Countryside, Holiday Courses, Mountain & Cave Rescue, Open Events, Skills for Walking

On Track Days Relaunched – its all about being safe on the hills

ON TRACK DAYS 2017 

We have relaunched our On Track Days for 2017 and they are designed for all walkers about keeping safe in the outdoors and more importantly what to do if your day goes wrong or you come across someone else who needs help.

The day course is designed and run by YDG instructors who have more than 40 years experience in mountain rescue.

My Favorite ViewWe spend as little time as possible indoors before moving outdoors to learn some simple techniques that will help when things go wrong.

Learn some basic map and compass skills, reorienting yourself, giving an accurate grid reference, planning a walk, what kit to take etc.

Dealing with simple emergencies and how to get help without preventable delays if things are a bit more serious.

We don’t do minimum numbers but we don’t do more than 6 to an instructor, more than 6 we bring in an additional instructor.

Bring a packed lunch with you and walking kit appropriate for the weather on the day. Map and compass supplied for the day if needed.

Mid-week or Weekend meeting at The Barn Stainforth just outside of Settle

The day starts at 9.30am and we aim to finish at approximately 4.30 pm

Cost: – £65.00 per person, £120.00 two people booking and discount for groups

Get in touch if you need any additional information, we run our courses even if only one person books so you can be confident with your plans.

You can book a place on an advertised course HERE or ring us to book a date of your choice.

Countryside, Guided Walks, Local Interest, Skills for Walking

Three Peaks Challenge – what happens if you have to drop out and there is no back up.

Penyghent at Dawn

I originally published this blog last September but now that the 2016 Three Peaks season is well on its way I thought it was worth republishing and updating any links

If you are planning to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks then there are lots of things you need to consider. The “What happens if I cannot complete the walk” is well worth thinking about too, even if you are going on an organised event.

Whenever you go for a walk whether short or long you should consider the “what ifs” and have an escape route or plan. On the best Three Peaks walks you will have someone in a vehicle acting as support. They can carry spare water and snacks as well as pick up anyone who has maybe injured themselves or who knows they cannot complete the walk. There are two or three places where the support vehicle can meet you to check everyone is ok. It can be a thankless and boring job but the walkers will get a real boost seeing them between the peaks and knowing they have backup if needed.

Some organised walks tell you to carry a mobile phone and have some money on 20140614_120457you for a taxi or the train in case you are not keeping up or want to drop out. You maybe doing the walk with a few friends and not have anyone to provide a back up for you. A point to remember is that mobiles do not work at the road heads of Birkwith, Ribblehead and Chapel-le-Dale and the only public phone box is at the Station Inn at Ribblehead. There are taxis around here but they can be very busy, at peak times particularly, so you will need some money for a pint or two while you wait for one. The Hill Inn between Whernside and Ingleborough is available for drinks while you wait too.  Make sure you have the taxi numbers with you so you can call where you have a signal though. There are some trains at Ribblehead on the famous Settle Carlisle Railway so you can check the timetable.  There are also some buses but they are not that regular especially out of season but the Dales Bus has information. Dales Bus. Make sure you have this information with you before you set off.

Map and CompassWe are seeing more and more people walking along the roads, especially coming back down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale from Ribblehead. Perhaps they do not have any money or would rather not pay. Walking on the road is very hard on your feet and legs and is just under 5 1/2 miles long.  It has no verge to walk on most of the way, is quite narrow and winding and has numerous blind bends and summits. It is well used by tourist and local cars and cycles but it is also well know for being a popular motorbike route and has more than its fair share of riders who think they will live forever despite riding too fast and overtaking when they cannot see. Unfortunately we have also had more than our share of serious injuries and deaths too which is very sad. All in all this road is potentially very dangerous for walkers and is not the best route back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale either.

The Alternative – The easiest on your tired legs and feet is to follow the Three Peaks walk to High Birkwith and then take the Ribble Way to Sell Gill to join the Pennine Way down to Horton. At just under 6 1/4 miles it is a bit longer but far more pleasant and much, much safer.  Another idea is to follow the much less busy road down to the village from High Birkwith and this route is just over 6 miles but again much safer.

If you plan for the possibility of having to drop out of the walk and the unlikely happens then it does not mean that the day is totally spoilt by you having to work out what to do in a place with no signal and when you have no money or planned options.

Enjoy your walking. If you need a to develop your navigation skills, a guide or safety  cover for any walk, including the Three Peaks, please get in touch Contact Us

Caving Courses, Countryside, Local Interest, Open Events, Skills for Walking, Special Events

Overground Underground – The Festival of the Ingleborough Dales

 Happy Young CaversFor the 5th year we are involved in this brilliant festival which is a “weekend of diverse activities that will bring the unique landscape of the Ingleborough Dales to life in inspiring and unexpected ways”.  The Festival runs over the weekend 19th – 21st June. We will be running two opportunities to try caving for anyone eight and over who is reasonably fit and able to bend a bit.  The trips are designed to introduce people to the wonders of the underground dales.  These will be on the Saturday and Sunday starting at 5.00 pm and finishing by 8.00 pm. For more information and to book visit our Eventbrite page or give us a call.

We will also be running a “Developing Your Compass Skills” day on the Saturday which is for people who know the basics of map work but have either never used a compass or are a bit rusty.  On Sunday we will be running an “On Track – Getting Started with Navigation ” day which is designed for people who are real beginners.  Both these days run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.  They are suitable for anyone 14 and over.  More details on all our activities can be on our web site www.YorkshireDalesGuides.co.uk .   If you visit the festival site at www.ogug.co.uk you might just find a code for some discount and all of our events over this weekend.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are lots more events over the weekend of the Festival including Art Exhibitions, Free Airbay Jump Day, Indoor Bouldering Competition, Films, Talks, Archaeology, Running, Wildflower walks, Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Demonstration and Water Zorbing.  A real action packed weekend with something for everyone.

