Lowland Leader Observation

Lowland Leader training in progress

Earlier in the year, Chris was granted approval by Mountain Training to Provide and Direct the Lowland Leader Award and to make sure our course programme ticked all the boxes Alan Pinnington of Mountain Water Expeditions kindly offered to let me observe on his training course to benchmark my course programme.

This proved to be a very valuable exercise and I had a cracking two days working alongside Alan with 6 very enthusiastic candidates walking on the Clwydian Range in very varied weather conditions.

To see a few pictures from the course please click here.

If you would like to join a CHMAS Lowland Leader training course in 2018 then please do get in touch – chris@chmas.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Another Week At Arthog Outreach

Last week my sessions for Arthog Outreach were bushcraft, caving and canoeing and all three sessions were very enjoyable indeed

Toasting ‘giant’ marshmallows in the woods

Bushcraft
This is the forth and  day of a multi day programme for this group of Year 5’s and they chose bushcraft for their final activity. We wandered through the woods, visiting the disused limekilns, natural springs, a cave before having lunch at a secret shelter. The young people were simply in awe at what they found and were soon asking all sorts of questions about our environment. As special treat for the last session we collected wood and toasted marsh mallows which was enjoyed by all. Our final part of the day involved tracking and we followed some fresh deer prints and we were rewarded with seeing a small herd of deer.

Caving at Ogof Llanymynech
Working with secondary school children for this session which is always fun. The group were very keen to explore all of the cave so we squeezed though the nutcracker to visit Burial Chamber and the Belfry and then on to Fiveways Chamber. The group were still keen to do more so we visited the Mandible Chamber for a few challenges. I was particular impressed by the teamwork shown by this group and how keen they were to navigate around in the cave.

Preaparing for a bit of head, shoulders, knees and toes action

Canoeing At Simpsons Pool
As part of their instructor development programme, all instructors are expected to deliver a mentored sessions and I was particularly pleased to be assigned to watch Jamie deliver a series of canoe sessions as part of his ongoing development. The group had a whale of a time of the water in rafted canoes and it was great to see the session being adapted for the particular needs of the group.

If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of session for you and your group then please take a look at our activity page to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Instructing For Arthog Outreach

Two weeks ago my sessions for Arthog Outreach were caving and canoeing and both were very enjoyable sessions indeed.

Route finding in progress

Caving At Ogof Llanymynech
This is the third day of a multi day programme for this group of Year 5’s and they were very excited about going caving. The group were keen to explore so we did a round trip to the Shaft Chamber before exiting via Fiveways Chamber and there was lots of excitement as they navigated their way out of the cave. All were keen to do more so a job well done in my opinion.

Canoeing At Simpsons Pool
As part of their instructor development programme, all instructors are expected to deliver a mentored session and I was assigned to watch Jamie deliver a canoe session. This was the third session that I had worked with Jamie and it was great to see him improving his session following feedback from the previous week and tailoring the session for the group’s particular needs.

If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of session for you and your group then please take a look at our activity page to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Instructing For Arthog Outreach

Canoe session in progress at Simpsons Pool

Last week my sessions for Arthog Outreach were climbing and canoeing and both were very enjoyable sessions indeed.

Climbing At Grinshill
This is the second day of a multi day programme for this group of Year 5’s and they were quite excited about going climbing. Despite the initial excitement, they were a little apprehensive about climbing to the top but with the right ethos ‘Challenge By Choice’ they soon reached new heights and as their confidence grew almost all reached the top of the climbs. A really positive experience for all involved.

Canoeing At Simpsons Pool
As part of their instructor development programme, all instructors are expected to deliver a mentored session and I was assigned to watch Jamie deliver a canoe session. The session went very well indeed and through feedback and self reflection, there will be an improved session for next week.

If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of session for you and your group then please take a look at our activity page to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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Yr Hafod – Terrain 2 Permit Assesssment

Last weekend, I was at Yr Hafod running a Scout Association Terrain 2 Permit Assessment and a mighty fine weekend it was too. I had two candidates who were extremely well prepared and it was an absolute blast working with them.

