The PALOES Blog

PALOES supports The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme

Posted: Wednesday, 16 October 2013

 The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) has long been a favourite with teenagers and young adults, aged 14 to 24, to increase confidence, develop outdoors skills and give them an edge in the race for university places. And today, the award is proving to be more important than ever. The award consists of three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Each level consists of activities in volunteering, physical, skills and expedition. Gold participants must take part in an additional residential activity. The wonderful thing about the DofE award is your path to the award isn’t set in stone: you can choose from a huge number of activities, according to your skills and interests.  Commonly cited benefits of the award include increased self-confidence, improved sense of responsibility and enhanced teamwork skills. Additionally, according to the DofE website, 62% of participants felt that the DofE helped them make a difference to their community, and 82% felt that the award made them want to continue...

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Mountain Leader Summer Award Updates

Posted: Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mountain Training has officially announced the revised updates to the Mountain Leader Summer Award. Many months of discussion have resulted in some important changes to the Mountain Leader Award. These changes are part of a wholesale review of the all the walking awards as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Mountain Leader scheme.  The following updates to the ML Summer Training and Assessment have been agreed and are now in place:

  • The training and assessment of the use of a rope in the water hazards (river crossing) section of the syllabus will be discontinued. ) 
  • The guidance on training and assessment of the use of the rope on steep ground has also been modified. Mountain Training feels that the emphasis needs to be on 'real life' steep ground situations rather than the potential 'lowering' of participants down vertical crags. 
  • There is acknowledgement of the role that site/organisation specific training and management can have in determining the...

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Ten Tors Safety Concerns Spark Route Changes

Posted: Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Ten Tors Challenge in which remotely supervised youngsters trek up to 55 miles across Dartmoor is to undergo its first major change in 30 years in a bid to improve safety. The Army organise the event and say there would be fewer river crossings and road routes in 2014. These moves are designed to reduce the need for air support and evacuation or cancellation of the event in bad weather. These changes follow the mass evacuation of teenage walkers from the moor in 2007 – and the death of a 14-year-old girl died after falling into a swollen river while training for the gruelling event with her school friends. Brigadier Piers Hankinson, Director of Ten Tors, said moving some of the safety check points would "ease" dependence on helicopters to evacuate people from the moor. Last year helicopters were grounded due to bad weather. He said: "It will ease the evacuation of participants who are unable to continue and, really importantly, it will remove the need to cross some of the major...

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Wind Chill

Posted: Wednesday, 25 September 2013

So you’ve heard of wind chill or 'feels like' on the BBC weather forecast, but do you know what it is?  I suppose that the name is a dead give-away, although you’d be surprised that there are a few methods of actually calculating it. ConvectionOn a calm day with no wind, the actual air temperature is the temperature that you feel on your skin.  When the wind is blowing, it is responsible for transferring heat away from our bodies into the surrounding air, by a process called convection.  As wind speed, aka air velocity, increases so does the amount of heat transfer away from our bodies where skin is exposed to the wind.  Thus, for the same air temperature a person is cooled quicker if there is a wind, than without a wind.  Wind chill  is a means by which to try to describe to people the cooling effect of the wind in a language they understand, i.e. temperature, referred to as Wind Chill Temperature (or Factor).  A quoted ‘wind chilled’ temperature is not actually a...

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