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Over the past 7 years Ice Factor has been the catalyst for taking a number of exceptional individuals, with a passion for the outdoors, and providing the right environment to allow them to progress into the world of the mountaineering professional.

A number of our former staff have progressed from Climbing Wall Award (CWA) to Single Pitch Award (SPA), through the Mountain Leader (ML) syllabus and onto the Mountaineering Instructor Awards (MIA). For some the journey through the National Governing Body Awards has resulted in them setting up their own instruction and guiding businesses, whilst for others the allure of the Alps has taken them onto the aspirant Guide Scheme at Plas Y Brenin or Glenmore Lodge.

The Applicant

We look for articulate, motivated individuals with a clear track record in the outdoor industry. This does not mean that you have to have a full log book of climbs (but it helps!), rather, we are looking for individuals with the necessary drive, determination and maturity to take them through the journey.

You may have finished a college course with an Outdoor Industry Focus or have been a jobbing instructor working your way towards assessment. We place a lot more weight in your ability to work proactively within a team and your ability to always go the extra mile to delight the customer than formal prior training. However, it is essential that you are passionate about the outdoors.

The Scheme

Each October we will invite applicants for the role. In each year there is normally a maximum of 2 places.

If successful, you will be offered a start date. Trainee Instructors are provided with a small living wage, accommodation in shared staff accommodation, a generous equipment / gear allocation, mentoring and training by senior members of staff and 100% of the costs of your training courses with the external assessment bodies is covered by the company.

Subject to you being registered with the relevant mountaineering authority we will push you forward through the training NGB awards. Dependent upon where you are on the awards ladder this may include:

  • Climbing Wall Award Training
  • Climbing Wall Award Assessment
  • BASP First Aid
  • Single Pitch Award Training
  • Single Pitch Award Assessment
  • Mountain Leader Summer Training
  • Mountain Leader Summer Assessment

For others, with the required log book and pre-requisite skills in place, the next series of awards are:

  • Mountain Leader Winter Training
  • Mountain Leader Winter Assessment
  • Mountaineering Instructor Award Training
  • Mountaineering Instructor Award Assessment
  • Mountaineering Instructor Certificate Assessment
  • Mountaineering Instructor Certificate Assessment

The Trainee Scheme normally runs over a 12 month period, those students who are exceptional will be offered either a 2nd year or full time instructor roles.

What’s the success rate?

As in the preamble, we’ve had a number of staff progressing the full way, leaving The Ice Factor for the greater ranges, but retaining a relationship with the company as freelance instructors.

Others have found the role too demanding, the journey too long and become dispirited. This is largely a maturity and commitment issue - generally speaking, those team members who’ve excelled have been really motivated towards becoming a Mountaineering Professional.

What’s Involved?

Despite the talk of mountains, courses and assessments,applicants need to appreciate, that the bulk of the work will be centre based.

Trainees will spend the first month shadowing fellow instructors. Throughout the centre manager will aim to provide you with the core skills for running the indoor sessions. There is an increasing level of responsibility as key milestones and internal training requirements are passed, culminating in you running your own sessions with clients.

The role is not just confined to instruction however. The centre operates a cafe, bar-bistro and outdoor gear shop. All members of the team will be rotated around the various depts. to the point where you can comfortably assist in any area of the facility.

The types of sessions that we run, can be clearly seen on the courses section of the website. All trainees are involved in the full range of courses. Where possible we will assist with time off/transport for getting log book hours, crag time and multi-pitch days. During our busy winter guiding season, there is normally the opportunity for getting out on the skills courses and winter mountaineering courses.

If you feel you could bring something to the table, we’d be keen to hear from you.
Apply via email to the Centre Manager Jamie Bankead on

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