Navigation and Ben Nevis

For the last 2 days I have been with Emita teaching the basics of navigation.  Yesterday we covered aspects like orientating the map, taking a bearing, hand railing, taking a bearing from the ground and marking it on the map and vise versa.  We based ourselves round the slopes of Fraoch Bheinn which overlooks Glen Finnan and is a great hill to practice navigation.  With a track to start then onto smaller paths and finally the undulating hill-side, with great views out west and to Loch Shiel.  The weather managed to hold off until almost at the car which was a bonus.

Today the aim was to see how far we got towards the summit of Ben Nevis.  After a steady pace we made half way at the Red Burn in just under 3 hours.  With the decision made that we probably were not going to make the summit in a sensible time, we made our way round half way lochan to head up our next goal of Meall an t-Suidhe which overlooks the main path up Ben Nevis and has commanding views across Loch Eil and the Mamores at a height of 712m.  And is a good alternative to test how you would fair being roughly half the height of Ben Nevis.

On the way down we got the map and compass out to re-cap on the skills learnt yesterday taking bearings and going through the ‘journey’ on the map that we had taken to confirm where we were.  A great couple of days with good weather!

For more photos of the conditions on the Ben Track see my Facebook page.


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