Yesterday I was back out with the Nevis Landscape Partnership Trainee Volunteer Rangers. We had a day of two halves, looking at navigation in the morning and scrambling ropework in the afternoon. Recently I went on a workshop all about teaching navigation delivered by Nigel Williams at Glenmore Lodge and I learned loads. Two of these TVR's hold their Summer ML Award so they were interested in how to teach navigation and the other two were focusing more on learning navigation. We did a few exercises around cones in the swing park and learned how to use a compass to go in the right direction without taking a bearing.
Out at Torlundy we used an orienteering map to go over all sorts of features on a map and contour shapes, 3D navigation (Direction, Distance and Description), and lots of tactics to make it more accurate. In a very small area and in just an hour and a half we covered a huge range of things that will be directly applicable to navigating in the hills.
We spent the afternoon on Scimitar Ridge in Glen Nevis. Roping up together we scrambled up making each other secure by clipping the rope into anchors and choosing a route that kept everyone safe enough. We also did a wee abseil off the side of the ridge and dangled off The Scimitar itself. We seemed to fit in a huge amount of training in one day and the four TVR's were total sponges, soaking it all up. It stayed dry for us but still cold - winter climbing is going on high on Ben Nevis. In fact, Number Three Gully Buttress was described as being in the best condition it's been in all winter!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.