The YAG programme runs for three years, starting in January and finishing in December. The 2023-2025 intake is now full. Applications will open in autumn 2025 for the next three-year intake
The criteria is as follows:
- Between 19 and 29 years old
- UK-based or UK or Irish nationality
- Have plenty of UK trad climbing experience, including on multi-pitch routes on a variety of crags
- UK/Scottish winter climbing experience
- Alpine climbing experience in both summer and winter, in a variety of countries/areas/ranges, and have climbed technical routes (this is open to interpretation, but ideally mid-range technical rock/ice/mixed climbing)
- Able to competently travel through the mountains on skis
Please note the YAG mission statement: “to improve the safety and knowledge of young alpine climbers, giving them the skills to climb - in alpine - style - in the Greater Ranges around the world. We aim to advance the next generation of world-leading young UK alpinists via a three-year, elite-level programme featuring courses, trips, expeditions and mentorship.”
10 places are available to anyone regardless of race or gender.
It's necessary to have the above criteria to ensure all participants are competent climbers, are looking to progress to the bigger mountains around the world, and are always climbing in alpine style. These criteria are the minimum and also ensure all members of the group have a similar level of experience.
If you have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
We get many great messages from psyched people asking if they can join the Group or looking for advice on how to progress to going winter mountaineering or alpine climbing. It of course totally depends on where you're at with your ability and confidence, as well as your life situation and financial situation, but here is some basic information to help you on your way. If you have any questions, please get in touch!
If you have a little experience but want to develop and learn the skills needed for UK winter mountaineering or want to begin your Alpine career, we would recommend the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust (JCMT) courses run by Plas-y-Brenin. They run courses with a variety of themes for people trying to get into winter walking and mountaineering, as well as Alpine beginners courses. These courses are also subsidised to help encourage young people in the sport, so are a great place to start no matter your budget. Some of the Group started their climbing careers after going on one of these courses, and would really recommend trying to get on one if you can.
Another option is to get some friends together to pay for some days of skills with a qualified instructor, whether that's multi-pitch climbing in North Wales, Winter skills in Scotland, or scrambling in the Lake District. There are a few large companies that provide courses, as well as accommodation and food, such as the National centres Plas-y-Brenin or Glenmore Lodge. Or alternatively, you could speak with an independent outdoor professional if you're looking for a more individualised course. Make sure to look for suitably qualified guides and instructors, with the British Mountain Guides and the Association of Mountaineering Instructors being the organisations which certify Guides and instructors in the UK.
Something else worth considering if you're a student are University mountaineering clubs, which can be quite good for getting together, sharing skills, or organising trips - a great complement to professionally run skills courses.
Finally, local mountaineering clubs will have regular meets at climbing walls, as well as trips to the UK mountains and overseas, they are usually well organised and enjoy seeing young faces.