The National Navigation Awards Scheme (NNAS) is a personal performance scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills. The Bronze Award is aimed at people with no navigational experience, while the Silver Award builds on the Bronze level, and adds the skills required to navigate some distance from paths and tracks. White Marmotte offers both Bronze and Silver navigation courses in the Alps.
Both courses are two full days in length, and cover the entire syllabus as set out by NNAS. Assessment takes place at the end of day two. Certificates will be posted out as soon as possible after the course. Both courses will also cover skills relevant to trekking in the Alps.
In addition, our two-day NNAS courses count as external CPD for BASI.
The full syllabus is available on the NNAS website, but expect to cover:
The Silver Course builds on the skills of the Bronze level, and covers topics in more detail. For the full syllabus see the NNAS website:
Beyond the NNAS syllabus, both navigation courses cover specific skills relevant to trekking in the Alps. We will cover the differences in mapping and legislation, European footpath markings and gradings, alpine trekking hazards and alpine weather considerations.
Where do we meet? Our Chamonix valley courses are based around the village of Argentiere, a ten minute drive or a short bus ride from Chamonix centre. This location gives us easy access to the terrain we need for both the Bronze and Silver courses, has good transport links to Chamonix, and has plenty of accommodation. We normally meet at the Al’Pain bakery on the first morning for some introductory excercises over a coffee, but we’ll confirm this before the course.
Who is the course aimed at? The courses are aimed at both complete beginners (Bronze) as well as those with intermediate navigation skills (Silver). If you are not sure which would be most appropriate, please get in touch!
What do I need to bring? This post gives you a more complete list. In short, you’ll need an IGN 1:25 000 map, compass, pen and paper, plus kit for a one-day hike. We will also ask you to print some maps on A4 paper ahead of the course.
Do I need to have done the Bronze level before I can do the Silver Award? No, there is no requirement to take the Bronze level first. If you feel you already have the skills for this level, you are free to go straight to the Silver course.
Do I have to take the assessment? No! If you don’t want to take the assessment, you can simply come on the course. We can’t provide certificates to anyone who hasn’t taken the assessment, but the assessment is optional!
Is there a minimum number before a course is confirmed? We normally need a minimum of three people to run this course in order to ensure we cover our costs, but we may occasionally run with fewer people.
Additional Costs: The cost of the course will be €150 per person for the course only. It does not include accommodation (see below), food and transport costs. BASI ski or snowboard instructors wishing to use the course as a CPD point need to pay the BASI external CPD fee of £20.
Accommodation: There are several good quality hotels and apartments in Argentiere, however, if you are having trouble finding something suitable, please get in touch. Click here for accommodation recommendations in all our course venues.
Getting to Chamonix/Argentiere:
From Geneva airport there are numerous bus services and transfer companies offering scheduled buses to Chamonix bus station or door-to-door transfers. We highly recommend Mountain Drop-offs as we work with them on a regular basis. If you are travelling from elsewhere in France, there are SNCF train stations in both Chamonix and Argentiere and the town is served by Flixbus and BlaBlaBus.
Getting to Les Deux Alpes: The easiest way to get to Les Deux Alpes is by car. If flying, Lyon and Geneva airports offer a good selection of reasonably priced car hire options. Turin airport is also an option, but flights here are often fairly limited. Drive time from Lyon Airport is roughly 1hr45 and from Geneva Airport around 2hr45.
It is possible to take a shuttle bus from both Lyon and Geneva Airports to Grenoble Bus Station. They run roughly hourly, and cost between €10-30. From Grenoble there is a very cheap local bus service to the resort. However, this service only runs once or twice a day. For more information, see https://www.transisere.fr .
If you are having difficulty organising transport please get in touch!