St Edmund's

School News

CCF Adventure Training in Wales

After a long journey the day before, the group woke up bright and early, ready to set off for a day of mountain walking and scrambling. The older members of the group met with their weather worn experienced instructors, and after a quick briefing over a model of the mountain, we set off. The going began quite easily, before we headed off the beaten track and up the Glyder Fawr. The potential dangers of this endeavour became apparent quite early, as one staff member twisted their knee and had to return to the minibuses. Nevertheless, we continued on, and after an hour or so, came to the first bit of scrambling. This entailed a form of movement somewhere between walking and climbing, and the entire group handled it well. We made quick progress, and before we knew it, we had reached the summit. There wasn’t much time for celebration though, as we were warned that the way down is at least as important as the way up (who’d have thought). Additionally, due to our quick progress, our instructors decided to take us up another mountain. This one was far easier, and involved no scrambling. After a brief stop at the summit to warm our hands and get some food, we descended down the other side, with many wishing they had taken up Major Hawkins on his offer of walking poles. Once down, we returned to base to rest up for another day of mountain walking.

Sunday heralded an even speedier turn out for the group, as today we intended to scale the north face of Tryfan. While being a lot shorter in terms of distance than what we had done previously, we were assured that it made up for this in difficulty. We were prepared for this and made quick progress, walking and scrambling up the face with no issue. We quickly made it to the top, and enjoyed our lunch 917 metres above sea level at the peak of Tryfan. This left the descent, which went far better than the day before due to our possession of walking poles.

Fortunately, the sun decided to show its face for once and this allowed us to properly take in the stunning views. Having reached the bottom, we headed back to base and relaxed after what our instructors told us was a “remarkable” achievement of getting up Tryfan.

Day 3 marked a change in plan, as the group was split in half to enjoy two separate activities. One group enjoyed rock climbing in the morning just round the corner from the base, with abseiling off a daunting 100ft drop. However, everyone rose to the challenge and made it down, once again impressing our instructors. The other group had a longer drive, as we had to find a gorge to scramble up. Having changed into our wetsuits, we thought we were prepared for everything. However, the freezing cold water took even the teachers by surprise, and it took a while for everyone to get used to it. Nevertheless, the group battled on, and made quick progress scrambling and swimming up the gorge. Some enjoyed it more than others, but all managed to get through and surpass this challenge.

Coasteering was the activity for day 4. The group split up again, this time into 3 teams to stagger our entry into the sea. With the water arguably colder even than the gorge the day before, and conditions wet and windy, it was a tough day. Once again though the group showed determination and jumped, swam and climbed with skill. Special mention to Mr Kincaid and Henry Goodwin who braved the heights and completed an additional 10m jump into the sea. After this gruelling day, we were delighted to be welcomed back to some hot chocolate.

The final day of activities saw us back in two groups, ready for the activity we hadn’t done on day 3. The rock climbers once again showed great skill, with good development in belaying and climbing alike. With the abseiling again most of the group managed it down with relative ease. And some enjoyed it so much that they went twice! As for the gorge scrambling, much mental fortitude was shown to fight through, with the water being reportedly colder than the first time.

Overall the trip was very enjoyable, with the entire group showing impressive resilience to overcome the challenges set in their way. Thanks to Sergeant Major French for organising the trip, Major Hawkins for organising us, and Lt Anderson, Lt Kincaid, Mr Coupe and Lt Lea for accompanying and helping us throughout.

Report by Henry Goodwin