White Water Canoe Leader

White Water Canoe Leader

Storm Arwen tried its best to derail our White Water Canoe Leader assessment as water levels rose dramatically and many rivers were blocked by fallen trees.  Fortunately, the levels dropped reasonably quickly and we scouted a suitable venue to check for any unwanted obstructions.  Sunny weather greeted the two candidates who did a good job of leading their group and using all the available features to entertain them enroute – very well done!

If you’re interested in either training or assessment for these awards please get in touch with Steve who’ll do his best to help you.  07796 213817 and steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |December 4th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on White Water Canoe Leader

Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

The recent winter gales relented just long enough for us to run an Open Water Canoe Leader assessment yesterday.  Two candidates braved gusty winds and constant rain to successfully complete the award.  Very well done to both!

The Open Water award is proving popular with those working in the outdoors as it’s the environment they most commonly find themselves leading in.  Steve runs training and assessment for this qualification covering personal paddling in moderate open water, group leadership, travelling using appropriate means (solo, tandem, rafted, sailing), incident management & rescue and appropriate personal & group equipment.

If you are interested in this Canoe Leader award or the white water version please get in touch with Steve who’ll be pleased to hear from you and will do his best to assist: 017687 79412 and steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |December 1st, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

White Water Safety & Rescue Course, Cumbria

White Water Safety & Rescue

It is the season for white water kayakers and canoeists to get out and enjoy themselves – the rivers have certainly been at great paddling levels this Autumn.  Recent incidents and tragic accidents happening to people going paddling on rivers reminds us of the critical importance of having both a well developed understanding of the potential hazards on WW rivers coupled to a range of strategies to deploy appropriately should things not go to plan.

British Canoeing’s White Water Safety & Rescue course is aimed at those paddling canoes and kayaks on moderate white water (grade 1-3).  It is an attendance only course over two days which helps you identify issues whilst paddling, to make good judgments and decisions, to avoid getting into trouble and to sort things out if they do go wrong.  All WW kayakers and canoeists should take this course.

Steve’s next WWSR course is 24th – 25th Nov, he may also put an additional one on on the 8th & 9th Dec.  Please get in touch if you would like to join in or wish to know more about the content: 07796 213817 and steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |November 15th, 2021|Canoe, White Water Kayak|Comments Off on White Water Safety & Rescue Course, Cumbria

Canadian canoe trip 2022

Canadian Canoe trip 2022

Come and join us on a trip of a lifetime canoe trip down the Wind River in Yukon, Canada, July, 2022!  We have enough people so far to run the trip but have some spaces still available.

The trip involves travel from Whitehorse and an incredible float plane flight to our start point.  We’ll then journey by tandem canoe northwards with all our gear for two weeks on the Wind River (image).  We’ll be picked up on the river by float plane at the end of the trip.  The Wind River is mainly grade 1 and 2 water and is suitable for competent canoeists and those with little experience paddling with a more experienced partner – we’re focused on providing an amazing and accessible journey by canoe through unspoilt and wild northern Canada.

This amazing adventure will be run by Steve Banks and Martin McCarthy who have combined canoe expedition experience of over 60 years.  Steve and Martin are both British Canoeing Guides and Guide trainers.  All Steve’s qualifications are available to view on this website.

The trip includes  the first and last night’s accommodation in Whitehorse, all land and float plane transportation, all canoe outfitting and all food during the trip.

If you’re interested in finding out more please get in touch with Steve who will be able to tell you all about it and provide a video of an earlier trip for you to watch: steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk and +44 07796 213817.  You can also check the webpage here: Canadian Canoe trip.

By |November 1st, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canadian canoe trip 2022

Cumbria Canoe Leader training

Canoe Leader training

Our next courses are British Canoeing’s Canoe Leader training for both the Open Water Canoe Leader Award and the White Water Canoe Leader Award.  These will take place on the 6th and 7th November and will be based in Cumbria, as close to Keswick as conditions allow.  If you’re interested in either or both of these training events please get in touch with Steve so he can brief you on the content, provide any information you need to prepare, as well as to answer any questions you may have.

steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk   07796 2132817

By |October 26th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Cumbria Canoe Leader training

Canoe Leader Open Water training

Canoe Open Water Leader

Steve ran a Canoe Leader Open Water training course last weekend.  This newly separated (from WW) award permits more focus on open water skills and knowledge – an opportunity we took full advantage of.  An excellent day on Derwentwater was had building and using sailing rigs for solo boats as well as rafts, personal paddling on open water in waves and wind, group leadership on open water in more challenging conditions as well as the management of a variety of incidents requiring first aid, rescue, improvised craft and self rescue.  This award is already proving popular, particularly with those working in outdoor centres, as they are more likely to be leading on open water rather than rivers.

