Category: Hailstones 2017

The final day

Today as the last day. Mary decided to go on a nice gentle hike and have fun. On this hike all we needed was: our clothes, our lunch, our waterproofs and our hiking boots. To get where we were going we took a van and a minibus. We parked the van at the destination where we were to finish and we took the mini bus to a lake.
We then left the minibus and walked along a rugged, public foot path. Soon we came across a bridge. At this bridge Elliot and Oscar dropped sticks to see whose would go the quickest in the water. Next, we started to walk up a stone rubble path, which meandered up a hill. Along the path we found a collection of a small house; Mary said that this would have been a shepherd’s house. She explained how he or she could watch all their livestock from his house because he or she was on a hill. Also, there was a stream and lake so there was water for his or her animals. We also ate our lunch in that house. After we ate our lunch we continued to follow the path up the hill. Then it started to rain heavily. Everyone reached for their waterproof coats. We now ascended the hill climbing over obstacles on the way. After looking at the amazing view, we descended the hill and followed a stream down over to a boggy area.
Along the downhill muddy path, we came across an old copper mine. At this mine Mary showed us how to find fool’s gold. To find it we looked for dark rocks and hit it with another rock to crack it and split it open. When you do that, sometimes you find gold and sometimes not. It’s all about luck. Klark was the first one to find fool’s gold in our group. After we had a hunt for gold we continued to descend the hill. On the way down, we saw a bench which was a memorial for a male who died while scouting. After that, we came across a river that we crossed by stepping stones. I fell in. WHOOPS! Now we continued down to a car park and ate some lunch. Next, we walked along a rapid river to the town where we parked the van.
At the town, we went to the toilet. Also, we went into a shop and brought chocolate and a drink. While we were there, Mary walked to the white van and drove to get the mini bus. While we were waiting for her, Elliot was talking to sir on how ‘Supreme’ [the brand] is good compared to other brands and explaining why it is ‘rare and expensive.’ When Mary got there, we climbed into the minibus and everyone fell asleep and it was silent. The only people awake were the teachers.

By Isaac Croft

Sea(l) level traversing!

Today, we trekked along the cliff side, journeying to our first location (the rocks and rock pools) to complete our main task of the day moving along the dangerous, jagged rubble of the cliff. This also included swimming in treacherous wave conditions whilst carrying heavy equipment, this was by far the best day yet and we were all totally exhilarated and it even came to the point where our instructor wanted to jump into the cool water. Our instructor Mary wanted to get all wet so she took us along the hardest path which involved getting soaked but it was great! Plus much more!

First of all we started off with a tiring and hard rock climb ( with no ropes ) however a good mate Klark found it very hard at the back but with a much help from all his mates, he progressed and became an asset to the team, as he went on to help others as well such as Josh, as at first he was worried about getting wet but after 5 mins, was jumping off the rocks into the water again and again and that was thanks to Klark! We all loved jumping and diving into the plunge pool; this was also a very daring experience!

Next we struggled and swam across the often crushing sea with our waterproof bags floating in front of us, Elliot and Oscar had the challenge of leading our group onto the safe rocks and into the cave and they did it with outstanding support safety and success, wow! Even with the hard task of the heavy bags we scrambled to shore and into the cave and were submersed in darkness. We soon found a sense of direction and with Elliot’s amazing senses we travelled through a thin close crevasse (there was lots of climbing and swimming), finally we emerged thanks to Elliot! Then we dived into the water to cross to the other side of the rocks; we where all having a lot of fun and were absolutely exhausted.

After an eventful day of climbing at traversing we sat down, had are lunch and some games and then rigged up some rope and were given the task of making our way down a large opening in the rocks. Oscar went first and made it down with ease, shortly followed by the rest of the pack, however, it wasn’t all so sweet as Matt nearly fell off!  But being strapped in by harness, he was safe.

Lastly, we all jumped in the water and were swimming around having a blast however all good things always come to an end and we packed up and went back to the van where our almost ‘lifesaving’ spare pair of clothes came in handy and we were all dry and ready to go home after a long and eventful day.

It was a very successful and enjoyable day and i think i can speak for most of the team in saying that it was one of the best! We learned some great skills and facts and we even saw a seal bobbing about the water! We all got very wet and cold but it didn’t matter because we where having such a good time that it was worth getting cold.

We would definitely like to do it again; sea traversing is our new favourite thing!

By: Oscar Miles and Elliot Williams

Climbing the highest mountain in Wales

Today we climbed the beast that was Snowdon but before we went we had a hearty breakfast of sausages, spaghetti and hash browns.
We were told to wear thick socks, long trousers and a thick jumper; spare gear was to be put in our backpacks.
The journey in the minibus only took 15 minutes but was fun as everyone started to sing ‘Fireworks’ at the top of their voices.
At the foot of the mountain Mary said we had two choices of route: easy and hard. She decided the easy route was the best for the group today so we started off on the Pyg Track.
A helicopter flew over and Elliot had a good shout hoping the pilot would hear. The walk was long but the scenes around us were breathtaking.
In the distance we saw both Mr Stavri and Mr Alderson’s group climbing up the hard trail; it looked cool and we hoped that they would turn around and see us.
After a while the cloud descended and we were walking inside of it! We heard the sounds of sheep, but could’t see anything at all.
We stopped for lunch at at Llechog and ate our sandwiches and cookies which were tasty!
When we finally reached the summit we were very tired but satisfied. We climbed the last set of stone steps and touched the highest point.
We had done it! We had climbed the highest mountain in Wales!

