up to date. The one thing it is missing badly is an App that syncs with the database so you can add stuff more easily away from your phone.

I also use mine as a ‘selling tool’ when applying for work. I’m sure prospective employers will be happier seeing a comprehensive and up to date DLOG rather than one that only shows the individuals prerequisites to obtain them their qualifications. 



 gravy 05 Jan 2020
In reply to Giles Davis:

The DLOG is actually better than it was but it is still shockingly bad.

 So here are things that have worked (for me):

(1) (provided you are not marginal) use the UKC system and DLOG's crap UKC import.  UKC is a decent logging system but the import loses about 1/3rd of your logs, if your record is good this doesn't matter, if it is marginal you'll have to manually fix it or do (2).

(2) Upload a PDF to the DLOG containing everything (or the missing parts if you can be arsed to work out which is which) - the purpose of the DLOG is to log your activity and provide it to your training provider so they can check you're on the mark.  The PDF will do this.  Makes sure your provider knows it is there. Again you can simply download your UKC log and pdf this (or scan your written logbooks if you have them).

(3) Speak to your provider and send them the definitive version in an easy to use format and tell them most of it is on the DLOG but since it is so shite this is easier to use. Everyone knows it is a disgrace, no one will be surprised.

How it remains so bad is a mystery to me.

 Tom Last 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

Hi all.

Just wanted to thank everyone for contributing to this. A few ideas of how to go forward with it.

Much obliged.


 bpmclimb 02 Feb 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

Hi Tom. I'm with you on this, I think DLOG is terrible  - inexcusably bad, really, when you take into account that MT take a fair chunk as an administration fee when you register on a scheme.

I think for climbing records a link to UKC logbook is an easy solution, and should be sufficient. Insisting on the use of such a crap system just makes me angry.

 mcdougal 02 Feb 2020
In reply to Tom Last:

This thread has been running since January, every reference to DLog in it has been negative and yet no one from MT has seen fit to reply.

Keep taking the cash, MT, keep taking the cash. 

 gravy 02 Feb 2020
In reply to mcdougal:

It's worse than that - the DLOG has been a subject of compliant and derision here since it started yet progress is painfully and pathetically slow and MT has never seen fit to reply (or it should be said do much about it).

I don't think I ever recall a comment even 1/2 way positive about DLOG on UKC but no doubt someone will be able to drag one out, however, finding criticism is all too easy and there are recurrent threads from newbies to the system as well as old hands slating it.

 mcdougal 02 Feb 2020
In reply to gravy:

> It's worse than that - the DLOG has been a subject of compliant and derision here since it started...

Yes, I've read lots of threads over a long time on here - all generally critical of DLog. I'm quite sure that people within the MT organisation read these forums so, with my comment, I was hoping to tempt them to reply to the criticism. 

 Tom Last 02 Feb 2020
In reply to mcdougal:

Yeah, I have to admit I had hoped something on here might be forthcoming from MT. I’ve arranged some RCI training now, so I’ll progress with the excellent advice i’ve received here from both providers and candidates, but not apparently from the overarching body themselves. Oh well. 

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