We are always working hard to improve what we deliver at SOTRG, however we also think we are doing a good job of delivering courses that are fun, informative and safe in a professional, friendly and helpful way. Don’t take our word for it though have a look at some our our reviews below.
Our ML training course was hugely enjoyable and very informative. Sandy, and his team, have a brilliant balance of communication, and technical, skills, as well as sense of humour. I won't be going anywhere else for my mountaineering training - I'll definitely be back for more learning / assessment and bad jokes
Sandy Paterson is that rare blend of mountain man and people person. His ethos is very supportive, encouraging and yet down to earth, quickly inspiring confidence. He and his colleagues know heaps about most outdoor working environments in the UK and abroad, adults and schools. I've done both the SML course and assessment with SOTRG and really appreciated this approach and, importantly, sense of humour - many thanks Sandy, Ian and Dave.
Had a fantastic Ml refresher weekend with Sandy in the Cairngorms. Learnt so much and felt very comfortable due to Sandy's approach. Heavily recommend doing a refresher weekend with SOTRG for any aspirant ML!
The route I took to my SML assessment fully prepared me so that I started the week with the confidence to succeed. This was partly due to the input from SOTRG - your night navigation workshop (in the pouring rain) near Pitlochry last October and informative refresher course at Rothiemurchus in April armed me with the skills and confidence required. Coupled with experience gained acquiring my QMDs and working with groups of children out in the hills at school I was definitely ready for 5 days under the microscope! I really appreciated SOTRG's professional, affable and relaxed approach and at times completely forgot I was being scrutinised and assessed. Thank you to Sandy and Ian - I can’t believe how much I learned during the week. I am now so looking forward to working as a Mountain Leader and helping others develop a love for the outdoors and getting them into some of the more stunning remote areas that I have been fortunate to explore during my ML journey. I can’t recommend SOTRG enough to anyone thinking of becoming a Mountain Leader!
Have now done my ML training (July 2018) and assessment (August 2019) with Sandy and found him and his team to be excellent. As well as being very experienced and respected, his calm and friendly manner helps put you at ease during what can be quite a stressful time on the hill. Spent more time during the assessment with Ian, who was also very good and happy to share his experience and knowledge during the week. Thanks to both Sandy and Ian, as well as Dave during the training, for all the help and advice, it is much appreciated.
Dave and Ian were fantastic and despite my nerves they made sure that we had a relaxed atmosphere for the entire assessment which really helped. There were even times I managed to forget I was being assessed and just had fun.
I have just finished a 6 day Summer ML Training course with Sandy and Jonty. They were very accommodating from the moment I booked right through to the end of the course. It was a fun and relaxing environment to learn in, especially given the weather conditions we had throughout the week. Can’t rate or recommend them high enough and certainly will put them at the top of my list for further training. Great work guys and no “just depends” as I really do hope I see you two up in the hills again. Ali
A winter Mountain Leader refresher course delivered by SOTRG was extremely useful prep. The course was delivered in a succinct and bespoke manner, taking into account all of our needs. Despite challenging conditions (although we did have The best sunset and inversion that I've seen all season!), Ian was able to find venues that suited all of the skills that we wanted to extend. The hints, tips and advice that were shared leaves me in no doubt that I would fully recommended anyone to signing up for this refresher or indeed, any other course delivered by SOTRG. Thanks very much. Cath
A Fantastic 6 days of Winter Mountain Leader training delivered by Ian Stewart and Sandy Paterson at SOTRG. They were thorough in their approach to the syllabus of the award and allowed all of us to explore and further our own skills in the UK Winter Mountain Environment. Ian and Sandy's strengths lie in being able to demonstrate and teach in a succinct and practical way that benefited every individual in the training group. I'm looking forward to progressing to assessment.
Winter Mountain Leader Assessment - Sandy, Ian and Dave created a relaxed, fun, action packed and focused week. Their knowledge, passion, helpfulness and skill of putting candidates into the right mind frame is top notch. Thanks again to the Scotch on the Rocks team.
Having just finished winter ML training with SOTR, I cannot speak highly enough of the experience. It is clear that Sandy and team have put a lot of thought and work into teaching the syllabus in the most effective way, spending as much time out on the hill as possible, and always following up each activity/ day with a thorough debrief. The course location in Newtonmore also proved to be an ideal base; even though the house the course was run out of was full, there were 2 other hostels to choose from in town, as well as a small supermarket (I stayed at the Strathspey Mountain Hostel - also recommended!). Being in Newtonmore gave us the option for exploring areas further afield from Aviemore too. The course instructors were Ian and Dave - both were highly motivated, approachable and were clearly committed to running the week in a way that put our learning at its core. They also have a breadth of experience that further enriched the week. All of the pre-trip comms was with Sandy. Everything was made super clear beforehand, with pre-course documents sent out well in advance. This gave me realistic expectations for the week, and enabled me to read up on the course both before and during the week. All of the key information and slides were sent around to the group immediately after the course too. Top rate course all round!
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Ian, Dave and Sandy for delivering a fantastic and very professionally delivered Winter Mountain Leader Training week based in the Cairngorms. The course exceeded my expectations, gave me loads of confidence in my winter skills and navigation and the skilful teaching styles from Ian and Dave ensured all areas of the WML syllabus were covered in a practical, relevant and fun way. If you are contemplating pursuing a WML qualification, I would strongly recommend Scotch on the Rocks as a course provider! Rachel
Really good instruction and training from Dave and Ian during the Winter ML training week. Look forward to seeing them again for assessment!
Fantastic experience doing my Winter ML Nav assessment with Dave. At 6 months pregnant from the first contact the guys completely put me at ease. They reassured me the focus was on my navigation and not the pregnancy. I would recommend Scotch on the Rocks to anyone. Big thanks to Sandy and Dave.
I have just completed the winter mountain leader refresher. Sandy is a wealth of knowledge, great teacher and all round good egg. I found the refresher an invaluable insight to the assessment process and what is expected of me. I highly recommend this refresher to anyone who is considering or is booked on WML assessment. You won't regret it!
I did my Summer ML training with Sandy and Bill Strachan (the previous owner of SOTR) back in 2012, and was that impressed with them that I was very keen to have the current team of Ian Stewart (Course Director) and Sandy take me through the Winter ML Training course earlier this month. I was equally impressed by the skill and professionalism both Ian and Sandy brought to bear through out the week while delivering the indepth aspects of the syllabus whilst at the same time keeping things sufficiently informal and enjoyable. As such I would have no hesitation in recommending SOTR guiding for anybody looking to benefit from one or other of the courses they offer.
Did a 2 day Winter ML preparation course with Ian. It was a great course tailored to everyone’s individual goals/aims. There was lots of really useful hints/tips, it has definitely given me more confidence and knowledge going ahead with my assessment!
Fantastic guide, definitely recommend
I have recently enjoyed 3 days scrambling in the Torridon area with Sandy. Sandy is an experienced, knowledgeable and adaptable mountain guide. His excellent attention to the safety and care of his clients ensured each days scramble was thoroughly enjoyed and I really felt a supported and valued part of the team. I especially found interesting and informative Sandy’s extensive knowledge of the environment, geology and plant life of the area. Thanks Sandy for an awesome 3 days out, I will definitely be booking more days with you and will highly recommend you to others! Rachel Bolton September 2020