Mountain Navigation and Safety Weekends

Course Overview

Confident mountain navigation adds to the satisfaction and enjoyment of mountain days. These short courses aim to provide people with the essential skills of using a map and compass, in order that they may go more surely and safely into the hills.

The weekend is largely based on practical application of the required skills and most of the time will be spent out of doors. Also included will be advice on choosing and using the correct equipment for mountaineering. An introduction to survival shelters and emergency bivouacs will be included. In general terms the courses are aimed at three season walkers/mountaineers. For the more serious and advanced techniques required during the winter months a winter weekend is recommended. However, the April and October/November courses could prove very wintry also!

Topics covered will include:
  • Choice and care of maps
  • Grid references
  • Understanding contours
  • Timing/Route cards
  • Pacing
  • Using a Compass

Courses will only run with a minimum of 3 people.

Course Details

Costs: £140.00

Ratio: 1:8


£140.00Choose your own dates

Kit Requirements

Mountaineering Kit List


A fairly flexible pair of boots with good lateral stiffness and well kept vibram sole are okay for hill-walking , scrambling and simple rock climbing (Skye Ridge). They should have a high ankle to provide support.

Climbing Belt
A simple climbing waist belt and karabiner are adequate, but bring a harness if you have one.


Essential for parts of the course

A medium volume rucsac is best (50/55 litres). Try not to use an 80 litre back-packing sac. They are heavy!

Waterproof Jacket

Waterproof Jacket and Trousers

Could possibly be of some use at times.


Essential. The map should be made weather-proof. A guide book can be very helpful on Skye...’Scrambles on Skye’ by J.Wilson Parker, (Cicerone Press) is a reasonable book, and comes with some maps. The O.S. 1:25000 map, Outdoor Leisure Series No 8, Cuillin and Torridon Hills, is worth buying. For Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, a sheet 41 - 1:50,000 O.S map is okay plus ..'Scrambles in Lochaber' Noel Williams (Cicerone Press).

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit
For blisters, headaches, midges and sunburn!

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag
This could be a light-weight 2/3 seasons bag and would be used on a bivouac if attempting the main Skye Ridge Traverse.

Bivouac Bag
If you have a Gore-Tex bag bring it along, otherwise a large poly survival bag (500gauge) is adequate.

Food for Bivouacs
This should be lightweight and include packet soups, biscuits, dried fruit, energy bars and dehydrated meals for two days on the Skye Ridge.

Small Stove

Camping Mat-KFS-Small Stove
For bivouacs on the Isle of Skye, if attempting a ridge traverse or camping.

Water-bottle or bag
Essential to be able to carry a litre of fluids at least.

Fleece jacket

Personal Clothing
This should be warm and include mitts/gloves/socks, woolly hat, breeches or track-suit trousers and two light-weight fleece tops. Personal preference will largely dictate this area of equipment. Shorts, floppy hat, sun specs and trainers might also be useful!! A cheap pair of garden gloves would be useful for folk wishing to protect their hands from the very rough rock on the Isle of Skye!!

For people who are self-catering, you can either bring most of your food with you or shop in Portree for fresh goods. Portree has all you will require for buying food plus a number of places to eat out in the evenings.

Recommended reading
Two books are recommended as follows: ( Available from climbing shops)

1) Modern Rope Techniques (Nigel Shepherd)
2) Handbook of Climbing (Fyffe & Peter)


Accommodation in Fort William is extra to instruction unless shown and a choice is offered as follows:

A good site with all facilities is located in Glen Nevis. Phone for details of current prices. (01397) 702191.

from £16.00 per night Calluna Bunkhouse or SYHA.

Guest House
From £27.00 per night B&B

B&B is available for people who wish to eat out in the evenings. Please state your preference on the booking form and it will be pre-booked. Accommodation costs are payable on arrival and full details are sent in advance.