Mountain Trial
AM. 17.5km/1090m (11 mile/3600ft)

Sunday April 28th 2019. 11:30 am

Entry Fee: £10.00 pre-entry only. Sorry no discount for own dibber.
Venue: Storey Arms Car Park SN 982202
Teams of 3

Registration: Opens from 10:00 am. Pre-entry only at Fabian 4: Enter here


Andy Creber 07530442066


Storey Arms


Start: Approx 1 minute intervals, from 11-30am. You might have a ‘seeded’ start time, according to known navigational ability.

Timing: Sport Ident, “dibber” format. If you have your own ‘dibber’ please bring it. We will supply an SI unit to those who do not have their own, which will be the vast majority. However, there will be a £50 charge if you lose it ! You enter on this understanding. (They are expensive bits of kit !)

The Map: This will be supplied, and given to you as you start. It is waterproof and will not require protection. It is likely to be of ‘A3’ size and at a scale of 1:25000. It is currently undecided as to whether it will be in Harveys or O.S. format. You are welcome to bring your own map as well.

Format of the competition: Competitors will be started at intervals, independently (no teams) and ‘buddying up’ after the start will be strongly discouraged, as it implies that at least one of the group lacks confidence, and perhaps shouldn’t be there.

Nature of the navigating: It is important to realise that this is NOT ‘Orienteering’ in the formal sense of the word. It is not an ‘orienteering’ map nor does it have any form of runnability screen. The scale, nature and inadequacies of the map provided does not allow for such fine navigation. However, the challenges presented by a number of legs of the course will suit someone with an orienteers mind/skillset, or someone who is an experienced, bad weather ‘Mountain Marathoner’. Missing a control (checkpoint), or getting otherwise temporarily lost, is likely to be time-costly, and relocation for the inexperienced quite difficult.

To miss out a control completely will lead to disqualification. However, the SI “dibber” timing system will still allow you to see how quick you were, compared with others, on all the legs you successfully completed.

How good a navigator do I need to be?: To the uninitiated lay person, all one needs to navigate on the hills is a rudimentary understanding of contours . . .  and the ability to set, or take, a compass bearing. Whilst this will at least usually get you to safer ground, when it all goes pear-shaped, you will need a fair few more tools in your toolbox if you are going to be competitive and/or not make mistakes.

Look at the map below:


Ask yourself, in poor visibility:

You’ve set a bearing to go from 104 to 116. You are pretty sure you’ve gone far enough, yet no control!

How do you know where you are? Too far? To far west/east? Maybe not far enough after all?

How are you going to get from 104 to 121? A bearing takes you unnecessarily up a hill, so what’s your plan?

How would you get from 116 to 121 and know you hadn’t gone too far?

Food for thought.


If you cannot convince yourself that you have a robust strategy for resolving the issues above, then you would gain more from a day on the hills gaining a bit more experience, than enduring the Mountain Trial. The common scenarios above are beyond the remit of the WFRA Basic Nav course syllabus, but there are good navigators about who can assist you.

This is not a conventional fell race ‘with a bit of nav’ needed. It is a Mountain Trial designed to both choose a route, execute it to within a couple of hundred metres of a control, and then actually navigate effectively to the control. Part of the experience involves travelling as quickly as you can over some quite rough terrain, with substantial climb depending upon your route. Time spent stood still scratching your head wondering where you are, needs to be balanced against the ‘headless chicken’ mentality. Hopefully you’ll find yourself doing neither.

The various course ‘legs’ mimic some of the better legs from bad weather mountain marathons, experienced over the years.

We look forward to seeing you!