A weekend of CPD in the Peak

Contouring in the Peak Paul Poole (of Paul Poole Mountaineering) was over in the Peak District last weekend (9th-10th July) delivering two great days of walking and climbing refresher workshops for anyone wanting to hone their skills in the areas of HML, ML and SPA. Paul is a MIA and course provider from Snowdonia with a wealth of up-to-date knowledge and advice on the awards and skills as both trainer and assessor. The weekend started with a free surgery style day tailored to those who attended and ended with a day focusing purely on contour navigation.

Here's what members had to say about the event:

Thanks Paul for a great day on Saturday and thanks Stephen for organising. I found it very useful and a great 'mini-refresher' before my assessment.- Cath Sinclair

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The first rather wet day saw members explore a variety of topics related to the ML and SPA process, including nav. and rope work, together along Birchin edge. The second day saw 6 members, at various points along the MT training pathway, discover detailed contour features on the southern flank of Kinder.

Paul delivered a relaxed, progressive and hugely informative session where he shared a wealth of experience whilst helping everyone to gain a much better appreciation of the value and primary importance of contours to successful navigation. It’s extraordinary just how much detailed valuable information is lost under the legends, symbols and other clutter that fill our usual maps and relying on contours alone quickly sharpens ones skills in relating the shape of the land we cross to the contour patterns we find on our maps (and visa-versa). Along the way Paul took the time to give advice and help the participants on other Mountain Training related topics too. All in all an excellent day! Oh and we even managed to miss almost all of the rain!
- Peter Judd

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I'd seen a few similar courses further away from home which had whetted my appetite so when Stephen Jones, our Regional Training Co-ordinator, managed to organise a contour only navigation course in the Peak I immediately booked on. My main aim was a hope that I'd improve my navigation skills. Paul's easy manner meant he delivered and demonstrated a lot of information in a really simple way without overloading me or the other participants. He was very happy to spend time answering questions or discussing a particular point in a way that made the us literally step back and take a whole new perspective on the way we navigate. All we used throughout the day was an OS contour only map and our eyes. No compass, no timing, no pacing, nothing but Explorer contours. Scenarios were worked through on the hill enabling everyone to appreciate and interpret the map and the landscape.

My meagre expectations were more than exceeded and it has made me re-assess the way I use and look at a map as well as the landscape around me.
- Austin Knotts

A big thanks to Paul for running the workshops and to Stephen Jones for organising the weekend!