Our Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s teams were the next of our determined young people to complete their practice expedition at the start of the Summer term. Mr Taylor, our DofE manager, accompanied them and can tell us more about the challenges they successfully overcame..
Snowdonia Gold Practice Expedition 24/25 April 2019
Tuesday morning saw two contrasting Gold groups begin their individual practice expeditions. One group would follow accessible aspects of the North Wales coastal path around Bangor and Conway, camping at Penmenmaer overlooking the sea..
The other group were heading for the Welsh mountains to wild camp at Cwm Eigau overlooking rugged mountains, bogs and wild ponies..
What started as a mild, pleasant and sunny day was to change into a wet, windy and a much more demanding proposition as the afternoon wore on. Each group had their own personal challenges as the weather deteriorated which could only be overcome with a positive team effort.
As tents were erected in rain and high winds, the coastal group were informed by another camper that his tent had blown away the previous day..
Meanwhile the mountain group had arrived at their campsite, a disused quarry shrouded in mist and boggy underfoot. The sodden campers were keen to get into their tents and into some drier clothes. Something that could only be done once a warm drink and food were prepared under some difficult conditions..
A few big gusts of wind dislodged some of the tent pegs and added spice to a wet and blustery night, meaning sporadic sleep led to some very tired campers the next morning. The morning wasn’t as dry or sunny as was hoped but better than the previous day. The groups packed up, put on their heavy packs and returned to their buses being followed all the way back by more storm clouds which fortunately only managed to catch up with them once the sanctuary of the bus had been gained.
This was a difficult practice expedition under some demanding conditions. The skills and experience gained will be invaluable to the groups for their upcoming qualifying expeditions where, hopefully, the weather will be much kinder.
Well done everyone, you persevered under very difficult conditions. Once again, we’re indebted to our fantastic staff for guiding and encouraging our young people and making the expedition possible – we hope everyone has dried out properly now!! Here’s wishing for much better weather for your qualifying expedition.