Friday was unfortunately the final day of challenges of our action packed and adventurous week. We were instructed, by our instructor Mike, to carry out a set of tasks. We were given maps and had to undertake roles of leader, navigator and back-marker; only this time with a twist! Mike wanted both our independent and team-working skills to shine through.
The first activity was both exciting and heart-wrenching at the same time. The group was tasked with abseiling off the bridge adjacent to the location of the KMC. Mike set up some tricky and spectacularly tight knots, which gave the rope a certain tightness to it. The group geared up and clipped on their harnesses before abseiling down towards the ground beneath the rusty bridge. Once we had reached ground level of the bridge, Mike waved us off before we set out on our journey towards the first marked point on the map; the coal mine museum.
We had decided between ourselves that Jake would be our leader, with Cobi and myself as the back-markers, and Sophie as our sophisticated navigator. We journeyed on a path towards the museum, slumbering past rocky roads and back- woods covered in foliage, with scattered leaves and animal defecation aftermaths.
We reached the first point a little over twenty minutes after we had set off and Mike stood eagerly with orienteering maps for us to acquire. The task was to find landmarks in a certain surrounding area of the coal mine museum from which we were able to collect letters that coincided with the numbers given out. We explored top to bottom with the aim of collecting further information for our task and uncovering a secret message/code. Due to the fact of our time limit to perform each activity, Mike frequently checked our progress on finding a fair ‘chunk’ of the letters. He told us we were to meet him at the ‘land rover track’ indicating a point on the map with certain landmarks on that route, such as the morgue and hospital, which were famous due to their ancient history.
Our journey started again with Tom as the head of the pack, as well as the navigator, and myself as back-marker, once again working alongside Cobi and Jake, ensuring no male or female would be left behind. The traverse started up a secret, meandering path in which the whole group had to work as a team, ensuring the right route was to be taken, to meet Mike. After a long, sluggish and stretching saunter towards the destination, we met Mike waiting, in a smug fashion, as he sat in the boot of his Mercedes.
The third and final activity tasked us with the challenge of rock scaling and climbing. With tight ropes fitted once more and harnesses strapped and ready for use we ascended a great boulder, in a tight fashion, with two going up at a time, until we had all reached the top and from which we would witness a marvellous, majestic view of the surrounding landscape; mammoth and mossy mountains, tight and compact roads where vehicles daringly drove past and an eerie and misty sky which masked the tip of enormous mountains.
Mike instructed us to return back to camp, giving us precise instructions on where to go, the whole group started to walk home in a bedraggled but satisfied manner in the knowledge that the activites behind and the experience of KMC, as a whole, were at an end.
Mike complimented but also constructively criticised each one of us on where we needed to improve. Overall the day was amazing and definitely a great way to bring to an end our fantastic time, of this amazing adventure, at KMC.
Today we had lots of fun adventuring across the 600 million year old cliffs of Anglesey. After eating a hearty meal we explored the deathly Barcoldiad y Gawres burial chamber, then continued our journey to traverse the freezing Welsh seas using the thin but sturdy rope to help us from getting from cliff to cliff.
The day started of well with all the girls oversleeping (even Miss Webster!) and rushing down to breakfast. Soon after, everyone rushed down to the dry room to collect our essential water proof clothing and got into the mini bus to start our exciting day.
When we arrived at our destination of Cable Bay on the peaceful island of Anglesey we started by scrambling across the jagged yet beautiful rocks, using our teamwork to help one another get around safely. Mike our instructor was extremely helpful and caring to each and every one of us and making sure that we could all have the best day possible (which was achieved).
After getting our socks drenched we headed back to the minivan to eat some of our delicious lunch. Once our stomachs were full, Mike got out our harnesses and taught us how to put them on. Unfortunately, some of us got it wrong but with a hand from a friend, we all got there in the end. Then we walked to the Barcoldiad y Gawres burial chamber with our feet squelching in our shoes. Behind the bars of the chamber there was a thick burning smell with many carved stones for the dead.
