Tuesday 19 January 2016

In to 2016 and out on the very first day of the New Year! Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District.

Friday, January 1st, 2016 was one of the first really decent days we had had for weeks by the time it arrived. Last November & December were just truly awful and wet; and some of you may remember our report about a Navigation Skills Training Weekend in The Lake District which we aborted after the very first day during the last weekend in November!

Well, Darren Willis & Emma Kershaw had been the clients on that occasion and had paid up in full, but Iain still owed them their second day of map reading skills. After enquiring, Iain found that both were happy to go out on New Years Day. Photo one sees the pair on the west side of Shipman Knotts in the Kentmere valley - often the scene of day two of our Lake District Navigation Skills Training Weekends!

We set off from Green Quarter - having a recap of skills taught the last time we'd been out. We briefly spent time learning how to use the compass to confirm the identity of features we could see from a known location before setting off up the BOAT (Bridleway Open to All Traffic) between Green Quarter & Sadgill  in the Longsleddale Valley.

Finding ourselves walking into a bitter east wind, Iain decided we should stay on the sheltered side of Shipman Knotts. We followed a footpath and paced to three curious squares marked on the map which turned out to be small walled enclosures and then headed straight up to a ring contour (small summit) on the top of the ridge. (photo two)

Here, we found that actually, the wind was no longer quite so chilly, so we made our way along Shipman knotts going from grid reference to grid reference. The pair got a real feel for how different pacing can be on moderately steep ground as opposed to walking along the flat on tarmac. Hopefully, they will remember to modify their pacings per 100 metres to what they found on the various slopes we were on today.

Eventually, we reached the top of Shipman Knotts where we enjoyed a bit of lunch in shelter below the boundary wall. Photo three sees Darren taking a compass bearing to the next grid reference - a stream head/spring a little over a mile away.

We spent the whole day walking from one grid reference to another using the compass and measuring the distance. Every now & then, Iain would ask the pair to identify something they could see from a known location - particularly to the east where what they were looking at was often off the 1:25'000 sheet they were using but on the 1:50'000 map instead. So, they had to "transpose" from one map scale to another to work out what it was they were asked to identify. The pair actually did very well at this. Well Done!

We continued on from Shipman Knotts to our stream head and then on to the summit of Kentmere Pike.

The last few hundred feet to the summit were snow clad to a degree. For the first time this winter - it actually felt and looked a bit like winter up here!!

Photo four is taken from the summit of Kentmere Pike looking towards Harter Fell which looked very bleak indeed. By this time it was past 2 pm; and time to be considering heading back before darkness set in.

We arrived back at the Land Rover at 16:30 so timings were about right. Both Darren & Emma were very pleased with their second day of Navigation Skills Training in The Lake District and were able to progress from what they had learnt on day one.

Details of our 2016 Navigation Skills Training Weekends can be found here if you are after a full weekend of training for only £80 per person. These courses are ideal for people getting ready for a Summer Mountain Walking Leader (MLS) assessment or re-assessment as a Navigation Refresher Course. The first course will be running during the last weekend of March.

Contact us here to book  your place on one of these fantastic value for money Lake District Based Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses. We look forward to working with you! 

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