CPD coaching and teaching navigation

Sunday 16th April 2017

I trotted off to the Peak District yesterday and managed to arrive at Hope Sports Club before 9 a.m. There was a car boot sale on the playing field and it had some very nice coffee! I was very tired after my bike ride the day before and then yet another night not sleeping. I probably would be back to sleeping properly if I wasn’t so worried about my job situation.

Ian and Dave led the session, they are MIC and MIA instructors. This was the first run for this training and the idea is to look at coaching Mountain Leaders in how we train and how we assess people in navigation skills.

The how we train part was on the Saturday and I didn’t go to that day. The morning was looking at the what we are assessing in the classroom and the afternoon at how on the hill. All morning it was dry and sunny. We drove up the Snake Pass and parked up at the Snake Pass Inn. I got told off by a grumpy landlord but he allowed me to park after he talked to Ian and Dave. He seemed to think he was going to be swamped with customers because it was Easter Sunday, but perhaps his attitude went before him. The car park was almost empty and was the same when I got back there.

Needless to say, it rained all afternoon and with all the standing around it was cold. I’m so glad I have all the gear and it works. We split into assessors, assessed and observers. I kept forgetting what I was. The idea was that we were replicating an ML assessment and we looked for points where we could bring out learning points for students. Some good tips and strategies, e.g. forcing the use of the compass when it’s not needed because you can see where you are going, walking beyond the actual destination, not confirming or disagreeing with the suggestions of the candidates, getting candidates to put their maps away on a leg.

I found it very hard work on the hill and felt extremely unfit. I think it’s “just” stress. So debilitating. I feel angry with my employer for doing this to me.

We got back to the pub and had a short debrief. It was dark and gloomy inside and not very welcoming. No wonder he’s so short on customers!

Back home by 6 p.m. I always forget how near the Peak District is!

No photos, way too wet.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

 

Romania 2016

Fri/Sat 13th/14th May

Travelling

All the trains behaved well. Sowerby Bridge to Leeds to King’s Cross to Hatton Cross tube about 4.5 hours.  A woman on train talked to me whilst she sewed crocheted flowers onto a large white bra! Walked 6 mins to Hilton Garden hotel. It has very little garden. My room was surprisingly spacious but no free slippers!
I had some M&S salad, drank some beer and some wine. You can buy food and drink in the little shop at regular prices and put them in the ex-minibar fridge. Slept ok but the room only had air con and no opening windows so I was either too hot or too cold.
Despite my booking saying no breakfast I got a free one including real coffee. Walked back to the tube and got on a free bus to Terminal 4. Had a free coffee and then rather a lot of waiting. My trip through Security was extensive as usual. I did the walk through then a 360 degree all over body scanner then a full body pat down and lastly a footwear scan and bio sample, at least I think it was. You’ll be glad to know I was then in the clear.
Pootled about the shops and had a good goat’s cheese and beetroot salad in Carluccio’s as had spent no money up to that point!
At last I got on the Tarom plane, sitting with other Exodus passengers, Camilla and Julie and a Romanian woman, Adriana who works for the British Embassy. Talked with them all, didn’t even read my book. Smooth flight. I had the “special” meal which was a surprise as I’d forgotten I’d ordered veggie food. It was pasta in a white sauce and fruit washed down with Romanian bear beer.
Reached Bucharest at 6pm UK time. They are 2 hours ahead so we reached Villa Hermani in Magura at nearly midnight. Thomas the Exodus guide is ex German army. We got into a big minibus and drove for 3 hours. Felt terribly tired on arrival. but Herman gave us all a shot of fiery plum schnapps.
C and J and I have rooms in the annexe. There was an initial mix up with keys. They are now in the room with 2 beds and I am in one with one bed, I also have a balcony. At night there is a lot of dog barking because in the mountains every one keeps a dog and they all live outdoors. I will find out if they have kennels as it’s quite cold here. Lovely clean air.
Little Ted and the Hungarian bear beer
Little Ted and the Hungarian bear beer
Waiting
Waiting
Tarom plane
Tarom plane
Carluccio salad
Carluccio salad

 

Sun 15th May
Woke early when the sun came up. Read a bit then a lovely hot shower. The dogs live in kennels, unfortunately right outside my window! Villa Hermani has 4 dogs, I think.
Breakfast. Some slightly fizzy pale juice. Lots of coffee. Cinnamonny lemony dense porridge with fruit and yoghurt. Rye bread with very good butter straight from the churn. Lots of cheeses, cured meats and sweet things. Also houmous, fishy spread and salmon.
Made up sandwiches for lunch. Houmous and cheese on rye, separate.
Katherina did intros. She is German and Herman is Romanian. She is also an expert on large carnivores and previously did lots of research into them.
The group is:
Camilla and Julie who are in the annexe with me
Anne and George from Macclesfield
Marion from HK
Nick
Karin from Vancouver
Julia from London
Katy from Oz
Jackie from Dartford
Sue from E. Yorkshire
Gary
John from Glasgow
We set off. It was chilly in the wind and hot in the sun so quite a bit of on and off. Walked to Pestera along rutted roads and across meadows with Alpine flowers.
Stopped for lunch at the pub in Pestera. This was a large empty room with only one customer, very basic, more like a village hall. We ate outside. Some brave souls used the loo at the rear. Thomas warned us to be careful around wild dogs i.e. Those that work with shepherds.
We then went to the bat cave. This was a foul place because of the human detritus and we didn’t see any bats!
Bimbled our way back to the Villa Hermani. Passed a house from which some frantic folk music was coming out. Boot cleaning under the outdoor tap.
Having a little lie down. Can just hear the music of the cow bells.
Bucegi Beer.
Dinner of parsnip soup, celeriac fritter, braised carrots and rice. Had taste of chicken sauce but strong and heavy. I’m glad I opted veggie as simply not in the mood to eat meat every day. Pudding of stewed apple and set cold custard.
Palinca shot (strong plum schnapps).
Dog chorus.
View from my balcony
View from my balcony
Hay stack
Hay stack
Typical village house
Typical village house

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It's a bear!
It’s a bear!
The bane of my nights
The bane of my nights

