On Saturday last weekend I undertook the NNAS Gold Award assessment, with C-N-Do (I had done the Gold award training with them back in November). This involved some classroom tests of walking route preparation and map reading, but the majority of the day was spent navigating along a route in the Ochil hills (coincidentally in the same area as the walk I did to Blairdenon Hill three weeks ago).
Conditions on the day were excellent, with warm sunshine and great views to the snow-capped southern Highlands. This meant that none of the navigation legs on the route were in bad visibility, although they were made as difficult as they could be by the assessor, across practically featureless flat upland terrain to targets of subtle and barely noticeable features in the landscape.
Along the way I way I was also quizzed by the assessor about emergency procedures in the hills such as dealing with people with hyperthermia and on practical mountain environmental issues. I also learned a bit about the birds and plants of the Ochils! This was useful preparation and consolidation of training for the Mountain Leader Award assessment I’m hoping to do at some point in the future.