Expedition & Wilderness Medicine Course Overview
This four-day Expedition & Wilderness Medicine course takes place at Plas Y Brenin, The National Mountain Centre, in Capel Curig, Snowdonia.
The course's lecture and outdoors education programme (60/40) is designed to challenge course members both mentally and physically. Skills are taught in a logical order, with sessions building on each other and culminating in a morning of moulage and subsequent feedback.
Included in the course fee is a detailed Expedition & Wilderness Medicine manual.
Members of the teaching faculty have been selected not only for their academic qualifications but also for their expedition experience, and their ability to communicate their knowledge and skills with passion and enthusiasm. One of the most select faculties of expedition-experienced teachers in the UK, their experience ranges from Antarctica to Namibia, China to Chile. They are all active in their varied fields of expedition and wilderness medicine, and continue to undertake expeditions and expand their skills. We count ourselves fortunate, both in being able to attract them in the first place, and also in managing to gather them all in one place at the same time...
Our reputation and experience also helps us to attract inspirational guest lecturers who are leaders in their field, with past speakers including Sir Chris Bonnington, Sundeep Dhillon, Steve Venables, Simon Yates, Jamie Andrews, Mike Stroud, Jim Milledge, Steve Jones, Luanne Freer and Andy Cave.
What to expect
The course offers an excellent balance between lectures and practical activity. During the first three days, half the day is taken up with lectures, with the other half spent in smaller group teaching sessions and practical activities. Lectures include 1-hour slots on many areas of expedition medicine including Hot Weather Medicine, Cold Weather Medicine, Altitude Medicine, Diving Medicine, Communication Systems, Pre-Expedition Planning and Casualty Evacuation.
After lunch on day two, participants spend three or four hours outside practising rope work, navigation and improvised carrying techniques. Frequent smaller group teaching sessions encourage everyone to ask questions and share best practice. These sessions can be inside or outside, so - as this is Wales - a full waterproof shell and good outdoor clothing are essential. (Outside sessions may be run in basic shelters in inclement weather.)
The final morning involves a large-scale search and rescue exercise, involving a sustained stretcher carry. This is intense, physical work at times, but we encourage people to work to their own limits rather than feel completing any activity they're uncomfortable with.
The timetable is packed, but those wishing to explore the mountains and lakes usually take a morning run, swim (not for the faint-hearted!) or bike ride. Our optional evening lectures are extremely well-attended, and leave time for drinks and campfire tales with new friends and colleagues.
PYB is a modern, well-equipped centre with fantastic staff and facilities, and shared, en-suite rooms. The food is home-made and wholesome, and all dietary requirements are well catered for. If you wish to stay on, please contact Plas y Brenin directly, or have a look at the wide variety of local hotels and holiday accommodation.