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Mon 16th May
Wet wet wet.
In the minibuses to the National Park info centre which was shut, as was the cafe opposite. I’d worked it up as an espresso possibility. Addiction denied.
We walked up to the orthodox monastery of Coitul Chilulor at 1134m. We were accompanied by a large shaggy brown dog for most of the walk. At the monastery we had herbal tea and marble cake. We continued up to a small shrine set in the rock. Back down to the monastery for our sandwich lunch. On the walk back down there were wild dogs roaming so we stayed together. Thomas spoke to them and they stayed away. Our shaggy friend helped to protect us.
Back to the road to be picked up by Katherina and Herman.
My room still had no heat despite the fact that everyone else was warm but finally it got sorted and I was able to warm up and dry off.
Early dinner at 3.30! Celeriac soup. Beef tomatoes stuffed with polenta. Apple cake.
4.30 into buses for drive to bear hide. Seems longer than an hour. A robust discussion about Rob and Helen in The Archers. Eventually stop and walk across the teeming, spouting stream to the hide.
Immediately we see a bear and over the course of 2 hours another 7 or so, possibly some repeats. Several young ones and some large. We are quite good at keeping quiet. The bears linger over the lure (biscuits and corn) for quite some time. Two cubs came along and one was a delight trying to get up onto a rock and falling back down like a toddler.
Very cold, damp and uncomfortable in the hide. Glad to be back in the warmth of the bus.
Neustadt beer and a shot of plum schnapps. The dogs are noisy tonight.
Shaggy dog
Shaggy dog

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First bear, window still a bit steamed up
First bear, window still a bit steamed up

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Tues 17th May
Fabulous day of Karst scenery on circular route. A bit over 14km. First part in buses then walked through the gorge passing where a scene from Cold Mountain was shot then up onto a plateau. Snow on the big tops. Lunch at La Table. Through mountain meadows. A bit damp at first and cold with a few snow flakes. Then warm in the sun on the way back to Magura. Lovely day on good paths. Height about 1450m.
Typical Romanian dinner of nettle soup, stuffed cabbage leaves with polenta and sliced tomatoes and sour cream, cake made with courgette and a little choc, very good.
Katherina showed us a 2001 BBC documentary about Transylvania and Living with Predators. She then talked about her work on the large carnivores research project and how things have changed since the film was made. She is responsible for the introduction of bear hides as responsible tourism and improving the welfare of the bears and the people of Brasov. All most impressive.
A couple of beers. Neumarkt and Bucegi.
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Villa Hermani
Villa Hermani

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It be pirate day!
It be pirate day!

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Magura church
Magura church
So pretty!
So pretty!
Weds 18th May
Too much snow for the very high mountain. In buses to Poaina Brasov ski resort. Cable car to Postavanu at 1799m. Snowy and v cold. Down the path to Cabana Postavanu for fab choc and rum cake and an espresso at last! Nice old Alpine pub. Down a bit more to a flattish bit at Sub Teleferic for lunch (very short intervals between feeds!)
Down the red ski slope a bit more (this is a medium rating for skiers and steep enough for feet on grass) to another pub, the Rossignol. Home made lemonade very delicious. Back to the buses and home.
Dinner
Vegetable soup
Cauli in batter with garlic sauce
Creamed potato
Green salad
Shortbread cake with plum purée therein.
2 Bucegi.
Hoar frost on top of Poaina Brasov
Hoar frost on top of  Postavanu
In the pub
In the pub
Inside the pub
Inside the pub
Thurs 19th May
No sleep because of bloody dogs barking all night. The bugger had the cheek to be asleep when I got up. And then a very long day.
Left at 9.30 in the buses to Brasov. Thomas gave us a very informative tour of the town. Black church, Orthodox Church, synagogue, bullet holes from 1989 revolution.
Coffee with Thomas and Nick and Marion.
Got money with my prepaid card. Ate my lunch on a bench in the square. To market which was just a supermarket. Back to synagogue which was shut but not supposed to be.
To Art Nouveau cafe for a drink. George and Anne turned up. Had lovely lemonade. Thomas arrived.
Got more money.
Then it was 5.15 so we went to the buses, met Udo. Off to man made lakes to look at birds with Dan from Transylvania University. He is expert in ornithology amongst other things. Saw a marsh harrier and several types of heron.
Back to Brasov to Roata Norocului  (Wheel of Fortune) restaurant. Too noisy the minute we walked in. Loud and modern. The live music was dire.
Karin had an amusing time in the loos. No need for signs on the doors here! Couple that with a wayward cleaner confusing the protocols!
Small creamed veg soup and bread.
Pork schnitzel with ham, cheese and mushroom. Cabbage salad. Chips. Ciuc beer. Light Silva beer. All for less than £9.
Too full and headachey from the awful racket. Bloody dogs better be quiet.
Some lovely singing on the way back with Udo from Julie and the girls!
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At the birdy place
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These looked fun
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Art Nouveau cafe
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Bird watching
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Bullets from the revolution
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Banca Transylvania
Fri 20th May
Up early. In buses to Libearty the bear sanctuary. A rather short whiz round with guide. Terrible stories of cruelty.
Nice walk through the meadows to Vulcan where the priest gave us tea, coffee, schnapps and a sort of pancake made by putting the cake mix round a piece of wood and turning it slowly so it didn’t burn.
As we got back in the bus I slammed the door shut on Gary’s finger. A bit of blood but seemingly no bones broken or lasting damage. I couldn’t possibly have seen from where I was that there was a digit in the door.
Drive to Bran and went round castle. Nice castle but full of tourists and masses of tourist tat. Not very relaxing.
Into the horse drawn carriages to ride for just over an hour to the bottom of the long hill. It rained towards the end. Pleasant way to travel, even over the bumps.
In the buses to get up the hill.
Dinner of barbecued meats and salads. Asparagus for veggies. Ice cream. Thomas shocked to see me eating meat. He wore his full traditional gear, hand made by his grandmother.  Very smart.
Settle up bills. I didn’t have enough money and got subs from Jackie and Sue.
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Karin and her new friend

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Carting about
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Bran castle
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Thomas
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Church dog posing
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Thomas in full regalia
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Uwe the priest
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Camera man
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Ready for the off
Sat 21st May
Woke at 5.30, bugger, too early.
On the minibus seeing further half finished but occupied buildings. Communist buildings, even a power plant returning to nature, not demolished.
We got to the airport and then had to get on with check in. Farewells to Karin, Anne and George and John who are all doing slightly different things.
No problems with security this time.
Not much time left to do any shopping after passport control so onto the plane, smooth flight but a somewhat bumpy landing.
Got straight onto the tube, remembered just at the right time that I had to go via Manchester on my ticket. Empty train from Euston but a bit chilly. Crossed Manc on the tram and home from Victoria. Carol had ordered me a taxi from Elland Cabs but stupid driver took me a really long and expensive way home so I won’t be using them again.
Nice to be home.

