Category: Activity Groups 2015

Sea-level Snowflakes

Everyone has remembered the days with waking up unusually but being so tired at eight o’clock you are not able to remember much, so if I skip to meeting in the room with our instructors you should be able to understand the day. When we went into the meeting room to talk about what we would be doing in the day and to make the choice of what we would be doing, we all decided on going sea traversing on cable bay, two other groups were also on the bay and we saw them sometimes.

We went on the left side of the bay first and went traversing, rock-climbing and looking for different types of shells so we knew what ones we could stand on when we were traversing on the rocks. There were lots of rock pools with anenomies on them and loads of crossing from rock to rock over the water with the tide coming in so we had to cross it really quickly before the tide came in and got peoples feet wet. The first to fall in and slip was Miciah, he didn’t quite make the rock on the other side and decided to jump in.

On our way back to the minibus to have lunch we had to climb up a crack in the cliff face up to the top. Lunch was refreshing and was enjoyed by everyone but at the same time people had no clue of what was coming next and they were probably quite scared.

After we had our lunch we went on the other side of the bay and the conversation while we were walking was mainly about YouTube and how it worked because a couple of people in our group have channels they were explaining about it operates. Jacob came up with at least one nickname per person some had two or three, one of our instructors for example looks like Guy Martin and also he teased Jacob into thinking there was a vending machine on top of one of the mountains the previous day so vending machine was also a nickname.

We went Tyrolean traversing as well which was one of the most fun things that we did today (even though everything else today was amazing this was just the best) we went from one rock to another over water (again) but this time it was much further and we had harnesses attached to a rope, we had to pull ourselves over and if you wanted to attempt a backflip you could, only three people managed but some got close. After, the group moved over to a rock that was safe to jump off of, all but one jumped and the others were cold until they had got changed round either side of the minibus, girls on one and boys on the other side.

By Alice Crine and Oliver Smith

Slippery Cliffs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe day started with a nice sausage, eggy bread and spaghetti. This was shortly followed by a meeting in the unisex common room in which the groups were told to go to their instructors and find out what the activities for the day were.  Mike (our instructor) gave us the opportunity to either climb Snowdon or go Sea Cliff Traversing in Anglesey.  The choice was easy for everybody as we climbed the mountains ‘Cnicht’ on Monday and ‘Tryfan’ on Tuesday. We arrived in Cable Bay, put on our waterproofs, buoyancy aids and harnesses.

We then set off to climb the interior of the surface that lay there before us. We then spent the remainder of the next few hours traversing through trickling waterfalls, slippery rocks and sharp objects which stood in our way. We carried on scrambling until we came to a fairly large gap in the rock called a Tyrolean traverse which the only way to cross was by a rope which we attached our “cow tails” and set off for the cliffs.  Roughly 20 minutes of Traversing later, a pupil tripped roughly three metres down a rock on the side of a near vertical cliff.   The first time we pulled ourselves along the rope to the other side normally, however the second time around Mike let the group try and do a backflip whilst still attached to the ropes.  Mike then noticed another group of Dane Court students with their instructors Jez and Karl also traversing on another cliff face around the corner.  We then attempted their rope course which was tricky at first but as we gradually got used to it as time passed.

For the final activity we were allowed to plunge ourselves into the ice chilling temperatures of the Irish Sea which lay there before the rocks.  As some of the students ran in their dry clothing to the minibus others squelched in their drenched clothes.  Some students got changed into dry clothing and we then had lunch a little late and set off home for the Kent Mountain Centre.

