Feedback, Reviews and Customer Testimonials
Checkout what clients thought of the day they booked with us and get the confidence you need to book on a course.
Thanks for a great weekend, I learnt a lot, from all your team and all the other folk on the course so I'm now massively inspired to do my first ultra, I learnt lots of tips and techniques and can't wait to do some longer runs.
Julie Taylor (Attended the 2017 Ultra Trail Skills Weekend)
Can I just say a massive thank you & what an amazing weekend I've just had! I am totally on a natural high and cannot stop smiling ! You & your team , Nicola , Paul , Dale & Damian have been awesome! As someone coming into this area of running I can't believe how much I have learnt from this weekends session ! I feel I have made so many friends too ( some of us have already made plans to meet up ) I will most definitely recommend what you do to others who want to start dabbling with this sort of adventure!
Elizabeth Mason (Attended the 2017 Ultra Trail Skills Weekend)
Thank you so much for a throughly enjoyable race over Wansfell today, No doubt there's a huge amount of work involved. Lots of friendly marshals & great route marking. Lovely to have Joss starting it. Your comments about litter were spot on, I collect it from Scafell Pike thro the summer & it has no place on our fells.
The views today were fantastic, I'm not suprised it's a favourite training run. With very best wishes & thanks to you & all the helpers - Wansfell Trail Race 2016
Lindsay Buck, Cumberland Fell Runners
I just wanted to thank you again for the course at the weekend.
We were extremely fortunate with the weather, which of course helped, but I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the weekend. It was great to get to do some mountain navigation (even if only the basic stuff) and to gain a bit of confidence with map and compass.
But there is no doubt that Sunday's session on the rocks and ridges was truly brilliant. Pinnacle Ridge will be imprinted in my memory for a while.. It didn't scare me, but it certainly opened my eyes to the skills I need to acquire before I could consider entering a 'real sky race' .
Next year... maybe......
Ciara Downes and Zephie (Springer Spaniel) - Lakes Sky Ultra Training Weekend June 2016
I'd booked onto the OMM skills day to try and fine tune some of my nav skills. I've completed numerous mountain marathons but really wanted to try and take my navigation a bit further and develop my understanding of smaller features on the map.
The course started studying previous maps and talking through the theoretical aspects navigation. From there we headed out onto the hill and put the ideas into practice. Moving across the hill it was good to see different techniques employed by others on the course as we sought out small features. The discussions based around identifying features was particularly useful and clarified that navigation is not black magic but merely a technique which must be practiced. Overall, it was a very enjoyable and useful day in the hills. Charlie is a very competent navigator and instructor who is clearly at home in the mountains.
Matt Poxon - Oct 2015
Joe Horne on Bob Graham support and coaching:
"I think it's important to take the time out now and again to stop and think about experiences and people that pass through our lives. Like the majority of endurance athletes I am quick to move onto the next days training or event without appreciating the moment that has just been. I rarely write reviews for anything but thought it was important to pass on a few comments about a recent adventure with Charlie.
The Bob Graham was a natural progression from a string of Ironman races, lakes tri's and fell racing in general. I had supported a few friends on legs and of course read "feet in the clouds". And so I embarked on a years preparations. This quickly fell flat on its face as I needed to get up onto the fells on my own at times and my navigation skills are shocking. I began to feel a little fraudulent as yes I have the motivation to run all day on coffee and banana but the Bob is more than fitness. The Bob is about learning the fells and the terrain.
I needed support and found this in Charlie. He has done what most of us are scared to do and really persude a passion by moving himself and family to the lakes and making mountain running his business. He has a holistic way of running and approaching life in general. I connected with his view of the world and very quickly knew I was in safe hands.
Charlie gave me a very fair price on a 3 day Bob recci 6 weeks before the main event. I think it's important to note just how beneficial a 3 day heavy hike is for conditioning the legs and heart. With a little rest post recci I can confirm my legs have never felt as strong. I have mentioned this a few times at races recently including Chamonix and a number of quality runners have confirmed this is a protocol they use with great effect.
Charlie offered a number of other navigation lessons and we quickly got to the date of my attempt. I got a phone call the day before in which Charlie advised the weather was looking nasty. I made the decision that I had to go as my heavily pregnant wife would probably kill me if a delayed it. The Bob is important but the birth of my daughter was a priority. We set off at 11pm from Keswick and I didn't even have a map. Happy to follow Charlie for the first two legs before a changeover at dunmail with Joe Faulkner. Charlie had got Joe on board and I later found out just how impressive joe's mountaineering C.V is (spine race x2). As we ran out of threlkeld the weather quickly deteriorated into a storm. Visibility was horrendous and I wasted a lot of energy fighting head on Gale force winds. I was cold and sodden through. Despite this Charlie remained on a perfect line (as confirmed by gps later). He reminded me to eat and remained calm and professional.
