These navigation and hill skills courses are graded to suit all comers from the complete novice to those looking to explore the upland hills and mountains of the UK with increased skill and confidence. Our courses will teach you all aspects of map reading and how to use a map and compass and a variety of navigation strategies which are all aligned with the National Navigation Award Scheme* (NNAS) allowing students to gain recognition of personal performance in navigation skills. In line with the NNAS, all courses cover knowledge of safety and access issues when walking in the countryside, as well as an understanding of environmental issues.

Hill Skills Navigation Course 1 – Bronze Award Training and Assessment

Introductory Map Skills – Finding your way in the outdoors!

“Well what can I say, another superb weekend! I loved every minute! Alan was very knowledgeable and I now feel confident enough to go out map in hand. It was a buzz going up to Mam Tor in the gale even though we didn’t quite make it to the top because of the gusts. It’s heartening to know though that safety of clients is always top priority . . . Hopefully if I passed I can then move on and book the silver level in April . . . “
– Joanna C.

Course Aim :
This 12 hour / 2 day map reading course aims to equip the novice with the navigation and hill skills to safely navigate paths and tracks on UK hills in summer conditions. On this Peak District Navigation Course you can start your journey to master the art of navigation. This course is for those of you looking at getting started in the outdoors, or those just wanting to start again from a clean slate. We will look into all of the basics of map reading including some basic uses of the compass. A great introduction to the navigation skills you need to get out and about.

Course content and assessment will include :

  • Equipment for the outdoors
  • Understand how to use map symbols and scales, on a variety of maps.
  • Take a 6 figure grid reference for any given position and also locate such a reference on the map.
  • Orientate the map with and without a compass.
  • Use the orientated map to identify land features and indicate direction of travel.
  • Choose simple navigation strategies and routes.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths and tracks) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Estimate distance on both map and ground.
  • Using a basic understanding of contours, match major landforms like hills and valleys to their map representation.
  • Plan a safe, suitable walk.
  • Relocate using simple techniques on paths and other handrails.
  • Understand access rights and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues and access legislation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Countryside Code, and of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.

Location: Peak District National Park
OS Maps: 1:50 000 Landranger Series Sheet 110, 1:25 000 Dark Peak Area OL 1
Price per person: £120
Course numbers: 2 – 6
Instructor/client ratio: 1:4

Alternatively, book yourself onto one day … 1:1 for £140

Dates coming up:
25/26 Mar 2017
1/2 Apr 2017
13/14 May 2017
24/25 Jun 2017
8/9 Jul 2017
16/17 Sep 2017

Private bookings can be taken for this adventure. Contact us with your preferred date(s) that suit you and the numbers and we’ll get back to you asap with all the details.

For provisional dates for this course see our calendar of events.

Please note: Dates may be subject to change. Alternative and/or additional dates may also be arranged upon demand.

Hill Skills Navigation Course 2 – Silver Award Training and Assessment

Map and Compass – Into the wilderness!

“… I am really pleased to have found your Hill skills course – it turned out to be exactly what I needed. HS1 made sense of the things I already knew, and made me use my Map Head – a way of looking that I’d not considered before. Alan made us consider the map and our surroundings in infuriating detail which was excellent training. He got us to look for things that no longer exist but that are still shown on the map, and twice gave us vivid demonstrations of how to misread the surrounding information. HS2 did all the exciting stuff. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be able to use a compass!! …”
– Jenny K.

Course Aim :
Confident with the basics of map reading this 2 day map and compass skills course takes the student further: teaching essential compass work to allow the walker to explore ground away from footpaths and tracks. On completion of this award participants should be able to plan and follow walks in the countryside that venture beyond paths and tracks.