By Spencer Longley, Elizabeth Gibbons

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

Climbing Y Garn

IMG_5659Today we woke up at 7:00am with the sound of an alarm bleeping in our ears. Then began the mad rush for the showers. After we had all finished, we headed downstairs for breakfast. We had a choice of scrambled egg, bacon and potato waffles or croissants and jam. When everybody had finished with breakfast, we went to our meeting room to discuss what we would need for the day’s adventure. We had two choices of mountains to climb, Y Garn and Snowdon. As you can probably guess from the title we chose the former. We thought that Y Garn would be more adventurous and require a greater range of skills yet we knew that when we got home and people asked us which mountains we climbed they would have no idea what Y Garn was. After this we returned to our rooms to pack our bags. And once we did that we were ready to go. We exchanged our comfy shoes for the hard, uncomfortable boots that were supplied. Remember kids, safety first =)! Next we got on the minibus. The journey was around 15 minutes and we listened to some ‘great’ tunes.
When we arrived at Y Garn, everybody charged to the kiosk trying to be the first person just in case they ran out of chocolate brownies. Then we entered a room and saw a model replica of the mountain range. In case you didn’t know Y Garn means ‘heap of rock’. In the following minutes we left the room and headed to the trail and Jacob began his moaning and Mr. White called him a melt. At first the path was quite shallow but it soon began steepen. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the top but we soon came to realise that it wasn’t and we still had a long trek ahead of us. We then stopped for a lunch break by the Llyn Clyd (sheltered lake) and continued on our way. Eventually after another hour of walking, Jacob talking and general chatter, we reached a point very close to the summit. We then stopped to finish our lunch and marched on go the top. We had made it to the top and we were so pleased with ourselves until we realised that we had to come all the way back down again. As we began to descend, we headed towards Devil’s Kitchen. We wondered why it was named this because it was a waterfall with nothing very kitcheny or devilish about it however, it is a spectacular view. Once we had clambered past the kitchen we went to rest by the beach on Llyn Idwal. This then turned into a stone skimming competition (and obviously Gabriel won!). Then we just resorted to throwing the pebbles as far as we possibly could. After the beach we climbed down more rocks and then got back to familiar territory. We then raced back down to the kiosk at bottom of the mountain where we purchased some more food before finally going back to our minibus. That was our day, thanks for reading.

By Gabriel Ellis-Jarman & Miciah Murphy

Pen yr Helgi Du journey

DSCF0574Waking up, not knowing where we were going, we struggle to the dining room to have breakfast and meet up with the rest of our group, the Raindrops.
Once we were told where we were going, to Pen yr Helgi Du (Hill of the Black Hound), we packed our bags, hopped onto the minibus, put on some tunes and set off for the mountain.
After a roughly 35-minute journey, we started our 2 hour trip to the peak of Pen yr Helgi Du. Our first obstacle was a 1 ½ mile long road leading up to a track which zig-zagged up the mountain, and when we got a mile up we stopped to wait for a few people to catch up and have a little spot of lunch.
We set off again and stopped by a running stream to fill up our water bottles, then headed off road up the mountain.
After stopping once again half way up and forcing Frankie to leave his giant piece of slate that he was determined to take right to the top of the mountain and having another snack, we started moving up again. Those at the front of the group with Jez and Carl started to talk about old films and TV shows while scrambling up to the ridge while those at the back just tried to keep up with the rest of us. (Sorry guys..)
Another break later we started to scramble up to the peak, with the people who were at the back last time at the front and vice versa. With no energy for funny conversations we just kept pushing on up the rocks.
Once we had finally conquered Pen yr Helgi Du, we stopped to admire the views and our success.
As everyone else started to prepare for the descent, Carl and Erin got bored and stacked up a tower of rocks everyone had brought up to the top and then, when they made it fall over by trying to stack one big rock on top of all the little ones like idiots, we made our way back down.
Our descent consisted of us walking down a horse poo ridden field and avoiding lots of mud puddles, eventually we managed to make it back down to civilisation.
We got back onto the minibus, blasted some sick tunes and made our way back to the centre.

By Olivia Hands and Erin Marshall

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

Our journey up Tryfan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur hike began up this rocky, steep, mountain it didn’t look too hard but we soon realized we were wrong!! As we set off, about 5 minutes in, we saw the other group arrive (hailstones), although they went a different route up, we ended up beating them to the top with about 20 mins between us.
As soon as we started walking our legs began to ache and we realized how tough this was going to be. We had to trek across a stream, gladly everyone crossed without falling in! But this was only the beginning, little did we know by the end at least half of the group had fallen over or was wet! After a long 40 minutes of Steep climbing Mike (our instructor) let us sit down and have our hot drink. We sat by a large lake which some people say it looks like a dolphin from above, while sitting having our long awaited drinks, we saw the breath taking views from below, with the clouds covering the mountain tops. Once we set off again re -energised and feeling prepared for what was about to come.
Once we climbed the steepest part of the walk, after our short break Mike then told us about the part of the hike we were all looking forward too SCRAMBLING! We had done a little bit of scrambling on the walk yesterday up Cnicht but none of us had realized how much pain and effort we were about to put in. With Mike safely pacing us up the hour long scramble with a couple of quick breaks to steady our balance at one stop we were asking mike if he had anyone before that had injured or died from scrambling up Tryfan, he said no one had died but he had people who got injured from this trek which made me (Amy) felt worse about what we were climbing. After reaching the top of Tryfan we sat and had a relaxing lunch at the edge of this spectacular mountain looking down at the magnificent view of below some people of the group wanted to sit on the Adam and Eve the very top rocks of the mountain. Just as we were about to start descending the mountain we saw the other group (hailstones) heading towards the top.
On our way down we passed a few people over taking us they seemed to reach the bottom faster than Usain Bolt running the 100m. Like yesterday Keely’s fingers seemed to puff up again. We called her snowman fingers. Although it wasn’t as wet and slippy as yesterday at least everyone seemed to slip at least once getting their bottoms wet leaving them uncomfortable for the rest of the descent towards the mini bus with Amika leading the way. On the way down one of the people in our group fell over and landing on his finger leaving him lagging behind in pain!!!
Once arriving at the mini bus everyone was relieved to finally sit down and relax as we drove back, whilst we sang in the bus and looking forward to our warm showers and telling everyone of our adventures.

