Wednesday 21 November 2012

Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District. November 10th & 11th 2012.

During the weekend of November 10th & 11th 2012, Iain Gallagher of Kendal Mountaineering services ran a bespoke one on one course for Grant Geddes (photo one) who was the only person booked on to that particular weekend Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District.

During this Autumn, we have offered 1 weekend Navigation Skills Training Course per month although not all have run due to a lack of interest. This is surprising when you consider that our offer provides the opportunity to gain life saving skills for going walking in the mountains for only £40 per day from a qualified & experienced Mountaineering Instructor.

Being able to accurately navigate in the mountains is a really important skill to have. A lack of navigational ability can result in the inconvenience of getting lost in the mountains and ending up miles away from where you wanted to be, being benighted, having the embarrassment of having to call out Mountain Rescue or worse still - a combination of all of the above ending in something much more serious.

By contrast, good navigational skills allow you to venture into the UKs mountains with more confidence - knowing where you are going, identifying what you will see along your route and the satisfaction of being able to accurately pinpoint your location from map to ground.

It is also reassuring to have the knowledge to be able to use a compass when the cloud comes down, to be able to identify an unknown feature from a known location or have confidence in measuring the distance you have walked as well being able to estimate how long a route will take you - enabling you to arrive back at your vehicle, bunkhouse or pub on time, well satisfied after a great day out in the mountains!

Grant was very pleased with his two day bespoke Mountain Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District with Iain. As we got stuck into the first day of his course it became apparent to Iain that Grant knew many of the techniques required not just for basic map reading but also more advanced techniques such as using a compass to identify an unknown feature from a known location (photo two). So, for Iain, it was just a case of polishing up Grants navigational techniques and helping him gain confidence in using them.

Day one saw us working on those skills on the Green Quarter Fell area of Kentmere and as per Grants request, we spent several hours practising night navigation. Night nav is an advanced navigational technique. You have to walk on a bearing whilst concentrating on pacing & timing - all done whilst being able to see only by headtorch. By the end of day one, Grants ability & confidence had come on in leaps & bounds - good effort!

Photos three & four are both from day two of Grants bespoke Navigation Skills Training course. On this day, we drove further up the Kentmere Valley and walked up on to the east side of the Kentmere Horseshoe eventually arriving at Harter Fell via Kentmere Pike.

In photo three, Grant had navigated to the head of Drygrove Gill - an obvious gully on the west side of Harter Fell from the summit using several navigation techniques. Our final photo is looking down on the Ull Stone - a relic of the last ice age having been dumped at its location by glacial ice. Grant again navigated accurately to this point - in the previous photo he is working out a bearing & distance to walk directly to the Ull Stone and as you can see - he found it! More photos from this two day course can be viewed here.

Our Mountain Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District are fun and really good value for money. Our next course is running during December 1st & 2nd - another weekend date. Contact us to book your place. You can read about some of our previous 2012 Mountain Navigation Skills Training courses here & here. We look forward to working with you.

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