White Marmotte Navigation School

Navigation Courses in the French Alps

Map and compass image to illustrate navigation schoolAt White Marmotte we believe in giving you the tools you need to embark on your own adventures. With this in mind, we launched the White Marmotte Navigation School. Our training and awards courses range from a taster day to a comprehensive Alpine navigation week.  As we are based in the Alps, our courses cover specific skills for hiking in these mountains, such as the use of IGN maps, signposting systems, alpine weather and hiking at altitude. For younger hikers, we offer children’s navigation courses and a family navigation day. We are accredited with the National Navigation Awards Scheme (NNAS) in the UK. Currently, we deliver the NNAS Bronze and Silver awards and the NNAS Outdoor Discovery Awards.

What the navigation school offers:

If you don’t see the course for you, or you are looking for alternative dates, just drop us a line and we will see what we can organise for you. If you have a group of four or more people, we can offer group rates or bespoke courses so get in touch.

NNAS Bronze AwardNNAS logo

A two-day beginner navigation course in the Alps, leading to an accredited navigation award. The NNAS Bronze Navigator Award will teach you to navigate using linear features, learning map orientation, navigation strategies, distance estimates and basic compass skills. We will also cover the basics of safe, responsible hill-walking practices in the Alps.

Chamonix 23rd-24th October 2023 – €160 Course only
Chamonix 1st-2nd July 2024 – €160 Course only

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NNAS Silver Award

A two-day intermediate navigation course in the Alps, leading to an accredited navigation award. The NNAS Silver Naviator Award will expand on the skills of the Bronze award, teaching you to navigate away from paths using contour interpretation, compass techniques, route planning and appropriate navigation strategies. Safe, responsible hillwalking practices will also be covered.

Chamonix 25th-26th October 2023 – €160 Course only
Chamonix 4th-5th July 2024 – €160 Course only

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Extended Navigation Course

Hiking by a glacierOur five-day course allows you to gain both Bronze and Silver NNAS Navigator Awards in one week. The first tw
o days will consist of the NNAS Bronze Award. Between the courses, a day of guided alpine hiking will let you practice your new-found navigation skills under the watchful eye of your tutor. The final two days will give you the chance to take the NNAS Silver course and assessment.

Chamonix 1st-5th July 2024 – €320 Course only

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Courses for Young Navigators

SignpostOur navigation school offers a range of courses for youngsters aged seven and upwards. These courses introduce and develop navigational skills in a fun way through games and play, with themed days for different ages. We are able to offer the NNAS Outdoor Discovery Awards on these courses. All children taking part will have the opportunity to gain an ODA Star Award. These go from One Star to Three Star as the children gain skills and experience.

We also offer a family navigation day where children and their parents can learn to navigate together. Teenagers are welcome to either take part in the family course or to join one of our adult navigation courses.

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Introduction to Navigation

Map reading on Cote BelleThis one-day course will introduce you to the world of maps. Assuming no prior knowledge, we will build up your knowledge of maps and how to use them. The idea is to learn the essential skills in simple steps. We will spend the morning on practical exercises close to the resort. These will teach you the basic techniques of maps and compasses. Lunch will be followed by a short theory session before we head off on a short hike to practice our new skills.

Further details coming soon. Please contact us at bookings@whitemarmotte.com to learn more or to make a booking enquiry.

Hiking skills course

This five-day course will give you the confidence needed to take on Alpine hikes on your own. You will learn navigation, route planning and the practical skills needed for a day’s walk in the mountains. Five days will give us the time to mix the training element with some challenging hikes. This course has no assessment element.

Further details coming soon. Contact us to learn more or to make a booking enquiry.

Navigation on snow

Winter navigation schoolIn winter, the paths are buried under snow, signposts are rarer and visibility can deteriorate rapidly. Descending on skis or snowboard makes it hard to estimate distances too. It is easy to see how navigation is more challenging on snow. At the same time, shorter days give us less room to make mistakes.

This one-day course looks at the specific challenges of navigating over snow, and the strategies to solve them. We also look at the tools available to help us, from altimeters to mobile apps.

Further details coming soon. Contact the navigation school to learn more or to make a booking enquiry.