Mountain Skills One

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St Kevin’s College in Crumlin run an Outdoor Recreation course for people that want to work in the adventure sports industry. I’ve just finished teaching on a two day Mountain Skills 1 course with some of the students.

Day 1 – We started the walk just up from the Glenmacnass waterfall and hand railed our way up by Lough Brook stream to Lough Ouler. On the walk up to the Lough we talked about personal equipment and what’s appropriate for a walk such as this one. From the Lough we made our way over some spot heights and cols, eventually making our way to the 3rd highest summit in Wicklow, Tonelagee 817m (backside to the wind). The mountain skills one course is designed to teach hill walkers simple navigation techniques, map reading skills and become familiar with recognising natural features. Throughout the day we visited a re-entrant, several cols, spurs and tops and also discussed mountain hazards.

Tonelagee towering over Lough Ouler

Day 2 – The idea for day two is to reinforce everything learned on day one and incorporate measuring distance, timing and some pacing. Our walk for day two started at the Shay Elliott memorial car park and focused on pacing. Getting the students to pace out 100 metres ten times is a sure way to get a solid pace number. This works very well here  because once you’ve paced the kilometre you should be smack bang on a top, thus showing the students exactly how pacing works. From here we split into two groups and went separate ways around Cullentragh mountain, again visiting several cols, spurs, tops and a re-entrant.

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