Course content and assessment will include :

  • Consolidation of Bronze Award objectives.
  • Breaking navigational stages into ‘coarse’ and ‘fine’ navigation using clear features en route.
  • Navigational strategies: aiming off, attack points, collecting features.
  • Understanding of contour features, both large and small, on the map and on the ground.
  • Judging distance accurately on the map and on the ground.
  • The planning of a safe walk or route involving walking on a bearing.
  • Employ simple relocation strategies when lost.
  • Use of a compass to follow accurate bearings and to check the direction of footpaths or other linear features on both map and ground.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of fatigue and physical discomfort brought on by navigating in demanding countryside and/or extreme weather condition. Knowledge of basic first aid is also expected.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the Countryside Code and current access legislation as for the Bronze level together with an appreciation of basic environmental factors in mixing ‘man with nature’

Location: Peak District National Park
OS Maps: 1:50 000 Landranger Series Sheet 110, 1:25 000 Dark Peak Area OL 1
Price per person: £135
Course numbers: 2 –4
Instructor/client ratio: 1:4

Alternatively, book yourself onto one day … 1:1 for £150

Dates coming up:
18/19 Feb 2017
1/2 Apr 2017
17/18 Jun 2017
5/6 Aug 2017
9/10 Sep 2017

Private bookings can be taken for this adventure. Contact us with your preferred date(s) that suit you and the numbers and we’ll get back to you asap with all the details.

For provisional dates for this course see our calendar of events.

Please note: Dates may be subject to change. Alternative and/or additional dates may also be arranged upon demand.

Hill Skills Navigation Course 3 – Gold Award Training

The master-class!

Course Aim :
This advanced navigation skills course aims to give you the hill and mountain skills to get off the beaten track in all of the UK’s mountain, hill and moorland areas.  Day 1 of these courses incorporates a night navigation phase focusing on micro-navigation strategies in zero or reduced visibility.  This course is for those that wish to advance themselves that bit beyond hill walking and more into the realms of mountaineering below the snow line. Also this course is perfect for those looking for a navigation refresher for their Hill and Moorland Leader or Mountain Leader assessment.

Course content will include :

  • Consolidation of Bronze and Silver Award skills.
  • Close use of contours, to identify landforms (e.g. hilltops, valleys, spurs, re-entrants and knolls) and utilise them as the prime method of navigation.
  • Use of ridges and valleys as reliable handrails and the size and relationship of contour features, (e.g. a series of knolls) and use them for micro navigation to specific locations.
  • Use of distance judgement, compass skills and continuous contact (by frequent checking) in complicated areas.
  • Planning a safe walk or route in open country in line with set criteria of duration, difficulty and objectives.
  • Demonstration of the special physical and navigation demands posed by hill and moorland terrain, poor weather conditions, daylight hours and the effects of fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route. This includes awareness of the effects of heat and cold.

Location: Peak District National Park (1st November to 1st April only) and Snowdonia
OS Maps: 1:50 000 Landranger Series Sheet 115, 1:25 000 Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa OL 17
Price per person: £145
Course numbers: 2 –4
Instructor/client ratio: 1:4

Alternatively, book yourself onto one day in the Peak District … 1:1 for £150

Dates coming up:
22/23 Apr 2017 – Snowdonia
14/15 Oct 2017 – Snowdonia

Private bookings can be taken for this adventure.
Contact us with your preferred date(s) that suit you and the numbers and we’ll get back to you asap with all the details.

For provisional dates for this course see our calendar of events.
Note: Good hill fitness is required in order to walk with a full pack for two days.

Gold Award – The Assessment

Overview :
This will be a one day assessment of your navigational abilities with a map and compass at the NNAS Gold Level. A rigorous day in the hills looking at how you plan and execute your navigation across wild country and including time spent in poor visibility. For assessment at this level you must have completed in the previous 3 years the NNAS Gold training, or completed your Hill and Moorland Leader training or ML training.

This assessment will cover the following objectives with 1:25000 and 1:50000 maps :

  • Consolidation of Bronze and Silver Award skills.
  • Close use of contours, to identify landforms (e.g. hilltops, valleys, spurs, re-entrants and knolls) and utilise them as the prime method of navigation.
  • Use of ridges and valleys as reliable handrails and the size and relationship of contour features, (e.g. a series of knolls) and use them for micro navigation to specific locations.
  • Use of distance judgement, compass skills and continuous contact (by frequent checking) in complicated areas.
  • Planning a safe walk or route in open country in line with set criteria of duration, difficulty and objectives.
  • Demonstration of the special physical and navigation demands posed by hill and moorland terrain, poor weather conditions, daylight hours and the effects of fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route. This includes awareness of the effects of heat and cold.