 

Villa Hermani
Villa Hermani
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Mountains over Magura
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Magura church
Camilla and Herman
Camilla and Herman

Link to Julia’s photos on Flickr:
Romania 14-21 May 2016//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Top 3 Tips for hiking
1 Footwear is as important as the tyres on a car, keep your boots clean and proofed and carry a spare pair of laces.
2 Water is more vital than food, think clean maybe use a filter bottle like Water2Go or a bladder. Keep bladder clean between trips by sterilising using e.g. Steradent tablets or Milton solution, rinse out thoroughly and keep in the freezer.
3 If it moves, tie it down. I’ve lost maps and poles by not having them properly attached. Fix your compass and map to your body/clothing using whatever works best for you, mini carabiner clips and bootlaces are good.
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

 

Winter walks

20th December 2015 – Cat Stones, Rishworth

Fine until it got too hard to cross any more bog because it became a river.

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2nd January 2016 – Widdop

A reccy with Cath, in perfect no visibility conditions!

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10th January 2016 – Widdop

Another reccy with Cath, much brighter and colder day.

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Reaps Cross

17th January 2016 – Stoodley Pike

In the snow.

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Stoodley Pike

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31st January 2016 – Widdop

With Maureen, so very soggy from every angle.

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Walshaw Dean reservoir (middle)

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14th February – Withens Clough and Stoodley Pike

Almost felt glad to be alive. Beautiful day with deeply intense light.

Song of the day: Badlands

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Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

A Place in the Lakes 25th May 2015 (Place Fell, Angletarn Pikes, Beda Fell)

Managed to start this walk at 10.00 a.m. Not as early as I’d hoped. I parked in Martindale which is a quiet little hamlet. There are some fun hairpin bends before you reach it. It has a new (1880) church dedicated to St. Peter and a much older one looking a bit sad dedicated to St. Martin (1500s).

I got up onto Place Fell quite quickly but then it took me a couple of hours to reach the summit. The fabulous views that Wainwright had promised were caught in the low clouds for most of the morning. Also an occasional sprinkle of rain to accompany them.

It was then down 250m to reach Boredale Hause which is a big mountain pass/col. From there I went up again for 150m to reach Angletarn Pikes. I ascended the north pike which Wainwright said could only be reached by a rock scramble. Not so, I just walked up a steep grassy bit and then was on a short easy path. Where Place Fell had seemed a bit busy (it was a bank holiday), I had the summit of Angletarn to myself. There are 2 pikes but I only climbed the north one.

I lunched in peace in the sun behind some rocks in a shallow depression. The rocks not me. Two cyclists came along but left me in peace.

Then it was time to head back along the ridge to Beda Head which is the top point of Beda Fell. It had cleared up weather wise and I got great views across to the huge long ridge which culminates in Hight Street to the east and to the west, Helvellyn and Sheffield Pike. I could trace the route Chris and I took for Sheffield Pike in November 2013. Also another horseshoe I did from Brothers Water.

I’m planning my own longish distance path along the route of the Roman Road between Penrith and Ravenglass. We’ll see! More realistically I could walk from Pooley Bridge up onto the far north end of High Street (not the summit end), taking in several summits but all along the very long ridge which is the Roman Road and ending up at High Street summit, this would be about 14 km. Then to get down to the Kirkstone Pass to meet a bus. Again, we’ll see, I would need to be in Pooley Bridge the night before for an early start.

After Beda Head, I turned east and down to get to the road and then a quick hop past the old church to get back to the car at 16.30. I saw a sign saying that Martindale is home to an old herd of red deer. Didn’t see any.

Managed to get home by 19.15 including a very quick pitstop at Tebay services.

St. Martin's church
St. Martin’s church
Very superior signpost!
Very superior signpost!
The walk to come
The walk to come
Brothers Water
Brothers Water
Helvellyn
Helvellyn
Angletarn Pikes (north pike)
Angletarn Pikes (north pike)
Sheffield Pike
Sheffield Pike
High Street in background
High Street in background
Beda Fell
Beda Fell
Ullswater
Ullswater
Looking back at Place Fell horseshoe
Looking back at Place Fell horseshoe
Ullswater
Ullswater
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

