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NNAS Gold & Expedition

Course Overview

Head to the mountains to complete your NNAS Gold Award - but why rush back? Spend an extra day exploring this stunning area and practicing those skills with your qualified instructor.

During this three day course you’ll develop your navigation skills to an advanced level based on the NNAS Gold award learning outcomes.  Exploring the picturesque Lake District national park on a three-day expedition, you will also learn wild camping skills while putting your navigation techniques into practice..

The course includes an assessment as part of the first two days plus home papers to be completed pre and post your course.

On the third day you will have lots of opportunity to use your new skills exploring the mountains.

Is this course for me?

If you are looking to develop your navigation skills to an advanced level tackling open remote terrain.

You want to learn how to wild camp in the remote mountains and have the required navigation competencies.

Consolidating your skills in preparation for your Mountain Leader Summer Assessment this course presents the ideal opportunity to practice a three day expedition while being assessed.

Please note that this course is physically demanding.  You will be walking in the remote mountains on a three day expedition, carrying your camping equipment and food for three days.  You will travel across varied terrain mostly off foot paths on undulating terrain.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the award participants will be able to plan and confidently follow safe routes away from paths and tracks in open countryside.  You will acquire and be assessed on the syllabus and learning outcomes of the NNAS Gold award.  Key skills and techniques you will learn on the course are:

  • Utilise the safe route concept learnt on the Bronze & Silver Award to plan and follow your navigation route. 
  • Select the appropriate techniques within the overall navigation strategy.
  • Utilise contours and fine detail as the prime method of navigation.
  • Accuracy with follow your route, judging distance, checking progress against time, use relevant compass skills and maintain constant map contact.
  • Use slope aspect as a means to aid your relocation.
  • Use back bearings and transits to confirm your current position.
  • Navigate an intricate route in reduced visibility.
  • Assess risk management and changing conditions or circumstances and re-plan the route appropriately if required.
  • Shorten a route, use an escape route and know emergency procedures.
  • Recognise a navigational error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
  • Campcraft skills based on a three day wild camp expedition.  Learn how and where to pitch your tent, cook on a camping stove and look after your personal welfare in the remote mountains.
  • Understand the physical demands created by the remote mountains, hills and moorland terrain in all weather conditions.
  • Develop an awareness of the remote environment including sustainable camping while protecting the habitat.
  • Understand the physical effects of the environment from a route planning and camping perspective. 
  • Select the appropriate clothing and equipment is required in the remote environment.
  • Overview of first aid for walking in remote area in all weathers.

Course Pre-requisites

The NNAS Gold award has been the highest NNAS award for some time. It, like all NNAS awards is not a leadership award however completion of the award would normally be equated with successful navigation required of a Mountain Leader (Summer) or Hill and Moorland Leader.

Due to the advanced nature of this course you will need to hold a minimum of NNAS Silver award, or have completed the Mountain Leader Summer training or Hill and Moorland training.  If you are unsure of your suitability for the course please contact one of the Pied A Terre Adventure Team in the office.


Three full days including wild camping on the first and second nights.


The course will be run in the Lake District, meeting on Friday morning at the Honister Youth Hostel before heading into the remote mountains.

Whats included:

  • Full training and supervision by qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Use of maps and compasses
  • Certificate on passing award
  • 15% discount from Cotswold Outdoor

What's not included:

  • Youth hostel accommodation on the Thursday night if required.
  • Food and drink for the duration.
  • Camping equipment (we can assist with hiring if required).

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