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Geologists Complete Mountain Survival Training Norway -May 2022

The training team from Survival Wisdom completed, phase 2 of the bespoke safety and survival training package. The program was designed and delivered to suit the specialist requirements of a team of Geologists, operating in remote mountain environments, for a Norway based company, tasked with mineral exploration.

The company as part of a duty of care safety and contingency package, asked the Survival Wisdom team to design and deliver this specialist course, using industry experts in safety and survival in remote environnments.

Phase 1- medical course delivered in the South of Norway near, Vikersund Norway. Richard and Ross a UK based Paramedic and Mountain Rescue team member delivered Advanced First Aid techniques, useful to the Geologists in their role operating in mountainous regions.

Phase 2- a change of team and skills, to deliver the mountain expertise. Tip and Lee joined Richard in the delivery of bespoke blend of mountain survival and safety skills. "Tip Cullen" a Royal Marine Reserve and Mountain Leader, brought many years of experience of mountain safety techniques and enormous skills and knowledge, having completed over 24 Norway winters, delivering courses to UK and Nato Forces.

The team also had the great support of Lee, a former Royal Marine and very experienced mountaineer, who is settled and living the "good life" in Norway with his family.

Lee's knowledge and support was invaluable, in liaising with the local landowners and establishing authority, to conduct the full spectrum of training.

The team based themselves out of a stunning lodge approximately 15 km from the training area, which allowed the team to prepare and recce the exercise locations and the lessons prior to the delivery of the program.

All ready the team met the candidates at a local hotel in the beautiful town of Glomfjord and delivered the safety briefs, issued the kit and set the scene for the teams.

A power point brief then followed which set the scene using Survival Wisdoms trade mark Survival Psychology brief and the Survival PLAN. This format provides the structure to all our survival and resilience programs and helps establish and form Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for emergencies.

The geologists also learned about the "Lemons" Risk Assessment methodology, successfully utilised by many of our clients including the incredible world record holding ladies the "Coxless Crew" and the "As seen from the sidecar" world record trip - The team then introduced the Personal Outdoor Plan, (POP) a form that is essential for any explorers and adventurers stepping out into a remote setting. The POP provides a "breadcrumb trail" of information and actions which documents the emergency plan for the staff.

See below example POP. This is a free download but SW ask that you kindly make a donation to your local Mountain Rescue and Emergency services? Thank you!!

POP Blank
Download DOC • 68KB

POP example
Download PDF • 170KB

The teams stepped off and conducted a move, with equipment equivalent to, normal weights carried when conducting geological surveys. The geologists go out with safety kit and safety rucksacks and return with samples which can weigh up to 30kg, so they need to be prepared and conditioned to these situations. As the teams moved through the landscape, rendezvous points were established for emergencies and key lessons were delivered and learned. These lessons included kit preparation, packing, and speed of movement across rough terrain. For some this was their first experience of these conditions, and the challenges of the terrain delivered valuable knowledge and experience from the move into an emergency survival phase and scenario.

As a SW team we picked up on the breadth and experience of this internationally represented group. The facilitators recognised and empowered these experienced geologists who willingly shared their knowledge, of remote region geology and fieldwork. All of the course benefited from this vast knowledge and experience of situations that have occured in fieldwork in many countries such as Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Germany and Norway. We also created a great sense of connection with the environment and encouraged all course members to tune into the nature around them and understand the changing conditions and weather in a mountainous environment. This comes very instinctively to geologists who are really connected to the earth through the geological landscape of rocks and the story they tell. We really learned so much from them about the spectacular geology and the story behind Norways "Cathedral like mountains, valleys and Fjords".

Once the trek was completed the teams were given an emergency scenario and address the priorities of survival using the "Survival PLAN". Over the next days the course received detailed lessons from the Survival Wisdom team following this format starting with all aspects of Protection. This included safe-siting considerations for emergency camps, weather, wind, rescue directions, access to resources including fuel and water to provide "economy of effort" and protect energy resources in a survival situation. The participants received training in emergency survival shelters and fires to get the camp established and they had great energy and enthusiasm in establishing a working survival shelter and light a fire.

Once built and an overnight in this spectacular location, it was time for "show and tell" by the course. This gave the course an opportunity to explain their thought process in construction of the shelters and if they managed to get some rest whilst maintain the fires to keep them warm and process survival water supplies. The course then conducted training on water and how to prepare and store and make fit to drink. The finale was the "Location" lesson and in an emergency how to Atract hold and Direct rescue teams in a mountain emergency situation. This provided the teams the opportunity to see some of the latests rescue location beacons, some simple and life-saving methods using a mirror and whistle and then finally to build a "tripod signal fire" and how effective it is in a wooded environment.

The course now moved to an emergency rendezvous point and had to deal with a few challenges along the way, dealing with a realistic mountain first aid emergency situation.

The team members really embraced the importance of the training, in their role as field Geologists. They had a broad spectrum of experience in field work with some having 25 years experience and others only a few. This added so much to the program as the experienced members felt relaxed and confident enough within our program to share and help develop the other team members. They collectively rasied very important and personal stories of resilience, importantly recognising when things had gone wrong and now recognising why and how to cope with potential emergencies! We were so grateful to receive some incredible feedback as the course developed and at the end, with recognition that this training is and will be invaluable to the future success of their part in KUNIKO EU geological surveys. Thank you to all who took part and thank you to Benny Steiner and Kuniko EU for your support! #expeditions #survival #planning #safety #riskmanagement #adventure #teambuilding #business #coachingperformance For more information on bespoke and professional coaching, safety and survival training contact the team on -0044(0)1752823601 or 0044(0)7854149475 alt email

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