JSMEL

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by mumble, May 21, 2005.

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  1. I am trying to get on and do my jsmel this summer, was wondering if anyone here has done it, if so whats it likem how do i prepare, tips for passing. ive got over 40 days over 600m.
     
  2. I take it you've done a MLT(S) I doubt they'll let you do it if you haven’t.

    Every morning is the weather brief, your not expected to be Michael Fish but you need a good knowledge of weather patterns.

    First day is sat in the library getting slagged off by the instructors for not being experienced enough and the majority of military not being worthy of holding a ML. However, if you want a civi qual make sure you have all the prerequisites and that you load yourself on a course that’s got an instructor qualified to take it. The afternoon is spent micro naving with 1/25 & 1/50 thou maps, "take me to that contour line!". This is then followed by the river crossing. "Hill Walking" by Steve Long is the new MLT bible and it shows you the new techniques in that.

    Second day is usually the crunch for most candidates, the security on steep ground. This is where most people fail. Make sure you know simple knots nothing fancy fig 8 & overhang that’s all you need. Your drills need to be slick & efficient. Don’t panic, all they want to see you do is a safe ascent or descent however you do it, don’t jump straight into rope work, coaching, spotting and leading need to be considered first, if its too dodgy and a rope is needed then be confident. I guarantee there wont be an anchor for you so don’t flap. Route selection is crucial too sound simple but with tunnel vision a lot of people miss the obvious safe routes. Also you may do a bit of dog leading remember your above the student at all times. Finally at the top you may do evacuation of a casualty whether that will be making a rope stretcher or lowing a casualty it depends on the progress of the group. Most importantly is going out with a fellow JSMEL or MLT and practicing all these things, I never B4 I went and failed but went out with a friend for 1 day later, practiced them all came back after 3 months and passed the retest.

    Third day is the beginning of the exped. Starts with a day nav on the hills, leading legs of about 3-5 K's and its all about navigation and control of the group. That night is the Nav Ex. practice your pacing and compass work you'll be f*ked without it.

    On the forth is another day nav Ex to another campsite where you'll do a short lecture on something of your choice to do with hill walking. You may go for another night nav ex or just retests from the previous night.

    Fifth day is a fat boys breakfast in Petes Caff!
     
  3. I agree - they are often very **** over whether your quality mountain day is indeed permissable.

    I agree with Soldier1(UK)'s views on 'security on steep ground'. I was very lucky and sailed through it. Like he says - don't necessarily go straight to tying knots - look at spotting and leading - things that instil confidence in your 'dummy scared bloke' (i.e. an oppo who's also on the course).

    I had a similar experience, but I failed the night nav exercise. I just had one of those nightmares where I screwed up and it really sapped my confidence. I went back a couple of months later - after some more practice with an experienced JSMEL - and got tested by the chief instructor (I thought 'oh no') and played a blinder.

    So I personally thought that the security of steep ground was easy and it was the micronav that was harder, but I believe that the stats actually agree with Soldier1(UK) regarding failures.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Is JSMEL a step up from the MLT qual and what does it allow you to do that you can't do with an MLT?

    Have found plenty of info on the net about civ qualifications but nothing about the military ones.
     
  5. I done a hill walking course in Silbehuete Germany, there were two of us from our Inf Unit. All the other's were Corps guys.

    Must admit, it's not as difficult as JSMEL, but it was a good laugh. It was directed at navigation and done in pairs. once the instructors knew we were Inf guys we were always the last pair to be released from the start line, however, always the first in - and with hours to spare. A walk in the park - a good week away from the unit doing basically nothing but map reading and tabbing. Loved it.

    BT
     
  6. I believe a JESMEL can award SMP and lead expeditions on unfamilier ground. See JSP 419 for details (availble online).
     
  7. Alright Team,

    Having completed my JSMEL within the last 2 months I thought I'd update the feed on the current JSMEL (or ML(S)) course day to day schedule.

    Working from what has been posted in the past:

    First day is sat in the library getting slagged off by the instructors for not being experienced enough and the majority of military not being worthy of holding a ML.
    I agree - they are often very **** over whether your quality mountain day is indeed permissable.


    My Day 1 was straight out onto the hills above Pen Y Pass for some Micro-Nav. As described: 'Take us to this ring contour'. As tough as I imagine micro-nav can get, especially when the fog closed in a bit. Need to know your Naithsmith's Estimates for this bit as will be asked for your ETA at the point (this continues all week).
    Prep for Day One: Get out for at least an afternoon in the hills around the area (I used the a random area of the Ogwen Valley) with a GPS and test yourself to 8 fig GR accuracy. Also, test yourself on timings: surprising how slow you need to walk to meet Naithsmith's- be familiar!

    Second day is usually the crunch for most candidates, the security on steep ground. This is where most people fail.
    I agree with Soldier1(UK)'s views on 'security on steep ground'. I was very lucky and sailed through it. Like he says - don't necessarily go straight to tying knots - look at spotting and leading - things that instil confidence in your 'dummy scared bloke' (i.e. an oppo who's also on the course).


    Completely agree with what has been written above- only get rope out as a last resort but when you do get it out be confident about what you want to achieve. Essentially, you will only be stopped if you are being unsafe. You will be given advice to make you more efficient/appear more confident but as long as you are safe you will pass. For this we were tested along the rocks rising from the East of Devil's Kitchen. All techniques taken from the Green hillwalking book by Steve Long- buy it off Amazon if you are serious about passing.

    Most importantly is going out with a fellow JSMEL or MLT and practicing all these things, I never B4 I went and failed but went out with a friend for 1 day later, practiced them all came back after 3 months and passed the retest.
    I had a similar experience, but I failed the night nav exercise. I just had one of those nightmares where I screwed up and it really sapped my confidence. I went back a couple of months later - after some more practice with an experienced JSMEL - and got tested by the chief instructor (I thought 'oh no') and played a blinder.


    Agree with the above- I taught myself with the green book for a few days beforehand and passed this element on the knowledge from that.

    So I personally thought that the security of steep ground was easy and it was the micronav that was harder, but I believe that the stats actually agree with Soldier1(UK) regarding failures.

    Good luck.


    Including my week and the 2 weeks previous I saw a 30% pass rate for the whole course.

    Did I pass?- That would be telling!

    The question paper- we went through the answers together as a group with the instructor and it was quite clear that no-one would fail on this unless they had clearly just chinned it off completely.

    The presentation- there were varying levels of effort put into this. From PPT presentation to scribbled notes, again, clear that they aren't too seriously regarded as long as some level of effort and understanding is demonstrated.

    Logbook- The only logbook that anyone from the centre ever looked at was the one of the guy who was going for the civvy qual (as well as his Military Qual). Everyone else's logbooks were not looked at.

    Obviously, test locations change all the time and the Instructors can choose from a multitude of areas within the Mtn range to test various skills but the locations listed above should give an indication of typical terrain if looking to train for the Course.

    Wed lunch to Fri lunch was the Exped phase which is constant navving from point to point including a night-nav. For this, need to know your pacings and a good understanding of 'Slope Aspect' will really help you out (See Green Book) when the clouds roll in at night.

    Happy to answer any questions!