Special thanks go to Dave Crooks at Endless River in Worcester for so rapidly providing support and equipment to enable everyone’s solo sailing.  Endless River’s solo sailing rig (as in Steve’s boat in the image) is ideal for the task – Steve has no trouble sailing across the wind with this rig using his paddle as a leeboard.

If you’d like to advance your knowledge and understanding of open water canoeing, or to work towards British Canoeing’s qualifications in this environment, please get in touch with Steve – he’ll do his best to help.

By |October 18th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader Open Water training

Canoe Leader Award

Canoe Leader Open Water

With the new BC Canoe Leader Award structure now implemented candidates are coming forward for the newly separated open water and white water elements.  Steve ran an Open Water assessment last week in the Lakes which went very well.  It’s become quickly apparent that the majority of individuals seeking these awards are predominantly interested in the Open Water award as it tends to fit best with situations in which they will be leading e.g. outdoor centres and clubs.  The training and assessment for both elements now permit greater coverage of the required skills and knowledge to be an effective leader in these environments – this is a clear benefit of the new system.

The ability to focus on either discipline in isolation is proving popular, as the numbers enrolling on the specific training days has increased significantly.  If you are keen to further your qualifications to lead in either moderate or advanced open or white water in canoe Steve will be pleased to help you: his next Canoe Leader training courses are Oct 16th & 17th for open water and white water respectively, with further courses on the 6th & 7th Nov.  Get in touch for a discussion at steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |September 22nd, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader Award

Where Eagles Dare

We are just returned from a spectacular, remote and committing trip to the Hebrides where Steve ran a six day canoe journey into the loch-ridden interior of Lewis.  For five straight days we did not encounter another human being – that’s difficult to do even on our Canadian trips – and provides an insight into just how little visited an area it is.  There are reasons for this of course: it’s challenging with long paddling days on exposed open water; variable and rapidly changing weather; difficult ground for camping and, of course, it’s not without its portages.   Notwithstanding this, and bearing in mind the famous Canadian canoeist Bill Mason and his quote “… you get a better class of paddler after the first portage”, we endeavoured to live up to his ideals ensuring we left no trace of our passing through, save for a few footprints in the sand.  Our reward was a unique trip in a fantastic landscape full of wonderful views and amazing wildlife: we had regular encounters with sandpipers, cuckoos, grouse, snipe and divers, though these were upstaged by the almost constant presence of eagles above our tents – at one point we had four circling overhead, then landing and taking off again close by to soar with a backdrop of the snow capped peaks of Harris’s mountains.

This trip will live long in the memory.  Thank you to everyone who came to join us on the journey.

By |May 26th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Where Eagles Dare

Hebridean canoe trip May 2021

Hebrides canoe trip

Steve’s Hebridean canoe trip is definitely running, barring a reversal in the easing of lockdown.  This adventure canoeing holiday is from the 17th to 21st May and is a wild camping, self-sufficient journey in the spectacular wild lands of Harris and Lewis.  As with Steve’s Assynt expedition, we will build in a day to explore the surrounding mountains and abundant local wildlife, or to just laze in camp reading or absorbing the experience.  The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to fit in with client needs and the weather and conditions at the time.

The ferries are filling up fast but there are a few places remaining on this trip, so if you’re interested in coming along please get in touch as soon as possible.

By |March 20th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Hebridean canoe trip May 2021

BC Canoe Leader award changes

British Canoeing Leadership & Safety courses

In addition to the BC leadership award assessment changes listed in the previous post, their Canoe Leader and Advanced Canoe leader awards will now be divided into open water and white water.  This means that individuals wishing to specialise in only one environment will be able to gain the specific award they require following a single day assessment – or single day plus night exercise for advanced candidates on open water.  Anyone wishing to lead on white water and open water will need to take both assessments, though they do not need to be done on consecutive days as was previously the case.  It will also be possible to mix and match levels so, for example, an advanced open water test could be matched with a moderate water WW assessment.

Steve is able to run all these courses and will continue to offer training courses for canoeing leadership awards.  Please contact him to discuss your requirements.

By |February 19th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on BC Canoe Leader award changes
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