We got into dunmail on schedule but the storm had turned dangerous and the professional mountain guides advised that to go on would not be sensible. I made the decision to leave the round for another day and was in weatherspoons within the hour. Without Charlie's words of wisdom I may well have been calling for mountain rescue or worse. It's good to fail now and again as it makes success that little bit sweeter.
I would encourage anybody thinking about an attempt of the Bob to get in contact with Charlie as this may well be the first step in Completing the most historic and breathtaking round of fells the lakes have to offer."
Note: This attempt was stopped due to bad weather, of which we had advised, but Joe was hell bent on making his attempt still. It was a valiant effort in severe weather conditions. Joe will be making a successful attempt again soon. (August 3rd 2015)
“I had a great day with Charlie Sproson yesterday. It was great fun, extremely informative & very very well presented (even my tiny brain coped with it) He is a great instructor, hugely reassuring, complimentary & encouraging all at the same time. The course is well worth attending for all levels.
It was held in a fabulously remote in a beautiful valley below Helvellyn (Glenridding). From here we could access untouched moorland & really use the terrain and maps to their full potential. We soon learned to spot the smallest detail on the various maps that he employed (ie Harveys et al.)
We even used a tiny little ‘u’ shape on the map & matched it to a small boulder that was poking out of the vast hillside in front of us to help pinpoint where we were positioned. Following this we used a very slight shoulder in the terrain beneath our feet (only about 30ft long) to help us pinpoint a much bigger shoulder further up the dale. It was fascinating.
We were given copies of everything that we had covered & numerous web sites to look into regarding the plethora of questions that we fired at him.
I haven’t stopped pawing over maps & compass’ since! In fact I became so intrigued by the whole subject that I ended up reading into sun dials & the magnetic effects of the poles! Crazy or what!
Thank you very much, it has to be the most informative & enjoyable training that I have been lucky enough to participate in through NWUK.”
Gilly Payne – NWUK Instructor
I just wanted to thank you and Nicola for a very well run and useful course on Friday. You'll be pleased to know that I went up Red Screes on Saturday (visibility ~100m) and managed to safely navigate back to Ambleside along the ridge using bearings and contour awareness. Your instruction has given me the confidence to tackle these situations.
Perhaps see you next year at the Marmot Dark Mountains.
Charlie, thank you so much for a great training day, we all loved the time we spent with you and thank you for putting this on for us and for welcoming us into your home. You were extremely patient, clear and enthusiastic. You checked entry behaviour and pitched the level of the lessons accordingly. You gave plenty of opportunities for questions and gave clear responses. You were mindful of my low energy levels and adapted the planned route to suit this and I appreciated this heaps.
Tzvetie Erohina said this about 1:1 mountain skills course for Navigation, Uphill and Downhill Techniques and Natural Running Skills
I cannot believe ho quickly time flies. I got back a bit over a week
ago and work hit with a vengeance.
On the Friday after the course I stayed to run/walk the Catbells/Maiden Moor ridge. I had to use my navigating skills the first few hours as the visibility was pretty poor, but then just as I was approaching Maiden moor it cleared up. I have to say that I mostly did a lot of walking up the steep sections. I had brought my poles with me and they helped on the way up, I felt like they were getting in the way on the way down until I hit the descent off Hindscath. That was just absolutely amazing. I could not believe that I was running down it. I would not have had the confidence the week before and now I was just cruising down. I ended up using the poles a lot and I think the steepness really helped cement the link with skiing for me. It really felt like I had clicked. I was tired by the end of the 13+miles, but I had had such a great time. Now I need to work on using the poles well on the other 90% of the runs. I found the course that we did really useful and especially linking running to skiing which had never crossed my mind. Once that had time to sink it, I think it has made a big difference. Thank you! Another thing that was really helpful was you watching me and giving the feedback. I think what could be great for some of your courses is to film people and then show them the footage. That tends to be a very powerful tool of helping people see how they can improve.
The expedition medicine course was good. A few of the things were new, some were not, but it was nice meeting like-minded people. There was a little gang of us who would get up early and run/walk up on the fell.
Such a great feeling and with the weather we had it was simple amazing. I am grinning just remembering it."