The School For Mountain Leadership

The School For Mountain Leadership

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Our guiding section:
The Mountain Guide
Rob Thomas (no, not the singer!) has been in the mountains ever since he can remember.

Rob Thomas He grew up in Cape Town, spending his early years running around on the slopes of Devil's Peak before going to boarding school in Queenstown. In Queenstown (Eastern Cape) the school was very lenient (in those days), allowing the boarders out onto the mountains unsupervised. Consequently he spent many weekends exploring the hills surrounding the town, occasionally getting into trouble and in the process learning to anticipate, avoid and solve problems.

In the 1980's South Africa still had compulsory military service for school leavers, giving Rob the opportunity to appreciate all that military life had to offer but sadly keeping him out of the mountains for a few years. After National Service he joined the army for a brief further stint before opting for civilian life.

In 1994 he started getting involved in the training of mountaineers and other people going to cold places. Since then he has:

  • Obtained a Basic Ambulance Assistant qualification and registered with the Health Professions Council of SA.

  • Been certified by the MDT as both a Rock Cimbing Instructor and a Mountain Walking Instructor. These qualifications are the next step up in the MDT scheme from their UIAA equivalent leadership standards.

  • Been assessed and passed the South African National Qualifications for a Rock Climbing guide.
  • Been assessed and passed the South African National Qualifications for a Mountain Walking guide.
  • Been assessed and passed the South African National Qualifications for a Canyoneering guide.
  • Registered as a mountain guide with the (South African) Dept of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

  • Become a registered assessor for mountain guiding National Qualifications in South Africa.

  • Become involved in and progressed to very senior levels mountain rescue in South Africa.
  • Become an accredited trainer of mountain- and wilderness-rescue skills. This includes rope-rescue, wilderness and helicopter-based rescue techniques.

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