Monday 28 October 2013

Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District. October 26th & 27th 2013.

During the last weekend of October, Iain was to be found out on the Lake District Fells with Gary, Will & Sarah all of whom had booked on to our scheduled Mountain Navigation Skills Training Course.

We have run a number of these courses over 2013 and have mostly been blessed with good weather making the fells an ideal place to be to learn map reading and navigation skills in a pleasant, if not particularly difficult learning environment.

The weather for this weekend however, was not looking great with a heavy band of rain due to cross the area on Saturday afternoon and storm force winds potentially arriving late Sunday.

Saturday proved not to be such a bad day after all with only a light wind and hardly any showers. We headed on to Green Quarter Fell following the usual format of starting out by orientating the map, measuring distance and pacing, then making our way along a linear feature (a bridleway) finding at tick off features along the route.

By the time photo one was taken, we had progressed through grid references and were in the process of walking on our first bearing. Photo two was taken at the end of day one having continued the rest of the afternoon locating grid references (eight figure ones at that!) and walking on bearings to find them. We finished talking about & then practicing Naismiths Rule before heading back to arrive as the car just as the first drops of heavy rain started to fall - excellent timing!

On Saturday evening Iain received a call from Gary informing him that he would be unable to attend on Sunday so we were down to two delegates when we all headed up to Green Quarter  to start the day.

Sundays weather was very windy and we were lashed by heavy showers as we made our way over to the east side of Green Quarter Fell to try and gain some shelter on the slopes above Longsleddale. We continued on our theme from the previous day of locating grid references and using bearing & pacings to find them; and although this was made harder by the weather, Sarah & Will still performed well. Photo three sees the pair heading over towards the lee slopes of Shipman Knotts in an attempt to gain shelter from the strengthening wind where we continued to work with the pair doing well at finding grid references in the conditions.

The final photo from this post about our weekend Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District sees Will & Sarah crouching behind a wall having arrived at an "attack point" - in this case an obvious wall junction which we were using as a means to home in on a nearby stream junction.

By this time, the weather had become truly foul with gale force winds sweeping the ridge of Shipman knotts above us with heavy shower upon shower passing over. Despite continuing to smile throughout the weekend, Sarah was starting to get a bit cold. Because of this and the worsening weather, Iain decided we should call close to the day over two hours early. We had covered the remainder of the course syllabus and Will & Sarah had demonstrated competence throughout.

As we made our way back round the shoulder of Shipman Knotts the skies brightened somewhat; although the wind didn't drop. As we had a relatively bright & shower free drive back to Staveley, Iain wondered if perhaps we should have stuck it out a bit longer, but on the drive back to Kendal, having said goodbye to the pair, he was struck by a torrential squall. Just as well we called it a day really!

Gary, Will & Sarah all enjoyed their Navigation Skills Training Weekend in The Lake District with Iain who hopes that they all go on to enjoy their forays into the mountains even more following successfully completing this course.

Our next Mountain Navigation Skills Training Course takes place during the weekend of November 31st/December 1st 2013 and we are taking bookings now for this. Contact us here if you would like to book a place - supurb value at only £80 per person for the two day course.

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