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Online Navigation Courses

If you truly want to be confident alone in the hills and mountains, especially in winter conditions, then you should probably do a Mountain Leader course.  But....

Most people just want to be able to enter a race and not worry about getting lost or to have the confidence to explore the surrounding countryside.  Mountain Leader courses are a serious commitment and, when running for pleasure, goes beyond what is required for most trail runners.  We want to quickly learn everything we need to know to safely hit the trails, start exploring and have fun!

Our virtual navigation courses are the perfect solution.  The course takes an hour a week for 5 weeks.  A sixth week is scheduled for questions and to explore areas you feel you need clarity on.

If you'd like further details or to have a chat, contact us here 

Cost: £100 for the course. 

You will need to provide your own materials needed for the course, such as a compass.

Course numbers are kept low so that you get a chance to discuss your learning with your fellow learners.

Next course start date: To be confirmed

What you will get



You will develop the confidence to explore and continue learning.

Any course that tells you, 'you will be confident in map reading to explore the mountains' afterwards is deceptive.  Whilst cartography is a science, we see map reading as an art.  Just as an artist sees the shapes, shadows and lines to create a picture, navigation is built from experience using the shapes and lines on a map.  To get true confidence you must have the ability to explore, and make mistakes in a safe way.  We all know that true learning occurs when we develop understanding in what we don't know, not repeating what we do know.  To develop those skills and learn the art, we need to provide you with an ability to investigate and continue your learning in the outside world safely.

More specifically, you will have an understanding in the expected Mountain Leadership proficiencies

  1. maps, scales and conventional signs

  2. contours and other methods of showing relief

  3. topographical features

  4. relating the map to the ground and vice versa

  5. measuring distance on the map and the ground

  6. navigating across country with map alone

  7. compasses and other navigation aids

  8. methods of identifying features and position

  9. methods of relocation

  10. methods for navigating across country in poor visibility and/or in darkness

  11. route planning, including methods of recording routes

We will also cover areas of safety planning, so you can confidently go out for the day on your own

What you will need for the course


1. A regular free hour once a week

2. Preferably an half hour each week for home work to get the most from the course

3. A computer or tablet capable of video meetings, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams (we will be using Discord)

4. Access to an OS paper map - we will specify which (if you have OS maps online and access to a printer that will do)

5. A good Navigation Compass - one with a longer edge.  The small short ones are problematic

Who will be leading the course

Mark, your trainer has over 40 years experience on the mountains.  With Mountain Leader and Queen Scout training (admittedly many many years ago), your trainer has had the training.  

Though its not about the bits of paper.  Your trainer regularly leads trail runs across all the mountains of Britain.  Most weekends you will find Mark leading a group somewhere across the Brecon Beacons.  Winter or Summer.  Mark's goal, on every outing is that those coming along have a lovely day out, and want to come back for more.  Nothing gives him more pleasure than a person, new to the mountains, says "I'd love to do that again".

If you are local to Cardiff, you will usually find Mark leading a trail run at Cardiff Harlequins Running club, where he will be very happy to discuss the course with you.

To find out more please contact us here

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