Friday, 11 July 2014

Navigation session, 10 July

What conditions would you prefer to learn navigation in ? Mist or sunshne ? In mist you pick things up quicker as a lot of concentration is required. In sunshine, it's obvious where you're heading, so things can take longer to settle in, but it's far more enjoyable.

This evening we had the latter ! Glorious clear skies, still air and quietness - we begin the session by Midlothian Snowsports Centre, which can be busy, but it was closed for this week ! We all met and began our 'classroom' part of the evening. The group had a varied background - two hillrunners, two newbies to hillwalking and one walk organiser for 'Meetup' - but all wanted the same objective - to be able to navigate with confidence on the Scottish mountains.

Maps were gone over in detail - types, scales, landforms, grid system and much more. Then it was onto the compass with everyone picking it up pretty quickly. Out of the 'classroom' and into the sunshine, we sorted out our pacing in the car-park. Next was the hillwalking bit and we planned a route up to Allermuir summit, splitting it into sections.

As we walked uphill, we got to grips with relating the contour features on our maps to the 'real world', identified crags and found bits on the maps where the contourlines squash and disappear. We even found a few mistakes on the OS maps ! Up to the summit - what a cracking view this evening. Not only did everyone pick up the skills quickly and get a lot out of the course, but all seemed to really enjoy it - I certainly did !

The next one is in mid-August, more details here .