In 2014 Mountain Training (The national governing body of mountaineering instructor qualifications in the UK) launched a couple of personal proficiency courses called Hill Skills and Mountain Skills.
Lupine applied to be a provider of these courses and succeeded in being approved. They are great courses to both attend and to run. In August I ran a course in Ambleside for 3 guys. The format of the course is very basically...
- Meet in a cafe and talk about weather forecasting and some navigation theory.
- Go for a walk to do some practical navigation training and cover some other areas of the syllabus.
- Come off the hill at about 5 pm and 'freshen up' then meet in a cafe or pub (or go straight to the cafe / pub and carry on).
- In the cafe get out the guidebooks and maps and work out where we are going to go the next day.
- Go for a walk. The walk will hopefully take in a peak and a bit of time on steep ground and some time off the footpaths. We'll also cover other areas of the syllabus not covered on day 1.
Day 2 is great, it is what makes it a fantastic job to work on. Each time I have done this course we have gone somewhere new to me. While I have usually climbed the hill that we choose we'll always get there via a route that I haven't done before as it is up to the participants to decide where to go and the route taken. I think that too often I return to the same places as I know that it is beautiful and I will enjoy the walk rather than seeking out new adventures.
On this particular course we came down off Harrison Stickle in Langdale on a path alongside Dungeon Ghyll marked by a black dotted line on the 1:25000 map rather than a green dotted 'public footpath'. What a path. It is tiny and fairly exposed with the canyon of the upper reaches of the Ghyll on the left.
If you would like to book on a hill skills course or a mountain skills course our latest courses are listed on our hill and mountain skills page.
We also have a site dedicated to the Hill and Mountain Skills scheme with a bit more information