Mountain Medicine

What WMT says

The mountains are an alluring environment and climbing them is a British invention (and obsession!). Living, working and being a medic in the mountains is demanding and occasionally dangerous. There are special medical problems associated with hypoxia at higher altitudes and freezing temperatures, and there is potential for trauma due to avalanches, falls, crevasses on glaciers and other terrain hazards. The mountain medic needs to be able to navigate and be sure footed and confident in the mountains and on steep terrain. You also need to be physically fit and able to practice medicine on the mountainside, where simply assessing a casualty is a challenge in wet, windy weather, not to mention that evacuation is likely to be difficult or at least awkward. This practical, hands on course is lead by mountain medic experts and assumes no prior mountain experience. We take students through the most important medical skills and knowledge required for this special environment in addition to learning and practicing fundamental mountain craft skills that are a pre-requisite to safe, secure movement in the hills. Mountain Medicine is a fun, 2-day course that’s more outdoors than indoors. Read about who is teaching the September ’17 course at the bottom of this page.

What students say

Brilliant venue & facilities. Hostel was superb. Best I’ve ever stayed at.
So friendly, knowledgable and inspirational (instructors)
All great teachers, plenty of humour and effective communication of a lot of knowledge
Well paced gradual accumulation of information over the weekend
Excellent – feel much better equipped and improved confidence
I was amazed at the pre-course organisation
Thank you for so much useful, brilliant fun!
Loved the practical outdoor stuff
An involved, engaging bunch of instructors
Truly excellent… friendly and knowledgeable (instructors)
Relevant, concise, good use of practical demos…
Content was well balanced between mountain stuff and medicine.
Comprehensive…lots of new material for myself.
The sessions… were punctuated with anecdotes and real life experiences which left me with no doubt that I was being taught by experts who had mastered their skills through years of practice in the field.


WMT 8-10 Sept 2017 Mountain Medicine – pre-course Dossier v1
WMT Participant Declaration

Who’s invited?

Doctors of all grades, nurses, medical students or anyone else with an interest in mountain medicine are welcome to attend. No prior climbing or expedition experience is required but you must be reasonably fit. Whether you are flirting with the idea of accompanying a team up Kilimanjaro, bolstering your CV or simply want a fun, inspiring educational weekend in the Welsh mountains, Mountain Medicine will satisfy your aims.

What’s covered on Mountain Medicine?

This is a busy two days with loads of practical sessions, group work, lectures and discussions. There’s lots to learn about mountain craft and this course will give you an excellent grounding. Many students arrive early or stay on to explore under their own steam. We issue a comprehensive course manual with a lot of “bonus” material (see note below). No POM authorisation is included.

Intensive training on the hill includes:
Security on steep ground – simple rope work
Radio communications
Introduction to using GPS
Map & compass navigation
Safe river crossing
Mountain safety equipment
Patient packaging – moving, straightening, lifting, moving
Fracture management – improvised splinting
Wound management
Working around helicopters
Rescue scenarios

The lecture & discussion group sessions include:
Expedition medical planning
Compiling a mountain medical kit
Choosing & packing personal equipment
Mountain navigation theory
Water purification
Thermal injury – hypothermia, frostbite, cold water immersion
Acute mountain sickness – prevention and treatment
Use of portable altitude chambers
So you wanna be an expedition medic?
Saturday evening inspirational lecture (s)


We estimate that this programme is valid for approximately 12 CPD credits.

Medic course manual – what’s covered?

We issue the same comprehensive Medic course manual on ALL WMT Medic courses so there is a lot of “bonus” material in addition to what is specifically covered on any particular course syllabus. For example, there are extensive notes on diverse topics such as heat injury, tropical medicine, expedition dentistry, diving medicine, swift water rescue and other topics that are not covered on this course.

Course timings

Arrive anytime Friday night between 6pm and midnight (no formal meeting or programme). Tuition begins Saturday at 8.30 and we conclude sharply at 4pm Sunday. Accommodation is included for 2 nights. Meals/packed lunches are served starting with breakfast Saturday.

Grasmere Independent Hostel – “Knocks most other Lakeland hostels into a cocked hat”. The Guardian

Finally we’ve found a very high standard 4-star hostel with a 5-star Trip Adviser rating that has first-class facilities within easy reach of the “south” and nestled at the foot of the hills near Grasmere in the beautiful Lake District. There are fast London trains to Windermere and easy bus connections to Grasmere for those using public transportation. We have exclusive use of this 24 bed facility with a dedicated conference room, en-suite bathrooms, a lounge with awesome views, laundry facilities, drying room and a sauna! It’s centrally heated with free flowing hot water for showers (no coin meters in this posh pad!). Free wifi is available and linen/bedding is provided. Best of all it’s 400 yards to a classic real ale Lakeland pub. See lovely photos of the hostel here or visit the hostel website.

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September ’17 Teaching Team

Dr Paddy Morgan and Barry Roberts will teach this course.

Dr Paddy Morgan
Paddy is an Anaesthetic Consultant in Southmead Hospital (Major Trauma Centre for Severn Area) and Critical Care Doctor with Great Western Air Ambulance. He has worked for the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service Cymru and as technical rope and flood rescue technician with Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue. Paddy has undertaken expeditions to Greenland, Africa (north, west and east) and medical support expeditions in Europe and South America. He has been medical advisor to various expedition endurance projects including the “Bristol (children’s) English Channel Swim”, “Virgin Global Row” and the “Engelandvaarder – North Sea Kayak” expedition. He instructs on numerous trauma, anaesthesia, critical care, human factors and resuscitation courses both in-hospital and the pre-hospital environment. In addition, he has authored several book chapters, and international position statements on these subjects. Including the 2nd edition of the OUP Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.

He is a member of the International Lifesaving Society (ILS) medical advisory committee, member of the International Drowning Research Alliance, Honorary medical advisor to Surf Lifesaving GB (including representation on the UKSAR medical group), and was an advisor to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute’s Medical & Survival Committee. He lecturers on the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh / UIAA Diploma in Mountain Medicine and several university postgraduate paramedic and medical courses. Current research activities include cold water immersion and drowning with the Extreme Environment Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth where he is also an Independent Medical Officer.

Barry Roberts BSc BEd, WMT Commercial Director
Baz has maintained a long-standing interest in adventure and wilderness medicine since ski patrolling, climbing and leading canoe expeditions in Canada starting at 15. As a co-founder of WMT and has taught WMT courses for 26 years. He was a Director of Raleigh International and has 25+ diverse international expeditions under his belt, mostly as the leader, mainly to the mountains in East Africa, the Greater Ranges and Greenland. He is an advanced diver, paraglider pilot, skydiver (now retired), a qualified Day Skipper, ski instructor and ski mountaineer. He is the co-author of Staying Alive Off-piste, a contributing author to the OUP expedition medicine handbook (3 chapters) and author of many adventure magazine features. From ’04 to ’08 he was sponsored by The North Face. Expedition highlights include Everest in ’04 and the first winter ascent of the highest mountain in the Arctic (Gunnsbjornsfjeld in Greenland) from which he paraglided off. His most recent trips include paragliding in India and ski touring in Norway.