Location: Peak District National Park / Snowdonia
Please note: this is an eight hour assessment that commences at 1pm: hence plan for a late finish.
Price per person: £150
Course numbers:2 –4
Instructor/client ratio:1:4

Alternatively, book yourself onto a private assessment … 1:1 for £250

Private bookings can be taken for this assessment for £150. Contact us with your preferred date(s) that suit your preferred location and we’ll get back to you asap with all the details.

For provisional dates for this course see our calendar of events.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How good do I need to be?
You can start at the Bronze Level with no experience.

Can I start at the Silver or Gold level?
We would probably ask you about your previous experience and abilities to determine whether such a course would be appropriate for you, but yes this is possible.

If I sign up for the Gold course, can I borrow a tent from you?
Yes – we have mountain tents for this purpose – for your use free of charge.

Please note: Dates may be subject to change. Alternative and/or additional dates may also be arranged upon demand.

Email will@will4adventure.com for further details on any of these courses,
or . . .


Accommodation

While accommodation is not included in the price we will happily help you find something comfortable and to the liking of your budget – from campsites and barns to youth hostels and B&B’s.

All our weekends in the Dark Peak (Rock 1,2 &3, Hill Skills 1&2, and many free weekends) have us based in Castleton, the Hope Valley, which offers the following accommodation options.

Camping and Bunkhouse

Pindale Farm Outdoor Centre
Pindale Farm, Pindale Road, Hope,
Derbyshire, S33 6RN
Tel: 01433 620111

YHA – Losehill Hall

Castleton, Hope Valley,
Derbyshire S33 8WB
Tel: 0870 770 5758
castleton@yha.org.uk

B&B

Bargate Cottage
Market Place, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WQ
http://www.bargatecottage.co.uk/
Tel: 01433 620201

Causeway House

Back Street, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WE
http://www.causewayhouse.co.uk/
Tel: 01433 623291

Cryer House

Castle Street, Hope Valley, Castleton, Buxton, Derbyshire, S33 8WG
Tel: 01433 620244
Fax: 01433 620244

Dunscar Farm

Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WA http://www.dunscarfarm.co.uk/
01433 620483

Four Seasons B&B

Spital House, How Lane, Hope Valley, Castleton, Derbyshire, S33 8WJ
http://www.4seasonsbb.co.uk/
Tel: 01433 620 655

Rambler’s Rest

Mill Bridge, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WR
http://www.ramblersrest-castleton.co.uk/
Tel: 01433 620125

Swiss House

How Lane, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WJ
http://www.swiss-house.co.uk/
01433 621098

Willow Croft

Pindale Road, Hope Valley, Castleton, Buxton, Derbyshire, S33 8WU
http://www.peak-district-bed-breakfast-bb.co.uk/WillowCroft.html
Tel: 01433 620400

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn

How Lane, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WJ
http://www.cheshirecheeseinn.co.uk/
Tel: 01433 620330

How to get to Castleton

With a view to helping the environment and keeping costs down you may be willing to share space in your car, or maybe you need a lift: either way, let us know and we’ll see what can be done.

Alternatively take the train to Hope (in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire) and from there you can walk to Castleton (2 miles), get a taxi or take the 272 bus.

Taxis will need to be pre-booked – try these numbers:

Ryders Taxis – 07805 029226
SOS Taxis – 01433 650975
Paul’s Hire – 07972 583586

Noteyou must make arrangements to find Castleton in Derbyshire – there is more than one Castleton in the UK !

* The National Navigation Award Scheme helps people get maximum pleasure in the outdoors through the development of skills for finding their way safely in the countryside. The NNAS provides a progression of learning through a network of qualified and enthusiastic course providers. National Navigation Award assessment gives recognition to personal performance in navigation skills and provides tangible evidence in the form of badges and certificates.

The National Navigation Award Scheme is recognised by Mountain Training UK, the British Orienteering Federation, and Sports Leaders UK. The Royal Institute of Navigation recognise the National Navigation Award Scheme.