9 members of the SWC spent two days (15 and 16 July 2023) taking part in a Club Leadership
programme organised through Mountaineering Ireland.
The course was led by Fergal Hill from Laois and took the form of a combination of class
room training, as well as practical sessions on the hills.
Various topics were covered in the class room such as:
- Qualities of a good leader, qualities of a good day out in the mountains.
- Group management – equipment, safety, skill level management, morale.
- Navigation skills- map reading, feature identification, taking compass bearings.
- Route Planning – completing a route card.
The practical session involved navigating from Com an Chiste (Coomakista ) car park to
Farraniaragh mountain which including practical skills such as:
- Identifying mountain features
- Group management in bad weather
- Mountain Hazards,
- Leading sections of the walk.
This was done in severe winds and heavy rain.
Day 2 was also a practical session from Com an Chiste car park to Binn Ui Ruairic.
The weather was kinder for Day 2. There was some practice of skills from the day before plus navigating on a compass bearing in fog, timing management whilst on route and incident procedures including safety kit, rescue procedures, using a storm shelter and using a bivy bag for protection and as a stretcher.
People on the course fed back that they thoroughly enjoyed the event and would feel better
equipped to lead a walk.