Winter Navigation training, 27th February to 2nd March, 2015

Fri 27th February
A nice if lengthy journey up to Aviemore. I used a split tickets site: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/split-cheap-train-tickets/ and knocked about £80 off the cost. The drawback outgoing was this:
Taxi to station
Sowerby bridge to Hebden Bridge
Hebden to Preston long wait
Preston to Edinburgh Haymarket
Edinburgh to Aviemore
Split ticket had me changing at Burnley Manchester Road too but the ticket man and I agreed this was pointless which cut my trains from 5 to 4 and waiting at Preston was infinitely preferable to Burnley Manc Rd which has nothing to recommend it.
Great scenery and lots of snow. Almost Orient Express at times. Not the passengers though.
I stepped out of Aviemore station to a bitter wind. So quickly popped into Tesco and then bimbled around an outdoor shop while waiting for the minibus pickup to Glenmore Lodge. I chatted to Carson a young man from the USA who was going to do a winter skills weekend. Another man came and told us that he’d spent a week at the Lodge and that the food was plentiful but not haute cuisine. He went away and the minibus arrived. Hundreds of people and bags got out and Carson and I got in.
I paid a single supplement for a room to myself. My sleep is very poor these days and I would hate to be disrupting someone else as well as me.
The room was enormous and had beds from the Olympic village. So I may have slept on Bolt’s bed!
I picked up my gear from stores – shovel, ice axe, avalanche probe, avalanche transceiver, helmet, crampons.
To the bar for a veggie curry with rice and poppadoms. Not bad at all. Washed down with a half of Cairngorm brewery Trade Winds.
To bed.
Drumochda from the train
Drumochter from the train
Olympic beds
Olympic beds
Sat 28th February
Got up early and walked down the road to the reindeer centre but the reindeer were not at home.
Back to breakfast. All self service so I toasted my bread and buttered it then put beans on. Orange juice.  Collected lunch. More civilised than PYB where everyone throws themselves at the packed lunches before getting their breakfasts.
To lecture theatre for welcome from Nigel.
To Ryvoan room to meet others on course and our instructor Kirsty. Billy, Steve, John, Mary, Pat. Mary and Pat are both experts in Gaelic, pronounced Gallic, so I may have learnt a couple of words.
3 of us have summer ML and 3 are beginners. Kirsty did a fantastic job of managing a mixed group.
Spent the morning doing all the basics. We measured our paces along the flat and uphill on the same stretches I used on my very first nav course back in 2008.
We practised using the avalanche transceivers and probes, impressive bit of kit.
We used a 1:5,000 map which was surprisingly hard when so used to bigger scale. Looked at aspect of slope. Very useful.
Back to Lodge for late lunch.
Out in minibus to lower ski car park with the 1:50,000 map. We went past the reindeer and back through the forest. Felt much more comfortable with this map.
Back to the Lodge quite late so we missed tea and cake.
Wet kit in driying room. Shower and yet another rucksack repack. Dinner of lentils and pasta. Choc meringue pudding. All very good and tasty. Maybe not quite haute cuisine but very nice. I sat with Billy and Steve.
We were joined by another man called Neil who is a guide and instructor etc. out of Chamonix. Mentioned my trip up Mont Blanc and the Gouter hut. Also our guide then Stephane Benoist. Turns out they are pals. Steph has since lost many fingers and toes on Annapurna and had to move to different activities. I asked Neil to remember me to Steph and tell him I now have ML! Saw Neil later and he had just received message from Steph after not actually hearing from him for some time. How strange. Steph did remember me and sent me nice wishes. Am impressed that he did remember. He is a holder of the Piolet d’Or for climbing a not previously done face of Nuptse. I was sorry to hear about his injuries as he is a very nice man with young children, he does look like he’s really been through it on this site: http://www.altissima.org/en/stephane-benoist-ampute-apres-son-ascension-en-face-sud-de-lannapurna-6269.html My account of our Mont Blanc trip is also on this blog – entries for October 2009.
To the lecture room where Nigel gave us a most amusing talk on winter nav. I may be inspired to do some orienteering especially as I know where there is some near us.
2 halves of beer with Billy and Steve and Pat’s husband Ian who had been out ice climbing.
To bed.
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Sea King coming in to land at Glenmore Lodge.
Sea King coming in to land at Glenmore Lodge.

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Youngster
Youngster

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Sun 1st March
Slept well. Packed up to vacate room. Suitcase to luggage room (great idea that PYB could do).
Breakfast of beans on toast and coffee and juice.
Ryvoan room for recap. We all decided to use the 1:40,000 map. K went through route planning taking account of avalanche risk.
Nigel drove us up to car park and we set off. We used timing and pacing according to what we wanted to practice.
We had a go at directing someone on a bearing testing how far they could hear as well.
Made a journey to Utsi’s hut during which it started to snow. Utsi brought the reindeer over here 50 years ago and the reindeer herdsman had to sleep near his flock. Neat little hut where we lunched. It’s in the bottom picture on this page: http://www.cairngormreindeer.co.uk/History.aspx?nid=8b35281c-d64f-4548-93cc-4814c175b692
Back out and up and around hill. Crossed some snow in which I got my foot stuck. Kirsty came and helped me out. Had I been on my own I would have got my pole off the rucksack and put it across the hole to lever myself out as well as scrape the snow out. (I had to think like this as mostly I don’t have anyone to come and do what Kirsty did) I was stuck surprisingly fast. Up around hill to a lochan where the wind was quite fierce. Then followed the deer fence to the path. This took us down across a bridge and back up to the Sugar Bowl car park where Nigel picked us up.
Back to the Lodge. Kit back to stores. Collect suitcase. Collect hot choc and cake. Debrief. Farewell.
Nice young man took me to Aviemore in the minibus  I was the only passenger so had no worry about getting him to take me to door of Ravenscraig Guest House.
Jonathan welcomed me. Room was fine. Put wet kit in drying room. Shower. Out to the Winking Owl to eat. Had butternut squash and lentils. Only ok. Cairngorm Highland IPA.  Music quite depressing so didn’t feel like staying.
Red grouse
Red grouse

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It's that way...
It’s that way…
We are a bit cold and wet
We are a bit cold and wet
All the gang
All the gang
He wasn't around
He wasn’t around
This is pine marten poo
This is pine marten poo

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Utsi's hut
Utsi’s hut

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It's still Christmas in Aviemore
It’s still Christmas in Aviemore

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Mon 2nd March
Pitlochry, the next stop of the train. I loved this. The trains home all went really easily. It was snowing as I left Aviemore and on my way home I got messages to say it was snowing there too. It was great that the travelling was all painless. I enjoyed my weekend but actually I’d paid to be stretched a bit more and expected to be out on the snow straightaway, but have fed this back to Glenmore Lodge. I’ve said they need to be very clear about what the pre-requisites are for courses. I’ll be back with Paul Poole Mountaineering for next time round if he and I are both free at the same time. The dates just didn’t quite match up for me this year.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

Dawn at Aviemore station
Dawn at Aviemore station

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Not likely at a railway station
Not likely at a railway station

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From the train
From the train

Mountain Leader refresher

Friday 25th April

Drove to the Pen y Gwryd hotel arriving just after 9pm. I unpacked and went to the residents’ bar for a couple of halves of beer. I met 3 brothers and their father and some others who were staying.

Saturday 26th April

I had the full Welsh breakfast and got to Capel Curig on time to meet up with Paul (trainer), Chris, Adam and Branwen at the cafe.

Walked out behind Moel Siabod cafe and basically did hours of intense navigation practice on quite lumpy and bumpy terrain with lots of little knobbles and nipples! The Clogwyn and Crimpiau area.

I found at one point that my compass wasn’t working properly which could have been because of the big iron stanchion I was next to but on further testing it was affected by my magnifier.

So I know now to keep my magnifier well away from the compass. I’ve also tested all my jewellery against the compass and my necklaces are ok but some of my bracelets are a bit suspect so I won’t wear them when I’m out with the compass.

This was a very active day running up and down hills and I felt pretty tired at the end of it but also reasonably confident that I do know what I’m doing and am not too bad at interpreting contours.

