Blog: CCF Adventure Training in Snowdonia
On 5 April St Edmund’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) departed for 5 days in Wales for their annual Adventure Training. The group will be staying at the Woodlands Centre in Betws-y-coed in Snowdonia.
The cadets will undertake a variety of adventure training activities that will develop self-confidence, self-reliance, teamwork and leadership in a challenging yet enjoyable and safe environment.
Follow this news report for updates and photos.
Wednesday 10 April
Farewell to Snowdonia
And finally… on a crystal clear spring day, a rarity in these parts I’m led to believe, our cadets took on their final challenges.
Groups B & C disembarked the minibus, at the Pen-y-Pass car park, and headed for the highest point in England and Wales, Snowdon. At 1085m the going was always going to be tough. However, with all the cadets in great spirits, and galvanised by the impressive views they knew would await, progress was keenly made. All cadets reached the top in double quick time, with some settling a few scores with Major Hawkins, courtesy of a snow ball or two. The views were awe inspiring, and pleasingly, for the cadets at least, mobile reception was perfect, allowing many to inform their nearest and dearest of their noteworthy achievement.
Group A, having excelled on their test day on Yr Gribin, were given the rare opportunity, and a first for St Edmund’s CCF, to tackle one of Britain’s finest scrambles. At grade 1 the Tryfan North ridge is not for the faint hearted. The challenge became harder still, both physically and mentally, when our guide informed us that the final push to the summit would be via a grade 2 route on the North tower. Undeterred by the exposure, technicality and consequence the cadets gleefully climbed upwards. As the famous Adam and Eve stones appeared in view, our cadets’ elation resounded through the Ogwen valley.
And so finished a fine week of training in Snowdonia. My sincere thanks to the pupils, staff and, of course my SSI, CSgt French, for such a wonderful week. Memories were made, and will be everlasting. Very well done to all involved.
Captain A R Jones
Tuesday 9 April
Groups B & C took on Moel Siabod, via the Daear Ddu ridge. At 872m, with a graded scramble to the summit, this is no mean feat. Cadets impressed staff with their hardy resilience, and skill on the sometimes ‘airy’ ridge line. Once at the top cadets were rewarded with a fine view of the Snowdon horseshoe, and, Colin the Chef’s hearty packed lunch!
Group A were ‘treated’ to a full scramble up Yr Gribin, via the ‘true start’ at the back of Llyn Bochlwyd. The exposed nature of the ridge made for some challenging scrambling, but, cadets overcame their anxieties, and were treated to some of the finest views in Snowdonia as a consequence. Once on the Glyder plateau, cadets enjoyed jumping from rock to rock, culminating in a great photo opportunity on the Cantilever stone.
More challenge awaits…..
Monday 8 April
Today, the cadets were split between coasteering, at Porthdafarch, and the Big Abseil, Holyhead.
Coasteering. Despite the chilliness of the sea, cadets greatly enjoyed clambering onto the rocks, before plunging into the depths, at heights of up to 30ft! Swimming between bays, and regular dance parties on the slate shelves, maintained body temperature, which, coupled to a good helping of adrenaline, enabled pupils to fully enjoy our first foray into this demanding activity.
The Big Abseil. Having practiced abseiling techniques on our first day, cadets were keen to test themselves on the bigger stage. And bigger it was! At 120ft knees trembled as cadets neared the edge, but, fears were conquered and all cadets, and staff, completed the challenge!
The weather is improving, and the high mountains beckon…
Sunday 7 April
After a ‘gentle’ rousing from Major Hawkins, pupils awoke from their slumber, cooked their breakfast, and then, struck camp in a very orderly and impressive manner. Back to base, bags were swapped for the day variant, a quick bite to eat, and then off to Llyn Geiryonydd. Team building was the order of the day, vital with the challenges ahead, and so cadets built and sailed rafts, mostly effectively, completed an orienteering course around the lake and undertook some ropework challenges. Then back for a hard earned Sunday roast!
Saturday 6 April – evening
Overnight camp – After a tough day climbing, cadets set up camp below Snowdon, at the edge of Llyn Gwynant. Tents were erected in double quick time, sleeping arrangements laid out and then cadets cooked their dinner, courtesy of the Army’s ‘delicious’ ration packs! As the light faded pupils huddled around the fire, toasted marshmallows, before retiring to their ‘warm’ tents!
Saturday 6 April – morning
Under the watchful gaze of Tryfan, and in glorious sunshine, reflecting off the snow on the high ground, CCF cadets attempted some challenging climbing and abseiling. Trust was acquired, self-belief instilled and team cohesion developed. A night under the stars awaits…
Friday 5 April
CSgt French (who went ahead of the main party): I have now taken over the house and it’s time to get the food supplies for the cadets when they arrive after the long drive from Canterbury. A tasty hot meal to welcome them before the walking phase tomorrow.