The School For Mountain Leadership
1. Military Mountain Orientation
Courses & Assessment
Software & Data
Our guiding section:
The Mountain Guide
Because of the provisions of the South African Foreign Military Assistance Act, these courses are only available to the South african National Defence Force or other organs of the South African state unless specific permission is obtained to present these courses to the the defence forces of other states.
The SANDF currently has no single, integrated set of courses for Mountain Warfare aimed at the soldier on the ground. While the Special Forces do receive some training, other units who also operate in mountainous environments are excluded from this training and thus have no awareness of what mountains entail or capability to function, travel and fight in the mountains.
This is the first in a series of 3 courses aimed at developing skill in the mountains with a view to enhancing survivability and combat-effectiveness in mountainous areas. The courses are:
Military Mountain Leader
With proper training and appropriate equipment it is possible for soldiers not only to survive but also to retain combat efficiency in conditions that are well outside the normal range of comfort. Knowing what techniques to apply and what equipment to use under specific circumstances is a fundamental part of this and is the foundation upon which experience is built. If the SANDF ends up operating in mountainous environments without proper training the casualty count will be a great deal higher than necessary both because of environmental injuries as well as the inability of soldiers to function properly and the associated loss of combat efficiency.
2. Course topics
The mountain environment
Minimal impact principles
Sourcing clean water
Human thermoregulation and managing body temperature
Use, care and storage of cold-weather clothing
Use, care and storage of basic mountaineering and climbing equipment
Rope management, rope care and knots
Load-bearing equipment and packing techniques
Overnight equipment and techniques
Mountain navigation and route-finding
Steep ground movement and safety
River crossing techniques
Top-roped rock climbing and belaying
Simple abseil setups Basic abseiling & improvised abseil techniques
Using rope bridges
Using fixed-rope systems
Improvised First Aid and improvised rescue
Accident and emergency procedures
This course lasts 3 weeks of long days and occasional nights.
This course would be run for a maximum of 30 students at a time.
Equipment can be rented if necessary on a per-group basis.
6. Location and timing
This course can take place at a military training ground in a mountainous area of at least 2000ha. The best area for this is the Eastern Cape or any other mountainous area. The best time of year for this course is towards the end of the rainy season, normally March, April. Desired terrain and conditions are:
Hilly or mountainous area of no less than 2,000 ha
River approx thigh deep between 8 and 20m wide with no hazards for 100m
Steep ground, intermittent rock and grass, just steep enough to require occasional use of hands to progress upwards.
Narrow kloof or gully approx 10-30m deep and 5-30m wide with good anchors either side.
Small cliff (10-30m) with suitable anchors at the top and a return route from bottom to top. Preferred if this cliff is climbable.
Vegetation that can be broken or cut (eg: Wattle) to improvise stretchers, splinting, etc.
7. Costs per course
Excluding equipment rental R 75,000 per group of 30,
Rental of all required if not using SANDF equipment: R 25,000
|| Full time Course