Category: Sunbeams 2017

Sunbeams alone adventure

Starting on Friday morning, we prepared ourselves for the day ahead, not knowing what was in store. After having breakfast we gathered in the lecture room for our briefing. After a weather check we were told that because our amazing teamwork in the gorge, our instructor was telling us we were climbing a mountain on our own; with our teacher and instructor a few miles behind. We were quite surprised that we were given the trust to carry out the activity.
Before going out onto the mountain, we had to practise using and reading maps by doing some orienteering. We were given maps with points to go and find and stamp, we all rushed away to be the first back. We later returned with the majority of our numbers stamped, and our instructor was happy with our mapwork.
We set off in the coach. When we got there we were given roles; Josh the medic, Holly the manager and the rest of us map readers. We set off knowing that it would take about an hour to reach the peak, in single file we travelled on now familiar terrain (not nearly as hard as other things we’ve done). After climbing a stone staircase we had a simple break having a simple snack.
After that we marched on to the next point and when we got there our instructor was there before us, we were so surprised. We carried on with our instrutor scrambling to the peak of our mountain. After reaching the top we were too cold to have lunch, so we decided to have it on the way down; we stormed it down as we wanted to get out of the cold!
On the way down we found an abandoned mine shaft and then a river. In the river Amelia, Josh and Holly were happily getting soaked, while Olly, who was at the back, carried on at the front of the group down to the railway. When we reached the railway we met our instructor again and had a bit of lunch. Carrying on, we walked down a dangerous fast flowing river, to the end.
In all, the day was very good, as we were given the trust to climb the mountain successfully and safely. Our instructor ended the day with a story about a dog called Gelert and some advice that you should know the facts before you make any decision.

By Freddie Sutton

Our day at the gorge 

Today we dove into a freezing plunge pool and squelched down a quarter mile of vertical roads all muddy and so cold I couldn’t unzip my coat, only to then get changed in the woods 20 feet away from a road. But it was well worth it, it was the best day of the week!

As we approached the gorge the sound of crashing waves on the rocks became evermore fierce and then Jez, our instructor, stopped and showed us a map of the gorge which was very deceiving as it looked tiny.  After a brisk talk about the gorge, we progressed onto the first stage of scrambling over the boulders.

It started off with a wide plateau and quite dry but after the first corner of easy skipping over stepping stones, it became thin and deep.

We came to a little pool with a short climb around it that we all finished with ease, this was coupled with a small challenge that Jez likes to call the ‘elephant’s bottom’, which was a thin slippery slope with crashing water coming through our feet, at the top were 2 rocks balanced together that we had to squeeze through; it was really tight, we could barely fit through, the biting water completely soaking us to the skin.

We then found a natural slide which lead to a small pool so each person had a turn going down it, first on our front and the on our back, each time getting absolutely drenched in freezing cold water which made 90% of the group scream, especially Josh.

After a while of hilarious scrambling up the gorge, we came to the finale; the plunge pool… it was absolutely freezing, colder than the little streams. Jez took us to a ledge about 5 meters above the pool and told us that it may look big but it’s actually tiny. It was surrounded by a submerged ledge that would break our legs if we were to land on it. We each took our turns to jump in but some of us, Ben and I included, wanted to do more jumps, so we had a competition who could make the biggest splash.

All around it was an amazing day that i would defiantly do again if i could and i am really glad i did everything and got as wet as i did …oh and by the way, Mr. Stavri face planted into a stream (due to a slippery rock) not once but twice,  in the space of 20 seconds…it was hilarious!

By: Josh C & Ben M

Snowdon with Sunbeams

We gathered in the courtyard and were told we were going to climb the largest mountain in Wales: Snowdon. It took us most of the day, which involved seeing the Snowdon train and some exciting rock climbing.

We gathered in the courtyard after breakfast, putting our boots on while mentally preparing ourselves for the long day of scrambling and climbing. We waited for our group leaders, Mr Stavri and Jez and then took a minibus to the base of Snowdon.

As we arrived, Mr Alderson’s group set off first (of course), and our group put an extra layer on to keep us warm. We walked a along the beautiful pathway with a few breaks, so we could regroup, then after around an hour, we reached a steep, rocky incline.

We formed an order and climbed slowly up an impressive rocky, ridge meeting a flock of goats and a few sheep high in the clouds. It was thrilling how high the mountain really was and how easily we could fall and injure ourselves, so we regularly stopped and had a snack – Holly sat and enjoyed the views.

