Quality Mountain Days
                                                                 & Advanced workshops

Our Senses

Our senses play a  crucial although sometimes unappreciated role during our excursions into the hills making them some of our most valuable assets. Our body provides us with a range of sensors that continually gather information on our surroundings aiding the navigation process. Sight is certainly an important one and when coupled with the higher functions of observation gives us enormous potential for interpreting the wealth of detail around us and associating that with what we see on a map.

It's more than just sight we have at our disposal, sound, smell, touch and feelings work away continually at a sub conscious level to help the body survive. It is therefore often necessary for us to intervene and make a conscious decision to monitor what our bodies are sensing. This could be the sound of a nearby stream signaling it's location or if it's running under snow just out of sight signaling a hazard, It could be the change of slope when ascending a hill giving us an indication that the contour spacing has just changed or the outline of a peak just visible for a moment through the mist.

All of these things require our brains to be in a heightened state of readiness to ensure we can interpret and acquire maximum information on our physical location so we are better enabled to understand where we are on the map and on the ground.

So one of our major goals is to hone these senses so that the various sensations our body feels when going up or down a hill or traversing a slope enables us first in out minds eye to recognise the terrain we are crossing and then to associate the slope direction and steepness with contours on the map.

The generic term for using or senses to recognise features or signs in this way is called gathering features. when the senses detect a physical feature then we can 'tick of' the feature, more of which later..

Important: Participation Statement

Climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death.
Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

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