Mountain Skills Courses
Navigation in the hills and mountains at low light, low visibility or in total darkness is a skill that anyone wishing to head to the bigger hills in Britain needs to know. If you are interested in astrophotography, you will inevitably need to get away from any light pollution and the car that comes along with full beams on just as you start to take a picture.
It is also important for anyone wanting to start wild camping.
Phone batteries with mapping software don't cope well with the cold or rain. Mountain Rescue teams will recommend a map and compass, and knowledge of how to use them.
On 16th February 2022 we are running a session in support of the North York Moors National Park Dark Skies Festival. More information about the festival can be found here. This will be invaluable for anyone wanting to escape as much light pollution as possible on the higher remoter moors.
The requirements for night navigation are very similar to day navigation except that you need to become very good and confident at a few particular techniques. This course is suitable for anyone who has a working knowledge of timing, pacing, orientating a map and following a compass bearing (Silver NNAS level). It is also suitable for those training for, or wishing to start on an Expedition Leadership award or Mountain Leader Award.
I run these courses during Autumn and Winter as an evening session.
If you would like to discuss this course for a club, society or other group of people, please see the Private Courses page or just get in touch to discuss options and prices
Night Navigation Masterclass
Each masterclass costs £30 per person and is run over a weekday evening.
We will concentrate on the techniques that are the most useful in the dark and also incorporate the use of digital technologies and where / how they can be useful and when they definitely aren't! By the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of:
Using the compass to orientate the map and why it's vital at night (or any time!)
Using a compass to follow a bearings accurately using sighting
More advanced navigation strategies, including coarse and fine navigation
Timing and Pacing accurately
The courses are run in the Cleveland Hills area of the North York Moors National Park
There is no indoor session - we will meet at the starting point and head straight out.
The instructor:client ratio is 1:8 with a minimum of 3 clients to ensure that everyone gets the most benefit from the course. Peer-experience and sharing is an important aspect.
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 Private Courses page.
Night Navigation Masterclass - 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 in low light, poor visibility and complete darkness. This really is aimed at those with the skills taught at Silver NNAS Navigator Award. It is also suitable for those wishing to undertake an Expedition Leader Award or Mountain Leader 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 map or OL26 "North York Moors (Western Area)" depending on where the course is being run. It is expected that you will have your own at this level. However, I am able to provide maps. A fully charged headtorch, or one with a spare set of new batteries is of course essential as are warm clothes.
Where do we meet?
Clay Bank Car Park (North York Moors). Full details will be given on booking. We may have to change the precise location depending on the weather but it'll be in the vicinity of either and I'll send details beforehand.
I'm coming from further afield, where can I stay nearby?
This is an evening event and it's timed to allow folks to finish work, grab a bite to eat and head out. We're out for a few hours, but should you need accommodation there are plenty to choose from in the local areas. Please get in touch if you might need accommodation recommended.
What's not included?
How much is the class and how do I book?
The course costs £30 per person for the evening 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. Including the cancellation policy