Tuesday 5 May 2015

Navigation Skills Training Weekend in The Lake District. April 25th & 26th 2015.

We've been rather busy at Kendal Mountaineering Services of late and apologise for the subsequent lack of blogging having taken place. For those of you who like to read about what we have been doing with our clients - here's an update!

The weekend of April 25th & 26th saw Iain providing another one of our Navigation Skills Training Weekend Courses for six persons which was not a bad turnout. The course was run from Staveley and day one saw us doing the usual progression on nearby Green Quarter Fell starting with orientation of the map, pacing & measuring distance before following a linear feature (in this case Hall Lane in photo one) locating tick-off features alog the way. In a very short space of time, the group picked up a lot of new and useful navigation & map reading techniques without realising just how much they had learnt!

The progression continued when, after a short, early lunch break, Iain had the whole group understanding 8 figure grid references within a very short space of time. Being able to find an 8 figure grid reference will get you into the bottom left hand corner of a ten metre square within a 1 kilometre grid square - now that's accurate; and these guys picked it up very quickly.

Photo two sees couple Clym & Ellie working together to find the bearing to the next grid reference Iain had asked them to take him to; along with estimating distance. Couples attending our Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District often find this a great way to gain confidence in their collective abilities to go out into the hills together and therefore be able to subsequently enjoy many great days out together. Now, that's got to be good for any relationship!

Weatherwise - Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag for us, chilly, cloudy with rain - but also some blue sky & sunshine. Sunday, however, felt like another one of those warm late spring days (photo three).

On Sunday, we moved further north on to Shipman Knotts to carry on from where we had left off on the previous day. Straightaway - Iain introduced a new skill of being able to use the compass to identify unknown features from a known location. Once again, the whole group picked up this skill very quickly! Great stuff!
We headed around the back of Shipman Knotts above Longsleddale, finding a stream source and then a wall junction reached through some very uneven & steep rocky ground. By now, as well as pacing and walking on a bearing, the group were also using Naismiths Rule (4km per hour plus 1 minute for every 10m contour crossed) in order to be able to give an estimate of time between grid references. Photo four found us almost on top of Shipman knotts - again trying to identify unknown features from a known one.

This group also proved to be exceptionally good at alternating between 1:25 and 1:50k map scales in order to be able to identify features. It was undoubtedly one of the most successful Navigation & Map Reading Skills Training Courses in The Lake District we have ever run. The next such course is due to take place between May 30th and 31st and the cost is only £80 per person for the two day course with maps provided. Don't forget - these Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses are ideal for anyone thinking of attending for a Mountainwalking leader Refresher before going for that all important ML Assessment! Contact Iain here to book your place. We look forward to working with you!

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