All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Summer Mountain Leader Training – Weekend 2, Day 2

(Continued from Weekend 2, Day 1)

The next morning we were up, cooked and ate, all in a civil manner as we did not have to rush today. We broke camp and then de-briefed the events of the night before.  During this de-brief a few things would be learnt and no-one person was to blame, but certainly having the confidence to talk up when you think things are going a bit wrong is certainly a very good thing to do.

If Giles had said something at the point when he had noticed the error or I when I was not entirely convinced we were on the right path, we may well have not incurred the error.  Live and learn!

Live and learn we did. We saddled up, Ant given the first leg of the day’s navigation and off we set.  I without a map as I am super hardcore and was using the inner pigeon.......oh, and I couldn’t find the other map anywhere I looked to buy one.

Ant landed us on the first contour point set by Stuart, after we had spotted the other group who would have a similar heading as us and we would see a few times before returning to the “start point” of the previous day.

Andy was up next and off we set, me only occasional looking at a map, trying my best to follow the contours, taking the occasional bearing, noting my altimeter and noting d’jounrey.  ;-)  We contoured under a large crag eventually arriving at a v-shaped contour and a Skylarks nest (to be confirmed).  Everyone pointed to where they thought we were. I had decided we were elsewhere and convinced Giles of this.

This time we spoke up, I sighted my reasons why to Stuart and then Giles did.  Then Giles was asked to prove it by taking us to the point we thought we would see around a significant high point and crag. We trundle off and found the dog leg in a river at the exact point and over the exact journey we had identified.

Andy, now relocated us to the exact point we needed to be perfectly and it would be Toby’s turn to lead a leg.  I don’t know about the others, but I think with the change of maps from 1:25 000 to 1:50 000, I could have made the exact same error, just as easily, as constantly had to remind myself when I looked at someone’s map it was 1:50 000.

Toby got us successfully to the next point.  We discussed some more group management, first aid and then practiced some emergency stretcher bearing exercises.  It was nice to see some team work and group bonding occurring again so easily, in a clearly tired team.

I was given the task of getting us off the hill, whilst Toby proved that he was an excellent speaker and deeply knew his subject matter and provided some humorous anecdotes during his 5 minute talk.

We arrived back with everyone receiving their personal de-brief from the weekend and all said they were happy with it and expected the comments they received.

A successful weekend by all accounts, including Nikki surviving the Wayfarer of Death, Heather’s keys being retrieved in a timely manner and Toby surviving a night in a tent with me, the plucky duck and I feeling a little gaseous after the Mountain House meal.

A quick meal at the pub, some catch-up from everyone and then we all headed off.  Giles and I in convoy at least until Giles found fuel which he did without incident.  5.5 hrs later I found myself at home and looking forward to the final weekend in Wales.

It was great to get to know the crew a little bit more and I do enjoy spending time with them on the hill.

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