IML Summer assessment (UIMLA)

International Mountain Leader Summer Assessments 2021

Since 2016 I have been involved with the development of the Swedish UIMLA program. Part of this is more towards the administrative development of our UIMLA membership and part is as an instructor for the International Mountain Leader program. In September of 2021 I had the opportunity to host the first Swedish summer assessment together with two colleagues. A particularly wet week with limited visibility in a very remote part of the Scandinavian mountain range called Offerdalsfjällen.

The summer assessment is the third of four modules where the participants meet outdoors in the mountains to either train or be assessed. But before they are accepted they will have to have completed a national award as well as fulfil the requirements of experience and first aid. The participants are expected to already perform at a high level and hopefully have a few years of experience.

Below are a couple of images from the assessment.

Offerdalsfjällen is a relatively unknown area where few people ever go. Directly translated the name means Sacrifice Valley Mountains.

The participants and instructors meet in the area of Långsådalen after a two hour car ride north of Östersund.

The occassional water crossing did not help with keepings things dry in the already damp weather.

Slippery terrain to be passed.

Have you ever eaten crowberries?

Bob Van Ettinger showing the difference between grass and Sedges as part of his exam. 

The only other human contact throughout the week was the sound of a helicopter passing by.

Ulf Bergman (picture) and Matt Larsson Clifford as my co-instructors.

Map lichen is a type of lichen than grows where there are significantly lower pollution in the air. In an area with no trails or signs, at least this was a good sign.

One of the settings for the Security on steep ground exam. In this terrain the candidates would have to show proficiency with a number of techniques.

Lucian Negrut showing a South African Rappel with his and a client’s backpack.

Fingers crossed the leg fracture scenario will stay as a planned scenario. 

The few moments the fog went away, the camera got out.

Water crossings, after finding a suitable area and instructing your group, can you take them safely across?

For the participants who passed, a winter assessment will be hosted during the winter season of 2022.

What is UIMLA?

UIMLA stands for Union of International Mountain Leader Organisations and is made up of 21 Full member countries and 6 Aspirant member countries. Originally created in 2004 but having roots within Europe back to 1989, then called the European Mountain Leader Commission. Since 2021 based out of Switzerland. Sweden is an aspirant member and is represented by Markus Nyman and Matt Larsson Clifford through the Swedish Mountain Leader Organisation SFLO.

More info: https://uimla.org/ and https://svenskafjalledare.se/

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