I wonder if the sub-title of this technical skills handbook might put off some potential purchasers. I really do hope not. This, the third edition of the handbook for all candidates working through Lowland Leader, Hill and Moorland Leader, and Mountain Leader courses is quite simply an absolute must for ALL walkers, not just those preparing for a Mountain Training Assessment.
The book is split into three main sections: Getting Around in the Hills; The Upland Environment and Group Management, with individual chapters covering topics as diverse and useful as Movement Skills, Navigation tools, Navigation Techniques, Clothing and Equipment, Understanding the Environment, The Weather, Hazards and Risk Management, Dealing with Incidents, and Dealing with Injuries. There is a huge amount of invaluable information packed into this book, as you would expect from author Steve Long (with contributions from Plas y Brenin staff).
There are loads of helpful tips inside, and the book relies heavily on the use of good, common-sense advice backed up by easy to understand photographs and diagrams.
This being the third revised edition you’ll find this book has swollen quite a bit since the second edition came out. Special emphasis on the use of up-to-date GPS and mapping software is a welcome addition even for someone like me who is a dedicated map and compass user.
For those who are using this as a reference tool towards gaining a Mountain Training award, you’ll find the pages and box-outs with a little ‘i’ in a circle particularly useful as these sections are aimed at those wanting to learn techniques for teaching skills to others.
At £16.99 this book should be on every walker’s Christmas list, and will soon become a well-thumbed tome that never really spends any time on the bookshelf.
You can buy ‘hillwalking’ direct from Mountain Training at their online shop: https://cms.mountain-training.org/public/shop/12/books, and it’s also available from the BMC online shop too: http://www.bmcshop.co.uk/index.php?cPath=220_312