Sunday 27 June 2010

One day Lake District Navigation Skills training course, Eskdale, 26th June 2010

Iain travelled over from Kendal to Eskdale in the western Lake District to provide this one day navigation skills training course which had been booked some months earlier for Jeremy Patterson as a birthday present from friends.

Iain met Jeremy at the Woolpack Inn, which, having access to the fell immediately behind (not to mention parking and a beer at the end of the day!) made it an ideal place to work from. The area of open access country land immediately to the north of the Woolpack is an interesting mixture of undulating ground with hundreds of contour features and attack points.

From the Woolpack, we made our way to Eel Tarn getting Jeremy to read the map and describe our route to the tarn. He very quickly began to pick up on contour features and also the fact that OS maps are often not very accurate - particularly not when it comes to footpaths.

From Eel Tarn we made our way via Blea Beck to Stony Tarn having identified a small prominent peak from Eel Tarn that we wished to find. Walking on a bearing to spot height 272M and then using Blea Beck as a handrail we were able to reach Stony Tarn and use that to get to our objective which turned out to be Whin Crag, although we had already identified from point 272 - using a combination of map reading and compass work, that the top we were after must be indeed, the one with that name.

Following on from Whin Crag, Iain gave Jeremy the objective of finding a pool of water marked some 200M beyond a distant spot height using grid references. Jeremy would then give Iain a bearing and distance to the place and also a plan of how he was going to get there. Success followed success and the remainder of the route went over Great How via Cat Cove and down to Burnmoor Tarn before we realised it was 3:30 and time to be heading back towards the Woolpack.

Jeremy thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot from his one day navigation course here in the Lake District with Kendal Mountaineering Services and Iain was surprised to find that the distance to the Woolpack from Kendal was a mere 25.7 miles. Travelling over Hardknott and Wrynose passes certainly made it feel a bit further!

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