Thursday, 29 May 2014

Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Courses in The Lake District. May 24th 2014.

Unfortunately, the Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training Course scheduled to run last weekend here in The Lake District didn't make the minimum numbers. However, Matt Applegarth - the only person booked on to this particular course and returning Client Adam Mitcheson were both keen to make something out of the opportunity to learn Navigation Skills. So, the pair agreed to book Iain's services to run a one day bespoke Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District instead on the Saturday; and with only two of them, Iain reckoned that he ought to be able to cover the entire syllabus with them in one day!

We began as usual by meeting in Staveley and then drove on to the parking place on nearby Hall Lane. We then commenced the session by orientating the map - essential  if you are going to be able to identify features from the map to the ground and a basic foundation of good map reading & navigation skills ettiquette.

We then discussed measuring distance and map scales and the detail that can be observed on each scale of map before pacing 100 metres to give the pair an idea of how to pace out measured distance on the ground. Following this, we set of on our route following the linear feature of Hall Lane to Park House and then the Bridleway from there on to Green Quarter Fell looking out for tick off features en route and identifying them as we went along.

By the time photo two was taken. We had progressed through finding a location on the map using 6 & 8 figure Grid References and were now walking on a bearing en route for an insignificant pool of water marked on the map. Up to this point, the pair had successfully picked up every map reading & navigation technique that Iain had shown them.

Being able to measure and then pace distance accurately, walk on a bearing accurately and know what the ground is going to be doing between points A & B are not easy skills to master, but Matt & Adam both picked them up well.

The pool of water in photo three was a 450 metre walk across featureless terrain and yet the pair were now able to walk straight to it without difficulty.

We also discussed how to use the compass to identify and verify an unknown feature from a known location. Other aspects of map reading & navigation discussed included the importance of attack points, "boxing" around an obstacle and checking your bearing through use of a back bearing. We finished off the day discussing Naismith's Rule for timings before heading back to the car.

The importance of Map Reading & Navigation Skills Training is being able to know where you are at all times - that way you will never get lost. By the end of the day Iain had complete confidence that Matt & Adam had acquired the necessary Navigation Skills to avoid this happening to them - too often! Never say never!

The good news for anyone interested is that our next scheduled Navigation Skills Training Course in The Lake District will be running at the £80 per person rate for the weekend course as we already have five persons booking on to this. That leaves another five places available so if you want to grab a place on this bargain course run by an experienced & enthusiastic Mountaineering Instructor then do so by contacting us here. We look forward to working with you.

1 comment:

Adam Mitcheson said...

This is the second course I have had with Kendal Mountaineering Services having previously spent a day's climbing last year, and once again, it was extremely well organised, thorough, and enjoyable. Iain adapted the course as there was only two of us but we covered a lot in one day and the following weekend I managed to successfully navigate my way from The Langdales to the peak of Scafell Pike and back using the knowledge I had gained from the day with Iain and Matt.