Tuesday, 12 March 2013

More Navigation in the Snow!


More Navigation in the Snow!
Peak Navigation Courses run a series of “Quality Days“ or Navigation Master classes aimed at allowing people who can already navigate the chance of some more testing navigation in remote locations. Last Sunday’s course certainly proved that in snowy conditions on Bleaklow with high winds and wind chill temperatures estimated to be -8 degrees (though I thought colder). Setting off from Birchin Clough car park we ascended Lady Clough before crossing the Snake Road onto Bleaklow via Upper North Grain.
Difficult navigation on featureless terrain - Navigation Masterclass

Quality Day on Kinder Scout
Specifically we practised pacing and pacing in snowy conditions where there is a significant loss of traction requiring more paces to 100m.

After joining the Pennine way which we followed for 300m, we continued off path navigating to obscure pools and spot heights; via Over Wood Moss before reaching the shelter and welcome respite of Oyster Clough shooting Cabin.

The navigation involved following compass bearings along broad snow clad ridges estimating time and distance from one broad summit to another, all the time in snow and battling against winds of 40 mph.

Not all of our courses are held in such challenging conditions and we run a range of courses for people at all levels of experience including the National Navigation Award schemes.  Our navigation courses are as follows:

1st Steps to Map Reading and Navigation Course


1st Steps to Map Reading and Navigation
A course designed for beginners who will mainly be walking through fields or easy moorland.


Although a beginners course, covering the basics, this course spends less time in the class room and fields and concentrates more on moorland walking. Suitable for fit beginners.

Suitable for those who already know the basics of navigating using a compass but introduces more advanced techniques on difficult moorland and steep terrain. Pacing, timing, contouring; finding 5 obscure aircraft wrecks on Kinder Scout.


Night Navigation Course
This course is designed to give you confidence should you be caught out in poor visibility or after dark. It looks at and practices the various strategies useful in poor visibility. To get the best out of this course it is best coming already knowing how to use a map and compass.

These are days for experienced navigators who want to be involved in planning and navigating around challenging courses helping to refine and develop their navigation skills.


Learning Map Reading and Navigation
The Bronze training and assessment is a two day course based from the village of Foolow. The two days can be consecutive or spaced out over different weekends. Day one being our 1st Steps to map reading and navigation course but day two being a newly devised day specific to the bronze syllabus and allowing time for assessment.
The Silver training and assessment will follow our Introduction to Moorland Navigation (based from Foolow) and Intermediate Navigation (on Kinder Scout), though there will be a formal route planning exercise introduced for NNAS candidates which is currently not compulsory for people attending the Intermediate course.
If the take up of courses is as good as we expect then we will introduce Gold NNAS training and assessment in 2014 though this will be based in the Lake District.

Peak Navigation Courses are run by Jane Livingstone and Michael Hunt, both qualified International Mountain Leaders.  Jane and Michael also run walking holidays as Mountain House Holidays and from their base in Spain operate as Sierra Nevada Guides.