Suddenly, in the distance, we saw both other groups, one ahead of us (Mr Alderson’s) and behind us (Mary’s group). We waved and called and they responded. As we reached the clouds it all became blurred and misty, the temperature dropped and Holly’s cheeks were bright red.

We finally arrived at the summit, but because of the cloud cover, were unable to see anything. We took photos of our group at the summit and Katy saw the ‘Brecon Spectre’ in the mists and took a photo, (circular rainbow halo in the clouds) it was amazing!

Shortly after we ate our lunch and then started the trek down the stony walkway. Not long after leaving the top , a lady, with her puppy fell across the mountain path, we went to help her, but she was fine and asked her husband to look after the excited animal from now on!

It was a long and exiting day but we were glad to be picked up from the other side by the minibus and go back to KMC.

By: Amelia and Holly

Sea Level Traversing

Today we went to a beach with a new instructor called Jez. We travelled 45 minutes by mini-bus. We drove through the village which has the longest name in Europe and has 58 letters. It is called… llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

The beach we went to was called Cable Bay. This was because it was the first transatlantic communication cable from Britain to America. This meant that one transatlantic country could tele-communicate with another for the first time. Another fact that Jez informed us about, was that we were the closest you can get to the Gulf Stream from North Wales. This means that leatherback turtles travel from America to north Wales to eat and hunt jellyfish. They then return back to America to breed. The largest turtle (3 metres 9 feet) recorded, was found in September 1988, 4 miles from where we were traversing. It was found dead because the jellyfish were confused for plastic bags which ended up lining the turtle’s stomach. This meant that Wales was the first country to introduce payment of plastic bags and encouragement for recyclable materials to be used.

It’s safe to say that Jez is a knowledgeable instructor!

To make sure we were nice and warm but still able to move freely, we had to wear leggings or tracksuit bottoms, two tops, a fleece, a waterproof coat and trainers that we didn’t mind  getting wet. Also, just in case we did get wet, we had to pack an extra set of clothes. When we arrived, we had to make sure we were safe; we had to wear buoyance-aids and helmets (also known as safety caps!)

We started off the traversing day by climbing up a small but rocky wall which then led up to a cliff edge. We then took turns to scramble down a narrow and rocky crevasse. This led to the main stretch of rocks that we clambered and jumped over crashing waves. After this we had lunch in the minibus.

After lunch we went along the cliff to a more harsh and windy area. This is where we had to put our harnesses on and attach our carabina clips. This is where Amelia and Holly decided to run down the hill attached to each other’s harnesses which sent Amelia tumbling! While we waited for Jez to set up our course, we all huddled together on the grass to keep out of the wind. We then made our way down and along the cliff face in threes, attached to a rope.

The final thing we did was the Tyrolean traverse. This is where we hung upside down on a rope and pulled ourselves along. If we wanted to we could do a flip in the middle of the two ends.

It was a refreshing day away from walking up the mountains and we are looking forward to the activities coming up.

By: Abbie Debling and Evie Anderson


A beautiful day up Yr Aran

Today was our first day of doing a main, challenging activity.We started our day with a nice, filling English Breakfast and sorted into our groups of 9 or 10 and given our instructor (Anne). We were then told that we were going to climb a 747m tall mountain called Yr Aran.

We set out on our journey up the mountain, and after only a few hundred meters our legs began to ache but we stayed optimistic purely because of Josh’s joyful singing. All the way up the mountain our instructor Anne made us take it in turns to carry a rope around our shoulders (in case of an emergency) and then that person took the lead to set the pace. We then continued our journey past many streams and a lot of grass.

We walked past our first stream – out of the many we saw – and surprisingly Josh and Ben decided that they were extremely dehydrated and just had to attempt to lap up the whole stream as if they were camels in a desert! They soon realised that the water was freezing and got up from the ground and smiled with their blue lips. Although it was cold, they insisted that the water was nicer than tap water even though they had no idea what anyone could have done upstream.

After a long walk that was described by the instructor as  ‘a third’ of the way there, we stopped for one snack out of our lunch boxes . This one snack slowly turned into two or three but we were told by Anne to save some for the summit.

We walked and walked and walked and walked but we also took some stops for some people to catch up (Olly). We have nominated him for the tortoise award! Olly’s only motivation to reach the summit was Mr.Stavri’s bottle of water, he followed him like a donkey. Olly talking here, “It was because I was taking lots of wonderful photos”.

We finally reached the peak and ate the remainders of our lunches with a beautiful view of Snowdon. everyone’s legs were tired but it was only Holly who decided to actually take a nap on the mountain. We then began our descent which was many times faster than our climb.

By Katy Gray and Olly Ansell