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We are following Cornelia and Kerrie – before, during and after their Winter Skills training courses at Glenmore Lodge in February 2020
These are Cornelia and Kerrie’s stories ………………………………………….
“How long you have been interested in being in the hills, what sparked your interest, and why you want to undertake the winter mountain skills course?”
CORNELIA: Winter Skills training – 5 day course. “Nature carries emotional resonance for me as my upbringing has been oriented around spending time outdoors, which sparked an avid interest in mountaineering at an early age.
My desire to participate in a winter mountain skills course is strongly related to my passion for the outdoors and my personal drive to ensure that I am properly equipped with the knowledge and skills to allow me to complete challenging treks independently without compromising my safety or the safety of others. A personal goal of mine is to complete a 6000 MASL peak unguided. I am excited about the opportunity to challenge myself and learn new skills from professionals.
KERRIE: Introduction to Winter Skills 2 day course: “Having been brought up in NZ being outdoors was always part in my life. However it has only been in the last few years that I have fully embraced getting out as often as I can into the mountains and participating in a variety of activities. I realised that it was far more fun spending my weekends in the outdoors than doing housework and going to the pub! I enrolled in the course to learn new skills, and to enable me to be more confident in taking on bigger challenges.
2 weeks before their courses we asked: How are you feeling about the course as it gets closer? What do you expect to learn? Have you done/are you going to do anything in preparation for the course? If so what?
CORNELIA: I am very excited with the course being only two weeks away, but also a little bit nervous. I expect to learn skills that improve my safety in the mountains, especially during more challenging treks. In regards to preparation I have bought a new head lamp, I have also studied the map around Glenmore Lodge.
KERRIE: I’m really looking forward to the course and am very excited. I hope to gain knowledge that will make me more competent when I am out in the hills. I have been in contact with Glenmore Lodge about borrowing kit for the course, which they encourage and I have been active in the hills over the winter – but more on my bike than on foot.
Some thought from Kerrie and Cornelia while on the course The questions:
Why am I here? What am I getting out of this course? How am I going to use this training?
Taking part in a winter skills course allowed me to not only to reflect on why I am here but also what my aspirations are. Throughout the course felt that I was truly doing something I love; spending time outdoors, in the mountains and challenging myself both mentally and physically.
This course allowed me to develop the in-depth and holistic understanding required to confidently navigate Scottish mountains during the winter. The emphasis put on avalanche risk and how to mitigate potential risks was a part of the course that I found particularly interesting.
The knowledge gained from this training will be used through trekking in the UK and in other regions with similar landscapes. I have improved my planning skills and feel much more confident in my decision making. I am eager to explore the country’s unique landscape by myself while applying the essential skills I have learnt.
Cornelia’s slide show
How did you get on with the other people on the course? Were you all about the same standard? What did you learn from them? Do you think they learnt anything from you? Do you expect to, or have you arranged to meet any of them again?
CORNELIA: The experience ranged in the group; from one person being a beginner that had no prior experience to another person with a much higher skill set than myself and extensive experience. Although the members of my group were on such a different level, we got on really well and the instructor did a fantastic job to meet all of our aspirations. Throughout the week I learnt from a member in the group how to improve my decision making in critical situations. I believe that the other group members learnt from me, especially in regard to the use of crampons and ice axe. I have decided to meet up with two people on the course again and look forward to continuing learning together.
Would you recommend this course to others? If so, what would be your main reasons for doing so and is there anything you might warn them about?
CORNELIA: As this course has been particularly relevant and important to me, I have already recommended friends that I believe would find this course relevant. The main reason for recommending this course to others would be because I truly enjoyed the course; it was a very formative experience that allowed me to stretch and challenge myself. Although the course was fantastic, I would advise others to read the prerequisites thoroughly so that you find the course most suitable for you.
KERRIE: Why am I here? To learn in a safe environment and to share that experience with others.
What am I getting out of the course? Increased knowledge and awareness, that will help me make better choices when in the hills.
How am I going to use the training? In helping me be better prepared before going out into the hills…it has really made me aware of how important the planning stage is and why you need to understand the environment you are about to go out in.
Kerrie’s slide show:
I know you both have lots of plans for adventures. How will your newfound skills help you plan for your future challenges?
CORNELIA: In regard to the near future, I look forward to trekking and exploring the UK independently; I believe it will be a suitable playground where I can practise and improve the skills that I have learnt.
With our help you can discover something for you – in the mountains, in the water, on the slopes, indeed anywhere in the Highlands and beyond.
We are delighted to have struck up a partnership with Glenmore Lodge to offer enhanced grants for outdoor skills training. Download an application form – and get started! Apply anytime, for any of the courses available at Glenmore Lodge. We strongly advise you to read our criteria before applying.
See how others have discovered themselves and their dreams with grants from The Neil Mackenzie Trust and courses at Glenmore Lodge: