Cave Leader assessment, Scotland

Cave Leader assessment, Scotland

Steve ran a BCA Cave Leader assessment in Assynt last weekend.  Assynt has the most developed caving area in Scotland and provides some interesting and unusual caving compared to other parts of the UK.  We visited several venues and the candidate was able to provide interesting and stimulating trips for all concerned.

If you’d like support with your caving qualifications or would just like to give caving a go, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help: steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk & 07796 213817

By |May 24th, 2022|Cave|Comments Off on Cave Leader assessment, Scotland

Scottish Canoe trip

Scottish Canoe trip

Steve ran his annual canoe trip in NW Scotland last week.  Some mixed weather enabled us to use our full repertoire of canoeing skills on this multi-day, wild camping journey.  We had several excellent canoe sailing elements, both solo and tandem paddling, poling and also some tracking up gentle, but shallow, rivers.  The wildlife was excellent with regular sightings of black throated divers and golden eagles, though the highlight was when an osprey flew over the camp whilst circling and hunting for fish.  All this whilst surrounded by stunning Torridonian mountains and not a person in sight anywhere – fabulous!

If you would like to try canoeing or develop your canoeing skills Steve will be pleased to assist.  If you’re interested in a canoe trip home or abroad Steve please call to chat to us as we have several exciting trips and can also provide bespoke ones to your needs: steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk & 07796 213817

By |May 21st, 2022|Canoe|Comments Off on Scottish Canoe trip

British Caving Association Cave Leader update workshop in Scotland

Cave Leader update Scotland

Steve ran a BCA update workshop in Scotland recently.  Scotland is not somewhere which springs to mind when thinking about caving, but it does have some small areas of Cambrian limestone which provides some small but interesting venues.  Assynt has the most developed cave network in Scotland and it was here that Steve ran an update day for Vertical Cave Leaders.  An excellent day was had in Rana Hole (Rana after rana temporaria, the common frog) covering, practising and updating all the elements of the award.

If you would like to try caving or develop your caving awards – or even join us on a spectacular caving trip abroad, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help: 07796 213817 & steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |May 16th, 2022|Cave|Comments Off on British Caving Association Cave Leader update workshop in Scotland

Sea Leader assessment, Cumbria

Sea Kayak Leader training

Steve was out on the Cumbrian coast again yesterday in his National Trainer role for British Canoeing: aspirant trainer/assessors for British Canoeing’s various leadership awards have to follow a process to become qualified to run courses.  Yesterday was an observation of a Sea Kayak Leader assessment and, in excellent conditions for the award, all went well.

If you’re interested in any British Canoeing qualifications, get in touch with Steve who runs personal performance and leadership courses at moderate and advanced level in sea kayak, canoe and white water kayak.  07796 213817 & steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |May 13th, 2022|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Sea Leader assessment, Cumbria

Lakeland Mountain days

Steve has been out in the mountains the past two weekends at opposite ends of the Lake District.  He took a mother and her son, seeking a more adventurous walk, up Blencathra via Doddick Fell in thick mist with rapidly descending temperatures – we even had to break out the group shelter at lunchtime!  His more recent walk was a family outing from Coniston to Goat Water, Dow Crag, Brim Fell and Coniston Old Man in much more temperate conditions.  Two great days out.  The image shows Coniston Old Man over Goat Water from Dow Crag.

If you’d like Steve’s support for your mountain adventures he’ll be very pleased to help.  Get in touch on 07796 213817 or steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |May 10th, 2022|Keswick Guided Walks, Mountain|Comments Off on Lakeland Mountain days

Barrow Sea Kayaking

Barrow sea kayaking

Steve ran two days of sea kayak training for leaders from RAF Cadets.  We had two varied days: firstly paddling at St Bees focusing on personal paddling and managing rocky shores and surf on beaches (we also had spectacular birdlife on the cliffs) and, on day two at Barrow, an emphasis on tidal and estuarine environments, planning, navigation, buoyage and leading.  It was a very enjoyable and informative two days enjoyed by all involved.

If you’d like support to develop or practise your sea kayaking – or even just have a go for the first time, Steve will be very pleased to help you.  Please call to discuss your needs on 07796 213817 or email steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |May 7th, 2022|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Barrow Sea Kayaking

Cave Leader Update Day

BCA LCMLA Vertical Cave Leader training

Steve ran a Cave Leader update day in Ingleton for the British Caving Association last Tuesday.  The BCA have Local Cave Leader awards for those wishing to lead others in simple caves with minor scrambling and for people who also wish to lead in caves with simple vertical pitches.  Award holders have to attend an update workshop every five years and these are run by BCA trainer/assessors such as Steve.

Working with four Vertical Cave Leader award holders, Steve ran the day looking at personal single rope technique (SRT), rigging for personal progression, rigging for group progression and incident management (though we all prefer incident avoidance!).  It was a good outing for all concerned: everyone felt they had sharpened their practice and enjoyed their day.

If you are interested in enhancing your caving or working towards Local Cave Leader awards, Steve runs both levels of course and will be pleased to support your progress. 07796 213817 and steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |May 5th, 2022|Cave|Comments Off on Cave Leader Update Day

Cave Leader assessment

Cave Leader assessment

Steve ran two Cave Leader assessment days this week in the Yorkshire Dales.  The Cave Leader Award permits holders to lead others into a list of named venues based on their knowledge, experience and requirements.  Following a two day Cave Leader training course candidates have to complete a one-day Core Skills assessment of personal caving, appropriate ropework and knowledge of caves and cave environments before then having to run a separate Group Day caving trip under observation.  Steve ran one of each assessment days for very capable aspirant leaders.

Steve also offers the training course for Cave Leader as well as all three elements for Vertical Cave Leader.  If you are interested in developing your caving awards please get in touch.  We’ll be pleased to hear from you and happy to help: steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk & 07796 213817

By |April 27th, 2022|Cave|Comments Off on Cave Leader assessment

Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course

Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning Course

Steve delivered a Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course last week for staff from a centre in the NE.  This course is a prerequisite for the Sea Kayak Leader but its content is relevant and appropriate for all those venturing out onto the sea in small craft (e.g. sea kayaks, sit on tops, paddle boards)  – or even wild swimming in the sea.  The single day covers causes and effects of weather on inshore areas, tides and the prediction of tidal height and current rates, planning coastal journeys using appropriate charts, maps, pilots, tide tables and other important primary information, pilotage, buoyage and much else besides.

Steve runs several of these days every year.  If you venture out onto the sea for your recreation or are interested in professional Sea Kayak qualifications you will find this course very valuable.  If you’d like more information get in touch with Steve for a chat: 07796 213817 and steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |April 27th, 2022|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course

Castle Crag, Borrowdale.

Castle Crag, Borrowdale

A beautiful  day saw us heading to Borrowdale for a relaxed wander up Castle Crag through the pretty, deciduous woodland with spring flowers and lots of birds busy in the warmth.  Rather than approach from Rosthwaite, we went for the adventurous option and took our shoes and socks off to wade across the river near the Bowderstone.  Castle Crag is the only fell on the list of Lakeland mountains under 1000ft, though what it lacks in altitude it more than makes up for in stature as its dominant, craggy presence in the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’ makes it a visible sentinel from far to the North.

Significant slate quarrying and mining took place on Castle Crag and it bears the slate tips and excavation scars associated with that.  Most notably, it has the slate ‘cave’ on its North Eastern flank which was inhabited by Millican Dalton (1867-1947) for over 50 years.  Dalton, the so-called ‘Professor of Adventure’, gave up his job as an insurance clerk in London to live rough in the Lakes during summers; he survived by offering guiding to visitors and built rafts to paddle and sail down Derwentwater.

The photo shows the view North from the summit with the memorial plaque to the local war dead on the left.

If you’d enjoy Steve’s support for a day in the hills, or a half day like this one, please get in touch to discuss your needs: 07796 213817 & steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |April 20th, 2022|Mountain|Comments Off on Castle Crag, Borrowdale.
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