Have you ever wanted to get off the beaten track and out into the upland areas of the UK?
The Lakeland fells are a place of stunning beauty and adventure, but they can also be daunting.
This course will aim to provide you what you need to venture out in this terrain independently and with confidence. Key skills will be taught in a fun and supportive environment, with an emphasis on learning by doing.
The programme will be delivered by one of our experienced Mountain Leaders and will cover planning your route, navigation with a map and compass, and selecting the right equipment for your journey. Ideally based at the Blencathra Centre, we will spend the weekend putting skills into practice across the Northern and Central fells of the Lake District National Park.
The course is designed to help those who are interested in developing their skills for safe hill walking and will focus on:
- Advice on how to plan walks
- Help to read maps out in the hills
- Equipment needed for safe walking
- The effects of weather
- How to deal with emergencies
The walking level of this course is Level 3 which means there will be 8 miles plus of more strenuous walking on any one day, hill climbs likely. Regular exercise before the course is essential to ensure everyone in the group is experienced in covering the distances.
Tutor: James MargesonJames Margeson is the lead geology tutor for FSC Blencathra. After leaving University of Liverpool with a Masters in Geology, he worked at Lochranza Field Studies Centre on the Isle of Arran before joining the team at Blencathra in 2016. He also holds the Summer Mountain Leader award and is experienced in leading groups of all ages and abilities in UK mountain areas.
We have received the ‘Good to Go’ mark in recognition of following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing.
Find how we will be keeping you safe.
Please only book Shared occupancy where you are coming with others from your household or support bubble. Thank you.
- Please arrive for 16:00.
- If you have booked a station transfer this will be at 14:45 from Penrith station.
- 16:00 - Welcome to the course and the centre followed by some navigation and orienteering games around the site.
- 18:00 -Tea in the centre dining roomIn the evening from 18.45 until 19:45 we will look at planning our day in walk on Saturday, packing our bags and selecting equipment.
- The centre bar will be open in the evening from 21:00 –22:30.
- 08:15 Breakfast and packed lunch making.
- 09:00 –17:00 A full day walk taking in a major Lake District summit. This will be planned based on the weather conditions and aspirations of the group.
- 18:45 –19:45 Session covering how to respond to an emergency in the mountains.
- 08:15 Breakfast and packed lunch making
- 09:00 –15:00 A shorter walk taking place substantially in areas away from major footpaths, allowing for practice of navigation skills.
- Course finishes at 16:00
- If you have booked a station transfer, this will depart from Blencathra at 16:00 and should reach Penrith at approximately 16.30 depending on traffic.
Before You Attend
What to Bring
To get the full enjoyment from the course it is important that you are prepared for full days out in typical Lake District weather; a kit list of essential items is as follows:
- Walking boots
- Waterproof coat and over-trousers
- Comfortable warm clothes (layering is important as temperatures are changeable at this time of year)
- Hat and gloves (it can still be cold at this time of year)
- Rucksack (around 30 litres is great for a day sack)
- Lunch box
- Drinks bottles/flask (at least 1 litre)
- Suncream and sunglasses
- If you have your own compass and maps of the area bring them along, but we have plenty to lend out.
If you would like some reading to support the course I recommend borrowing or purchasing Mountain Training’s official Hill Walking Handbook
Full board is provided, although participants may wish to bring additional snacks to supplement the lunch facilities. Sandwiches, fruit and cake are provided, but crisps and chocolate bars etc are not. Paper bags are provided, but participants may wish to bring their own lunchbox/tupperware. The centre pantry is open throughout the day and evening to make hot drinks. There is excellent wifi throughout the centre and reception for most mobile networks on site.
Please do make us aware of any medical issues you may have to help us plan the course to meet your needs. All participants mustbe awareand acceptthat mountain walking is an adventurous activity and as such carries an inherent risk of injury and that response times of emergency first responders to remote mountain locations can be significantly longer than elsewhere. We operate robust safety systems and employ qualified experienced staff to control these risks, but we can never eliminate thementirely.