Cantilver – Glyder Fach

Day 1 – A Walk on The Glyders
Our venue for the day took in the summits of Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via various contour features and obscure locations. We descended through the Devil’s Kitchen in darkness, guiding a couple of folk safely down before undertaking a bit of poor visibility navigation in Cwm Idwal. Along the way, we chatted about emergency procedures, mountain facts and top tips to keep your group motivated and engaged when in the mountains.

Candidates enjoying the view

Day 2 – Security on Step Ground
We ventured in to Cwm Idwal and made our way into Cwm Cneifion via a top secret meander adjacent to the Idwal Slabs to look at route finding, spotting and group management on steep ground. We played with ropes on the Gribin Facet before making our way to Yr Hafod for the final debrief.

I pleased to say that both candidates passed the technical competency for a Terrain 2 Permit and went away understandably proud of their achievements. Perhaps, the best bit of feedback from them was the assessment just felt like a walk on the hill – a job very well done in my opinion.

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CHMAS – First Aid Training

Charlie looking after the resources

On Friday, CHMAS was delivered a workshop on how to recognise and effectively treat a choking casualty to staff at a local school. The event was well intended with 40 staff involved, which meant running two sessions. The workshop was well received, lots of questions, fun and of course putting the choking protocols in practice.

If you would like CHMAS to provide a first aid workshop for your staff then please take a look at our first aid page to find out more.

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Canoeing for Arthog Outreach

All good canoe games involve a pumpkin!

This week at Arthog Outreach was possibly the wettest canoes session I have ever run! Not through people falling it but in terms of the weather. Despite it being the first session out of  four, the group didn’t complain too much about the weather and really got stuck into the canoeing.

We played lots of games to get everyone’s spirits up and to keep warm. The group loved playing pirates and I got left on the rocks again by my crew but this time they did come back to rescue me after they had retrieved the pumpkin. The final part of the session involved throwing and retrieving the pumpkin before the other teams! A real bit of stealth learning as the crews made the canoes go backwards, forwards and turn to the left and right. All thoroughly enjoyed their time on the water and wanted to do more.

For the next session the group have asked to go climbing so weather permitting we’ll be off to Grinshill.

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CHMAS – Bronze DofE Presentations

Diary from team ‘Hopeless’

Its always nice to be invited to your teams presentations following their qualifying expedition and as with previous years this years presentations for the Bronze DofE Expedition didn’t disappoint.

There was a wide range of topics and lots of laughter as they the memories came flooding back about their achievement (walking up the steep hill, going the wrong way, the views, walking with your friends and cake at the end of the expedition).

I was particularly, touched by one group, who kept a diary for the qualifying expedition and after their presentation they handed it over to me to show to other groups who were doing their expedition.

I’m now working with the school to prepare for next years expedition and hopefully it will be as successful as this years.

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Mountain Leader – Navigation Refresher

Checking out the route before setting off

Last Saturday, I was working for Paul Poole Mountaineering providing an ML Navigation Refresher, which judging by the feedback received was very well received by the participants. We met at Siabod Café around midday to make plans before heading off to Cwmffynnon for a mini adventure that would end in darkness.

The first part of the walk, was spent getting the fundamentals right through the 5D’s navigational strategy (I have used quite a few and find this works really well). Along the way there was lots of discussion on the ML scheme, environmental issues and top tips of the assessment. With a big tick in box for the  fundamentals darkness was soon to engulf us and I was really pleased by how well the candidates performed in the dark with only one minor error each throughout the exercise, which with a carefully worded question they soon put right.

We were back to Siabod Café for 20:00, just before a torrential and wild snow shower arrived, which seemed a very fitting end to a successful adventure. If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of training for you and your friends, then please take a look at our Hill Walking page to find out more.

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Mountain Training – Lowland Leader Induction

 

 

 

Last week, I attended a Mountain Training Lowland Leader Induction expertly delivered by Bryn Williams, Guy Jarvis, Nicola Jasieniecka and Kate Worthington. The course was a mix of indoor and outdoor sessions and proved to be a really useful and thought provoking course.

I’m now really looking forward to providing the Lowland Leader Scheme and courses will soon be posted soon for 2018.

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