Tuesday 8 November 2011

Mountain Navigation Skills Training courses in The Lake District. November 5th & 6th 2011.

During the weekend of November 5th
& 6th 2011, four people came together to join Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services on one of our renowned Mountain Navigation Skills training courses in The Lake District.

From left to right in photo on we have John, Sarah & Alan and Skip who had come along for the weekend hoping to improve their map reading &
navigation skills.

These four people had come to us via a number of sources. John - simply by Googling navigation skills training courses had found the KMS website, Sarah & Alan came to us via the online outdoor enthusiasts site MyOutdoors and Skip had come to us via Outdoorsmagic.

Our Mountain Navigation Skills Training courses are all about taking you from where you are and improving your skills to confidently go into the UK's mountains using a map & compass. Our courses will help you work out where you are, plan a route and know where you are going by being able to identify what is around you simply by using a map & compass.

In photo two, Alan takes a compass bearing for what was to be our first leg taking; and walking on a bearing
and using pacing to arrive at a predetermined grid reference on the map.

We had started the session on the first day by firstly orientating the map and discussing the significance of grid references. We then had walked from our vehicles to the point in this photo "handrailing" a linear feature - in this case a bridleway - moving between grid references and using a combination of pacing and tick off features to help us identify exactly where we were along our route in relation to where we wanted to get to.

From the place where photo two was taken, we then switched to more advanced map reading techniques for the remainder of the day in so much that rather than following linear features such as a path/track, wall or stream, we located specific (although not necessarily obvious) features on the
map such as re-entrants or ring
contours and made our way to them using a combination of bearings and pacing the measured distance.

Saturday was a lovely sunny day - visibility was great, too good really for a Mountain Navigation Skills Training course but when you consider the cold & wet conditions we could have had at this time of year - we weren't complaining!

Photo three shows our team at Skeggles Water on Green Quarter Fell towards the end of the afternoon. The sun was starting to set and a cold north easterly breeze had set in, but it had been a great and worthwhile day for everyone with everyone learning a lot of new navigational skills from Iain.

Unfortunately, Sarah & Alan were unable to join us on the Sunday, so Iain set off with Skip and John to carry on with day two of our Mountain Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District.

This time we drove further up the Kentmere Valley and set off up Shipman Knotts with the intention of consolidation the navigation skills learned the previous day, putting them into use today and having a mountain journey on a well known ridge as well.

In photo four, taken from Shipman Knotts, we have a great view across to the hills on the western side of the Kentmere Horseshoe - Yoke, Ill Bell & Froswick. Today we had no breeze, wall to wall blue sky and stunning views in all directions.

We continued on our way looking at more advanced navigational
techniques such as using the compass the identify a ground feature on the map. We also discussed timings and Naithsmiths Rule.

We eventually reached Harter Fell before heading back to the parked car picking up the head of Drygrove Gill and the Ull Stone en route.

As these are both on a slope and had to be located using pacing and bearings Skip & John did week to find them, but both had come along well on our weekend Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District.

Iain wishes all four attendees the best of luck with their forays into the mountains with their new & improved map reading skills.

Other photographs from this Mountain Navigation Skills Training course in The Lake District can be viewed here.

Our next Mountain Navigation Skills Training course in The Lake District will be running during the weekend of March 31st & April 1st 2012. If you would like to attend then contact us via the Kendal Mountaineering Services Website here. The cost is £80 per person for the two day course and maps are provided by us.

We look forward to working with you.

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