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Catching Features

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Catching Features are features in the landscape that will tell you if you have overshot your target.

In the example shown here the route goes over Sgoran Dubh Mor on route to Sgor Gaoith.

Sgoran Dubh Mor is an important feature to aim for along the way. If you find yourself going downhill before you have identified the summit you know you have gone too far. The downhill slope is the catching feature in this example.


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In this second example the route heads up to the foot of a ridge and then turns to climb the ridge...



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If you miss the foot of the ridge and the turning you will reach the stream and the valley it flows down. This will tell you that you have overshot the turning. Remember that streams are not always reliable features because there might not be any water running in them. It is often the contour feature which a stream flows down which is most significant. Some streams flow down significant features but many of them don't. So always check the contours. The stream and the valley it flows down are the catching feature in this example.

Catching Features should be identified before you set off for your target.

Timing and pacing can also be used as mental catching features.



Safety and skills information is provided courtesy of Mountaineering Scotland