Navigation and other training

NNAS Bronze Navigation

SM
Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience

Are you thinking about getting yourself better prepared and skilled up for the season ahead?

Bronze NNAS is designed to introduce the beginner or someone who's out of practice, 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 at a pace that suits you.

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, consecutive, 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.

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

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 

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Beginner Mountain Skills Day

SM
Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience

You're probably quite new to hillwalking, perhaps not sure if it's for you yet, however, you want to give it a go, see what all the fuss is about. Perhaps none of your family or friends are keen so getting out with a group of people at the same level as you would be ideal. This day is for you!

We're going to meet up and have a coffee, introduce ourselves and listen to what you really want to get out of the day. Then we're going to move outside and go for a walk. Low level to begin with then getting some height in and experiencing walking both on and off path. During the walk we're going to discuss and practice a variety of skills as well as impart general hillwalking information.

By the end of the day you will have practiced and be aware of the following - safe movement and walking skills, weather forecasting, ideal clothing and equipment, the Outdoor Access Code and safety procedures.

Meet us at 0930 in the free public car park beside the Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop & Cafe, A912, Falkland, Fife KY15 7AD and enjoy a day in the Lomond Hills Regional Park.

This day will have been a great introduction to the hills and hopefully you will be keen to take things further. Perhaps after a few more local hills you'll be looking to learn how to navigate and then head for your first Munro (Scottish hills over 3,000 feet or 914 m in new money) We can help you every step of the way.

Duration
5 hours
Distance
8 km
Group size
10
Start time
0930
Start location
Free public car park beside the Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm Shop & Cafe, A912, Falkland, Fife KY15 7AD

£ 35.00 

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NNAS Silver Navigation

SM
Skill level
Easy - Some experience recommended but not necessary

Are you looking to get ready for the season ahead? build your confidence with a navigation course.

NNAS Silver award is a nationally accredited course suitable for those moving on from the Bronze Award, or who are relatively new to navigation but have a basic appreciation, or those wishing to renew, or refresh existing skills. Perhaps you were in the Scouts, Guides, or Cadets and just need a helping hand to remember those skills, this will help you.

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, consecutive, 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.

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

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
10:00 am
Start location
Car park beside the Falkland Library, Back Wynd, Falkland, Fife KY15 7BX

£ 85.00 

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Wild camping skills

SM
Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience

Are you looking to get ready for the season ahead, thinking of some wild camps to allow for those multi-hill or multi day expeditions? This relaxed and highly informative weekend is just what you need to gain the confidence to get out camping on your own, or with friends.

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.

Our walk is about 16 - 20 km in length, split over the two days and depends on the route we take. We will have an overnight camp covering all aspects of campcraft, such as picking a site, orientating the tent, where to collect water, how to deal with waste and much more. By the end of the trip you should feel confident to head out and practice the skills learned on your own and we believe you will be setup for the camping season ahead.

Click on this link 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.

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 

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Your first Munro - Ben Lawers

SM
Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience

You're probably quite new to hillwalking, perhaps you've tried a few local or smaller hills and you're beginning to get into it. Now you're feeling ready for a Mountain, ready to tackle your first Munro, a Scottish Mountain over 3,000 feet (914m doesn't sound as high!)

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 around 6 hours of 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 425m 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

Duration
6 - 7 hours
Distance
12 km
Group size
12
Start time
0930
Start location
The free car park outside the McLaren Hall, Main Street Killin, FK21 8UW

£ 35.00 

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Cairnwell, Three Munros

SM
Skill level
Easy - little or no walking experience

You're probably still quite new to hillwalking, perhaps you've tried a few local or smaller hills and you're beginning to get into it but not quite ready to be tackling the big ones on your own. This day follows on from our popular Mountain Skills day or Your First Munro - Ben Lawers days, we have a really straightforward multi-summit day to further whet your appetite.

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 or perhaps you want to learn to navigate or get into some wild camping so you can have multiple days away in our beautiful and amazing mountains.

With the main car park and cafe for the ski centre sitting at almost 650m these three Munros of The Cairnwell Pass are easily accessible. The first summit, Carn Aosda only requires a height gain of 265m to reach it. Unfortunately the ski paraphernalia that litters the hillside detracts from the beauty of the hills and is rather unsightly whilst walking in the immediate area. Things quickly improve as you move away from the summit and head south west towards Carn a' Gheoidh. Views of the Cairngorms soon open up and it feels like amore remote, mountainous walk now. We return to the Cairnwell, our final munro, before dropping steeply down to the car park to end the day.

The Glenshee Ski Centre cafe opens around 0830, all welcome to join us for a coffee and a blether before we start our day.

Duration
5 - 6 hours
Distance
14 km
Group size
10
Start time
0930
Start location
Glenshee Ski Centre, Old Military Road, Ballater, AB35 5XU

£ 35.00 

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Introduction to ridge walking

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

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 425m 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 

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Practical Winter Skills course

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

Are you looking to take those first steps out onto the hills this winter, or to brush up on some rusty skills?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us prior to booking.

More bespoke courses can be arranged to meet your specific requirements, from a single day up to five days, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

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 

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