Monday, April 29, 2013

BMC Navigation Course For Clubs

April 27-28 2013 a weekend of two halves 

The BMC navigation course for clubs was being held at Low House Coniston Cumbria over this weekend. What a great venue Thank you very much to Midland Association of Mountaineers for the use of the hut
The weekend was set out to help BMC affiliated club members to develop some hill skills this one being navigation based. We had 16 people turn up and want to build on their knowledge from instructors  Kieran Hodgson, Dave Haygarth and I. 
Saturday dawned fine and was to remain so all day. Ideal for taking our time to help the skills develop and learn some new ones. 
The group spilt themselves down, always a bit of an icebreaker as its starts to get people to determine their levels of navigation confidence. I was with Nadine, Michelle and Lynn for the next two days. 
We set off into the sunshine and stunning scenery of the Coniston Coppermines valleys starting the build up of a progression of navigation "tools". As the day unfolded layer was added to layer of the  "navigation onion" including the dance which the girlswould not join in with. By the end of the day the girls were finding some complex features in some remote terrain.

Sunday was the other side of the coin weather wise. It was cold windy wet and persistant...
We had full waterproofs on for the full day, I was testing out a new Sherpa Jacket from The Epicentre in Ambleside  more to follow on this. 
A great test of kit and another layer to "navigation onion" of when its a hands on experience and good kit is needed along with the resilience and skill level to feel comfortable. 
We put the skills to the test again and the 3 girls once again were managing to find some features. Some that didnt quite match up to expectations 

A bit of respite from the weather in a sheepfold wasn't quite was expected to revive the soul. We made it safely back to Low House for a welcome shower and cup of tea and debrief of the weekend. 

Thanks to all that attended and hope that you all had a good time? 
Have a look on the BMC website for further courses and hope to see you on the hills somewhere

For  all the photos I took have Click here 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

I recently led a trip to Everest Base Camp for Outlook Expeditions and the Oratory School we teamed up in country with a great guide Anil from Himalayan Ecstasy and his team. 
We were out for three weeks in the early season which meant the Khumbu region was quiet if a little colder than normal.
I am normally based in North Lake District and based my training on the Helvellyn area in winter time. Getting out every day testing me and my kit gives me a great insight into the conditions and what kit I prefer to use for my work and personal choice.

We had ten lads and two Staff from Oratory School, Mr Dave Watkins and
 Head of Geography Mr Phil Poynter. Due to circumstances we managed a 80% success rate at EBC. 

A very tough trek to a very beautiful place with some interesting characters. Its been 60 years since Everest was first scaled. During our trek sadly the last of the 1953 veterans George Lowe died aged 89. I met him and Ed Hillary in Manchester years ago and had read his books, which he and Ed Hillary signed for me signed for me. A rarity indeed now

I was lucky enough to meet his wife Mary Lowe as we arrived at Lukla, we chatted for a while and shared some memories of George. A very lovely lady and keeping herself busy continuing the vitalwork of her husband and Ed Hillary in the Khumbu.

Thanks to support from Montane, Paramo, Nuun, great companies great kit. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Implications and Professional Standards

As I work full time as an outdoor professional offering my services to various clients and companies to cover a multitude of outdoor related work. I am sometimes cancelled due to various factors. This have a butterfly effect on me, emotionally and not least financially also to other clients of mine who have come to respect my working practices. Please note that a contract, verbal, written as text, email or letter has legal standing as a two way document.  When offering my services I have to negotiate my terms and conditions and act in accordance. I have recently been cancelled as a freelancer in the last couple of weeks, due to various circumstances and by various companies at very late notice. IE within a week. My sliding scale of notice is over 4 weeks no fee, 3 weeks 25%, 2 weeks 50%, 1 week 75%, within 1 week 100% of fee. I find in the rare circumstances that I have to cancel my work I will try and provide as many alternatives as possible for the work to continue seamlessly.