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, 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
Skills for Walking

Day and Weekend Navigation Courses for 2013

Navigation Skills Courses
Navigation skills courses

We have just published a full list of all our open Navigation Skills day and weekend courses in 2013. All our courses are practically based from start to finish. Build up your confidence so you can explore beyond the well beaten tracks and take advantage of the areas that Open Access has brought you.

These courses are aimed to be enjoyable as well as informative. We run them at a leisurely pace as the important thing is that you learn how to navigate confidently. You do not need the added pressure of trying to keep up with people all the time. That is not to say we do everything slowly but we break the journey up with practicing map work, feature recognition or whatever is appropriate for your course. We have worked with ultra trail runners, triathlon competitors, students, families and retired people. Our triathlon pair said it was nice to actually walk for a change and see the scenery around them! There are quie a few comments about our navigation skill courses on our What people say about us page.

By working with a maximum of 6 people we can adapt the programme to meet your needs. We do not have a minimum number either so once someone has booked on a course we will run it even if no one else books on. This way you can book accommodation or make plans without worrying if things will get cancelled.

We supply map, compass, basic GPS for the duration of the courses.

If you cannot see a date to suit you then get in touch and we will see what we can do.

Getting Started with Navigation Days

Never used a map before – then this is the day for you

These days are designed for people who want to learn the basics of navigation.

Developing Your Compass Skills Days

Understand how to use a map and the basics of navigation but never really used a compass before – then this is the day for you.

These days are for people who have used a map to navigate and now want to gain skills in using a compass.

Walking with a GPS Days

Do you have a GPS which you have not really used much? Do you have a phobia about manuals? Do you want to know if you would find a GPS useful? – Then this is the day for you.

These days are designed for people who want to learn the basics of a GPS while on a walk. Instruction given at your own pace.

Safety on the Hills Days

Happy about your navigation skills but need to gain some confidence around your knowledge of personal safety when out walking on the hills – then this day if for you.

These days will be very practical and look at planning and preparation for going into more remote area and simple procedures for unforeseen incidents.

All these day courses cost £60.00 incl. vat per person . Dates and information here   

Dates and information for the NNAS courses here The Bronze/Silver courses are £115.00 incl. vat each. The Gold Course is £125.00 incl. vat

National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS)

Want to develop your navigation skills in more depth and would like some accreditation too – then these are the courses for you.

The NNAS is an incentive scheme designed to help people develop their skills from basic understanding at Bronze level through to a higher level of skills at Silver and Gold level. They are 2 day non-residential courses at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. More information about the scheme at www.nnas.org.uk Certificate and badge on successful completion of the course at your appropriate level.

All our courses are practically based from start to finish.

Caving Courses, Caving for Groups, Present, Skills for Walking, SRT Trips

Christmas Gift Vouchers

Christmas Gift Voucher
Christmas Gift Voucher

We have had lots of people buy vouchers for friends, family and even themselves over the years. It gives you the freedom to either pick a specific course with a date or let the recipient arrange one to suit them. We will post you a laminated gift voucher, approx. A5 size, to give as a present on  Christmas Day.

It might be a Caving session for up to 6 people or a Navigation Course, you can pick from our web site and then just ask us for a voucher. It’s also a neat way to avoid any price increases that may happen after 1st April so you could buy one for yourself!

All vouchers need to be redeemed by 31/12/13. Dates subject to availability. They cannot be exchanged for cash.

Skills for Walking

Autumn and winter are great times to develop your navigation skills.

Ingleborough summit in cloud even on an otherwise clear day

The coming months are a great time to develop and practice your map and compass skills. The daylight hours are getting shorter and the visibility is likely to be worse at times. Walking in the autumn and winter can also be brilliant with crisp weather and clearer views. The plus side is there are plenty of great pubs and cafes to return to after your walk with good food, drink and roaring fires.

Learning how to navigate using a map and compass and/or GPS is the key to enjoying the Dales and other great walking areas. Nearly every week some people tackling the Three Peaks will end up in Clapham having come off Ingleborough on the wrong path. Even on a clear day the summit plateau can be in cloud but if you do not know which direction you should be going in then it is possible to make this inconvenient and sometimes costly mistake. A taxi to your car at Horton is not cheap!  People also tackle the walk without a map or compass so its not suprising when they take a wrong turn. Even if you are only going on a short walk basic map and compass skills can add so much to your enjoyment. You can be more relaxed knowing that you can identify where you are and where you want to go.

A basic level of navigation can be learned quite quickly enabling you to go away with enough knowledge to get you started and for you to then practice and build on those skills. You may feel you have some skills already and if so we can help you develop these and learn more.

We run several different courses for people at different levels. The courses are run at an relaxed pace so you have time to enjoy the views and company. You are never too old to learn how to navigate and we have worked with fit people into their 70s who are still taking full advantage of the outdoors.

Getting Started with Navigation Days Never used a map before – then this is the day for you These days are designed for people who want to learn the basics of navigation.

Developing Your Compass Skills Days Understand how to use a map and the basics of navigation but never really used a compass before – then this is the day for you. These days are for people who have used a map to navigate and now want to gain skills in using a compass.

Walking with a GPS Days Do you have a GPS which you have not really used much? Do you have a phobia about manuals? Do you want to know if you would find a GPS useful? – Then this is the day for you. These days are designed for people who want to learn the basics of a GPS while on a walk. Instruction given at your own pace.

Safety on the Hills Days Happy about your navigation skills but need to gain some confidence around your knowledge of personal safety when out walking on the hills – then this day if for you. These days will be very practical and look at planning and preparation for going into more remote area and simple procedures for unforeseen incidents.

NNAS Bronze, Silver or Gold Award courses. 2 day non-residential courses with are nationally accredited. These courses are run for people at the various levels who would like to follow a recognised course and receive an award and certificate.  The National Navigation Award Scheme is a progressive personal performance programme which develops navigation skills. Helping people to enjoy the outdoors safely and confidently.

More information and dates for all these events on our web site.

If you would rather not join a course with other people or you would like a course midweek then we are happy to put one on for you, or you and some friends between now and the end of February. You might even prefer a women only course which would be no problem. Just get in touch with Pam if you want to discuss anything.

Competition, Skills for Walking

New Competition for all Walkers who love the Yorkshire Dales

This is another simple to enter and free competition. We are based in the Three Peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales so the question is about these peaks.

What is the name of this mountain?  The lowest of the Three Peaks and our favourite.

The Prize –  You can chose one from the following events

  • 1 place on a NNAS Bronze/Silver navigation course.
  • 2 places on a Getting Started with Navigation day
  • 2 places on a Developing your Compass Skills day
  • 2 places on a Walking with a GPS day
  •  A guided walk in the area for up to 10 people (excludes a 3 Peaks guided walk)

You can see more details of these prizes on our web site

Enter your answer below or email us to info@yorkshiredalesguides.co.uk

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED – try our new one

The competition is open to anyone but you must be at least 16 to come on the event.  The winner will be chosen from all the correct email entries received by midnight on Sunday 25th September.  The prize can be chosen from our advertised dates for courses or the guided walk will be arranged for a date suitable for the winner, subject to availability, and will need to be claimed by 31st March 2012.  There are no cash alternatives.