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Training Course Overview
This NNAS Gold training course builds on the skills of the first two levels (Bronze & Silver), but adds techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features large and small and takes the use of the compass onto an advanced level. The key differences between Gold and the other levels are that you will understand contours and hill forms better, be able to make much more use of the compass for low visibility, recognise quicker when you have made an error, be able to re-plan quickly on the hill, be aware of your location continually and be able to select the most appropriate technique for your strategy.
Candidates should have attended one of the following courses: NNAS Silver Award, Mountain Leader Summer Training or Hill & Moorland Leader Training.
Training Course Content
Show confidence in the use of the skills detailed for the Bronze and Silver awards in open countryside, forests and hill environments.
Demonstrate the use of contours, to identify landforms (e.g. hilltops, valleys, spurs, re-entrants and knolls) and utilise them as the prime method of navigation.
Demonstrate use of ridges and valleys as reliable handrails and the size and relationship of contour features, (e.g. a series of knolls) and use them for micro navigation to specific locations.
Demonstrate the use of distance judgement, compass skills and continuous contact (by frequent checking) in complicated areas.This involves the use of both map to ground and ground to map techniques, the selection of appropriate techniques for each situation, and the integration of these into a navigation strategy.
Demonstrate the ability to plan a safe walk or route in open country in line with set criteria of duration, difficulty and objectives. This must involve "Gold" skills and strategies and may be used by the candidate for practice prior to assessment if appropriate.
Demonstrate an understanding of the special physical and navigation demands posed by hill and moorland terrain, poor weather conditions, daylight hours and the effects of fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route. This includes awareness of the effects of heat and cold.
The candidate must achieve confidence in the application of the gold level syllabus outlined above.
Training routes will use a variety of progressively more complicated terrain to allow practise of continuous contact using map to ground and ground to map techniques.
Attention must also be paid to the candidate's ability to use large contour features like ridges, valleys or spurs as a means of locating smaller features e.g. following a long valley up towards a small marsh location at its head could give the attack point strategy a contour dimension. A ridge route to a summit could be the best choice rather than a direct approach up a steep and rocky hillside.
Navigation in poor visibility i.e. mist or darkness is wherever possible to be part of the training and / or assessment of the Gold award.
The duration of training at Gold level should is a minimum of 12 hours and would normally cover all aspects of the syllabus .