Snowcapped peaks were the only indication that the 5 days of training and practice were taking place in March, as the sun beat down on our Sixth Formers ready to take on their training for Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The 2 days in Capel Curig of navigation training based in their own lodge accommodation allowed the students to prepare correct food and have only the appropriate clothing for their 3 days out "on the hill."
The very warm spring sun meant sun cream was a new addition in the rucksacks as the ascent of Snowdon started on Saturday morning. The ice and snow on the top restricted a full accent but the 8 hours of walking into Lake Gwynant was a stamina sapping day. The physical demands did take its toll and not all the students were able to continue beyond day 1. A subzero temperature camp was the only drawback of the balmy weather but the remaining six students set off for wild camp in good spirits.
The second day saw the group finish at a wild camp above Moel Sibod after another day of warm sunshine and hefty climbing allowing all to experience the tranquil quarry waters as they camped by the waterfront.
Day 3 came and all six students displayed great resilience and application in organising their kit for a final descent back into Capel Curig, after nearly 40 kilometres of independent trekking. The support of the mountain leaders, who closely monitored navigation skills and also camped in the wild camp, cannot be underestimated in building the confidence and skills of the students to enable them to cope with the unpredictable conditions.
The six students deserve great credit for their achievements over the 5 days as they now plan for their Assessed Expedition at the end of June in the Brecon Beacons.
Published: Wednesday, 29th March 2017