Monday, 26 November 2012

A Glorious Night Out!

A Glorious Night Out!
The weather over the past weekend was one of forecasts for heavy rain and flooding across the country. Amidst this Peak Navigation Courses still managed to run a successful night navigation course that was acclaimed as brilliant by the students attending!

“Thanks for last nights night nav session. Really enjoyed it!”  Ashley Dawson

Night Navigation, planning strategies
The night navigation courses are really designed for people who already have good navigation skills and are able to use a map and compass to cross open moorland. What they aim to achieve is to introduce the necessary strategies to cope in poor visibility simulating what happens should the mist come down or should you get caught out after darkness. Hopefully the course will leave students confident to get out and practice for themselves (practice makes perfect!).

The course we run starts at 6.30pm during the winter months and involves a practical session of around three hours. Conditions last Saturday were some of the most challenging that we have known. However being just a short course for experienced hill walkers the course was on.

Night Navigation, working out bearings and distances
Darkness and mist coupled with persistent rain made for really limited visibility. Normally there is enough light to see some lumps and bumps and even dips on the horizon, etc. However there was such limited visibility that this was a true learning experience. Students usually find it o.k. to walk short distances just following their compasses lining up with things they can see in their beams. However this proved difficult in such dense mist and the most useful technique was to “leap frog” with another student pacing just 25m before turning around and being lined up. (25m proved to be the limit of torch beams on the night).

Various techniques were put into practice including relocation before we adjourned to the pub for a celebration debrief. None of us were left wearing a dry item of clothing  but all agreed that it was a realistic experience.

Peak Navigation Courses run a range of map reading and navigation courses in the Peak District National Park. Courses are aimed from absolute beginners to those with lots of experience who want to refine their skills.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Map Reading and Navigation Courses make great Christmas Presents!

Peak Navigation Courses run map reading and navigation courses throughout the year.  Our peak demand season is the months of January, February and March. This is due to a variety of reasons: New Years resolutions to get fit or get out walking; people wanting to learn navigation ahead of a walking holiday planned as their summer holiday;  and people in receipt of our courses as a Christmas present.

What a great idea giving a Map Reading and Navigation Course as a Christmas present!
Map Reading and Navigation Course

 Here’s a list of our courses:

Introduction to Map Reading Course

A 1 day course, which will set you up with the basics of using a map and compass over easy open moorland.

A 1 day course, designed for people who have done some walking, which will enable you to use a map and compass to navigate over open moorland.

Night Navigation Course

Night / Poor Visibility Navigation   £15              Trying to find your way when the mist comes down, or it is getting dark can be frightening.  This 3 hour evening course is designed for people who have basic map and compass navigation skills, and want to learn more advanced techniques
Learn the skills needed to navigate in the dark, or in poor visibility.

The 1 day “improvers” navigation course for people who already know the basics of using a map and compass. The course involves a walk of approx. 10.5 miles crossing the centre of Kinder Scout.

Of course you don’t have to have a course as a Christmas present to attend one of our courses.
Introduction to Moorland Navigation Course
Peak Navigation Courses are run in the Peak District by Mike and Jane, both qualified as International Mountain Leaders.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Map Reading and Navigation Courses in The Derbyshire Peak District.

Dark Peak Map and Silva type 4 Compass

Being able to read a map and to navigate gives you the freedom to plan your own routes and give up using books of walks.  Scouring the map finding places of interest then planning your own route is so much more rewarding than following a book! Take for example Bamford Moor in the Peak District, it has two stone circles but no path marked on the map to either of them.  If you know how to read a map you can make a fabulous circuit from Ladybower’s Heatherdene car park and visit them with stunning views over the reservoirs, Win Hill and the Derwent Valley.

Peak Navigation Courses run two introductory level Map Reading and Navigation Courses that will leave you equipped for planning and undertaking such a route:

1st Steps to Map Reading and Navigation Course
A Day courses taking you from the very basics of map reading with a mixture of classroom sessions and two walks one through fields and the other over easy moorland.

 A Day course that spends about 1.5 hours in the classroom looking at the basics of map reading before heading out putting navigation skills into practice on terrain a little more demanding than the 1st steps course.

Peak Navigation run a range of more advanced courses too including a Night Navigation course (3 hours) aimed at looking at the slightly different techniques required to navigate in poor visibility.

Both the 1st Steps to Map Reading and the Introduction to Moorland Navigation Courses are based from Foolow in the Peak District National Park.  Mike and Jane who run Peak Navigation Courses are both qualified International Mountain Leaders and Rock Climbing Instructors and have been running navigation courses since 2005.
Introduction to Moorland Navigation Course