Summit and Beyond was originally named ‘The Summit Project’. Our focus was to provide a course of therapy for adults and young people living with early stage psychosis.
We worked along side the National Health Service from 2011 to 2013 and made the course an award winning success. The aim was to provide service users with a safe social environment to learn within, but also an opportunity to pursue a career as an outdoor instructor.
After the proposed 3 years, we did it! A dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer who originally accessed the service through the NHS became a fully qualified instructor and took over the weekly sessions.
Now it was time for a new challenge. We realised that our course of therapy has the potential to work for everyone. We rebranded as ‘Summit and Beyond’ and set our sights on a wider audience.
For the past few years our main focus has been on providing young people with the opportunity to go on mountain adventures. We have experienced some awesome moments with our young people, when you see a person connect with the wild mountain environment the smile on their face is infectious.
One of our students recently contacted us to let us know they have started an ‘outdoors instructor management’ course at university. This felt like another huge success and we decided to broaden our horizons again…
Your leader Ben started hiking in the Yorkshire dales when he was 12 years old. At 15 years, Ben started working towards joining the army, running and hiking regularly. At 16 Ben took a huge step into basic army training and after 6 months of being broken down and reshaped into a soldier he joined the Coldstream Guards.
By 23 years old Ben had left the army and was pursuing a life as an outdoors instructor. Now, in his mid 30’s Ben gets his soul food from sharing the joy and health benefits the mountains have to offer. Ben lives in border country in the remote Pennines just south of Scotland, with his family. When he isn’t guiding you can find Ben Hiking trails, fell running, writing Blog posts and editing videos of his adventures.
A thoughtful, sometimes philosophical but mostly off beat and quirky guy, Ben is great company on those long days out in the mountains. He enjoys learning from people and sharing his experience.
Mountain leaders have the skills and carry all the equipment needed to keep people safe and alive incase of an emergency.
A good mountain Leader understands the environment, how the mountains and weather work together. With this knowledge they are able to make safe judgement calls within planning and on the ground while guiding.
Knowing how to navigate using a map and compass is essential. Experienced mountain leaders are highly skilled in navigation, in all types of weather in each UK mountain area.
Feeling confident in a mountain environment is key to a successful day out. Mountain Leaders have to work extremely hard to achieve the Mountain leader award, it can take years to meet the requirements to become fully qualified. This experience and confidence is reassuring for clients while out in remote mountain areas.
Mountain leaders have a wide range of knowledge covering everything from the people and culture in the valleys surrounding the mountain to the geology, flora and fauna on the mountain. A mountain day should be an educational experience as well as a scenic and enjoyable challenge.