I went to Cobden’s hotel for my supper and had a risotto which was a bit greasy but tasty and inexpensive. I was later told this was not the best place to eat and it’s true the place is a bit neglected but my meal was actually quite ok and I didn’t suffer after eating it. There were lots of photos of Dylan Thomas and although I’ve looked, I haven’t worked out why.

Back at Pen y Gwryd, I met up with the 3 brothers and their lifelong friend and their dad and had a nice time drinking beer with them (these brothers were just here for the weekend, and not the brothers who run the hotel) and also with a lawyer called Nigel from London.

My wash basin can be hidden behind discreet curtain!
My wash basin can be hidden behind discreet curtain!
Wally the MR bear looking towards Snowdon
Wally the MR bear looking towards Snowdon
On the nav day
On the nav day

P1020798

Tryfan the stegosaurus
Tryfan the stegosaurus

Sunday 27th April

Back to the cafe to meet Paul, also Chris, Tim, Dan, Ken and Branwen. We set off to the Ogwen cottage, parking up on the road, and walked up to Llyn Idwal with helmets and ropes. We practised indirect belays, direct belays and the 3 types of descent methods – angel wings, traditional abseil and South African abseil. I felt much more confident about doing all of these and Paul reminded me that there is no need to rush anything on the assessment.

We then did some confidence roping and tried this across different sorts of terrain. This was useful as this is something I can imagine doing if a member of the party was injured or needed help.

We then went back down. Branwen and I went to Idwal Cottage for refreshments and I used the new facilities before heading off home. I got home in 2 hours and 20 minutes which was great as it took me nearly 3 hours to get there so am definitely sticking with the A55 as far as possible route for the future.

Practise, practise, practise now!

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Practising on steep ground
Practising on steep ground
This was the rock we went up and down
This was the rock we went up and down

Contours only navigation course May 25th 2013

This was an excellent day’s training. Such a contrast from the very poor training I was on for work this week.

I arrived at Barber Booth in good time. I can now get to the Peak District in under an hour and a half by using the M67, so much easier and quicker than the crow’s route.

There were 8 of us and Pete Hawkins, from the Silva Navigation School. There were 2 Marks, 2 Johns, Dom, Ken, and I think Steve, and me. We set off straight away to walk up to the access land using the OS 1:25,000 map. Once we were on the maps which only showed contours the oddest thing was not knowing the names of the places. Pete did tell us from time to time, but it was hard to remember and I don’t know that area very well.

The pattern for the day was in pairs to locate spots that Pete gave us, these were spot heights, ring contours, little nicks in the contour line. We went up Broadlee Bank Tor via the spur, across below Grindslow Knoll, then into a maze of groughs above Crowden Tower where we stopped for lunch. We stayed mostly off the beaten tracks so this was a lovely sheltered and sunny spot. Then off again into the warren of groughs and hags. The hags are the bits that stick up and the groughs are the chasms. This section was hard going across the black wet peaty bits. We made our way to Pym Chair and then across and down a steep but springy heather section to Crowden Brook, back to the farm where there is camping and also tea and cake.

I’ve had to look at the OS map to get all the names right and it seems so cluttered and actually makes it harder. I’m going to get some more Harvey maps as although they have a lot of information on them, they are not so messy.

A thoroughly good day which has increased my confidence no end.

Pete in green with legs!
Pete in green with legs!
Pym Chair
Pym Chair

P1010881 P1010882Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Wycoller mists 18th May 2013

Cath and I both used our sat navs to get to Wycoller and had managed to end up in different car parks! My route went through Hebden across Keighley Moor to Oxenhope and then across to Wycoller past a couple of big reservoirs but most of the journey was in such low cloud that I didn’t see anything. I strolled down to the Visitor Centre and we decided to set off after a hot drink. We went to the cafe where I thought I’d seen Celia Imrie several years ago. We both had huge pieces of freshly baked and very good Bakewell tart. Yes it was. Our plan was to spec out one of Cath’s advanced walks for the book she is writing and to agree an outline for how we would teach navigation skills on a day walk.

We set off from Wycoller, passing the ruined hall, my last trip there had been to see the Midsommer Actors doing The Hound of the Baskervilles as a walkabout, very atmospheric location for the play. Wycoller is also where Chris saw a ghost on the bridge, not sure which one, I don’t think the ghost was any of those listed here.

The first part of our walk was very pleasant along leafy lanes, past fields with lambs and calves. Once we crossed the road onto the access land the cloud was on top of us and we could not see far at all. The idea with this walk was that people would have some handrails to use but would then go off piste for the advanced skills part. We came across the first hiccup when we had to climb a wooden fence. Whilst we felt ok about doing this as we were on access land, we didn’t think it would be ok to encourage walkers to do this in a book and we weren’t sure of the legalities of it or how one would get permission. We carried on over the clumps and bumps and bog, it didn’t rain much but everything felt damp because of being in the cloud. We practised a bit of timing, a bit of pacing, did a bit of walking on a bearing. We remembered to trust our tools and worked out that we had not gone far enough to reach our objective which was a footpath crossing the bog. Sadly this was a path that existed only in the cartographer’s mind and not in reality. Cath went off to see if she could find it and started to disappear so I went after her. We actually ended up where the path should be according to my GPS. So this was a mixture of using our maps and compasses plus the GPS for backup. I put the backup away as it had confirmed that we were where we thought we ought to be. As the terrain was hard going, we decided to head back to the road, stopping for a quick bite to eat in the bog as it was late for lunch by then.

We saw a couple of geese and a couple of grouse, well they were minding their own business and probably thought we were quite mad to be tramping about in the mist.

We got back to the road by walking on a bearing, again good practice as we both had the feeling that the direction was other than that indicated by our compasses, but because we trusted our tools we got to where we wanted to be. It really would have been very easy to walk round and round in circles without a compass in those conditions.

Cath had already decided that the moor we’d been on wasn’t a suitable addition for her book by this point as it had been a bit of a bog slog.

We thought we would take a footpath back to my car park and get off the road which was misty, narrow and a bit busy so we took a sign leading out of a disused pub’s car park and across a field with sheep in it. The path clearly went across a field boundary on the map but in reality this was a tall stone wall with a lot of barbed wire, we tried to get over but it was a bit too hard so we went back to the road and climbed over a fence with barbed wire to get out of the field, managing to make some holes in Cath’s map in the process.

