Sunday, January 6, 2013

January Night Navigation Course

At the start of January in the Lakes we can never really state what the weather will be from year to the next. So I was watching the weather for the first of many events coming up with a MTA and BAIML slant  to them. As the day dawned the weather was for once looking dry and clear until about 17.00, just as we would be out on the hill practicing our Night Navigation. :(

Andy Turner from Stockport arrived full of the joys after Xmas. I first met him on a NAV4 course along with his wife Tara, he has completed loads of Ironman events. Navigation is new to him and he's very keen to learn and great to have a long. Ian also from Cheshire came up for the weekend as part of experience for completing his Summer ML possibly later in the year Have a look at Striding Ahead to catch up with Ian and Gareth on some great adventures. 
 We set off in the dry as forecast into the Landgale fells starting with some macro navigation to get our eye clicked into the scale and features.

As we went  up hill steadily ticking off features and the contour interpretations. We bumped into Kate from The Epicentre Ambleside who was on her way down from a greasy solo of Jacks Rake. She reminded us of the onset of the rain and noted that Ian was wearing a new Sherpa Waterproof Jacket. As she took our picture she depleted my battery!!

As we arrived at the dam of Stickle Tarn the gloom was gathering and the winds whistling at 35+mph We set off into the gloom with map and compass and our layers on. A great night for testing winter gear, torches gloves and waterproofs. I was using a Suprabeam , Ian and Andy where using Petzls MYO. In these conditions of very limited visibility and driving rain it was very difficult to pick any features out.
We managed five hours out and then had an "etch-a-sketch" route back to the tarn. It was now time to head back down for a liquid debrief.
A great night out with folk very willing to learn.Thank you and if you would like to get out for further MTA BAIML or development of your mountain skills please get in touch and look out on my Facebook page and on twitter @aimcourses

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why we need to have the right kit for the job

For my job I have to make sure that my PPE (personal protective equipment) is as good as it can be, the fit and the functionality. I choose my kit to help me stay as warm and as dry as possible, very difficult when we live in a warm, wet, martime climate; as the last months worth of weather has shown.

I try and use the best that's available and most of this mimics some of the worlds most adapted animals for their environments. Outdoor kit has come on leaps since the token woolly jumper

Here are two articles by leading scientists gear and outdoors people. Taken from UKC one of the website dedicated to the outdoors and its supporters.

Part 1

Part 2

As an enjoyable addition to these have a look at

Enjoy the articles and have a look at your wardrobe and see if its fit for purpose.Then come out on the hills and try some of it out.