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Edale Navigation and Running

Had a great couple of days working in the Peak District. A group of brave/insane guys are entering the Scottish Islands Race.To do this they needed a navigation certificate so I put them through the NNAS Silver Award. They were coming from all around the Uk so we decided on the Peak District as a good venue. It’s central and also has Kinder Scout which is great for practicing navigation. The team all passed with flying colours and had plenty of practice navigating for themselves and also quite a few lost tourists.
Some of the photos can be seen here. As you can see, we also went for a run over Mam Tor and it’s ridge.

Whitby Mountain Rescue Presentation

I was in Whitby today to take photographs of a cheque presentation by a great guy called Gareth Wright. I’m always really humbled and touched by the way that people raise money to help the team to help others. It restores my faith in human nature.

Scarborough and Rydale Mountain Rescue Team have had a busy week this week looking for a missing person near Helmsley. Many of the team have been out at least 3 times in the last 5 days, sometimes until 3am. They are all volunteers and most then have to go to work the next day.

If you take an active part in the outdoors, or even if you don’t, Mountain Rescue is so much more than helping lost or hurt walkers and climbers, please consider donatingto this important cause.
Anyway, here are some pictures I took today

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Hole of Horcum in the Snow

Some photos here from a great morning at the Hole of Horcum. Knee deep soft powder snow (well, knee deep for me, calf deep for everyone else.)

It started off as a Whiteout but later on the sun burned off the fog and I got some photos. As I headed back to the car I met two guys from the team, setting out on their snow shoes. I went back out with them. I must invest in a pair of snow shoes for the next time we get conditions like these.

On the North Yorkshire Moors snow shoes are much more useful than crampons. If we’d of had a call out they would greatly speed up our response time. If we had to carry out a stretcher they would be a great help.

So, please book yourself on one of our courses, I have purchases I need to make!

Silver Award Badges

For those people that have taken the silver award with me and would like a metal badge, they are £2.25 + 69p postage. Apologies, they don’t make a cloth badge.

To order your badge through Paypal please click on the “Buy Now” button below.
You don’t need a Paypal account to use this and it will forward your postal address to me.

Common Mistakes in Navigation & How to Avoid Them


When taking a bearing from the map

Being 180 degrees in the wrong direction

When taking a bearing, the navigator first lines up the the starting point and destination on the same line on the baseplate, or edge, of the compass.
Remember the direction of travel arrow on the compass needs to point to where you are traveling to on the map, not where you are now.

Next the housing is turned to match up the orienting lines on the compass with the vertical grid lines on the map. MISTAKE It is quite common for beginners to have the orienting arrow (N of the housing ) pointing towards the bottom of the map i.e. south. It should of course point to the top of the map.

Always estimate the bearing before you measure it with the compass. This will enable you to see really quickly if you are doing something wrong.

Gift Certificates

It’s that time of year again!

Why not give a present this year that is even more exciting than socks!

Wild Things Mountain Adventures Gift Certificates

Available in all denominations


I’m really pleased to be able to offer training and certification in the National Navigation Award Scheme.

I have recently delivered a few Bronze courses for clients including adults from the Scout Association.

It’s a really good syllabus and I like the way that it assumes no previous knowledge to start with then gradually builds up the participant’s skills.

By the end of the Bronze course those that have passed the award have a really good, solid base of navigation skills.

The Silver award takes this a step further with more emphasis on compass bearings and contours.  If you want to learn navigation or further your ability and gain certification I can really recommend this scheme.

Contact us to arrange your course


A Celebratory Ascent of Ben Nevis

Had a great few days in Fort William, Scotland.
Julie had an important birthday that required some serious celebration.
She decieded she would like to walk up the highest mountain in the Uk, and maybe try out some climbing too. The celebrants consisted of her family and a few friends.
As Julie had heard that there can be navigation issues on the top of Ben Nevis in poor weather, I was asked to lead the group. This meant she could concentrate on the walk and views and generally having a good time and I would take care of the rest, and take a few photos on the way which I sometimes put on a password protected gallery so they can be shared with the client’s friends and family all over the world.

As not all the group were experienced walkers we chose the Pony Route. There are a few different routes up Ben Nevis ranging from a long walk through steep ascent, ridges involving scrambling and full on climbing. Of course, a winter ascent is a very different proposition requiring winter skills and equipment. However, it’s worth remembering that Ben Nevis often has snow on and near the summit all year round. There was plenty of snow this time too.

We stayed at Chase the Wild Goose Hostel and set out about 8am in the morning to Glen Nevis. Everyone had packed the necessary equipment and clothing and I leant out a few pairs of gloves. It’s worth remembering that even when it’s warm weather in the valley it can be much colder on the tops, especially at 1344m. Moist air cools at around 1 degree per 200m ascent. When you add in wind chill factor, it can be really cold. Mountain weather can change really quickly so it’s quite risky to predict you are going to have good weather all day.

If you enjoy the solitude of the mountains then you should consider a different mountain. There were thousands of people on the Pony track as you would expect from such a “badge” mountain. Still, it all helped to add to the party atmosphere

When we got to the first snow patch, one of the group was a little nervous about slipping but after we’d kicked a few steps and given some support she soon crossed to the stony ground ahead.





Before long we were on the summit plateau and with good weather there were some great views. We could see people crossing the Douglas Gap on Tower Ridge and others on the CMD Arete.

We had lunch on the top then after some more sight seeing started to descend. Some of the group wanted some tips on map reading so we looked at the dangerous error people sometimes make in bad weather when they follow a bearing that leads them into Gardyloo Gully and down the north face, or later still into the top of Five Finger Gully.

On the way down we passed lots of people doing the first part of the 3 Peak Challenge, they had a long day ahead of them. As we approached the end of our day we could see the RAF Sea King rescuing someone from the zigzags. It’s worth remembering that many accidents happen on the descent. Fortunately, with good planning all our group had had a great day and could look forward to celebrating in Fort William.


Mountain Rescue

If you go out and spend time in the mountains, please remember to support mountain rescue teams.
Many people don’t realise the teams consist of volunteers who are on call 24 hrs a day 365 days a year. They go out in all conditions to help people when often no one else will or is able to.

The training, searches, rescue and
equipment cost big money. Please do what you can to support the teams. Hopefully you will never need them but even, so it’s good to know they’re there.

You can read about a team member from the Scarborough & Rydale team (covering much of the North York Moors as he cycles from John O Groats to Lands end to raise funds

Staff Development in the Lake District

Had a good day doing a little end of year unofficial “staff development” with 10 teachers from an East Riding Secondary School. The group had a broad mix of experience levels with some individuals that had hardly ever been in the hills at all.

We were going to do an introduction to scrambling on Halls Fell Ridge on Blencathra but the weather forecast suggested it would be in cloud most of the day. It also said the weather was likely to get better in the afternoon.

It’s always a good idea to be able to be flexible with your plans, especially with regard to weather. We changed our hill of choice and went up Causey Pike instead. We still got to do a bit of scrambling and most of the time were able to see the view. There were showers on and off throughout the day so we were glad of the group shelter whilst having our lunch.

The group did really well, they were a great laugh and are already making plans for next year.

This is the group just leaving the summit of Causey Pike

Staff development group leaving Causey Pike. wild things mountain adventures