Youth Rangers learn Mountain Navigation skills


Mourne Heritage Youth rangers learned a new skill this week, Mountain Navigation. Alan Whitcroft, Volunteer Coordinator explained how to read a four figure grid reference and a six figure grid reference using ‘eastings and northings’ and the benefits of romer scale. Alan also explained their significance and accuracy, a four figure is accurate to 1km and six figure is accurate to 100m. The young people also discussed contour lines and how to distinguish between a valley and a spur, steep slopes and features you would expect to see on a map of the Mournes; old quarries, reservoirs, boulder screes slop, crags, rivers and buttresses. Each youth rangers were given a compass and a map and were should how to take a ‘bearing’ to aid navigation.

Before heading geocaching the young people paced out 100m. This can be a useful tool to measure distance in the dark, poor visibility and when looking for a feature such as path junctions.

The youth rangers took their new skill to hills and partook in geocaching. They divided into two teams and both teams were given a six figure grid reference to find their treasure around the Blue Lough. Both teams did exceptionally well finding the treasure in record time.