9th May 2017
The annual adventure sport enrichment trip ‘Mountain Madness’ saw a group of adventure sport learners from a range of courses (Level 2 right through to Level 4) travel up to the Lake District to spend a week exploring one of England’s most picturesque National Parks. The trip is run each year in order to provide the learners with an opportunity to gain quality mountain days and lead climbs to add to their logbooks, which are crucial in order to achieve National Governing Body awards such as ‘Mountain Leader’ and therefore boost employability. It is also an opportunity to introduce the learners to a new area of the country for adventures and this year included a visit to Outward Bound Ullswater, this gave the learners a valuable insight into centre life with the original adventure residential providers.
After a number of weeks of beautiful weather, the first day saw the team heading up to the start of striding edge (a knife edge ridge leading up to the third highest mountain in England) in strong northerly winds and the threat of snow in the air. With threatening skies the decision was made to go for it and the team excelled traversing the ridge supporting and encouraging each other through the more exposed and tricky sections. It was excellent to see all of the different courses pull together and make quick work of the ridge, especially with the buffeting winds and snow showers pummelling us as we went. From here the team carried on up to the summit of Helvellyn. There was time for a quick bite to eat and the obligatory team summit photo before heading down via Swirral Edge and Catyscam.
Buoyed by the success of day 1, day 2 was another mountain day scrambling up Jacks Rake on Pavey Ark in the beautiful Great Langdale Valley. This south facing crag was selected after the wind chill the previous day and the team, again being very supportive of each other, diagonally traversed up the face of Pavey Ark, with it feeling lot more like the temperatures we had left behind in Devon. A circle of the Langdale Pikes and decent taking in the Dungeon Ghyll Waterfall finished the day off well.
The final day of the trip saw a slight rise in temperature and an opportunity to climb without fingers dropping off. Again taking advantage of a south facing crag, the team headed to Black Crag which was a south facing lump of volcanic rock (complete with solidified lava bubbles) located below the summit of Pike O’ Blisco. After Andy had skilfully negotiated the Wrynose Pass in the minibus, the team walked in and spent the day developing skills towards their Single Pitch Award. This included top and bottom rope set ups, developing climbing techniques and traditional lead climbing.
Overall an excellent week was had by all with lots of new experiences, consolidation of prior learning and an opportunity for making new friends. Planning has already started for next year’s trip.
For more photos please see the South Devon College Sport and Adventure Facebook page.
For more information on Sport and Adventure courses, please email [email protected] or call 08000 380123. Alternatively, come along to our next Open Evening on the 17th May 5pm-8pm at our Vantage Point Campus, Long Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EJ.