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1st year applied work at Plas y Brenin

1st year applied work at Plas y Brenin During their first year on the BAHons Outdoor Adventure Leadership course, students spent 5 weeks at Plas y Brenin the National Mountain Centre, in North Wales. The focus of the first week was to consider the core competencies used when operating in the outdoors, and in that first week we kayaked, spent time in a canoe, rock climbed and had a day on a mountain. Over the subsequent four weeks, each group spent one week focusing on each of these adventure sports.

Staying in the centre, the students also made good use of the climbing wall and rolling pool in the evenings, as well as attending talks from the staff at Plas y Brenin.

Here are some of the thoughts from 1st year students about their experiences at Plas y Brenin:

“The environment was incredible as it allowed so many options” “The instructors that work with us are really good… they have a high level of experience” “Plas y Brenin allowed me to have an outlook into a wider avenue for my dev…
Recent posts
Are you Mad? An investigation into the motivations of adventure sports participants as regards risk, fear and extreme hardship; for recreation.
(by Keith McGregor)
This qualitative research investigates why some of us (me included) want to put our minds and bodies through extremes of physical and psychological trauma. On a resent trip to Ben Nevis I was amazed to see some people trying to climb the mountain in some of the worst conditions I have seen. One of our party exclaimed “what are they thinking?’ needless to say we turned back and left them to it.
This is a typical example of my research area. What drives people to do such mad things and put themselves in danger (let alone others) to risk life and limb, for what? Firstly I needed to look at my motivations and to do this I have used a personal narrative to investigate this phenomenon. The narrative is about a trip to the European Alps, which culminated in me falling into a crevasse. The falling into the crevasse was only part of…
"A year ago, tomorrow, I attended my first ever university open day, it was at UCLan. I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do but I knew I liked sports and I knew I liked the outdoors. I had a read of the 'Outdoor Adventure Leadership' leaflet and well........
.....Yesterday I was Gorge Walking up Afon Ddu (near Conwy) following four brilliant days rock climbing all around North Wales. I can now lead climb, place gear and build a belay. All my coaches over the year have been amazing - I can use crampons and Ice Axes - having stared the Beast from the East right in her eyes. I've been able to successfully capsize most vessels in the fleet (need some further work on keeping them the right way up now). Also, through the first class opportunities available to me I have been on a week long Scottish Winter Skills course, my coach was Adele Pennington (Google her) - she was the first British female mountaineer to successfully top Everest twice - that's the kind of qu…
A number of the UCLan Outdoor team presented at the Adventure Sports Coaching Conference at   Plas y Brenin earlier this year demonstrating the continuing participation of staff in industry

Presentations included:

Prof Dave Collins and Dr Loel Collins: Redesigning Training and Accreditation Systems in Adventure Sports Coaching
Dr Howie Carson and Chris Eastabrook: Adaptive Automaticity in Adventure Sport: Contemporary Views And implications
Sharon Rosser: Understanding successful aging through Nature Challenge Activities, insights from the older adult climbers, cavers and sea kayakers
Dr Paul Gray: Using Social Interaction to promote, All good coaching is individualised
Dr Helen Hooper, Rosemary Smith and Cath Wilson: Learning through sharing experiences: critical reflections of the experiences of three female outdoor instructors.
Abstracts can be found here 

Outdoor Learning – Gallery Event – Art displays

Tuesday 6th March 2018
The third year Outdoor students on the Outdoor Image module all presented their artwork and portfolios from a year of deep thinking and philosophising. The Gallery Event is the culmination of their learning journey guided by Clive Palmer who claims, amongst many things, “that education should be memorable, not forgettable”. What the students presented, and the way they presented it was professional and memorable for very positive reasons in [Outdoor] Education. The topics were as varied as the mediums used to create the artworks, for example, from our dependence on social media, devilish artificial intelligence, plastic poisoning in the oceans to poetry and plays that celebrate the joy of humanity. Social culture and aging and gender issues, animal rights and human rights, the freedom of the environment and the importance of the Outdoors for our very being. There were short stories, sculptures, speeches, creations in metal, paper-Mache, wood and clay, it was all…

MA Outdoor Practice

The Masters in Outdoor Practice is designed to enable those working in the broad professional environment of the outdoors to engage with postgraduate study. It is delivered by a team of practitioners, educationalists and researchers in the outdoors. The first year of the course involves taught modules which are delivered at weekends, with subsequent modules providing the opportunity to specialise in your own field of practice through research and/or innovation. A special feature of this innovative course is the flexibility to accommodate a diverse range of interests and promote learning through a portfolio of assessments that appropriately meet the needs of students. Thus, the ethos of the course is to enable students to follow their interests and design their own pathway through a master's programme.

Click here for further information

Email : Rose Powell,

Students conquer Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

During the Summer of 2016, Louis Sivori and Jake Ditcham scaled the 5895m peak of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. This was in aid of the charity Dig Deep, which provides fresh drinking water and sanitation to families in both Kenya and Tanzania.
The trek took a total of 7 days in which they summited very early on day 6.
 Upon completion Louis commented;
"It was the toughest challenge I’ve ever had to face in my life. The experience and benefits I will take from it are amazing”
“It is a wonderful achievement and we both had the greatest time. I would fully recommend this to anyone and I would happily repeat the adventure again”!