World Challenge 2019 Nepal Training Weekend

World Challenge students head to Snowdonia to train for their big expedition to Nepal in 2019

    As the morning of Friday 2nd November arrived, the team turned up in school with rucksacks full of warm clothes and bags of food for the weekend. The journey from Highcliffe to Snowdonia was as smooth as we could have had and the students got the chance to relax and contemplate what lay ahead.

    A lunch break in Telford was the only significant event in the day before entering Snowdonia National park and the mountains started to appear on the horizon looming like dark chunks of Toblerone!

    Passing “The Ugly House”, yes it exists, we drove into the valley where the campsite was situated in good weather with high clouds and long views. The students were greeted by our expedition leader after having the first of many photo opportunities. Gathered on a rock, all smiles and excitement, the immense North Face of Tryfan loomed behind them. The legendary Adam and Eve stones could be seen on the top of the 918m high mountain. Not the highest in Snowdonia but one of the most spectacular!

    After meeting the training expedition leader, gathering the kit that World Challenge Expeditions had brought for us, tents were put up in the picturesque campsite in the bottom of the glacial Ogwen valley. Once all the groups had set themselves up for the night we drove via the Llanberis Pass, with Snowdon on one side, to our venue for dinner. The team gathered around the large table, the air thick with excited conversation, plates full of fish and chips and steak pie were consumed – vital fuelling for what laid ahead.

    After travelling back from the restaurant in the rain the team got to bed pretty quickly, only to spend the night in what was less than calm conditions. Reports varied for the number of hours sleep people got but what we all knew was that the wind had increased overnight to levels that meant many of us had been attacked by our tents in the night!

    The breakfast and early morning briefing for the day took place and then it was over to the navigation team to get us to the visitor centre at Llyn Ogwen. Having negotiated rough terrain due to a wrong turn, in howling winds and rain the team decided an indoor briefing was a good plan.

    So for a brief time the staff had a hot coffee, the team a cold floor and the weather took a break from attacking us.

    After information was absorbed the brave team pulled on their suits of Gortex and headed outside. The laughter in the face of adverse conditions was brilliant to experience. Through an old Carborundum quarry, the material used for sharpening stones which was exported world-wide, and out into the challenges beyond. Attempts at group photos failed as the students couldn’t maintain an upright stance, needed hoods pulled down and their backs to the wind. Some were even rolling around on the wet grass, because they were laughing too much at the conditions.

    The walk was cut short for obvious reasons and after seeing the lake shore we headed back to the visitor centre from Llyn Idwal on the shortest route. Surprisingly not passing too many other walkers on the way! The walk back to camp was uneventful and quick, with meetings and team cooking to take place in the shelter of the Stone barn. Discussions about health and medication in Nepal, a test run of the team survival shelter and a briefing for Sunday put them all in their beds relatively early. A less noisy night’s sleep was gained and the team arose for breakfast in almost dry conditions.

    Sunday’s walk was to be longer. Up the valley past Little Tryfan, under the shadow of the North Face of Tryfan with Adam and Eve, 2 Iconic mountain landmarks that draw people up the rocky slopes to stand almost 1000m high on a Basalt column, only about 70cm square, before leaping across the gap to the second column with 300ft drops on one side! It was no surprise that the team did not go up to do that as most of the time it was hidden in dense cloud!

    Happy to be walking in slightly better weather, the team made good progress around similar areas to the previous day but on steeper ground. With a few bits of low cloud, rain, wind and sheep we made it back to the campsite safely. A few last bits of admin to go through and we were finished.

    As the team cleaned up we got ready to head back to the restaurant a little earlier than planned to sit with a good hot chocolate and some conversations about the weekend, the expedition and life in general.

    So, after another moonlit drive back past Snowdon, the students once again headed to bed. Aiming to leave by 8:30am the next day to get back to school before dark, they were glad of calmer conditions and warmer temperatures. The drive home was uneventful and quicker than expected.

    We arrived back in school before 3pm, the team unpacked and headed off to their homes, washing machines and hot baths. As myself and Miss Swan looked back on the trip we both counted ourselves as very privilege to have been able to take such an amazing team of students away for a weekend in stunning countryside! All that is left to dream of is Nepal!




    Owned by: PES | Last Published: 28/11/2018 10:59:28 | Next Update: N/A


World Challenge 2019 Nepal Training Weekend


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