Mountain Skills Courses
The Gold Navigator Award builds on the skills acquired at the Bronze and Silver levels and adds techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features both large and small. Gold NNAS courses are taught in areas with access to open country and involve periods where you’ll be navigating away from paths and tracks.
The Gold National Navigation Award is Mountain Leader level navigation.
If you would like to discuss this course for a club, society or other group of people, please see the Adventures for You page or just get in touch to discuss options and prices
Gold Navigator Award
Building on the skills covered in the Bronze and Silver Navigator Awards, the Gold National Navigation Award builds on the skills acquired at the Bronze and Silver levels and adds techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features both large and small.
The Gold National Navigation Award contains a pre- and post-course question paper. Both papers must be submitted to be marked in addition to the practical elements before the course is deemed complete and a result can be announced.
Each non-residential two-day training course costs £180 per person with discounts for multiple bookings.
By the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of:
Use the skills and techniques of the Bronze and Silver Awards in the context of Gold National Navigation Award navigation strategies.
Use contours and fine detail as the prime method of navigation.
Accurately: Follow a route, judge distance, check progress against time, use relevant compass skills and maintain continuous map contact.
Use back bearings and transits to confirm the current position.
Use aspect of slope as an aid to relocation.
Select appropriate techniques within an overall navigation strategy.
Navigate in intricate terrain in reduced visibility i.e. mist or darkness.
Select an appropriate, safe route in relation to height gain and loss, dangerous terrain and other major hazards.
Assess the route ahead in the field in relation to prevailing conditions or changing circumstances (e.g. weather, time, daylight, ability/fitness) and re-plan the route appropriately if necessary.
Shorten a route, use an escape route and know emergency procedures.
Recognise the occurrence of a navigational error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid for walking in remote areas in all weather conditions.
Understand the physical demands created by hill and moorland terrain in all weather conditions.
Understand the effects of cold, heat, fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route.
The courses are run in the Howgill Fells area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
There is a very brief indoor session (Covid dependent) both days but we are mainly out on the hills learning the practical tools and skills in the real environment. After booking onto the course you will also have access to a bite-size video series which covers the syllabus. This also is a useful reminder resource for afterwards!
The instructor:client ratio is 1:4 with a minimum of 2 clients for both training and assessment to ensure that everyone gets the most benefit from the course. Peer-experience and sharing is an important aspect.
We meet at the Fat Lamb Inn outside Ravenstonedale (on the A683 between Kirkby Stephen and Sedburgh) for a short indoor session before heading out to the hills for the rest of the day. Details are provided on registering.
If you'd like a private course for friends/family/clubs or societies, or different dates from the ones advertised below then please simply get in touch to discuss dates and prices via the Adventures for You page.
This nationally recognised accredited course will enable you to plan and follow more complex routes in the hills and mountains. It is Mountain Leader level navigation although it is not a leadership course. However holding a Gold NNAS Award will put you at an advantage if you are considering the higher Mountain Training Awards.
Gold NNAS - Frequently asked questions
Is this suitable for me?
This is not an army march but we will be in hilly terrain. It is aimed at those wanting to gain more confidence in the hills. For Gold, you must be proficient in the Silver skills but you don't need to hold a Silver Award. I will always try and accommodate everyone but if unsure please drop me an email.
What do I need to bring?
Please see the recommended kit list here (ignore the additional extras for wilderness backpacking as we won't be doing that!). You will need your own compass (Silva Expedition 4 recommended) and map case (Ortleib is recommended). We'll be using OL19 Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley Ordinance Survey maps and it is expected that you will have your own at this level.
Where do we meet?
We meet at The Fat Lamb Inn at 0900 on both days outside the village of Ravenstonedale on the A683 between Kirkby Stephen and Sedbergh.
I'm coming from further afield, where can I stay nearby?
This is up to you depending on your budget. However there are nearby campsites, youth hostels, hotels and B&Bs (including at the Fat Lamb). It is worth checking around Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen and Sedbergh.
What's not included?
How much is the course and how do I book?
The course costs £180 per person for the two days tuition which includes the certificate (if you pass). To book please see the dates below the FAQs, click on the one you are interested in and follow the instructions. Please ensure you have read the Terms and Conditions.
I can't make the dates you are offering but I want to do the course
That's no problem - Just get in touch with me and I'll see what dates you are free and whether I am too. There needs to be at least two of you to run the course. Please also see the Adventures for You page.