Back along the road to the car and then down to the cafe for making notes and plans. This time we skipped the cakes!

I’m just glad that I was with Cath for all these adventures. I will be writing to Lancashire Council about the blocked footpath.

Fab single stone clapper bridge at Wycoller
Fab single stone clapper bridge at Wycoller
Distinctive lichen
Distinctive lichen
Footbridge at Wycoller
Footbridge at Wycoller
Wycoller clapper bridge
Wycoller clapper bridge
Fireplace Wycoller Hall
Fireplace Wycoller Hall

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Mountain Leader Training Course April 2012

Sunday

I arrived at Plas y Brenin about 7 pm. It only took 2.5 hours to get here. I’ve been using the east and south sides of the M60 but have finally woken up to the north and west sides being quicker. I shaved half an hour off the journey and it makes Snowdonia even more doable.
I went to the bar and got a beer then the rooms were announced as being ready. I went and lugged the first load in. PYB is an old coaching inn en route to Anglesey and is very big and has lots of corridors leading hither and thither. My single (phew) room is at the back with a great view of the Snowdon horseshoe. Better than last time when I had to climb on the table to see out/open the window and all I got was the top of the kitchen. Nice and comfortable. A step up from the YH.
Went to check programme for tomorrow and met Angela from S. Wales and Heather who are sharing the room next door. They seem nice. Just Christopher to meet.
Got the rest of the gear in. There is loads of it because – usual mountain gear plus camping gear plus river crossing clothes plus study bag.
For dinner in the bar I had chicken and chips and salad. Chicken was deep fried and too dry. Chips too many but the salad bit was nice.
My room is quiet which is good. I can faintly hear the girls next door. Suspect it’s just luck I have a single room so must remember to request it next time.
Monday
Up at 7 am for a shower and bag packing. Down just before 8 to pack up my lunch of tuna sandwich plus apple and tiffin. Last time I came they had outsourced the sandwiches for lunches and they were rubbish. Many of us fed this back to them and they have changed the supplier to a nearer one.
Beans on toast for breakfast.
First off is welcome to the centre by Martin Doyle. As this is my 3rd time all I can say is that he looks older.
Then off with Mike Raine, author of Nature of Snowdonia. He is our instructor for the week. We go to the Gwynant room which is probably one of the lounges of the old inn.
Intros and remit of scheme. Then we collect bags and assemble under the canopy. We collect maps from stores and we are off. Weather is warm and sunny. Across the end of the lake by by the bridge.
We are going up Moel Siabod which I had thought of for a warm up yesterday but didn’t do as managed to distract myself. We do pacing and quickly cover 500m. Then on up the path through the woods. Once out of the woods we start on legs. Mike very relaxed about it all. Rather than follow each step to the letter with maps out we have to put them away while taking turns to lead.  The leader has theirs out! We are all quite well matched and we help each other a bit. We then have to relocate using the contours when the leader stops. We do this a good way up the hill. I am finding the walking hard work after my cold last week but Angela has asthma so needs to stop for occasional rests. This makes me feel better about stopping! Mike and Chris both have very long legs. Chris and Heather are DoE leaders but much nicer than the last ones I met here. Heather reminds me of Jennifer Saunders so am well disposed to her and she has a great sense of humour!
There are long scrambly sections which are hard work and more so when the rain comes and it gets slippy. I have a slide but on my front. Am told my nav is perfection! Well for that leg anyway! I get 2 legs to do to the summit in the mist and rain. I take a bearing before the mist really obscures it.
We stop in the shelter for hot drinks and then it’s back down. More huge rocks to clamber over but once done a fast route down. We all fall in the mud except for Heather.
A hafod is summer mountain hut and a hendre is a winter one from when the Welsh did transhumance.
Back to PYB just in time to watch the ML course members do their river crossing.
Lots of fun in the drying room as the ML people are needless to say extremely wet. Sticky iced bun and tea then class work on the camping trip. Shower then dinner. This is a slice of melon, steak and ale pie, carrots,  cauli and roast spuds.
We all attend a short lecture about things not to do in Yosemite, i.e.climb a huge, huge, huge cliff for 8 days. No, no, no. Felt sick looking at the photos.
Beer in bar. Chat to Heather and Angela. Gear all dry very quickly.
Tried ringing home but no answer. I have an email from Carol that the phone is not bloody working now. Grrr.
From Moel Siabod
Tuesday
Beans and hash brown for breakfast. Short session on weather. Forecast for today not great and hideous for the camp trip tomorrow. Bump into Helen who assessed me for WGL, she mentions tomorrow’s weather too.
We assemble and drive out to the car park next to Idwal Cottage. Up to Cwm Idwal with Mike pointing out rocks and plants. He is excellent on both. I am finding rocks more and more interesting but not sure if this is a massively cool interest to have. Suspect not but I don’t really care. We go up a bit and today we are concentrating on navigating over steep ground and it most certainly is. Hands on a lot of the time and levering ourselves up. We do some spotting, which is to adopt a brace stance so as to support someone up from you. Never pull someone up. Map work is limited to relocating. As yesterday I only get one of my relocations slightly out. We get up pretty high looking up at Glyder Fawr. Sandwich is cheese and coleslaw which is ok and fresh but needs more filling, apple and flapjack. We do route finding and then traverse back towards Llyn Bochlwyd. This also involves descending very steep scree. The technique here is to zig zag. The leader should line the group up before crossing so no-one can kick rock down on the leader and then each person crosses, lining up again before heading back out. When we did going up the scree Mike said we were to make no noise. This is a great tip to get people to concentrate.
Back along the river bank to the minibus. I waved to Damian at the YH but he wasn’t actually in sight.
We picked up a Frenchman just as we got going but I still wasn’t quite sure what the whole story was there.
Back for tea and bara brith, yum yum.
Lecture on the nature of Snowdonia but not delivered by Mike, although the slides were written by him. Good for consolidating knowledge.
Shower then Welsh beef roast dinner with immensely eye wateringly hot horseradish. Delicious.
Then the girls (Angela is 52 and Heather, who must be a little younger) and I put up our tents in a wide corridor. Lots of giggles. Chris joined us. He seems quite a serious young man, he gave me some load lightening tips and Heather who has loads of DoE camping experience was most helpful re packing.
Then we played with pans and worked out boil in bag cookery and eating. This will cut lots of weight. Dried food is even lighter but means more washing up.
Bar for beer and chat.
Striations where rock has been scratched on its travels
Llyn Idwal
Magnificent Mike!
Llyn Idwal
Mike, Angela, Heather, Chris
Heather, Angela, Mike, Chris
Wednesday
Biggish breakfast of beans, poached egg, toast, hash bown. Pack bag.
