Category: Hailstones 2015

A day to remember

RIMG1148Friday 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

Rain, rain and more rain

RIMG1008Waking 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

Peppa Pig Enthusiasts

IMG_0795In the morning we were greeted by a variety of foods and everyone was buzzing for today’s activities and wondering what would come of us by the end of the day. We split into two groups, four boys in one with Mr Alderson and the other four girls and a boy with Keith. We began the day singing on our little trip to the start of our journey of Navigation. (Keith’s was the best! (our group))
Now it was a race against time, well between the groups, 3 maps were given to each group and we were charge of navigation instead of the adults leading us. We started in Beddgelert and Mr Alderson’s begun in Pont Bethania. We started our journey heading towards Gelert’s Grave. Then using our mapping skills we navigated our way down the river bank, past gushing water which was very cold! But no one fell off! We also passed a steam train which was very noisy and made us jump.
The awesome group (us) begun the Cwm Bychan walk which was equally as relaxing as challenging, stopping for needed water breaks and to take in the scenery; it was a once in a lifetime experience.
After a good few hours of walking and climbing over a variety of different terrains, we beat the boys to the middle spot where we had lunch and met other climbers, surprising because some of us lagged behind but still persevered onwards.
After lunch we continued on our journey, using the maps and relying on our abilities to make a decision on which way to go, Keith’s group, walked quickly and efficiently heading down the mountain, we came across a large lake called Llyn Dinas and posed for a few pictures. One person decided to wade in a little further and almost ended up falling in face first (she also slipped a lot, more times than everyone else combined in our group!)
Finally we were so close! We felt like we could beat the other group and Keith and the rest of us, continued onwards, only to get stuck in the mud. We waded through the slushy brown stuff and even came across poo a few times. Nasty! Our boots sunk into the slush as if it were sinking sand. A few of us got our foot stuck and needed help getting out. Later on, we had the choice of going down a muddy path or a nice path, one girl made the decision to head down the muddy one with the saying “let’s be Peppa Pig enthusiast” followed by the group making many pig snorts and jumping up and down in muddy puddles. Followed by Keith who just looked at us as if we were crazy people who escaped from the nut house.
After a little longer, mud covered (Angel and Tayla had a mud fight!) Ryan spotted the van and started leading us to freedom, boarding our sacred ride, we discovered we had to change mini buses and that we were to head to the boys ending point, our starting point. Instead we were beaten by a mere 15 minutes and drove straight past them, Keith and Mr Alderson, switched mini buses followed by their respective groups and headed back to the Centre. Music, singing and mud, it was rather fun actually!
(Mr Alderson on arrival crashed his minibus into the wall of the lodge…creating a terrible bang! Luckily we weren’t in there!)

By Candice Dennis and Elizabeth Allen

The Towering Tryfan

RIMG0890Excitedly, we awoke, curious to what the Mountains would bring upon us. When we came down to a hearty breakfast everyone was discussing the main topic. Which Mountain? Walking or Scrambling? Large or small? Easy or hard? When it finally came and we were all gathered in our groups not knowing what mountain but only knowing what kit to wear! We were beckoned to the minibus, thrilled but nervous as we were heading towards the adventurous Mountain.
We arrived 15 minutes later, buzzing to see which challenge lied ahead, no-one was unhappy with the task that was chosen. We gazed up to see the might and beuty of the mountain, we were to conquer the “Towering Tryfan”. With great teamwork and courage, we set off up the 3000ft monster, scrambling and hiking at a steady pace, helping each other with the difficult battle the Tryfan threw at us.
Leaping from boulder to boulder, members of our group were getting tired which caused a halt to our trek. As a team we overcame this problem by having strong resilience and many drink breaks! After the hiking of the uneven stone steps, the real mission began, scrambling was here at last! In a zigzagging fashion we flying through the mountain until we realised we only overcame 900ft in 2 hours. We were annoyed the mountain was winning but we carried on with our goal to reach the peak point, two giant boulders next to a 3000ft descent of the mountain they were known as the all-powerful “Adam and Eve”.
Aching and discouraged, we finally reached the top of the mountain and clambered up to Adam and Eve… all we can really say is that they lived up to their name. We were all excited yet hungry and so we finally had lunch. A 30-minute break really helped us all get revitalised and prepared for what came next as we were halfway through our task the real challenge came … the descent.
Walking down the spectacular scenery overwhelmed us, we were higher than the birds and touching the clouds. We were free. But like usual, all positives cause a negative! We were tired and slipping and stumbling down the stone stairway to hell. Crumbling rocks fell from underneath our feet. A almost straight 3000ft descent began, and it was scary! We persevered with it and luckily all came out alive! This memory will stay with us forever. Finally, we reached the end, and with a joyful, singing minibus home. We were greeted with a tasty dinner.

Jon Hart and Okly Deal

Up the mountain

RIMG0807The day started off with an early wake up to a delicious first breakfast of a wealthy size portion of sausage, hash browns and baked beans. Then we were put into groups that we would spend the week with exploring North Wales. We were really pleased with our group as we were put in with people we love spending time with, after finding out this we were expecting a packed full day full of fun.
At the foot of the mountain we looked up to see a mountain towering over us, the group was full of excitement but also slight nerves. We went straight in with the action and headed towards our goal of the peak however slightly veering off course on our way as people had certain needs.
As we were climbing up the mountain some people started to slack behind as they were not up to the challenge. However, they came back strong as the spirit of the group was high, everyone kept going, until the peak of the mountain where we had a lunch break. The lunches were very kindly made by the kitchen staff back at The Kent Mountain Centre, everyone had at least two things they were happy to eat and enjoy whilst doing so. During our lunch break our Team leader Mr Alderson spoke of a fighter plane that crashed upon the peak of Carnedd Dafydd in the 1940s and some ruins still remain today on the Mountain side.
After a long, hard search for any remains of the plane we were led by Mr Alderson and Keith who found the engine of the wreckage. We were exited but carried on because of time, we were making our way down the steep slope when some of us came across a small stream where most of us refreshed and chilled our bodies before finishing our challenge.
After a few slips and falls Blake slipped unfortunately into a hole full of boggy water but was determined to finish so carried on. When the quicker members of the group became closer to the bottom, they waited for everyone in order to finish it together as team Hailstones.

By Blake Leahy and Finlay Jarman-Hume