Mountain Leaders pre-RMAS - is it worth it?

I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place and also if it has been answered before but I couldn't find a definitive answer...

I have heard rumours that if you don't have any outdoor quals (ML, Sailing etc.) before Sandhurst, then the AT course at the end of the first term is almost guaranteed to be yet another wander through the lovely Welsh countryside. As I also understand that there is quite a lot of this over the year anyway, would it be worthwhile picking up a related qual before going in order to do something more varied during the first period of leave? I have the time do this now. Any help appreciated.

Ive got a few friends that are doing it although none of them are going to RMAS, seems good and will last you the rest of your life, plus you'll stay fit.
I did the wandering through the welsh mountains course at the end of my first time. It was actually quite enjoyable and I learned a lot about micro-nav. The pace is an enjoyable walking pace rather than tabbing speed. The great thing about the course is that it is very short - so you lose the minimum amount of leave compared to anything else. And if you then do a walking expedition at the end of your second term then you can do a very short, very cheap and easy to organise expedition to the lake district and again maximise your leave time. Overseas expeditions at Sandhurst will bankrupt you - do them when you get to your unit and there is more money about.
Not able to comment on the career aspects of it, but I found the old MLTB far harder when I finally got round to doing it later in life!

Some of their shorter course can be fun and useful, but don't forget for the MLTE Mountain Leader Award you need a good 20 "quality days" logged before doing the training course and then gain added quality days between their training and assessments.

It may well be you could use military days where they meet the criteria dfor the intermediate "quality days".
asr - thank you very much, that's really useful to know. I hadn't considered the time aspect at all. Not that I'm there yet but come december, and the end of term one, I should imagine that every day of leave is gold dust! thanks again.

tom - thanks as well, didn't know that either!
Firstly, I am a crab so I don't know how things work at Sandhurst. That said, I am a JSMEL and have led plenty of AT. If there is AT involved then whoever is leading must have the appropriate qualifications. If you pay to get a civvy ML then you can only use it in the UK so it will not get you away from a walk in Wales. Though Scotland is nice too.
Save your money and get the mob to pay after you are in. Then you can use the same qualification to take groups anywhere in the world below the snowline (terms and conditions apply). If you pick the right course then you can get the MLTE qual at the same time. The same goes for rock climbing. The military uses BSAC quals for scuba but for Mil AT you also need a SADS which is a mil only qual, so that would not help.
Long story short - save your money, get your logbook sorted/filled and speak to your training wing or gym once you are in fulltime.
If you wait till Sandhurst then you will only come away with the ML training which in the Army still gives you a qual able to lead in the UK. An option is do your ML training now then go for assessment when at Sandhurst which would give you JSMEL. But for all courses make sure you register to get the civ qual each time to save hassle later on when your back out on civvy street.

If you want to do something before you go in then another options is Trail Cycle Leader, easier to get and offers variety to AT.

Also Units were always hunting for UKCC qualified people. Always good to have a water based ticket if your interested in paddling.

just a few options
as other posters have said, if you haven't got cheap access to ML training pre RMAS, make sure you get your log book up to speed and get your civvy Mountain leader training during your military course.

As orgasmic said, if you have enough days/experience under your belt, consider doing an MLT before, but be aware you might get given specified log book experience or a time limit prior to doing the ML assessment.

ASR hit the nut on the head, quickest course, can be good fun with the right crowd. If you aren't already doing other AT stuff, then don't start some exotic or different qual that in your first few years after RMAS won't be easy to maintain/stay current.
E.g. Non sailing types doing competent crew, but then bringing no useful AT qual to the unit to take soldiers out on activities.
As has been said MLT was actually pretty good fun, good lash in Bangor and the camping bit was a doddle after Crychans Challenge. Take a jet boil, frying pan, steaks - all the stuff you couldn't get away with on ex - and live like a king! Then do Peaks/Lakes/Highlands exped on the cheap in second leave.

Alternatively, if you go to RMAS in September try and get on the ski trip. From what I heard another good piss up where you will learn both uphill and downhill skiing, and it doesn't count as "experience" if you take your regi team away later - you can still count as a novice.

Another option could be to do RYA Competent Crew now and get a load of logegs experience, then do Day Skipper at RMAS, which is then usable by your later unit.
If you're wanting some ideas about what's available (and counts as AT) have a look at JSP 419

and have a look around Smallbrown is right that it isn't easy to stay current on some of the more gucci quals while you're there: I've known at least one person who has lost parachute quals whilst enjoying the delights of Camberly. Also it's worth remembering the ML training and qualification courses can cost a small fortune outside the forces.

Incidently what entry are you looking at going to Sandhurst in?


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