Director of Tec Fire and Security Simon Philp had a few days break in March to attend a 1 day Navigational Map reading course in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. The course was attend by 8 people and was run by Mike Reid of Team-walking. The aim of the course was to teach basic map reading skills and enable confidence of being outdoors and the ability to navigate if conditions are unfavourable. We was very lucky that the weather on the day of the course was fantastic with the sun shining and the views of the surrounding country side plentiful. Our Course began in the Village of Clapham and we undertook a circular walk learning the map reading and compass skills as we went. We passed Ingleborough Cave and then ventured on to Trow Gill a wooded limestone ravine at the head of Clapdale. Trow Gill is now a dry Gorge but was possibly once an underground cavern formed by waters which now take an alternative route through the Ingleborough Cave. The Midway point of the walk took us past Gaping Gill which is an unmistakable landmark on the southern slopes of Ingleborough – a 98-metre deep pothole with the stream Fell Beck flowing into it. Through the later part of the day on our route back to the village of Clapham we were given a section of the walk to each navigate our way too.
The rest of the group followed the lead navigator but Mark was always close by observing and imparting many useful tips as we went. Overall the day was really enjoyable helped of course by the great weather, a good group of people and Marks knowledge and expertise. Safely returned to the village of Clapham and with my new found skills I started planning for the next days adventure on my own with map and compass. The main object of Day two was to complete a 20K walk starting at Clapham following the course of the previous day but then ascending on to Ingleborough. Ingleborough is the second-highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, at 723 metres (2,372 ft). It is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the other two being Whernside, at 736 metres (2,415 ft), and Pen-y-ghent, at 694 metres (2,277 ft). Ingleborough is frequently climbed as part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, a 24-mile (39 km) circular challenge walk starting and finishing in Horton in Ribblesdale.
So after a hearty breakfast and rucksack packed I started the ascent of Ingleborough in somewhat poorer conditions than the previous day. The higher the ascent the worse the weather got and visability became very poor. I battled on and reached the top with visibility down to 3 to 4 metres. Once at the top I settled in behind a shelter had a quick hot drink from the flask set my compass and found my way across the top and began my steep descent down to village of Chapel-le-Dale. Whilst in Chapel -le-Dale I had some Lunch and then proceeded to take the Roman road back to village of Ingleton taking in some breath-taking views along the way and I didn’t get lost thanks to my new found map reading skills. After experiencing the Yorkshire dales and completing the peak of Ingleborough I will defiantly be back this year to bag the other two peaks.