A selection of photos taken during the Sunday evening walk and the nightly problem-solving challenges.
Category: Activity Groups 2015
Friday morning, after breakfast, we found our kit to be handed in to the centre before going out on our activities. First, we needed to make sure we gave in the kit we had been assigned for the week. After this we cleaned off, and waxed, our walking boots, before getting ready for the day ahead of us.
Once we arrived at ‘Afon Ddu’ we put on our equipment for gorge walking. This included; a climbing harness, waterproof trousers and coat, wellington boots and a buoyancy-aid. Once we had these on, we started to ascend a path on the hill towards the gorge.
The route up the waterfall was a challenging, yet amusing climb, with fun activities on the way. These included; traversing, climbing, sliding down water rapids, and more. These activities were some of our favourite activities up to that point.
Eventually, we finished these activities and arrived at the top of the waterfalls to jump down into water below us. We each had multiple jumps and I thought this was the highlight of my week.
After all the fun we had, we were dragged back to the minibus to get changed and go back to the centre to pack our bags, after cleaning our flasks and washing our lunch boxes for the last time.
For our evening activity, we watched an episode of ‘Outnumbered’, then we had an exciting, humorous quiz which included many different genres of questions led by Mr. White and an amazing helper for the week named Keith. Afterwards, we watched a second episode of ‘Outnumbered’ before a slideshow of pictures from throughout the week put together by Mr. Alderson.
This week has been a week to remember, with yesterday being my favourite day by far.
By Ryan Scott
On Friday morning our adventure began with a sausage, tinned tomatoes and a hash brown then we handed in our boots and gloves as we were not going to need then for the rest of the trip and we then had a 45-minute drive to the gorge. When we arrived at the gorge we parked in a car park across from the beginning of the gorge. In the car park we sat in Mary’s minibus having a part of our lunch. After we had some of our lunch we put our harnesses, waterproofs, helmets and life jackets on and the we headed off into the gorge.
First we started of our adventure into the gorge by arriving at the bottom of the gorge and started to work our way up the waterfalls and getting even wetter each time we took a step. As we headed up the gorge we came across the group hailstones who were working their way through a part of the gorge called the elephants bottom. Whilst we were waiting for them we had a KitKat break. When the other group (Hailstones) had finished taking down their rope and detaching their harnesses, Mary and Mr White set up our rope and one by one we climbed up through the elephant’s bottom on our hands and knees without harnesses because were experts at climbing by this time of the trip.
We then over took the other group because we were too quick for them and carried on climbing the gorge. The first person to fall in the water was Hannah and slowly after Nicole fell in too. We came across a section in the gorge which looked like a slide so we used it and we each had several goes at sliding down a part of the gorge and this is where Summer slipped in and ended up going down the slide another time.
After the slide we had a hard section of the gorge to climb but we all made it through safe and sound. We then came to a steep water fall which we could only go under so we went under. Mary went first and helped us down on to the bolder in the water and then helped us through the water fall. To get out of the waterfall we had to take a swim in a shallow pool and then we had made it through. After the waterfall we were nearly at the top but we had a few more waterfalls to climb but after that we were at the top of the gorge where there was a deep pool of water. So everyone one in our group had the chance to jump in so we all did. It was extremely cold but it was the last day so we all done it and we even got Mr white soaked.
Our gorge adventure came to an end and we found the hardest bit was the last bit and we had to make the way down the gorge but not the same way a different way we went down the steep slope instead which I think half of us ended up slipping down.
When we reached the minibus we were drenched so we and to get changed in to clean clothes somehow so we had to change into our clean clothes, so we changed behind the bushes and that is when the weather got even worse because it began to hammer it down with rain whilst we were getting changed so it was absolutely pointless getting changed. Then we headed back to the centre in the minibus drinking hot chocolate and partying the whole way back.
When we got back we handed in our waterproofs, rucksacks and our hats and then we put all of our wet clothes into the drying room. We then had our dinner which was fish or minted lamb burger with chips and for pudding we either had strawberry angel delight or rice pudding.
After dinner we had an extra 45 minutes to pack our suit cases before our evening activity. Our evening activity consisted of watching two episodes of outnumbered and having a quiz about what we have learnt on the trip and also watching a presentation of all the photos of the trip and then we went to bed at 11.00 ready for our long car journey the next day.
By Nicole Cook
The early morning of Friday started off with Sausages, tomatoes and hash browns then our journey started in Jedward’s (Jez) minibus. We set off to the starting point of the walk whilst partying to the music from Jez’s phone. Sydney, also known as blueberry, forgot her raincoat (which was blue also the same as her waterproof trousers) so she had to borrow another one which was bright red so now she was called strawberry which everyone called her from then on.
We began to walk to our first destination which was a bridge. We got given a map and we had to set the map to work out where we were as we didn’t have any help it was a self-led walk. After 4 minutes of walking we found the bridge and walked to the next clue which was a building which half of it was crumbled away after that it was a sign post. When we got to the sign post we met Jez and he had set up a boudoir for us to sit under for shelter. He then took us scrambling to the summit of a mountain and it was really windy, raining really hard and we were drenched. When we got half way we met long legs (Karl) and Hodge (Miss Hodgett) in an old sheep fold trying to keep out of the wind. We crossed over teams and we headed down a river still checking the map. One of the locations that we had to get to was the first car park which took about an hour to get to. Luckily we followed the map correctly so we didn’t end up in the middle of nowhere at any time. The only mistake we made was at the end where we walked too far and past where the last checkpoint was. As we walked down the road, which we didn’t realise we had walked to far, long legs and the Hodge came down in the minibus and instead of kindly letting us into the minibus, they made us turn round and walk back the same way we had just come. We eventually got onto Karl’s minibus with rubbish tunes but after 5 minutes of moaning he finally put on a decent song and turned it up loud.
When we got back to the centre we had to give in all of our equipment that we had borrowed and wax our boots to give in for the next people to come in. Also we had to start packing for the next day because we wouldn’t have time to in the morning due to cleaning our rooms. After that we could go and have showers and be ready for dinners at 5.45. After dinner we had activities as a group which involved watching an episode of outnumbered a quiz and a presentation of photos from KMC. We all were tired and lights out was at 11.00.
By Alexandria Jobson and Alisha Holmes
Our day started when we ate our Breakfast, it was then followed by a meeting with our instructor. We were told that we were going to go on a hike by ourselves. we were going to be using a map and our own navigation skills. when we were told I was happy because i knew it would be fun!
Before we set off we went through what to do in case of emergency or if we saw someone who was in trouble. we also got given a ‘group shelter’ and a first aid kit.
when we got to the town where we started we walk along-side of the river and then departed the river and followed the path past some cows and sheep and a statue in memory of the dog Gelert, who was killed by his owner because he thought that Gelert killed his masters baby heir, but really it was Gelert killing the wolf that attempted to attack the heir, then to a car park and ate some of our lunch, we then went walking again up another path towards a hill we eventually got to the other group(rain drops). just ahead of the other group was another hill, when we got to the top there were two turnings so we rested for a while whilst debating on whether we should turn left or right. after a while we turned right and walked up three more hills, until we got to the top then we turned left and walked until we saw Jez, we then sat under his shelter and ate the rest of our food and then Jez watched over us as we scrambled up the very small mountain. we then collected our bags from Jez and we walked down the path all the way back down to the road where we got in his minibus and drove back to the Kent Mountain Centre.
In the evening we had a massive quiz that everyone did. Our team was called ‘Mountain’ and we came 4th.
we all then sat in the common room and watched Outnumbered together and went to bed all packed at 11pm.
By Anna Craven
Waking up, and looking out of the window in hope that the weather today was going to be sunny, and warm like the days we’ve experienced before; we saw the grey skies that gloomed miserably outside… This made us even more tired, and lazy than we already were! We lazed down to breakfast, cooked bacon, scrambled egg and smiley faces, this was very delicious, and filled us up with the energy we needed for the very tiring, exhausting day ahead.
We then went to a brief meeting with our group and organised the equipment we needed for the rest of the day. The girls and the boys both jumped into the minibus and set off for a half hour journey to Capel Curig. Once we had arrived at our destination our group leaders (Mr Keith and Mr Alderson) told us that this was a SELF navigated walk to a place called Llyn Geirionydd which was about 4 miles away from our starting position. After a few moans and groans we started our adventure into the rocky terrain.
Walking past the fields and meadows full of sheep and cows, we felt the first drops of rain falling down onto us. With this we sped up our walking pace, making sure that we all stick together, heading onto the winding foot path through the ever green forest. The boys as always were very quickly attracted to the flowing rivers and streams, this allowed the girls to have some rest before trekking onwards on our journey. As well as the water features the boys got very much entertained by the slippery mud, which had been made even more slippery by the now heavy rain! They put on their water proofs (trousers, top and hood), and then after run ups, they slid down the muddy hills- on backs, fronts and sides!
With the boys covered in mud, we continued our adventure to the lake. We passed woodlands, streams and even took the wrong turning, but after a while we eventually made it to the lake with our destination in sight. Whilst we walked along our route in the pouring rain, the boys decided to stop at a man-made rope swing which hung above the water. Obviously (with their water interest) they all wanted a go. Us girls and Ryan spent at least half an hour watching and laughing at the boys getting wet and dirty whilst we were standing shivering in the torrential rain. About to get pneumonia and probably hypothermia, the boys decided to come out as they were staring to freeze. They put their fleeces on which were the only things that weren’t wet and carried on walking.
We hoped, after seeing Mr Alderson and Mr Keith on the opposite side of the lake, standing warm and dry by the heated minibus, that we could take the short way round the lake to them. But NO of course we couldn’t, we had to go the long way round the lake, to the minibus! After the long hurried walk, we all rushed inside the minibus, and had the rest of our lunch. We travelled to our next exciting activity, ABSEILING! When we arrived, it was still raining… So the girls also then got into their water proofs, before we were then given a harness, helmet and all the other equipment we needed and we took our walk up the steep cliff. When we got to the top, the nerves started to show for some people, as they realised that we had to abseil down a 20 metre cliff face…
Blake showed his confidence as he was the first to conquer the wet and slippery cliff, then the rest of the boys followed. The girls went next and Mr Alderson came down after all of us. Ryan was getting a lot of persuasion from other people, but the nerves got through to him and unfortunately he didn’t attempt the challenge. The abseil down wasn’t as hard as many people thought it was but it was still quite tall. We then made our way back to the minibus through the forest, took off our waterproofs and gave in our equipment. The rain continued as we drove back to the centre after a day of hard work.
By Angel Foster and Tayla Bayley
An early rise to the morning, we finished breakfast and made our way to the meeting room. surprised not to actually see our instructor in there, we wondered what the day ahead was going to be like. Mr White and vending machine (tom) unfolded a huge map of the Snowdonia National Park onto the table. Mary then walked through the door and we started to find out more about how to map read and what the symbols meant.
We finished the talk, and got going as quick as we could. We had a small delay as Gabriel’s hiking boots were completely filled with water and Jacob forgot his water proofs once again. On the way we decided to have a sing-song with everyone to some “popular” music. We eventually got to our starting point, where we then found out we were being left alone having to navigate ourselves over 7km.
We began our trek up a steep road to find ourselves at the first junction. We were confident that we had to turn right so we walked for between 5 to 10 minutes before vending machine (Tom) mentioned us taking a wrong turn. We had never been so annoyed with ourselves, so we walked back to the last turning off point and figured out the correct way.
About half way through the first section it started pouring down with rain. We got drenched. It was ridiculously muddy and sticky almost everyone got stuck, we were plastered up to the knees with mud and had never been so soaked. After all the hassle with Mud we finally finished the first section of the navigating.
The second section went fairly quickly as everyone got to the point where they didnt care whether they were wet and muddy so we didn’t bother stopping as much as we usually would. We were almost finished when Gracie tripped and twisted her ankle , so Gabriel told everyone to pretend they had an injury so we could skip the final section. We failed to complete the task of faking an injury and had to carry on 🙁 At the final point of the second we sat down and had lunch, believe it or not we ate under a big yellow sheet which did actually keep us fairly warm. Vending machine (Tom) started to film a vlog when Jacob decided to blabber on about god knows what.
Last section, still drenched, still raining, however the mud slowly started to stop. This final block was less effort as it was a flat surface or down hill the whole way. We staggered onto the slippery rocks that had a boggy drop down into the quick flowing stream. We managed to cross the railway track after getting soaked a second time from more rain, when we came to a huge field with cows and sheep. A few people were in front of us going for a leisurely walk, when they found themselves letting out around 30 cows through the unlocked gate. Swiftly moving ourselves around the cows we finally made it through the trek of 3 difficult but exciting tracks.
By Summer Stocker and Gracie Chapman
The weather today was very cold and torrential rain, it didn’t really make a huge impact on our day as we were visiting the Afon Ddu gorge which was a wet activity anyway. We started to pack our safety equipment before we left and made our way to the activity. We slowly arrived at the Afon Ddu (black river) after a 45 minute journey in the mini van, so we started to attach our harnesses and buoyancy aids to ourselves ready for the day ahead. Our team had to walk up a slope to get to the river, however many people slipped on the way as it was very muddy and steep, luckily no one got too hurt. Then we got to the destination after a short trek with slow people slipping behind (Amy, Spencer).
Our day in the Gorge started off as us walking across a river on slippery stones, and scrambling up through freezing cold waterfalls along the fast-running gorge water. Halfway through our trip Magic Mike (Our Instructor) had to lower us down into a dip in the gorge so that we could continue our day. We all had to attach our harnesses onto a rope with our ‘cow tails’ so that we were able to be lowered down, a few people had trouble getting down and slammed against a rock on the way! To climb up the next bit we all had to haul ourselves up over the other side of a slippery rock, Jasmine couldn’t get up so Keely and Olly had to keep trying to push her over it. When we reached the end, after many slips and falls, we were faced with a massive waterfall which we were allowed to walk through. After jumping in at the pool at the top and walking through the waterfall, we began to make our way back the way we came. On the way back Amy slipped off some rocks and fell onto some more before slamming her chin into another rock, it started bleeding a lot and left a dent in her chin which swelled up a little bit, Keely couldn’t stop laughing! After Amy’s chin was cleared up Magic Mike let some of us slide down a waterfall instead of climbing rocks. By this time we were already wet so didn’t care if we walked through water or jumped in anymore. By the time we got back to the mini bus everyone was soaking wet from falling in and our wellies made squelching noises as we walked from all the water that had gotten into them.
Magic Mike sent the boys and girls separate ways to get changed into dry clothes within the forest before meeting us all back inside the van where we ate our lunch and drank our hot chocolates to warm ourselves up. Then we made our way back to the Kent Mountain Centre and had showers to warm us up after our eventful day.
By Keely Fright and Jasmine Sayer
The drizzly dawn of North Wales confronted us as we shuffled out of the dorms to breakfast. Luckily it was potato waffle day which was scoffed quickly in the anticipation of today’s activity. We met up with our team to be informed of the daily activity. It turned out to be orienteering and gorge walking (the more exciting of the two). The day consisted of 2 orienteering courses, one around the centre and the other around the local area and town. Our equipment, in small quantity, only consisted of a map and answer sheet. Within a maximum of 20 minutes the first course was complete so we headed to the next location. The journey in the van was always made fun by the cool ones at the back of the bus (Sherlock and Watson). The thumping music made our enthusiasm reach the next level, the nicknames also helped.
After a short journey to the local town we hopped out and tried to locate ourselves. It took everyone about 5 minutes to complete this; however the group including Sherlock, Watson and Harry Ramsden took all of 20 minutes. We trekked down the nearby road to find points, that were labelled on our map. Our instructor, Jez, believed we had worked too much with the same people. So we were split into groups by Jez instead. Most of the groups completed this pretty speedily but two groups struggled to find last few, causing us to stay put underneath a fairly large tree.
The bus journey on the way back we were entertained with the ideas of Will, who wanted to pimp the van. He wanted a cargo net on the ceiling to hold our bags as well as a larish green exterior. Harry Ramsden gave an input by saying that we should have large speakers on every other seat. These ‘improvements’ were not likely to happen but a boy can dream.
When we returned the deliberation of the three options started to occur. They were:
- Go To The Gorge And Be Miserable
- Go To The Gorge And Be Happy
- Sleep (Sherlock’s Idea)
All the team members voted for option 3 but we were out ruled by Jez, Hodge and Long Legs (Karl).
So we boarded the bus again and set off to the gorge. We later arrived and started walking towards the bottom of the water avalanche (a.k.a the gorge). We trudged up the rocks and shortly came to our first pool. This just so happened to be a sliding pool in which you slid of the rocks into the freezing water below. This just fuelled our adrenaline as we began our ascent.
About half an hour later we came to a cave which looked extremely daunting in the eyes of everyone. From a viewing platform above we watched half the group stumble through a cave and waterfall. The two halves then swapped over so the now soaked ones could also have a laugh as they watched people step through the so called washing machine. Not long after we arrived at the summit of the gorge which commenced our day of map reading and climbing a flowing river.
By Alisha Holmes and Jack Whitehead
After a delicious full English breakfast, we went to the raindrops meeting area to find out today’s activities. Our team leader, Jez, made the decision that the group would go sea level traversing and after two mountain days back to back, the team was relieved with the news. We were advised to use blue IKEA bags because we would be getting extremely wet and would need a change of clothes, the soaking ones would be placed inside the bags to save the mini bus from the smell of wet clothes and seaweed. As we drove towards the destination we crossed a bridge to a small island named Anglesey. Finally we arrived to the desired beach that our task would take place, Cable Bay. The beach is called this because the first telecommunication line from Great Britain to the United States of America ran along the beach. The team started climbing the rocks that surrounded the beach, we also kept an eye out for any life in the rock pools and managed to spot a shrimp, sea anemone and other fish that names have slipped my mind.
After wading through some water and leaping and scrambling from rock to rock, we finally finished climbing to the top of a cliff in which we followed a public path back down to where the bus was for an early lunch. Frankie Ramsden accidentally selected salmon paste in his sandwich, this was one of three options. He took one whiff of his salmon paste roll and he knew he would not be eating it, it was quite amusing to the rest of the Raindrop group, Frankie the dare devil. After lunch was over it was harness on, cows’ tails on, helmets and buoyancy aids on. We trailed up a cliff path to where Jez had set up a sea level traversing route, just before we could see the task, Jez showed us a burial ground in which was built approximately 2500BC, the quickest history lesson ever. After Jez` lecture we made a descent down towards the start of the rope in which we could attach our cow tails onto the safety rope, this was here in order to aid if one of our feet were to slip and we fell. The rocks were unforgiving and sharp as well as being fairly slippery, luckily no one fell and got hurt. After we had conquered the sea level traverse we headed to Tyrolean traversing. This went down well with most of our team except from Sydney who struggled massively during the last leg of the traverse but she eventually made it. After Sidney’s epic campaign we all made it and you wouldn’t guess what happened next, we all jumped in including Miss Hodgett and Carl (one of our instructors) did a front flip. The water was unbearably cold but now we are here (including Sydney) in the warm and dry.
By Francis Ramsden & Ophelia Fletcher