Category: Mike’s Group 2013

Mike’s group – Friday

So here are some photos from our last day of activities at the Afon Ddu Gorge, despite there being LOTS more water than we would usually expect to see! All of the students had a great day (we hope).

The students have been a great bunch to work with this week.


Nick Terziyski’s report:

Today, our group, Snowflakes, met up and it was decided that we would go to the Black Gorge. We were looking forward to another activity day, as we had climbed three mountains in three days, and felt like a change. Yesterday, we went sea-level traversing, and we had really enjoyed this activity. So we were very pleased that this was chosen. This meant lots of water and lots of getting wet. We had to do a lot of preparation. We had to get a change of clothes, try on life jackets, wash and give back in our walking boots, give in our gloves and try on some wellies.

All three groups were gorging today and we were the first to arrive. We put on our harnesses and life jackets and off we went. I was the first to fall in however it was the only time that I fell in. After this we saw Alice fall in at least 100,000,000,000,000,000 times. On the way down there were various waterfalls which we could slide down.

We had to do a lot of scrambling to get up the strong current of the water, and today was a particularly wet day, as apparently usually, in other years, there had been much less water. This meant that one of the big parts of the waterfall which we could climb, was off limits, as it was very dangerous, and we could get trapped if timed it wrong; so we had to walk up the side of this part. This amount of water meant that the rocks and footholds were very slippery and not easy to climb, making it harder and slower to do.

There was a point when I stepped in what I thought was a small puddle but turned out to be a two metre deep whole I managed to recover and I did not really fall in. The water was freezing cold and made Lily feel like she was dead. We all had to change as we were soaked. The girls were allowed to change in the forest whereas we boys had absolutely no privacy at all changing behind an average sized tree!

We got back before any other group which gave us all time to have a nice, long, hot shower. Our evening activities were slightly different today as we were all put in 6 groups for a quiz. My team finished last as Craig’s team were awarded extra points for his shocking dancing.

Snowflakes in action

DIGITAL CAMERAToday, many people in SNOWFLAKES were excited about today’s adventures, than before, as we had climbed 3 mountains in 3 days, and NEEDED a break! We were all very tired, and had climbed Snowdon yesterday. Today we had an activity day, – less tiring!

A filling breakfast still had a complaining Nick Terziyski, who was still very annoyed at having a small pizza yesterday-evening, but his annoying complaints were made-up-for, when he dropped his own banoffee pie into his hands and crushing it, and then was made to eat it himself!

Our group met together in the dining room, as usual, and had our routine prep talk. We discussed and chose to go sea-level traversing, one of the activities possible!

After getting ready and collecting ropes, safety buoyance aids, and helmets, we got into the coach and drove off to the coast which was around 45 minutes away. Once again, we were accompanied by Nick Terziyski’s classic singsongs, and now have a radio in our NEW coach!

We got to a car park, a 10 minute walk from the rock cliffs, the choppy sea crashing against them, and strolled to it, carrying heavy equipment.

Lou, our team leader, set up a climb for us, moving across the cliff, by attaching ropes to parts in the cliff, low down. This was a challenging task for us to do, as it was very low to the choppy, cold, strong waves. We had to clip our karabiner hooks to the ropes.

Everyone coped with the slippery hook holds in the cliffs, apart from Lily O’Brien, who now has a phobia of sea water, after hating the feeling of two waves crashing over her while doing the climb! Whilst Jasmine and Nick had finished, the others were still going as they were challenging harder waves and trying to figure out what was a few steps ahead of them. After the first challenge of traversing we travelled a few metres to a new type of cliff and Lou went ahead to set up the rope for us to face. Once we started this scramble we immediately went down towards the sea and we had to jump over a metre and a half gap to carry on the traversing along the high but very exciting edge of the cliff.

Many funny things had happened, including, just when Adam was finishing the second part of the activity, he was so dumb enough to clip his hooks onto the next line, under the line before, trapping himself! It took him a long while to figure out what he had done wrong! This was very funny and everyone who saw laughed! Though this was not the first thing he and others had done wrong….

After finishing the second activity, we moved on to do a very cool zip-wire. Lou set it up between 2 cliff shoulders, with the strong sea crashing up, firing spray into the air, in the middle of it. Everyone was brave enough to do this, and it was very fun!

This was a very fun day, in which everyone enjoyed, apart from the very scared Lily!

Written by Adam and Ed.

Rain, rocks and “did we really push that bus?”

IMGP0228We started off the day with a big breakfast for the long day ahead; climbing Snowdon (largest mountain in Wales and England). As a group we decided to have a challenging day instead of a more relaxed as the weather towards the end of the week was turning windy and we don’t want to be blown of a mountain, now do we? We packed our bags and set off for the day ahead, not knowing what was waiting for us.

Parked up and ready to go; we started to climb the mountain all working as a team, taking turns to guide the group along. Unfortunately, the whole group was more excited for the chocolate spread sandwiches in our bag other than reaching the top of the mountain due to the weather conditions thrown at us from above. When we stopped to rest ourselves, Mike (our instructor) told us many myths of the great Snowdon including kings, giants and lakes.

Towards the top of Snowdon it began to get steeper and we became weaker but we pushed through and worked together to get to the highest point in Wales and England. As we finally reached the peak we were all proud of our achievement and glad we made the hard journey up, taking many pictures of our progress.

We expected the worst was over but we didn’t see the 2 billion mile long path which was said by mike to take 15 minutes but 40 minutes later we were STILL WALKING. Our feet hurting and Darcie desperately needing a toilet, seeing the mini bus and toilets was a highlight of our lives.

