Aiming Off, Attack Points and Handrails
These three techniques are described below. Deciding which one to use for a particular situation is critical. For some situations it will be best not to use any of them but to head straight for the target.
Aiming Off is used when the target lies on a linear feature such as a ridge, stream or track.
In the example shown the task is to go from point A to the bothy. The bothy is situated at the side of a prominent stream. If we head directly for the bothy but don't hit it straight on then we won't know which way to turn to locate the bothy. By intentionally 'aiming off' to hit the stream to one side of the bothy we will know which way to turn.
An attack point is a feature that is relatively close to your target but is more significant and easier to find.
In the example shown the task is to go from point A to the bothy. The knoll is fairly close to the bothy and will be easier to find. Locate the knoll first and then head in a new direction to the bothy. The knoll is the attack point in this example.
'Handrailing' can be used when there is a linear feature that will take us towards the target.
In the example shown the task is to go from point A to the summit. The edge of the forest is a linear feature which can be followed towards the summit.
Setting the Map
Ticking off features
Taking & Following a Compass Bearing
Estimating Distance Travelled
Aiming Off, Attack Points, Handrails
Symbols and Grid References
Safety and skills information is provided courtesy of Mountaineering Scotland