Land Navigation Course 10-27-2012

When the leaves start to fall the guiding season winds down… until the snow flies! I’ve had plenty of time to hike with my son Alex, and have enjoyed sharing his adventures on my other blog,

Many months ago at a Flatbread Fundraiser I offered my Land Navigation Course as an auction item to support Mountain Rescue Service, of which I am a volunteer. Janis, of New London, NH placed the winning bid, and after some correspondence we choose today for the course. This morning she and 3 hiking companions joined me for some pretty heavy morning classroom, followed by a beautiful field trip in the Green Hills Preserve.

Some field exercises near the summit of Black Cap

Where am I?

All four of these women had ample hiking experience, much in the winter, and all had entertaining stories of close calls or mini-epics when confused and turned around in the wilderness, from Vermont to Alaska!

Land Navigation continues to be an oft neglected skill that I hope those who spend time in wild places continue to seek out. It’s a thrilling experience getting “lost” in the wilderness, but even more exciting finding your way back out again with more than simple “dead reckoning”.

In these structured 8 hour courses I try to convey the essential map & compass skills in as simple and easy to remember ways as I can… and for the most part I am successful  However it is always up to the student to practice their craft after leaving the structure of the course, and I was happy to see the eagerness of all 4 women to return home and hone these newly discovered (or revisited) natural skills.

About David Lottmann

David grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, son Alex, and daughter Madalena.
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