We soon moved on to tying the sturdy rope to 2 different cliffs with a deep drop to the sea. Shayan was the first person to scramble from one cliff to another, at first he was petrified with a bit of friendly encouragement he faced his fears and couldn’t wait for a second go. Soon it was Cobi’s turn and he was eager to try and do a flip, but was unfortunately unsuccessful. After many tries from different members of the team Kuba came along and was determined to do it and on his first try made it! Everyone had a few goes on the ropes and Jake couldn’t wait to jump. Some people were a bit skeptical at first but after other friends jumped, they were finally convinced and ended up having a great time.
With blue smiling faces and chattering teeth, we all headed back to the minivan to get changed into warm fluffy clothes. With the boys shouting at the girls to hurry up getting dressed behind the minivan, we all eventually went back to the mountain centre and had a karaoke session on the way.
Overall the team had a wonderful, adventurous day but were all happy to be back in the warm and could not wait for the next day to arrive.
Snowdon was a thrilling and exhilarating experience for every participant involved. The climb lasted for around two to three hours and our group took the long and adventurous walk up the monstrous mountain and involved scrambling, fossil finding and fool’s gold scavenging.
The group chose three members to rotate the roles of lead, back and navigator. The climb took a long time with several stops for food and drink as well as drinking from a stream half way up the mountain. The top of the mountain was cover by cloud and fog, making it hard to see further than a few metres ahead as well as being cold and rather wet.
The team worked hard together when trudging up the beast that was Snowdon, ensuring that no man or woman was left behind and from which we travelled together in a tight horde with the leader keeping at the pace of others. We partook in every activity explained or demonstrated to us and enjoyed every single second of the physical and social challenges that occurred.
We were told of several myths and legends of Kings and their involvement with the mammoth mountain. One story consisted of two kings ready to fight before suddenly they were disturbed by a giant living on the top of the mountain shouting at them and bashing them about before finally taking their beards for his own use, this led to the gang of kings living in UK to assemble and take on the ghastly giant himself before falling to the same fate as the first two kings, although there was one king missing, king Arthur. King Arthur approached the giant months later and stabbed him with a magical sword in which turned him to stone; creating the last section of Mt. Snowdon.
On our way down we trekked through grassland, ran along country roads and tramped past stone walls; stopping many times so that Jake could relieve his overfilled bladder. In total, Theo fell over at least 27 times and Tilly fell in about 6 holes in the marsh.
In conclusion, the trip was a fulfilling and memorable experience, the walk ran parallel with all the new challenges we have so far experienced, both social and physical, and led to a sluggish slumber down the mountain where we were collected by the KMC team looking back at the great beast that is Snowdon and waving in sorrow.
We started the day by receiving instructions to pack a spare change of clothes, waterproof trousers and waterproof coat. Then we were commanded to put on a fleece and wellington boots plus a helmet, belt and a life jacket. Then we departed in the mini bus and took a 45 minute drive to the gorge.
When we got there we were asked to follow the instructor to the bottom of the gorge. It was slow progress through the gorge for some people. We were told to not pull some one up if they were lower than us as we might fall on top of them but we were allowed to pull people at the same height. The surrounding environment was like something out of a movie with the curvy trees and the beautiful flowing river with the falling autumn leaves. Then we followed Mike’s track to avoid getting wet. But one person while traversing lost his grip and flopped into the freezing water, falling in waist deep and screaming about how cold he was.
We did not stop for any food whilst climbing the gorge as there was simply not enough time, although we did have a snack before we went up and half way through the journey.
The gorge had over 7 thousand people visit last year, we also learned that it was created in the ice age; when the ice melted the water would move and spin rocks creating a path.
Later, a few of us jumped off a tall rock into water, we had to judge the jump properly as close to our right were some underwater rocks. We also went into freezing water; it was so cold that we could barely move our fingers. Then there was the water slide, made by nature, with a strong enough current to propel us down a couple meters. A wellington boot was lost when Jake jumped into the water; the rest of us had shoes filled with freezing water.
It was a rather fun day overall and one we will remember