Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprentices took part in a Mountain Training Mountain Skills Course delivered by Channel Events’s Dan Brice and Flora Jones from Channel Training.

The course took place in March 2024 in the Lake District around the Haweswater Valley area. It was attended by the Apprentices from White Hall Outdoor Education Centre (Derbyshire County Council) as well as Connor and Sophie from Channel Adventure.

A Mountain Skills course is a great way to learn the essential skills needed to enjoy the mountains in the UK safely. The course enables learners to feel more confident using a map and it is a great first step to becoming a Mountain Leader.

The course involves navigation in the mountains including how to use a compass as well as using a map for navigation. It is also important to plan the route beforehand and learn how to respond to any hazards you may encounter and what to do in an emergency. The correct clothing and equipment are vital as being suitably dressed and equipped can make all the difference.

During the training they stayed in a Bothy called Mosedale Cottage.  A bothy is a basic shelter for walkers and climbers, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. Mosedale Cottage was last lived in around 1930 and is a remote and small farmstead at the head of the valley Mosedale.

The participants experienced a range of weather conditions including hail, low clouds and snow and left Mosedale Cottage at sunrise at 07:45 to try to miss the worst of the weather.

Dropping out of the clouds with Haweswater in the distance they were treated to some amazing views and scenery of the beautiful Haweswater reservoir in the valley of Mardale.

Haweswater is the most easterly lake in the Lake District situated to the south of Penrith and to the north of Windermere. The eastern end of the lake was dammed in 1940 and the Mardale valley was flooded, submerging the village and increasing the size of the lake. In times of drought the underwater village can sometimes be seen submerged in the depths of the lake.

During the two-day Mountain Skills Course the Apprentices learned navigation skills, strategies and decision making as well as how to be more confident and safe in the mountains – no matter the weather!

You can find out more about the Mountain Skills Course on the Mountain Training website here.