After a long journey which ended with a hair-raising drive up steep, narrow roads, we finally reached the stunning Carneddau mountain range in Snowdonia, North Wales..
We left the minibus parked and began our 2 day hike in glorious sunshine carrying all our equipment, tents and food..
..heading up to a fairly remote lake called Llyn Cowlyd. The trek involved some steep climbing up Moel Eilio, a peak of 546m..
followed by a rough descent through some very prickly gorse bushes and muddy bogs..
We climbed up one last slope to look down at a marshy, soggy, uneven area we were about to call home for the night – no nicely sheltered campsite for our Gold group, this was proper camping! After getting over the shock, the students erected their new tents and cooked dinner..
..before settling down for a rather cool night..
Toilet facilities consisted of a trowel and any rock you could hide behind – suffice it to say the offer of the trowel wasn’t taken up, with the group opting for self control followed by a sprint to the nearest convenience on the way back!
We woke to find the weather was just as sunny and beautiful as the first day, and an easier walk back to the bus ended this stage of our training.
All the students acquitted themselves very well and were a real credit to the school. They all thoroughly enjoyed the expedition despite the heavy rucksacks, hard climbs and all that gorse….just see what they have to say about it themselves..
“I thought that the practice expedition was good because we stayed as a team, there was good communication (apart from me getting stung by nettles). On the downside I didn’t like carrying the tents but hey ho, that’s D of E for you, oh and I’m not going to talk about the water we had to get out of the reservoir! I would also like to thank Mr Taylor, Mr Hollinworth and Mr Lawrence for buying me Greggs on the way back, I had a BBQ chicken roll and some jam doughnuts. I also think you knackered us out. Thanks again for a cracking expedition with me, Jack and Kingsley in the new three man tents that are so comfy!” – Liam
“The whole expedition was a pleasure to be part of (even though it was a nightmare using a trench for a toliet!) The teamwork was phenomenal, helping each other and pulling some-one up that big hill! It was brilliant sitting at the top enjoying the view, we had a right laugh. I’d like to thank the staff who took us to Wales, it’s been the best expedition yet!!!!” – Jack
“It was a good experience! It was very tiring walking up the hill. I thought the water in the lake would be dirty but it was really clean. The ration packs were really good and it was the first time we put the tents up but we did it. The best thing was the feeling of achievement afterwards even though I felt like giving up half way through. I feel I’ve achieved a goal!” – Kingsley
We’re looking forward to the 4 day qualifying expedition that will take place in the last week of the summer term – might need the summer holidays to recover!!
We’ll leave you with the rest of the photos so you can get an idea of how much we enjoyed our trip, or you can view them in higher quality on our Facebook page here