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Mountain Navigation Courses


We offer a range of mountain map reading and GPS navigation courses in the Yorkshire Dales,  Lake District and Eryri (Snowdonia).


In general, we do not schedule these in advance, as we like to make each one bespoke. This is how we adapt them to cater for different levels of ability and experience. However, we do have a limited number of  ‘open’ courses which are available to book on. These are shown in our events calendar.


The single most important skill to have in order to walk safely in the UK mountains is navigation. Sadly a very large proportion of accidents and mountain rescues have a navigational error as their root cause. Therefore our mountain navigation courses are aimed specifically at navigating in the UK mountains, at beginner, intermediate and advanced level.

This is the ideal way to learn how to navigate effectively in the mountains.

We will cover more advanced navigation using a map and compass. On GPS navigation courses, we will cover use of a dedicated GPS device (such as a Garmin). The course will also look at the limitations associated with navigating with a mobile phone, and give advice on choosing apps and appropriate mapping.

Instructor:client ratio

The ratio for these courses is 1:8 maximum.

Other courses:

If the mountain navigation course doesn’t sound right for you, then have a look at some of the other courses and guiding that we offer:

…or see what our clients say about us.

A student takes a compass bearing from a map during a mountain navigation course in Snowdonia

Course Details

Who is the course for?

Mountain navigation courses are for anyone and everyone, from the complete novice to the aspiring Mountain Leader. They will act as excellent consolidation for anyone training for the Mountain Training qualifications.

Where is it held?

We generally run mountain navigation courses in the Lake District and Eryri (Snowdonia), and occasionally the Yorkshire Dales, but we also use areas of Scotland by arrangement.

How long is the course?

Courses are a minimum of one day in duration, but are often booked as a two-day weekend. We can also run the course for longer periods, perhaps separated by a few days to give time for you to reflect and practice, or in one intensive burst, such as a 5-day week long course.

Some weekend courses can be split into a day on map & compass navigation, and a day on GPS navigation.

What does the course cover?

This course is completely bespoke but is generally aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced level navigators. Depending on your level of experience the course will cover topics such as:

  • Orientating the map and identifying land features (large and small)
  • Understanding your ‘journey’
  • Interpreting contours
  • Measuring distances on the map and on the ground
  • Using the compass for general direction, rough and accurate bearings
  • Relocation strategies – what to do if you are lost
  • Navigational strategies
  • Advanced contour interpretation
  • Advanced compass work
  • Use of a dedicated GPS device (such as a Garmin)
  • Use of a mobile phone for navigation

What equipment is included?

You will need to provide: warm clothing including a waterproof jacket; walking boots; and a rucksack of about 30 litres. depending on your level of experience, you might already own a compass.

For GPS navigation courses you should bring your own preferred device or take turns in using one that is provided.

We will:-

  • Provide maps and compasses.
  • Discuss an appropriate kit list when you book.

What  does it cost?

“Open” courses are shown in the Calendar along with their prices which are usually around £60 per person.

“Private” bookings for one day start at £190 for one person; £210 for two people (i.e. £105 per person); £230 for three people (i.e. £77 per person); £250 for four people (i.e. £63 per person); etc. From the 4th day, a discounted rate will apply.