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Navigation and other training

NNAS Bronze Navigation

Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience
SM

Bronze NNAS is designed to introduce the beginner to the skill of navigating in a fun learning environment. We spend our day, not in a classroom, but out on the hill, coaching and practicing a pace that suits you.

Meet at 10am in the car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX

The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) Bronze navigation award is a National Standard recognised by Mountain Training, Glenmore Lodge, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, British Orienteering and other organisations. It is accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 4 and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on successful completion along with an officially recognised certificate. Silver and Gold awards are also available.

This is a twelve hour course held over two, six hour days, which includes the assessment in the second half of day two. On successful completion of the award you will be able to plan and follow routes in the countryside using paths and tracks. You will learn, among other disciplines, how to orientate a map using a compass, relate features from the map to the ground and vice versa, use grid references and how to plan and implement strategies and follow safe routes.

These are predominantly outdoor, practical days, there is no planned classroom work involved, please dress and equip yourself for a day on the hills and bring any food and drink you may need. See the What do I need? link above for more information, or contact me.

Please bring a suitable compass of a type similar to a Silva type 4 marked with degrees. I will provide relevant maps.

A certificate of competence will be issued to those who complete the course assessment.

Duration
12 hours over 2 days
Distance
Not applicable
Group size
8
Start time
10:00 am
Start location
Car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX

£75.00

Course dates on application

£75.00

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NNAS Silver Navigation

Skill level
Moderate - Previous walking experience higly recommended
SM

Nationally accredited course suitable for those moving on from the Bronze Award, or who are relatively new to navigation,with a basic appreciation, or those wishing to renew, refresh existing skills.

Meet at 10am in the car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX

The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) Silver navigator award is a National Standard recognised by Mountain Training, Glenmore Lodge, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, British Orienteering and other organisations. It is accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 4 and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on successful completion along with an officially recognised certificate.

Although it is recommended that you have completed the NNAS Bronze prior to this course, it is not a requirement and will depend on your previous experience. Please contact me in advance of booking if you have any questions regarding your current level of experience.

This is a twelve hour course held over two six hour days which includes the assessment in the second half of day two. On successful completion of the award you will be able to relate small hills, prominent re-entrants and spurs to their corresponding map contours. Measure distance by timing and pacing. Use a compass to accurately follow a bearing, aim off, check the direction of handrails and other linear features.

These are predominantly outdoor, practical days, there is no planned classroom work involved, please dress and equip yourself for a day on the hills and bring any food and drink you may need. See the What do I need? link above for more information, or contact me.

Please bring a suitable compass of a type similar to a Silva type 4 marked with degrees. I will provide relevant maps.

A certificate of competence will be issued to those who complete the course assessment.

The cost of the two day, 12 hour course, is £85 per person Places are limited to eight only, please book early to avoid disappointment.

Duration
6 hours per day
Distance
8 km
Group size
8
Start time
1000
Start location
Car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX

£85.00

Course dates on application

£85.00

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NNAS Gold Training

Skill level
Challenging - For experienced walkers only
SM

You will most likely hold the NNAS Silver Award, or will be sufficiently experienced in navigation and are looking to progress your navigational skills to Gold level. These training days will take place in darkness to simulate low light and zero visibility situations where navigational accuracy is critical. Participants will require a headtorch with sufficient spare batteries.

We will meet at 6pm each evening at the Hillend Ski Centre, Biggar Road, Edinburgh, EH10 7DU.

The NNAS Gold navigator award is a National Standard recognised by Mountain Training, Glenmore Lodge and British Orienteering.

This is a twelve hour course, held over two six hour days. On completion of the training, you will be able to

  • Utilise the skills and techniques of the Bronze and Silver Awards in the context of Gold Award navigation strategies.
  • Utilise contours and fine detail as the prime method of navigation.
  • Accurately: Follow a route, judge distance, check progress against time, use relevant compass skills and maintain continuous map contact.
  • Use back bearings and transits to confirm current position.
  • Use aspect of slope as an aid to relocation.
  • Select appropriate techniques within an overall navigation strategy.
  • Navigate in intricate terrain in reduced visibility i.e. mist or darkness.

These are predominantly outdoor, practical days, there is no planned classroom work involved, please dress and equip yourself for a day on the hills and bring any food and drink you may need. See the What do I need? link above for more information, or contact me.

