Introduction to Hillcraft for Runners

A one day course that provides an introduction to the main issues we need to be aware of when heading for the hills, from (where appropriate) a specifically running perspective. The course is usually run in Stirlinshire. Times to suit -- please get in touch with your requirements.

Who Is It For?

The course is for runners who lack in, or have only limited, first hand experience of the mountain environment, and are looking to venture independently into Scotland's hills. Can be run on 1:1 basis, or as a group (maximum group size of 4). Times to suit.

Rationale

Scotland's hills are easily underestimated, indeed, the ingrained designation 'hills' does not help. They are mountains in their own right, and their safe enjoyment requires respect and some basic skills. While this applies equally to all the different 'hillgoer' species, it is perhaps even more acute for us runners.

Many a runner that first decides to head for the hills arrives at that point lacking significant first hand experience of the mountain environment and its challenges. Often the way into running off road is through organised running events, and these simply don't prepare us for operating independently in remote locations.

At the same time, running forces us to travel light, and so we invariably operate with smaller margins of safety than, for example, a walker with a bulging thirty litre day sac. This makes it even more important that we understand the mountain environment, and how to mitigate the risks it poses, so that we are able to function in it efficiently not only when all goes to plan, but, more importantly, when it does not.

Aims

Hillcraft takes time to develop, and a day long introductory session cannot turn a novice into a savvy hillbilly. But it can speed up the process. The Introduction to Hillcraft course aims to introduce the participants to the main issues that a hillrunner needs to be aware of, providing a departure point for future, ongoing, learning.

Content

This is a hands-on course. We will do a brief joint planning session, then go for a run. In the course of the day we will address the following issues:

  • Principal risk factors in hillrunning
  • Planning
  • Key equipment
  • Terrain and route finding
  • Minimizing environmental impact

NB: this course does not teach navigation; for that see our navigation course.

Prerequisites

  • Reasonable level of running fitness; as an absolute minimum, you should be able to comfortably run a half Marathon distance at a moderate pace.
  • Off-road running shoes, a jacket suitable for running (full equipment list will be supplied in advance).
  • Packed lunch.

Cost

  • £65 for 1:1 individual course
  • £35pp for a group booking of 2 to 4