Friday 9 December 2016

A report about our Last Navigation Skills Training Course for 2016 and dates are up now for 2017!

The weekend of October 26th & 27th saw us run our last Navigation Skills Training Course of 2016.

The weather was perfect - too perfect in fact, but better that than the rain & gales we were having this time last year and just ideal for outdoor skills training of any sort.

On this course were joined by (from left to right in photo one) Darren who has done quite a lot with us over the last few years, Sam Glendenning - also in blue attending with his brother Matt (in green) and Nic & Julya who were on holiday in the area from Northampton-shire.

We spent the morning of the first day following the usual order - understanding the different map scales (1:25 & 1:50'000) and the information to be found on each before moving on to setting the map and then measuring distance on the map followed by learning how to pace it on the ground.

Our route took us up Hall Lane where we looked at finding tick-off features along our linear route to a point a kilometre beyond Park House where we stopped for lunch. Time soon goes by!

Following this, Iain taught the group how to find grid references in the order of four, six and then eight figures allowing them to gain a high degree of accuracy in either finding or giving a location on a map. We then started to travel across open ground using compass bearings as well as pacing. Here, in photo two, we use a gateway to avoid climbing a wall - the correct etiquette when in the countryside and a good way to avoid getting shouted at by farmers!

We often find on our Navigation Skills Training Weekend that people turn up in pairs and here, we had a couple who enjoy walking in the countryside and two brothers who also enjoy the same.

Working together on one of our Lake District Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses is a good way to learn the skills and quite often, one person in a pair will pick up a certain element of the skills better than the other. Teamwork in this environment leads to a rewarding experience for all concerned and this weekend was no exception!
The final photo from our first day of Navigation Skills Training sees everyone looking a little orange due to the fantastic sunset at the end of the afternoon.
A few more photos of the sunset will be posted on our Facebook page shortly - do have a look, it was stunning!
Anyway now, the temperature was starting to drop and people were tired after an intensive day. Moments later, Iain's words were "OK folks - get us back to the Land Rover please - by the easiest route!"

Day two saw us all meet up outside of Wilf's Cafe again, but this time Darren didn't join us. Day two will always see us go higher in the mountains if possible; and the weather was still good, so we did just that - driving up to Hallow Bank above Kentmere Village and then taking the BOAT (Bridleway Open to All Traffic) leading over into Longsleddale for a way, before heading across open ground.

We firstly located a stream head, then a small enclosure at the junction of three walls - an ideal place to have lunch before heading straight up a steep slope to reach the summit of Shipman Knotts.

Photo five was taken at a shoulder mid-way up that slope just after Iain had asked the group to identify where they were on the map. The "shoulder" is identifiable by a slight widening of the contour lines on the map at this point and everyone in the group was able to identify where they were - spot on. Brilliant!

Once at the top of Shipman Knotts, some of the group made it known that they would quite like to "bag a wainwright" if possible; and Kentmere Pike was the nearest one at just over 2 kilometres distant. We "navved" our way over the top of Goat Scar to another stream head and then struck out directly for the summit of Kentmere Pike having various degrees of success walking on a bearing on what was quite a long leg!

We reached the summit of Kentmere Pike at around 3pm and whilst there was still some snow around, it was disappointing to see how much it had melted in the last week (photo six). A shame we never got to play in it before it all melted!

Matt, Sam, Nic and Julya all left this course with an improved confidence in their abilities to map read and navigate on any terrain in any conditions and we wish them all the very best with their future forays into the mountains.

Dates are now up for our Navigation Skills Training Weekends during 2017. There are six courses to choose from - three in the Spring and three in the Autumn and still at only £80 per person should we get four or more persons per course.

So, don't delay - contact us to book a place on our 2017 Navigation Skills Training Courses today! (Iain's a poet and he didn't know it!) Ah well! We do look forward to working with you in 2017

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