Rushing onto the mini bus to get back to the warm, dry mountain centre, we didn’t know our journey would be delayed by 45 minutes due to the mini bus not starting. At first we thought we would be dry but needing to push the bus into a parking space meant outside wet and moving our muscles. Sitting on the bus waiting for Mr Alderson to pick us up we amused ourselves by singing, laughing and solving Ed’s issues.

Eventually we moved into a WORKING, WARM bus to make our journey back. With a delicious dinner waiting for us back at the centre we enjoyed making Mr Alderson cringe at our singing to Beyonce. Warm and dry in the dining hall we laughed back at the eventful day we had and wouldn’t change it for a chocolate biscuit.

Overall good memories had been made for the snowflakes group and will remember it forever.

Ella Barker and Alice Nolan-Bryant

Nick’s Karma

This Lily and Courtney’s account of today. We started with a half hour journey to the mountain Cnicht, on the way Nick, Adam and Ed started singing the Friends theme tune with amazing harmonies. When we got there we looked at the summit of the mountain, and all thought that the day would be easier than yesterday. As we went along the day we realised this was true. The girls put their waterproofs on as soon as we got off the mini bus, the boys were complaining that we were taking too much time. We began walking up a steep stream, with a few breaks by the stone walls.  We used these for rests, shelter from the weather, drinking and eating. It then started raining and the boys were forced to put their waterproofs on, and they started to complain and took more time than the girls. We then continued up the mountain, which started to get easier. Along the way we had to do scrambling, sometimes there was an easier route to just continue our journey to the summit of Cnicht. Some people took the harder route and some the easier, depending on how they felt and if they were a bit more tired. The majority took the scrambling route. We stopped again roughly half way, before the journey to the very top of Cnicht. We stopped to eat, drink and rest. Just before we started walking again the typical Welsh weather decided to hail on us. We saw a man with a dog coming back down the mountain, so let him pass before we continued. Jasmine and Darcie then stroked him, which led them to missing their own dogs. When Lou started talking to the man, he told her that it wasn’t his dog. The dog was a stray that had led and followed the man to show him a safe way up and down the mountain. The stray dog then followed us part of the way up, then went back to the man in red. We found that climbing up the peak of the mountain was less tiring, even though the wind was very strong blowing us in every direction. We continued up and when we were at the summit of the mountain we all had a group photo. When you looked behind us, the drop was very steep and the wind was blowing us towards the drop. The walk back down was much funnier and more relaxed. It started off with a steep walk, but then flattened out and became very boggy, this is where everyone started slipping over, except Nick. Nick was laughing his head off whilst everyone was giggling in the background. We continued whilst everyone was slipping and trying their hardest not to fall. Lily, Courtney and Jasmine were falling over every 5 minutes in the bogs and the slippery rocks with the rest of our team falling over as well. We then started walking down more rocks, and this is when Nick’s karma began. He started slipping and fell over. One of the times when he fell he just stayed lying in the boggy mud until the rest of our team caught up. This was funny because his gloves had just dried, when he slipped and made them wet again. We continued walking, which Nick then rushed ahead in the wrong direction (Oops). We then saw some sheep and the first thing Jasmine said was “The sheep have their ears pierced” which was obviously a fashion statement. We then continued the trek downwards. When we got to the road Nick and Courtney had a race back to the mini bus, which Courtney won! Her first completed Mountain. On the way back we were all singing a trilogy of songs with amazing harmonies for Ed, and great songs to all join in on.

Mike’s group – Monday

Mike and Keith’s group.

This is Jasmine and Darcie writing to tell you all about our fantastic day out to climb the colossal Glyder fawr. We started our day with a very chatty journey to the rendezvous, where we would start our exhilarating fight with the mountain to get to the peak destination; where later we wouldn’t be able to see our starting point from the overwhelming clouds.

As we had started escalating up what seemed like a mountain in its self, I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make it but by pushing myself to the limits and made it to the stop. At this point I had been huffing and puffing but still had my hat on, I decided I would remove the hat my mum had gave me ‘the magic hat’ one that would keep me warm no matter what the weather, as I took the magical hat off my friend, Ella, burst out laughing as I had the WORST hat hair in the history of the Kent Mountain Centre hat hair entries in all the years Dane court had been going. After the ‘situation’ at the stop we carried on moving and as soon as we knew it, we were standing on the middle of the mountain wondering what to do with Courtney’s ankle as on the way up she had caught it in-between two very tight rocks. Unfortunately she couldn’t carry on so she and Keith had to return to the cafe at the bottom.

We triumphed up to the part of the mountain where the clouds seemed to swarm over us and we looked down for the first time in a while and there we were on the edge of the mountain staring at our soon deaths (Keith’s comment – a little bit extreme perhaps!!). We had the first cry of the day… Ella had an emotional moment as she was scared as she didn’t believe that Mike knew where he was going, we reassured her that the man who had been climbing since he was 11 years old, knew what he was doing.

No sooner we were sitting with a fellow climber on a block of rocks eating our lunch and a nice hot cup of hot chocolate from our flasks. We headed on straight to the peak, only 90 feet further up, and we posed for a photo. All sliding down the side of the mountain, we had reached the place where we started… the bottom as we, (meaning the girls) slowly made our way back to the toilets as we did not want to go on the mountain, only seeing the boys in their seats as they had decided to run back to the van (no idea where they got their energy from) and we had a peaceful return back to the house.