Please bring a suitable compass of a type similar to a Silva type 4 marked with degrees. I will provide relevant maps.

The cost of the two day, 12 hour, training course is £100 per person.

Places are limited to four only, please book quickly to avoid disappointment.

Duration
6 hours
Distance
6 km
Group size
4
Start time
1800
Start location
Hillend Ski Centre, Biggar Road, Edinburgh, EH10 7DU.

£100.00

Course dates on application

£100.00

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Night Navigation workshop

Skill level
Easy - Some experience recommended but not necessary
SM

Many hillwalkers worry about being caught out in the hills as the light fades, or how to navigate in poor or zero visibility. Anyone who goes out into the hills may be delayed and be coming down off the hill in dusk or the dark, so why not learn how to navigate safely and accurately in this environment? This workshop will show you it is perfectly possible to navigate at night in complete safety.

These night-time workshops are aimed at people who have some basic navigation skills, but who would like to learn or build confidence to navigate at night. They also provide an excellent refresher for those training for a Hill and Moorland Leader or Mountain Leader assessment course.

Meet at 5.00pm in the car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX After a short briefing we will be straight onto the hill. The course will last approximately 4 hours.

Please note, these Night Navigation Workshops are NOT for those new to navigation. Please see my other NNAS courses here if you are new to navigation.

Please bring a suitable compass of a type similar to a Silva type 4 marked with degrees. I will provide relevant maps. You will also need to bring your own outdoor walking gear, including head torch and spare batteries, as well as warm clothing and some snacks. We will be on the hill for approximately 4 hours.

The cost is only £25 per person

Places are limited to eight only, please book quickly to avoid disappointment.

Duration
4 hours
Distance
4 km
Group size
8
Start time
1700
Start location
Car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX

£25.00

Course dates on application

£25.00

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Practical Winter Skills course

Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience
SM
Grade 1

Using Aviemore as our base for the weekend, an enjoyable two day practical winter skills course held in and around Coire an t-Sneachda in the Cairngorms.

We will meet at 0845 in the public car park opposite the Mountain Cafe, 111 Grampian Road, Aviemore, PH22 1RH for a kit check prior to making our way to Cairngorm Mountain ski area car park.

This is a two day practical winter skills course designed to introduce you to a range of core skills that will enable you to enjoy and move about the mountains in winter conditions, competently and confidently. We will cover appropriate winter kit, movement on snow & ice, including kicking steps, use of the ice axe for walking, cutting steps and ice axe arrest. Use of crampons, safe route choice and basic avalanche awareness. Core techniques of winter navigation and emergency procedures.

You will need to bring multiple layers of warm clothing, an insulating jacket, waterproof jacket and trousers, hat, balaclava, gloves, mittens, goggles and a head torch. Sufficient food and drink for an extended day on the hills. Ice axe, B2 rated stiff soled boots, crampons and a helmet are required to participate in this course. These items can be hired from outlets such as www.tiso.com (store now open in Aviemore) should you not have your own.

Contact me to discuss your winter skills course with any questions you may have prior to booking.

A variety of accommodation options are available in Aviemore, including Hostels (use my code King-19 for 10% off in the SYHA), B&B and Hotels.

Buses and trains are frequent as it is on the main routes to Inverness from the Central Belt.

Duration
two days
Distance
Group size
6
Start time
0845
Start location
Public car park opposite the Mountain Cafe, 111 Grampian Road, Aviemore, PH22 1RH

£100.00

Course dates on application

£100.00

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Beginners day on Ben Lawers

Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience
SM

You are probably quite new to hillwalking, perhaps wondering if it's for you, what's all the fuss about?

This day is about you coming along and trying it out, probably meeting and making new friends, having fun in a safe environment and we hope, wanting to come back and do more hills.

Despite its height of 1,214m, Ben Lawers is a straightforward mountain to ascend. We start at a lofty 425m so you only really ascend a little under 800m to get to the top of the 10th highest mountain in the UK. That's worth doing, isn't it? Of course, you'll need to have a bit of fitness, a bit of stamina and determination, after all, your about to walk up a mountain!

