Week 22 at Plas y Brenin


17th-23rd Oct

Highlights: Directing a PYB course + HSE First Aid at Work in the Mountain Environment qualification

Summary: Short week to review; attending a Plas y Brenin course, and directing one!

Snowdon from the Llynau Mymbyr

Snowdon from the Llynau Mymbyr


I’ve never been 100% confident in dealing with 1st aid incidents with mere 3-yearly attendances on the whistle-stop 2-day REC emergency courses. Thus I’d asked if I could attend a more thorough 4-day course which also doubles as an HSE approved Mountain First Aid at Work Qualification. Helen & Cath led the show and I was able to learn at a good pace, revisiting stuff that I’d admittedly done before yet was able to absorb more effectively. An assessment of CPR protocols and scenarios on the final day wasn’t too scary!


Friday was the 2nd prep day for the coming weekend, on which I’d be let loose on some clientsΒ to direct the course “Discover Orienteering”. To be given this responsibility is generally outside the remit of my CA-ship, however, I was delighted to accept the challenge, and ensure I was well prepared for my two students. At 5pm, Friday afternoon, one of the students rang in to say he wouldn’t be able to make the weekend, thus leaving me to rethink and tailor my plans for some private tuition!
Saturday morning kick-off. Tony, my student, had booked onto the course in light of the upcoming OMM (Mountain Marathon) the following weekend. This was most convenient; although I was somewhat sad to stray off the ‘curriculum’, it was ideal that I’d done an OMM and could tailor the course to do some 1 on 1 navigation coaching. We quickly moved through the fundamentals of plan, scale, and relief to explore their more advanced counterparts – especially relief.
Having covered much about tactics and strategy on Saturday, by Sunday, I had Tony successfully leading me round a ‘green’ difficulty open fell course with minimal input from myself – implementing a decent amount of tactical navigation techniques along the way. We really pushed things that afternoon when we ran round some of a mock ‘mini OMM’ course on Moel Siabod, during which I could mainly shadow Tony’s progress and allow him to make decisions, confident in the knowledge that there was a safety net to fall back on.
Great experience!
That evening, I made a quick exit and drove back home to Nottingham…

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