Meet up. Weather forecast just pants. I get Mike to sign his book. Unpack bag and start again, this time with the girls helping. Heather most adept at squashing! Eventually I get it all stuffed in. Coffee in girls’ room. Download Agatha Christie Passenger to Frankfurt mainly because Maureen and I talked about it the other day.  Once I’d got togged up we meet under the canopy to weigh the bags. Mine is the lightest at 13 Kg.
Into van to Gelli Lago where we park up. We set off and I get the first legs and on and up. It’s wet and windy and horrid. We soon stop for lunch, it seems soon because we had left much later than on the other 2 days. I get a leg to the col of Cnicht. It’s less wet now but I am very slow. There is a scrambly bit to summit. We try to walk the ridge but Mike stops this plan as it’s too windy. He says it’s 100 mph and not safe. We are all in agreement with this especially as Chris has been lifted off his feet and we carefully go down away from wind.
We camp at a lovely spot near a stream which is flat and soft. Heather and Angela and I help each other to put up our tents. We let the boys just get on with theirs!
I walk down some distance for a poo. Sorry to mention this but I have forgotten my matches to burn the loo paper so instead go au natural and use spaghnum moss. It’s cold and wet but soft and antibacterial!
We have a cup of tea in Chris’ hafod then we all go to our tents to warm up but I fail to do this quickly. I read my book on the phone. Passenger to Frankfurt is dedicated to my grandmother and there is something soothing about seeing her name as she is still much loved and often missed. It’s nearly 40 years since she died.
I put more clothes on and warm up a bit
Time for dinner. Angela says Chris has moved his tent. I use the water from the bladder, no, not that one, to heat up Look What We Found beef casserole. I heat it up under the flysheet as it’s raining again but really I needed to heat it for a little bit longer. I have it with half a pitta.
We camped about 4. Dinner at 7. Now nearly 8. The night nav starts at 9. Whoopee. Mike says to see it as a bit of fun. Good plan.
Midnight
Three hours of nav in big wet. Truly horrid. Mike said it was as bad as it gets. I am back in my tent fairly snug. I was anxious before we did the night nav as had thought we would do legs but we actually did it as a group. I was grateful for this as struggled to see as well as hear. Main lesson for me camping is to bring a big orange emergency bag to put the rucksack in. And don’t get caught out at night in vile conditions!
Thursday
7 am
It took me a long time to get to sleep. When my feet dried and warmed it happened. To sleep I wore merino pants, merino long johns, merino socks, merino t shirt, merino long shirt, micro fleece. And my buff. That came off but am warm now.
It rained a bit in the night but it came a time when the rain and wind stopped and all I could hear was the stream flowing steadily and now the birds are singing. Lovely.
Heather says things like “oh my giddy aunt”and “better out than in”!
6 pm
Back at PYB.
Today breakfast of 2 muesli bars, a bit of cake and a cup of tea. Angela had a terrible time in her £10 tent and I don’t think Heather and Chris liked their Jack Wolfskin tents that much as they seem to be hard to get in and out of without wetting it all. Angela ended up with her sleeping bag in her orange plastic survival bag as her tent had let in so much wet.
We packed it all away. Mike asked us what had worked best, my tent. What had worked worst, my gloves. What we wished we’d brought, whisky. What we wished we hadn’t, I said moisturiser but also wet wipes. I used everything else except a spare top but should have brought spare hat and gloves.
Mike said we needed to see where we had tramped about last night so we went back up. This time with full packs so it felt really heavy until we got into it.
It’s a pretty little lake where we retraced last nights’ steps. Mike split us into teams so Angela and I worked together. We had to go to 3 spots and we did this fine. Then we got another 3 and this took us down and up to our lunch. Whilst the day had started off fine and dry, when the rain came it only went away for short intervals. But at least we could see where we were going.
Lunch with the others. Pitta with smoked cheese, peanuts, dried fruit, a small cake and a bit of shortbread.
We got another section to do which had some slippy sections. Really felt the contours starting to make sense.
Then it was the walk down and back. Some even slippier bits. Back into lowland and a bog which Heather and I managed to stick our feet and ankles into, a short road section took us back to the bus.
Mike stopped the minibus on the way back near a river so the thing we had all been joking about was now going to happen as we knew it would. The river crossing made the ankle wetting seem like a raindrop. Mike showed us 3 techniques. In a line behind each other holding on to each others’ hips. In a circle. In a V shape. Needless to say we were in up to our knees and yes the water was cold.
Back to the drying room which we filled. It has blow heat and a powerful dehumidifier extractor. All should be dry tomorrow.
A lovely shower. Sorry to continue with the bottom saga. Whilst the spaghnum moss is soft etc. it also has bits of old grass in it which I’d not noticed while concentrating on keeping warm dry and on the map. All these had managed to stick themselves into my bottom, all’s well now.
Beer before dinner.
Dinner of melon, chick pea curry, rice, carrots, green beans, raspberry fool.
2 more half pints of beer and a Penderyn whisky. Lots of laughs. What nice people.
In the drying room most stuff is doing well just not the boots.
Dolorite
More dolorite
Managed not to step on this
Glorious weather!
Friday
Slept like a log. Woke at 6 and then dropped off again. Breakfast of beans, poached egg and toast. Collected lunch and off to the lecture room. We practised knotting and the principles of belaying indoors. Then out along the road and across to some rocks. We looked at how to identify good anchors – size, solidity and shape. Tapping lets you feel vibrations if the rocks are loose and many were. Heather and I got up the hill in turns. Then we lunched. Time to belay each other down a bit. I found knotting didn’t exactly come easily to me. But well impressed with how effective the system is. Even when I just dug my heels in with Mike pulling hard, he couldn’t shift me! Then we did the confidence rope which is a bit like leading a dog on a lead and I was told I did this well. Not sure what Chris thought!
Then back to the centre for paper work and more rope work crossing a river (imaginary).
Time for farewells. Just glad to have been on training with such nice people.
Final bara brith. Took me a while to pack and get everything to the car. Set off at 5.30 and home for just after 8.  Despite a big holdup in Llanwrst for traffic lights. They went green so being at the front of the queue I set off only to find an enormous lorry heading straight for me (slowly) around the bend. I and several others had to reverse back up. They all went off down a one way street but I didn’t know where it went to so stayed put. The lorry came round. I then went to go off again as I was in the way and various other cars all following the lorry were most abusive to me. Considering that I had the right of way and the lorry hadn’t this was a tad irritating. The course must have chilled me or knackered me entirely because the abuse didnt even bother me that much.
Apart from that an uneventful journey in the rain. Much colder over here only 4.5 degrees.
Chris, Heather, Mike
Chris, Heather
Chris and Heather
Angela
Saturday
Boots still not completely dry!

