Location: Pentland Hills
Time: 18:00-21:00 (approx finish time)
Distance covered: 6km
Purpose: Facilitating a night navigation workshop for Mountain Training Association
Map used: Harvey Maps – The Pentland Hills 1:25000
Getting your head in the game
After some introductions in the car park we headed out to confirm everyone knows how to pace 100m. Leaving the car park there is a lovely straight stretch of road made for moments like these 🙂
When navigating in the dark or in poor weather, knowing a simple skill like pacing can really help get you out of trouble.
It was very satisfying to see how close a proximity everyone ended up. Really helps to set up a positive mindset for the rest of the evening!
The games begin
Once we had finished patting each other on the back for getting our 100m so accurate, it was time to begin the navigation challenges.
The idea is that one person chooses a point for someone to navigate to. That person then has to lead the way. Once they think they have arrived at the location then everyone else has to try and figure out where they are on the map
It is great to watch as the evening unfolds. I always make a point of choosing the first challenge. This is usually a point that is fairly simple in principal but can be missed by just a few metres. This again helps create a positive mindset but also helps get peoples head firmly in the navigation way of thinking. After that, each person then chooses for then next person.
As the evening unfolds the challenges become more complex.
My favourite part of the evening is when we first begin to go ‘off path’ and begin the heather stomping process. This is where you really get to hone your skills.
Being a qualified Mountain Leader I am able to share my experience of the assessment process and also share mistakes I have made along the way. I feel it is important to let people know it is ok to make mistakes. It is how we recognise, deal with and rectify those mistakes that separates us.
On the walk back to the car park it is an ideal time to chat through any questions or thoughts people have. Tonight’s session involved Insurances, working within the remit of your qualification, people’s favourite places to walk/climb and what other workshops people would like to see happen.
My role as a regional volunteer for MTA Central Scotland is to listen to what our members want and try and make it happen.
Want to know more about the Navigation courses we offer? Please visit our Navigation Training page