Bespoke guiding, Nov 30 - Dec 1, 2019

Matt's mountain skills

  • Snowdonia
  • GB
  • Nov 30 - Dec 1
  • 2019

Navigation & route-planning in mountainous terrain.

Navigation on the fly

Being able to adapt to modifications of a route is an important skill. Enabling that skill to be developed means lots of practice, but only with the fundamental basis of learning good habits with map interpretation as well as identifying ones own weaknesses.

Matt already had a strong ability with map interpretation. He could easily 'pop' the terrain into a 3D form in his mind, however, he needed work with applying other skills such as taking a compass bearing and moving on it. We started the day with Coffee at Rumdoodles while going over what to look for every time you pick up a new map as well as compass exercises.

The objective for the run was for Matt to undertake navigation exercises without having first planned the route. As such he would have to think on the fly while at the same time making sure not to neglect other important aspects such as managing his food and hydration as well as clothing as we were running along the route. The weather was incredible, however, the 'feels like' temperature on the high tops was forecast for -10oC with gusts up to 45 mph.

The conditions on the ground matched the forecast but were easily managed with good practice. It was quite simply a stunning day in Snowdonia. Matt did fabulously, showing excellent analytical skills in applying strategies for relocation as well as the ability to reflect on his mistakes and find solutions.

Navigating when prepared

Route planning saves time while on the run, however, you still need to be able to adapt if conditions require a bail-out.

Matthew spent the morning devising his own route around a set of checkpoints I provided. He learnt the principals of getting from 'A' to 'B' as well as how to identify sections along the route where things could go wrong and how to mitigate the risk of a navigation whoopsie.

Our route took us over the classic Grade I scramble of the Nantlle Ridge. It was, yet again, a stunning day in Snowdonia, however extremely cold on the tops. A great weekend teaching, guiding and then shadowing someone guiding themselves. Fantastic effort, Matt! Thanks for being great fun as well as being dedicated to improving your skills.