Mountaineering, Mountain Biking and Hill Walking

Mountaineering, Mountain Biking and Hill Walking

County Adviser: David Adamson

Mountaineering which is also often known as Hillwalking and indeed Mountain Biking are activities whereby the groups can not only explore some amazing terrain but also builds in physical fitness, navigation, route planning and whole range of leadership skills.

Generally you will require an Adventurous activity permit to run this activity.

For information on applying for a permit or on the activity in general please contact the County Hillwalking adviser or one of the County Assessors.



Mountains and other remote country can be dangerous places to operate, not just due to the nature of the terrain but also the remoteness and potential exposure to extremes of weather meaning that appropriate supervision and training is required by participants. Leaders must not only be competent and trained but also for what is classed as Terrain One or Terrain Two, formally authorised under the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme.

  • Terrain Zero is any area under 500 metres and within 30 minutes of a road or habitation. There must be no scrambling involved. This applies to most of southern England (specifically parts of Dartmoor are excluded) For more information see: HERE
  • Terrain One is any area over 500 but under 800 metres high that can be accessed without any element of scrambling and is within 3 hours of a road or habitation. This includes terrain in Dartmoor, the Peak District, much of the Brecon Beacons and Yorkshire Dales plus some of the medium size peaks in Snowdonia, Lake District and Scotland.
  • Terrain Two is any area over 800 metres and/or that an element of scrambling may be required and includes the higher peaks in Snowdonia, Lake District and Scotland.
  • Winter Conditions – Any occasion when snow and/or ice conditions are present or can reasonably expected to be present and cannot easily be avoided. This is not based on a specific time of the year.
  • Summer Conditions – Any occasion when Winter Conditions are not present. This is again not based on any specific time of year.
  • Walking Group Size – The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 7 plus the group leader.
  • More information on Hillwalking is available HERE
  • If you are interested in Mountain Biking then read HERE

Gaining a Mountaineering Activity Permit

For leaders wishing to gain an Adventurous Activity Permit they will require a practical assessment by a County Assessor as to their technical competency, which if approved will be passed to their DC to check the candidate’s suitability and to issue the permit. Holders of NGB Qualifications: Hill & Moorland Leader for Terrain One and Mountain Leader for Terrain Two will normally only need a paper or interview-based assessment. Both candidates for assessment and permit holders are expected to keep an approved type of log book demonstrating their CPD. Permits normally last for 5 years at which point the holder will be subject to reassessment however it is normally possible to do this as a paper or interview-based exercise as long as suitable experience and competency can be evidenced.

There are two county SASU that are able to assist with obtaining a permit

PEAK SASU (training and experience)

Surrey Scout & Guide Mountaineering Club SASU (experience building)

How can I get involved?

There are two SASU that support this programme areas.  Visit their pages and get involved in what they do!

PEAK SASU (training and experience)

Surrey Scout & Guide Mountaineering Club SASU (experience building)


Nature and the outdoors are languages that can be learned. Once you identify a beech tree, tie a clove hitch or cook a simple meal over a fire that you’ve built yourself, you’ll never forget it.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls