DVD: Winter Essentials (BMC)
The new Winter Essentials DVD which is jointly produced by the BMC, Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the MLTE proves to be a comprehensive and well thought out product. The producers of Winter Essentials have wisely used the unique capabilities of a DVD to intertwine a ‘role play’ story of two teams (walkers and climbers) as they progress into the Winter environment with 11 separate ‘skills’ chapters covering many of the key skills required to operate safely in Winter.
The DVD will have a broad appeal for anyone who intends to go into the mountains when there is snow on the ground. There are lots of top tips to be gleaned from the scenes and the skills chapters help to re enforce the skills which are required. The DVD format works really well in getting over the messages and would be an excellent addition to any other Winter literature that you may have.
The 11 skills chapters work really well and would be very useful for beginners looking to learn new skills or for ‘old dinosaurs’ brushing up on best practice. As an instructor I would really recommend this DVD for anybody going into the mountains in Winter though it certainly is no replacement for hands on experience.
The only disappointing aspect of the DVD, for me, was the section on Avalanche Awareness. This is a massive subject to cover in the few minutes available on the DVD and it would have been good to see a few graphics and have a bit of re-enforcement of key issues.
This really is one of the best Winter Skills information packages available and its use of the DVD format works very well. Everything is important in winter so as your teacher used to say ‘watch and learn’.
Reviewed by Jenny Timms on behalf of planetFear