Spartelton, that lofty jewel of the Lammermuirs, was the destination for Knox S2s on Wednesday. The plan was to try and sneak one last winter’s day from the best snow conditions that East Lothian’s had in decades. There is still plenty of snow up there but in the spring weather it’s definitely going fast.
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This was the second day of the Knox Academy’s S2 R.O.P.E. Programme , the O is for Orienteering – so as well as providing a phyisical challenge the day’s objective was to learn new navigation skills en-route to the summit.
The party were split into groups with each taking a turn as ‘leader’ and being given a destination to navigate to. Once at the destination their partners then had to try and re-locate themselves correctly using the map. A classic ‘blind-navigation’ exercise. As well as testing their map interpretation skills (Literacy) the pupils needed to work out the distance traveled using the map’s scale and their walking speed (Numeracy).
Conditions underfoot would have been very hard – meter high drifts of thigh-deep unconsolidated slushy snow. So once on the white-stuff we donned snowshoes and progress became much easier. Today’s snowshoes are light-weight, fit a very wide range of sizes, and work much better than the tennis-racket style snowshoes of old. Having borrowed snowshoes several times this year the Outdoor Education Service have recently invested in their own set. They make otherwise impossibly deep snow relatively easy, or at least possible, to traverse.
Postscript … I wanted to provide more links on Spartleton but ‘fraid the best I could find is information on it’s trig point, referenced here . It’s on a site that unashamedly proclaims itself to be home of ‘Resources for the UK TrigPointing Community‘. Well, cool!