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Thread: Mountain Leader Assessment

  1. #1
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Gambia, The
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    15


    I'm doing my ML Summer Assessment soon, and am really bricking it as I don't really know what to expect as regards to micro and night navigation! any hints, tips or comments? I was also wondering, is the night navigation going to be easier or harder with a 1:50 000 map? i would imagine it to be a little bit harder, depending on the detail we will be asked. hints and tips would be very much appreciated!!

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    United Kingdom
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    Presumably you've done ML Training? The level of navigation expected in the assessment will be similar to that you did during training - the difference should be that in the assessment, you should be demonstrating your ability, rather than learning/practicing the techniques.

    The night navigation is actually "methods for navigating across country in poor visibility and/or in darkness", so could be done in daylight, if visibility is suitably reduced - at my assessment, we did some in mist with only about 5m or less visibility.

    During your assessment, you may be told whether to use a 1:50k or 1:25k map, and the exercise should be appropriate to the scale; otherwise you should choose the scale you want to use (you'll be carrying a few different scale maps won't you?). Be as comfortable as possible with different scales (get a Harvey's/BMC map if there is one for the area - they are 1:40k, aren't they?.

    The main tip is to make sure you have the experience and skills, then relax and enjoy!

  3. #3
    Ultra King
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    Jun 2008
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    I don't know what they want you to do these days, but when I did the course, as a frequent hill goer in all conditions, I found that I knew more about hill skills and Navigation than the instructor!!!!

    I'm not saying that you will find it that way.

    All I can say is - Do your best........ And don't worry, if you know how to read a map, you will have no problem.

    If you can read up on Nav. skills and try to put them into practice if you can. If not at least you will know the basic principle of them.

    It can be hard to practise things like white out/ fog conditions, but even in good weather you can put the skills you need into pracitice on a walk. You can always 'pretend' you are in those conditions, even if you can see for miles.

    Things like following a bearing, aiming off etc. still can be used in good weather.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Mole's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    what's needed is detailed all in your training handbook? - which is the printed book in your logbook folder?

    but as Damien says - same standard as what you did on your training

    edit - what Simon says below should reassure?

  5. #5
    Widdler
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    May 2009
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    Gambia, The
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    cheers guys, I hope i just enjoy the week really! can't think of anything worse than a week long assessment that isn't going well!! i do quite a bit of navigating with 1:25000, im quite switched on with that scale, i was just a bit worried that 1:50000 might throw me a little! heading Scotland soon, that should sort me out with the 1:50!!

  6. #6
    Ultra King
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    Try not to worry about 1:50k. If you can navigate with 1:25k you'll be fine, just covers a bigger area, but all the prominent features will be there.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Initiate
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    Oct 2006
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    United Kingdom
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    I think the best thing is to practice as much as you can. Talk to others who have done the ML, see what their routes were, what sort of features they were asked to go to etc. Just get out as much as you can, practice everything, map to ground, ground to map until you're sick of it - but buzzing with confidence! Have in mind the different strategies for different situations - use the right tool/combination of toolsfor the job. What might be correct for poor vis at night is probably overkill in bright sunshine, and vice versa.

    And beware the limitations of the OS - they're not infallible but being able to say 'I know where I am and the map's wrong here' takes courage, but it's what I look for in people I train or assess.

    Good luck though!

  8. #8
    Initiate SteveD's Avatar
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    If you normally use 1:25k just be aware that features might take a bit longer to arrive than you expect. When I shifted from predominantly using 1:50k to 1:25k I found that I kept coming up to features earlier than I expected.

    Intellectually I 'Knew' how far they were but my brain kept interpreting the map distances as further than they actually were, after a while switching between the two scales became automatic. There is also a lot more detail on the 1:25k.

    Have fun and good luck.

    Steve D

  9. #9
    Widdler
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1


    I am going to do the assessment next week and just like you I am bricking it. I have the same issues about the 1 : 50000 but the comments above have taken down the blood pressure so thatnks for that.

    I am doing my first aid after the course but some blogs that I have read are saying that you have to have it before the assessment, but my trainer said that I could get it after.

    I am trying to study the flora and fauna but its wrecking my head.

    I am confident enough about the ropes and emergancy stuff. Te steep ground and group managment isn't worrying me just genral fears about the exam now.

    any other advice of what to expect would be great.

  10. #10
    Mini Goon Ben Hunter's Avatar
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    You are getting to spend a week in the hills. That is something to be enjoyed. Try not to think of it as an assessment. If you make a bit of a mistake it does not mater, admit to it and explain how you would correct yourself. Presuming you have not been exaggerating in your log book, you have already had many days out navigation in the hills and you are still here so I would hazard a guess that your navigation is not all that bad = ) My best bit of advice would be to just try and have fun with it. When you get stressed that is when you are going to start making silly little mistakes and so the cycle continues.

    Best of luck!

  11. #11
    Initiate
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    Oct 2006
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    Agree with Ben. Everyone makes mistakes - I've made some howlers, sometimes thru not concentrating on the most perfect of days (e.g wrong corrie in the Cuillins). I doubt that any ML assessor has never made errors - and in fact, on my own assessment, the assessor made two errors, one major, one minor, the former when she said I was wrong and it was her error, not mine. Themore she insisted, the more uncomfortable I became, becauseI knew I was right but didn'twant to appear a clever dick.

    So think about how you might deal with errors you might make, hold you hands up and admit it, thenwork out how you would re-locate etc. Practice using map to ground and ground to map skills, which will help you relax and help dealwith any cock-ups. Be clear on your strategies and avoid using iffy features such as rock symbols, ponds, stream heads, and remeber thatfootpaths are often the most inaccurate/unrliable feature on the map. Huge ones may not be marked, whereas others which are simply not visible on the ground are marked on the map, so check the path you are on IS the one on the map.

    If it's not your leg, don't switch off, so that if the lead makes a mistake, you know before you are asked where you are and can quickly provide an answer if asked.

    Good luck - and DO enjoy it! If you can,spend a little timein the area beforehand, and give yourselfas much local practice as you can, day and night.

  12. #12
    Ultra King
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    As others have said, try not to 'stress' aboutit to much, go and enjoy it.

    It seems to me you have done all the preperation you can.

    As others have said, if you make a mistake, admit it, we've all made mistakes, no-one is perfect.

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Widdler
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4


    im thinking of doing my summer ML. What paperwork is involved in the training coures and assesment???

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