By Amy Srivalsan-Jones and Lucy Munday

‘Baaaaaaaaaaaa’rilliant hike to Yr Aran

Starring: Little Steps Little Steps and SHEEP!!!!!!!!
DSCF9041Up at the crack of dawn, this morning we had a hearty breakfast followed by a meeting to find out which groups we would be in. Before we left, we had a chat with our team (Raindrops) to introduce ourselves, not only to the instructor but to our team members as well. We then had a short ride in a minibus to the base of our mountain – Yr Aran.
Having established which mountain was Yr Aran, and preparing for what seemed like a gruelling trek, we set of towards the summit. After 45 minutes of walking, with little steps and spotting a manmade dam we decided to take a break. Here we decided we would have a quick snack and a sip of our drink for 5 minutes before starting again. This time our course took us to a steep hill scramble and some of our fellow team members were staring to slip behind and started to struggle on the really steep bits. Little steps, little steps our goal drawing microscopically nearer with each of our little steps, little steps.
After about half an hour, we were sick of our little steps, little steps and felt it was time for lunch. Part Two. The sequel. From there we could see the summit Yr Aran. Our goal was in sight.
Lunch was over. More work lay ahead. The little steps continued. The group started to feel the strain. Bed was very inventing now. Unfortunately, no one had put a bed on this mountain so we would have to continue our little steps, little steps. We were however, actually moving, in little steps, but we were moving. Moving towards to summit. “OOOh” we said “There is a sheep over there.” “BAAAAAAAA” said the sheep. “BAAAAAA” we said. But sheep gave us a death stare before running off. Was it something we said?
By this time we were near the peak. We dropped our bags and ran. Ran without little steps, little steps. Ran towards the summit. And then we were there. We had climbed Yr Aran. Then half walking, half sliding we made our way down the mountain.
We were at the bottom of the mountain. Already. 15 minutes later we arrived at a waterfall. It was beautiful.
The next 20 minutes were spent walking towards a village, the minibus and admiring the sheep. Over a hill, along a path and over the railway. We saw the minibus. We started sprinting towards the minibus. Like tortoise running through peanut butter.

By Sydney Bexley & William Clark-Steel

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

Monday – Cnicht

DSC09793Our marvellous day began with us arriving at the base of the mountain, the first thing that we saw was sheep, all of the sheep were marked with orange, blue or pink dots to show which farmers they belonged to. I (Oliver) had spotted a large object in the flowing river, I stepped closer to the river to then realise this is no object it was a large salmon battling the progressing current.
Unusually instead of the stereo-typical cold wintery weather it was a very sunny beautiful day, but this soon became a terror instead of a pleasure as we became extremely hot and uncomfortable. Our colossal mountain confronted us as we started to edge our way into the deep boggy mud, People started to slip as the mountain became more harsh and the steepness rapidly increased! The Rocks where sharp, dangerous and were extremely slippery. The decrepit ruins made a versatile base for us to rest and snack on are well packed lunches, Mike our instructor helped us reach our goal of climbing to the top of the mountain and was determined for us to carry on to the jagged peak so we then left.
The side of the mountain was nick named the knights head because from a fantastic sea view it appears to look like a knight’s helmet, the journey to the knight’s head consisted of a tiring trek through a Jagged cliff face, it was treacherous, however we knew it would be rewarding for some to conquer their first mountain. After a long, demobilizing hike to the top of the mountain we finally finished our journey upwards and we had some time to rest and re-energize, we got to take beautiful pictures and experience the wonders of the mountains.
Our filling lunch had given us the energy to carry on back down the mountain, this may have been one of the hardest parts of the journey as the land was very unsteady and uneven but we succeed to walk over it even though everyone managed to fall into a puddle or a stream! by this time we were back to our initial path and soon arrived back to the mini bus and drove back home.

By Amika McAvoy and Oliver Hampton-Saint

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