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Walking Group Leader Assessment

Sunday 2nd October
I got to Betws-y-Coed in under 3 hours having stopped for pasta salad lunch at services. I parked up and Kate arrived about 5 mins later her journey having taken as long for a much shorter distance. We exchanged a toasted sandwich maker and a chocolate bar and set off for a bit of shopping. I got a Mountain Leader First Aid kit and a half price shirt in Cotswold Outdoors only it wasn’t discounted at the till.
We went to one of the 2 street facing hotels and Kate had a panini with goats cheese and red onion, I think that’s right and I had some bara brith. All fine.
Really we just chatted and caught up with each other and generally had a nice time. Lovely.
Kate then whizzed off, I got my money back and headed on to Capel Curig.
Because of courses lasting all day, rooms at Plas y Brenin are not available until 8pm so I waited in the bar swotting up on mountain leadership and ordered an omelette.
I didn’t have to share my room which was good as the assessment itself is stressful enough without any added extras like having to wear clothes in bed or talk to someone when you just want to concentrate.
The room was very warm so I stood on a chair, climbed onto the 2 foot thick window sill and opened the window wide. I’m overlooking the air and heat system this time!
I did some more swotting and so on.
Monday 3rd October
Up at 7 and ready for breakfast at 8. First you grab a plastic bag and select biscuits, fruit, cake and filled roll all neatly labelled and laid out. The sandwiches have been bought in and doesn’t look as nice as the ones they used to make.
Breakfast of muesli and fruit. Then toast and a poached egg.
Pack my leader rucksack and attend the welcome to PYB lecture. There are 3 of us on the course, Ricky from near Dartford and C a walk leader, we follow our course leader who is Helen. We go to the Cromlech room for intros, also to John who is assessing us for this first day. The 4th person Tim never shows up. We hand in our log books and home papers.
Fine and dry all day.
Off to Penmaenmawr and park on Mountain Road which straightaway makes me feel comfortable as I did some of my training there. Then it’s nav nav nav all day taking legs in turn. I am ok. Each leg we lead or follow we just get ok i.e. no clue as to whether we are right or wrong. This takes a bit of getting used to but for me starts to work to make me get it right.
John gives us individual feedback by the van. My nav is good but my flora is less so, which has been obvious to me. I’m not quick to identify plants and need to know more than just names. But my laminated cards are good.
John drives us back for freshly made cake and tea. I’m now on lemon and ginger.
I get my bag ready for the night nav, read a bit more. Then dinner of melon followed by veg pancakes and nice sauce with loads of veg all v fresh and lots of it. I don’t eat too much as we are about to be exercising once more.
We gather at 8pm and John drives us for all of 2 mins so still in Capel Curig. It is a hard 3 hours we spend locating features but at the end John’s feedback to me is that my nav is nearly Mountain Leader standard. ML is next in the hierarchy of awards from the Mountain Leader awarding body. It’s hard work but some laughs too when I slide down slowly just missing the stream.

The bar is shut when we get back after 11 pm so we have a hot drink together. I shut the window up a bit in my room as it’s got colder.

Tuesday 4th October
This day we get Helen. She is very nice and reminds me a bit of mountain friend Ann. I eat a bigger breakfast of muesli and then egg, beans on toast and hash brown. Hungry after night work!
Helen goes through our leader rucksacks questioning gently. She has a pleasant but thorough manner and is a sucker for gear which amuses me, she is very interested in my folding walking poles.
Then it’s off out to Dolwyddelan which puts me at ease as we park just where I did when here with Carol and the first bit of our walk is the same as Carol and I did.
During lunch I give my 5 min talk plus laminated cards on the YHA. It’s cold in the strong winds.
Back at the bus we get our feedback. I am ok with nav but just need to be more self confident. I think this is assessment strain. It’s actually fine doing my own legs but really hard to follow the others and that’s part of the test.
Back for scones and butter. Jam optional. We are all really tired and now have to do a route planning exercise. Again I’m in luck as it’s a walk to Llyn y Fan Fach which is an old favourite of mine.

Dinner of veg pie and lots of veg followed by raspberry pavlova yum. This evening we can socialise so I sit with the guys in the bar watching extreme mountain biking which is strangely balletic and beautiful. Such reckless control. I drink beer and Laphroiag. The rain is here so window completely shut now.

Crack of dawn at PYB
Wednesday 5th October
I wake feeling anxious. After a smaller breakfast just toast and poached egg and beans we set off smartly. It’s been raining and more predicted but I’m too hot in my waterproofs already. Helen drives us to Rachub, just outside Bethesda . I’m thrown by getting a 1:50000 map to work with and make a mistake straight off as does Rick so we are both kicking ourselves.
It’s not wet but very windy so we stop in a hollow for a break and Helen quizzes us on emergency procedures. We keep going leg by leg and at lunch in a sheltered dip R gives us his 5 min talk on nature and myths.
Then back to the bus and early back to PYB for testing on the overnight experience. R gets the Trangia and I get different types of stoves most of which I have never seen but thank god I have some sense to work them out!
Then we go for showers and I pack up my things in the room. We meet back in the bar where fresh Eccles cakes are waiting for us and Helen meets us one by one to give us our results. Rick goes first and soon returns having passed. Then I go in and Helen shakes my hand and gives me my good news. I am elated and feel like crying after all the mental, emotional and physical investment I have made. My nav is good and my paperwork is excellent.
I take my leave and set off for home. One very happy bunny.
I celebrate with some more Laphroiag at home.
I have joined the MLTA for CPD and registered to do the Mountain Leader. Onwards and upwards!

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.