It has an excellent path which winds its way up through some lovely scenery and it is well suited to those tackling their first few Munros. This is a chance to get out into the hills, to see and feel why it is such a joy to be outdoors in the Scottish wilderness. You'll meet like minded people, spend some time understanding the basics, including, what to wear, what to carry, how to walk on uneven terrain. There will also be a chance to see how a map and compass work. Then enjoy a few hours walking up Ben Lawers with it's stunning views of Loch Tay and the Perthshire countryside.

You should dress for a day in the hills, with stout footwear, wind/waterproof clothing, including a hat and gloves. Bring adequate food & water for about 6 hours walking.

We will meet in the car park at the McLaren Hall, Main Street, Killin, FK21 8UW at 09:30 before driving the last few miles together to the NTS car park which is off the A827 near Mornish on the Glen Lyon road. The car park has an elevation of about 4325m which gives a high starting point for this walk. Beinn Ghlas, another Munro at 1,103m, may be passed on the way to Ben Lawers, depending on our route.

We will finish our day in the Killin Hotel for a light refreshment and a blether.

Those wishing to stay over in the area might be interested in the following accommodation, as used by clients in the past. killin-hotel.com or breadalbanehouse.com

Cost is only £35 per person (maximum group size is 10)

Duration
5 to 7 hours
Distance
14 km
Group size
12
Start time
0930
Start location
McLaren Hall, Main Street, Killin, FK21 8UW

£35.00

Course dates on application

£35.00

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Introduction to ridge walking

Skill level
Moderate - Previous walking experience higly recommended
SM
Grade 1

You are probably getting into this hillwalking hobby now and have enjoyed a few of the less demanding hills. Perhaps it's time to move up a level and gain some skills that will help with movement on steep ground. This day is ideal or those looking to build confidence in more challenging terrain whilst supervised in a safe environment.

Meall nan Tarmachan is a quick and easy Munro to ascend from the NTS car park on the road to Glen Lyon. To do this route justice though, it's best to not descend the way you came, but to continue on along the ridge to experience the varied terrain which then provides a chance to practise some very mild Grade 1 scrambling and a short, narrow section of ridge to walk across. Also, a fantastic viewpoint to soak up the stunning views of Loch Tay and the Perthshire countryside.

We will meet in the McLaren Hall car park, Main Street, Killin, FK21 8UW at 09:00 before driving the last few miles together to the NTS car park which is off the A827 near Mornish on the Glen Lyon road. The car park has an elevation of about 4325m which gives a high starting point for this walk.

Our day will be about route finding, gentle grade one scrambling and practicing movement on steep terrain.

We will finish our day in the Killin Hotel for a light refreshment and a blether.

Those wishing to stay over in the area might be interested in the following accommodation, as used by clients in the past. killin-hotel.com or breadalbanehouse.com

Duration
Between 6 and 8 hours
Distance
12 kms
Group size
10
Start time
9:00 am
Start location
McLaren Hall car park, Main Street, Killin, FK21 8UW

£35.00

Course dates on application

£35.00

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Wild camping skills

Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience
SM

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April 2020, a level 2 walk of about 16 km with an overnight camp designed to introduce you to wild camping and help build your confidence for the season ahead.

The course will cover all the basic skills to get about in the UK mountains, including navigation, equipment, weather, emergency procedures, camp craft and of course, some great walking. An ideal way to learn the skills needed before taking on more remote expeditions. We will also discuss and practice skills for tackling river crossings.

See the link, What do I need? above for an example of gear to take. (Contact me in advance if you need a loan of some gear, I have a few spare tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc)

We will meet in the car park of The Atholl Country Life Museum, Old School, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry PH18 5SP which is on the main road (B8079) as you drive through the village, at 1100. After an equipment check, we will make our way together up the single track road to the car park at Loch Moraig to begin the walk.

Blair Atholl is on the main bus and train routes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Car sharing is encouraged wherever possible.

Cost is £75 for adults or £50 for u18s. (u18s must be accompanied by parent or legally appointed guardian). Please contact me in advance to discuss if you are thinking of bringing any u18's.

Maximum group size is 8.

Duration
2 days
Distance
16 km
Group size
8
Start time
1100
Start location
Car park at The Atholl Country Life Museum, Old School, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry PH18 5SP

£75.00

Course dates on application

£75.00

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