Caving Courses, Holiday Courses, Open Events, Skills for Walking, SRT Trips

Special offers up to 31st March

Navigation Skills and cavingWe have several open courses and events coming up over January, February and March for navigation skills and caving at all levels and ……….  

if you book one place at the full price you can have a second one for half price.  

Just because it is winter does not mean you have to hibernate as it is a great time to practice your navigation skills as the sometimes more challenging weather can help you develop and gain confidence in the skills you need to go “off road”.  If you have not done any navigation before you could try an On Track Day.  If you know the basics and would like to learn how to use a compass then a Developing Your Compass Skills day is for you.  If you would like to spend a weekend learning and developing your navigation skills you could join one of our NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) 2 day non-residential courses. These are accredited courses and you get a certificate and badge on completion.

If you felt you wanted to be a bit more adventurous then you could try caving on a Monday evening during the school holidays or an Intermediate Caving day if you wanted to try going down a small pitch on a ladder.  If you have been caving before then why not learn some vertical caving skills ready for the warmer weather on our Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) course which takes place in our barn so is not weather dependent.

Here are all the dates in one place. If you are interested in finding out any more information on any of our events just get in touch

Event Dates Price per person Usual minimum age
NNAS Navigation Course Sat 24th & Sun 25th January £115.00 14 years old
Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) Course Sat 14th February £75.00 16 years old
Developing your Compass Skills Day Sat 14th February £60.00 14 years old
On Track Day Sun 15th February £60.00 14 years old
Holiday Evening Caving Trip Mon 16th February £25.00 8 years old
NNAS Navigation Course Sat 21st  & Sun 22nd January £115.00 14 years old
Holiday Evening Caving Trip Mon 23rd  February £25.00 8 years old
On Track Day Sun 14th March £60.00 14 years old
Developing your Compass Skills Day Sun 15th March £60.00 14 years old
Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) Course Sat 21st March £75.00 16 years old
Intermediate Caving Trip Sun 22nd March £45.00 12 years old
NNAS Navigation Course Sat 28th   & Sun 29th March £115.00 14 years old
Holiday Evening Caving Trip Mon 30th March £25.00 8 years old

 

 

Open Events, Skills for Walking

Navigation Training at your Leisure.

I was tidying up a few days ago and I found some lovely feedback I got from a participant on one of our two day NNAS Navigation Skills Courses a few years ago. It was quite a long note but the piece that made me think more was this.

“….Right from the start she made us feel relaxed and was extremely patient. I really enjoyed her company and was so pleased to find a normal person leading the course! I was afraid I would be trained by a gung-ho youngster, but instead I found our trainer was a really, really nice woman who didn’t care that I amble up hills. This course is very woman friendly (well everyone friendly, actually) and avoids any competition. Participants are not judged by their physical appearance and you won’t feel intimidated……”

Beck at Gordale Scar
Beck at Gordale Scar

It was nice to be called “normal” under these circumstances as I think I am! Everybody can get involved in navigation from all ages to a wide range of abilities. Over the years we have had triathlon competitors, ultra runners to women who are out walking their dogs on their own. I often fall into that category.

The point I want to make is that you do not need to be super-fit and you do not need to climb mountains to enjoy the feelings of freedom and adventure that you can get when out exploring the countryside with your map and compass.  In fact the fresh air and exercise, at whatever level, can help your fitness, reduce your stress and allow you to get some perspective in your life.  I love to go out walking and having some time away from work and other commitments. It works for me, every time.

Teaching how to take a bearing off the map.
Navigation skills can be taught all year round.

You do not need to be going very far, or very high to see beautiful views in the Yorkshire Dales but being able to read a map and use a compass confidently is essential to your enjoyment and safety.  Learning these skills with us can be done at a pace to suit you. I do not like having to worry about keeping up with other people especially when I am trying to learn. Your sole purpose becomes trying not to be left behind or look bad which is no state of mind for you to learn in. Gaining navigation skills is not about speed. Yes, there are elements when you need to time yourself covering a distance but that is about you learning what your speed is so you can make estimates on ground covered when you are the navigator.

None or our navigation  events are rushed but we thought that some people might like to come to the Yorkshire Dales to learn and develop their map and compass skills in a more leisurely way and one where they have also have time to spend exploring the area on their own. With this in mind we will be running a three day midweek Navigation Skills at your Leisure event on Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st May. Each morning there will be 4 hours of skills training in a different place each time and then you will be free to explore the area on your own or relax at where you are staying. We can recommend different places for all budgets that welcome walkers and muddy boots. The 3 days will be a NNAS Bronze/Silver Course which is accredited with a certificate and badge on successful completion. If you do not want any form of assessment that will be entirely up to you so do not be put off. The cost of the three days is £126.00 and this will include a local, qualified and experienced instructor, the loan of a map and compass for the duration and a badge and certificate at the end. Want to know more? Contact me on 01729 824455 or email pam@yorkshiredalesguides.co.uk

Cannot do those dates?  If you like the idea of doing some training over a longer period but these dates are not suitable please get in touch as we can usually arrange other dates to suit. Don’t forget Yorkshire Dales Guides does not have any minimum numbers so once one person has booked on any of our events it will go ahead. There is nothing worse than making all your accommodation and travel arrangements to find out your course has been cancelled! Not with us.

Navigation in Summer
Time for some planning