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FOUR LEARNING ADVENTURES FOR 2019

Written by Secret Compass

Lead an expedition and you offer a team a once in a lifetime adventure, teach a team their own skillset and you’ll gift them a lifetime of independent adventure.

We’re all about leading expeditions so epic they’re capable of changing lives but this year we want to empower you to plan and execute your own. So from the dark humid depths of the jungle to the alpine glaciers of the Caucasus, below we’ve listed our adventure academy expeditions for you to skill up for adventure in 2019 and beyond.

Learn Expedition Skills in the Highlands of the Western Balkans

Dates: 16 – 25 May 2020

Looking to refine your own general expedition skillset to enable self-supported wilderness adventures? This one’s for you.

Built around a framework of objectives covered by Joint Services Summer Mountaineering Foundation and the Mountain Training Mountain Skills Course, under the expert guidance of highly qualified Secret Compass mountain leaders, this comprehensive expeditions skills course is more than enough to get you out on your own adventures.

Also a journey in its own right, the team will explore the highlands of eastern Albania, crossing into Kosovo and Macedonia as they summit the region’s highest peak, Mt Korab (2,764m), trekking the newest section of the High Scardus trail. Forgo a rigid, repetitive syllabus in favour of a real life multi-day expedition. You’ll need to be forward-thinking, resourceful and ready for the challenges of a self-supported trek.

Learning objectives include:

  • Hill and mountain skills
  • Route planning and logistics
  • Risk assessments, both formalised and dynamic
  • Navigation
  • Wilderness first aid
  • River crossing techniques
  • Team management and leadership styles
  • Mountain weather systems

Full expedition details and how to apply, here.

Develop Alpine Skills on the Slopes of Georgia’s Mt. Kazbek

Dates: 30 May – 07 June 2020

The perfect first taste of proper alpine conditions, the slopes Mt Kazbek, the country’s highest volcano, are the ideal setting for this self-supported mountaineering course.

Again, designed explicitly to shift learning from the classroom to real life expedition scenarios, the skills taught are essential for anyone considering independent exploration above the snow line. Conditions depending, there’ll also be the chance to make a summit attempt on Kazbek itself, providing the ideal opportunity to bag what could be your first 5000m+ peak.

The team will be self-sufficient throughout, carrying all of their equipment, for a taste of the realities of expedition life in more remote areas. There’ll be no return to a warm bunkhouse to reflect on the day, instead you’ll be developing the real-life, necessary experience and knowledge required to support future winter camping expeditions.

Learning objectives include:

  • Proper use of ice axes and crampons
  • Mountaineering wear – layering systems and temperature regulation
  • Altitude sickness awareness – symptoms and basic treatment
  • Introduction to glacier travel
  • Crevasse identification and rescue
  • Introduction to route planning
  • Poor visibility navigation
  • Avalanche awareness
  • Building snow shelters (conditions depending)
  • Basic ice climbing skills

Full expedition details and how to apply, here.

Qualify as a PAWGI Certified Jungle Guide in Panama

Dates: 31 May 2020 – 12 June 2020

Humid, dense and largely inhospitable, it’s a particular breed of person who opts for a prolonged stint under the jungle canopy. But the rewards for those who do are bountiful.

Under the supervision of expert instructors, students will plot and follow their own route through Panama’s iconic Chagres National Park to face real-life challenges as learning objectives as they go. Negotiating river-crossings, dense vegetation and canopy covered mountain ranges will all be part of the challenge as you forge a route to the Caribbean coast.

Specifically designed for Secret Compass, this is a jungle leadership course approved by PAWGI (Professional Association of Wilderness Guides and Instructors). On successful completion of the 10 day course, students will qualify as Certified Wilderness Guides in the regions of Central and South America.

Course objectives include:

  • Route planning and navigation
  • Search and rescue
  • Campsite selection
  • Conflict resolution
  • Best guiding and environmentally friendly practices
  • Survival and jungle-specific bushcraft skills
  • Jungle specific first aid
  • Natural history

Full expedition details and how to apply, here.

Discover Adventure in the Brecon Beacons

2020 Dates: 

  • Fri 24 – Sun 26 April.
  • Fri 26 – Sun 28 June.

Wilderness and adventure totally new for you? Our Wales expedition weekends are the perfect first taste. Not only will you meet a bunch of likeminded people but you’ll have the chance to experience one of the UK’s finest areas of unspoilt wilderness .

Objectives include:

  • Climb Pen Y Fan
  • Try packrafting
  • Meet like-minded adventurous types
  • Wild camp in hammocks
  • Eat expedition foods
  • Abseil a waterfall

Full adventure weekend details and how to apply, here.

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