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Dear Candidate Name,

Whatever stage you’re at on your Mountain Training journey, the last few months have likely involved lots of frustration and occasionally some confusion. The good news is, it’s now possible to get out and gain some much-needed fresh air and adventure.

As restrictions ease at different rates across the UK and Ireland we’d like to help you understand what you can and can’t do within the current regulations in England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in relation to hill walking and climbing. This guidance is not designed to replace the advice being given by each government and has been simplified to provide a snapshot of the situation in each country. For the full picture please read the relevant government website and please check local tourist board and national park websites for local variations.

  Outdoor group size limitations Distancing Travel Overnight stays Camping National Parks Toilets and car parking Climbing walls Mountain Training course provision?
England 6 people from 6 households 2m except where that’s not possible, in which case 1m with mitigation measures in place No restrictions, avoid public transport if possible Yes self-contained, booked in advance Yes – check  for campsite closures before you travel Open – check the relevant NP website for any restrictions Some remain closed, check before you travel No Yes, activity indoors limited to two households
Scotland 8 people from 3 households 2m No restrictions, avoid public transport if possible  Yes self-contained, booked in advance  No Open – check the relevant NP website for any restrictions  Some remain closed, check before you travel  No No
Wales Unlimited from 2 households 2m No restrictions, avoid public transport if possible  No No Open – check the relevant NP website for any restrictions  Some remain closed, check before you travel  No Yes but few options due to outdoor group size limitations, no activity indoors, no overnight stays
Northern Ireland 10-15 people (Mountaineering Ireland recommendation) 2m  No restrictions, avoid public transport if possible  Yes Yes – check campsite information before you travel Open – check the relevant NP website for any restrictions  Some remain closed, check before you travel  No Yes
Ireland 10-15 people (Mountaineering Ireland recommendation) 2m  No restrictions, avoid public transport if possible  Yes Yes – check campsite information before you travel Open – check the relevant NP website for any restrictions  Some remain closed, check before you travel  No Yes

Links for more information

  Mountaineering council update Government guidance
England BMC - England update UK Government
Scotland Mountaineering Scotland latest Scottish Government
Wales BMC - Wales update Welsh Government
Northern Ireland Mountaineering Ireland latest Northern Ireland Executive
Ireland Mountaineering Ireland latest Irish Government

What does this mean for you, our candidates?

It means you can now develop your experience, bearing in mind the limitations outlined above. Here are some things to think about when you’re heading out:

Refamiliarization
It’s important to build in a period of refamiliarization if you’ve not been hill walking or climbing much recently, regardless of how experienced you are (or were) – skill fade is common and your fitness is probably not what it was. If you choose the right partner(s) and the right venue you can support each other while enjoying your time in the hills or at the crag. If you'd like some support, the Mountain Training Association is restarting some of its workshops and regional group events for members - see what's happening.

Risk management
Whether you’re heading out for a walk on your own or with others, your assessment of the risks involved has a new hazard to consider: Covid-19. To help you make decisions about what steps you should take to avoid spreading the virus, read our advice for MTA members.

The time required to think, make decisions and consciously complete safety checks might mean everything takes a bit longer than it used to; allow yourself this time for risk management. Mountain Rescue aren’t able to respond as quickly as they were prior to lockdown, and now more than ever it’s worth putting the effort into planning and preparing for your adventures and taking care of yourself and others while you’re out. The daylight hours start early and finish late at the moment so there’s no need to rush. Efficiency will follow.

Respect the Rock
If you’re new to climbing outdoors, or you’re taking friends or family climbing outdoors for the first time, the BMC’s #RespectTheRock campaign has some great resources including videos and articles that might help with the transition.

Restrictions
There are still a number of restrictions in place and for a successful day out it’s important that you know what they are. Use the table we’ve created as a guide and research the place you’re visiting before you go. If you’ve not been out yet, think about where your first post-lockdown adventure might take you and the logistics involved in travelling there and parking when you get there. Have a few options in mind in case your first choice destination is crowded or inaccessible.

Our customer service team has welcomed back a few members of the team so get in touch if you have any questions about our schemes or contact one of our approved providers.

Best wishes,

Mountain Training

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