As we walked down we saw Elliot, Tom and Oscar crawling through a tunnel, making us all laugh.
The minibus back was a welcome break for our tired feet.

By: Ben Combe and Josh Relph

Hailstones – Afon Ddu gorge

Today we went gorge walking. Gorge walking is when you go climbing, walking and swimming in a river.

In the morning Miss said we had to bring wellington boots, a KMC jacket, KMC waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and a spare change of clothes. We knew this was going to be thrilling! Now we loaded helmets, harnesses and life jackets. It took 45 minutes to drive there in a minivan. On the way we stopped for a toilet break.

We walked up a hill, to get to the river, but as we got in the river, we noticed that a little bit up, there were two groups ahead of us, taking a long time, so wisely Miss said to go around them. Then we walked up a little dirt track to half way up the river. Then we proceeded to climb up the river. We noticed the coldness of the water, as soon as we got it the deeper water. You can feel the water rush down your leg and in to your boots.

We came to a waterfall! As soon as we came to a deep enough pool, Oscar dived in… when Miss said not to! The rocks were very slippery due to the water, and many people slipped over [Erin]. The walk made us very tired and very thirsty, luckily there was some fresh water falling from a rock; it was the purest water I have ever tasted in my life

Now we have come to a wall which we had to climb; we climbed in pairs of two with a harness and rope. Miss climbed up a slippery cliff to tie the rope to a tree; this was so that we could connect our harnesses to the rope and climb up in pairs; it was quite challenging because the people at the top kept pulling us up when we were trying to get grip.

Finally we got to the top. After helping everyone up we got to one of the best parts of the trip. There was a pool which we were allowed to jump in. When jumping in, they made us wear a harness.  We wore a harness because when we jumped in, it was hard to get out, so they pulled us out with the harness It was the weirdest feeling, jumping into that pool; it felt like we were being swallowed, but our life jacket sucked us back up to the top.

We then came to a little pool with a trickle running into it. We used this as a slide. To make the slide better we got people to block up the river so when we were about to go, they stood up and a massive wave came and pulled us down the rocks into the pool. We arrived at a rock with a hole in. We had to go through it; it was very tight in that hole. At the bottom was the water that we had to sit in to get out. It was NOT for the claustrophobic!

Getting changed was awkward. We went into the forest, striped down, then dried with a towel and got into our dry clothes.

By Issac and Klark.




Devil’s Kitchen & Co.

The day began well. Lovely weather, a lovely, cheap ‘Greggs’ and 9 lovely kids looking forwards to walking for 4 hours straight.
What could possibly go wrong?

Veering off left, we strolled into ‘Tin-can Alley’. Our first stop on our tiresome journey made out to be harmless, until a wild ‘Caterpillar’ stopped us in our tracks as we saved the ‘Caterpillar’ from a harsh stepping on, after taking a quick photo of it.
As if a rogue caterpillar was not enough, we had a strange encounter with a herd of horses.

Further on in our trek, we discovered a rather large pile of rocks. Curiosity filled our small minds and we questioned our Pack Leader, Mary, on what these large piles of rocks were.
The ‘massive mountain of rocks’ are considered to provide good luck to the mountain hikers who add a rock to the pile. Whether this was true or not, we added rocks to the pile anyway just to be sure.

The rest of the way to the top was a tough scramble. We clambered up the crumbly shingle and if we didn’t watch our step we could have fallen – maybe the rocks were lucky considering we all returned safely; we arrived successfully at the top. The wind roared in our ears, half-deafening us, it was freezing compared to the blazing sunshine we’d had on the way up. The way back down took a more interesting route as we stumbled down the high peak to a lake… here we had a sit down and caught our breath. After that we continued on our tiring journey to the biggest challenge of them all.
Descending ‘Devil’s Kitchen’.

(WARNING TO READER: This is where most things go wrong).

The slippery slope was like a death slide into a pit of dangerous rocks. One wrong move could result in certain death – or a scratch – you never know… Next, we found ourselves sitting on a lovely wall.
It wasn’t so lovely actually, it really hurt to sit on to be honest because the rocks dug up into your legs. And that hurts. Trust me. By this ‘lovely’ wall was a quaint waterfall. A small waterfall that you could drink from. The water was extremely tasty, I, in my opinion, have never tasted water so fresh.
After drinking this refreshing, natural water to quench our thirst, we scaled the wall and dropped down onto the other side. Now, the real fun begins. We struggled to remain balanced as we stumbled down the rocky, wet steps. These steps are either very small and close together or very large and about 5 miles away from each other, so yes, very annoying. After several trips, we banded together to help each other. This was a very good idea, because this place is named ‘Devil’s Kitchen’ for a reason. So we all decided to help each other. Slightly further down some of us came across a dark cave. Some of the more brazen of us decided to explore this cave, however they didn’t find much. Afterwards we discovered a ‘falling’ rock. It took two of us to ‘hold it back up’-ish… After this the struggles were over and we steadily descended down to another lake where many of us decided to skim rocks across it. A record of 6 was created; but not broken… We walked on slightly further and our hike was over and although there were some scarier moments; we came back happy and safe (with a few added blisters).

By Amelie Kemp and Erin White

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