Level Mountain Leader

Mountain leaders possess all the skills of the assault climber and have extensive practical experience in a variety of mountain environments in both winter and summer conditions. Level 3 mountaineers should have well-developed hazard evaluation and safe route finding skills over all types of mountainous terrain. Mountain leaders are best qualified to advise commanders on all aspects of mountain operations, particularly the preparation and leadership required to move units over technically difficult, hazardous, or exposed terrain. The mountain leader is the highest level of qualification and is the principle trainer for conducting mountain operations. Instructor experience at a military mountaineering center or as a member of a special operations forces (SOF) mountain team is critical to acquiring Level 3 qualification. Figure A-3 outlines the additional knowledge and skills expected of mountain leaders. Depending on the specific AO, mountain leaders may need additional skills such as snowshoeing and all-terrain skiing.

Recognizing and evaluating peculiar terrain, weather, and hazards.

Preparing route, movement, bivouac, and risk management plans for all conditions and elevation levels. Using roped movement techniques on steep snow and ice.

Performing multipitch climbing on mixed terrain (rock, snow, and ice).

Performing glacier travel and crevice rescue. Establishing and operating technical high-angle, multipitch rescue and evacuation systems. Usiing winter shelters and survival techniques. Leading units over technically difficult, hazardous, or exposed terrain in both winter and summer conditions.

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