Category: Hailstones 2018

Last Day of the Trip

Today, Breakfast was sausages, beans and potato smiley faces. Once we had finished our breakfast, we went to the common room and then we were sent to our meeting room. Mary told us the plan for the day and then we were given 20 minutes to get all of the equipment that we needed for our walk and we met in the courtyard ready to set off.

We parked in a car park near a lake and then set off uphill to the peak. We were left to walk without an adult to develop our independence as a team and Mary ran up the other side of the mountain to meet us at the top. The first stop we came across was the boulder throne and we stopped for a quick ‘Snackette’. Then we continued making our way up to the next stop which was the remains/ruins of a stone house.

Once we made it to the house, we were not far from the top. We walked the remaining bit to get to the top, but not quite the peak. A notable moment at this point was when Adam and Jacob found a large rock and re-enacted ‘The Circle of Life’. We then got out our shelter (just for fun) and waited inside for Mrs Webster and Mary. On Mary’s arrival we stopped to eat our sandwiches and then Mary lead us to the actual peak of the mountain. At the peak, we looked out over the village of Beddgelert and admired the beautiful view of the mountains. Then we made our way back down the other side.

On the way down, we came across an old copper mine. Mary showed us how to use a rock as an anvil and whack to rocks together to try and discover Fools Gold. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any actual pieces of Fools Gold, only what looked like glitter. Once we had finished our ‘treasure hunt’ we carried on down the mountain. We also came across a memorial bench. Underneath the bench, was a small notepad, pen and a bottle of alcohol. We left some messages in the notebook. Then we came across a rocky path that was quite slippy, but everybody made it across in one piece.

After a while of walking, we made it to the flat land next to a river and continued walking to where Mary had moved the minibus to and we had a quick toilet break in the public toilets. Mary then showed us a map that was on the wall and explained to us the next route that we would take without adult supervision. We set off and our first place to walk next to was a gorge.

Later on, after we had met up with Mary once again, we visited Beddgelert (Gelert’s grave). Mary told us the story of Gelert and then we went to see the statue of Gelert. We then visited the grave where he was buried and then continued towards the village.

In the village, we were given 30 minutes to go into different shops. There was very nice and unique art shop and as a team we all decided to buy Mary a thankyou card. Then in the fudge shop (WHICH WAS OUT OF FUDGE!!) we got her a ‘four wheel drive’- Mary’s name for sheep, chocolate. Meanwhile, Mary ordered a strawberry and raspberry smoothie. The man in the shop accidentally made far too much smoothie and so he gave them about 4 cups of it for free. So on the minibus home after a great day, we had a smoothie 1 between 2 with straws and they were absolutely delicious.

Once we made it back to the centre, Mary opened her card and thanked us for a great week and we did the same back. We then went into the stores and returned all of our equipment and handed in our KMC bags etc. Then we emptied our lunchboxes for the last time. Tonight, Rachael, Beth, Aenea, Charlotte and Lola were on duty and had to wash up, serve and clean up after dinner. Then we were all sent to go and pack everything away in our suitcases ready for tomorrow’s departure.

Once we had finished packing, we were sent to get a pen and a notebook and we gathered in the dining room for a KMC Quiz. It was very fun and it consisted of questions about subjects such as sport, welsh culture, general knowledge etc.

Since it was our last night in the centre, we were all gathered in the common room and each teacher would give out certificates to the people in their group in an award ceremony way. Then Mr Alderson showed us a slideshow of images of the week and we all laughed an remembered all the fun memories we had created. After that, we finished watching the film ‘Happy Gilmore’ and then later than usual, we were sent up to bed.

By Aenea Goult

A day of Clumsiness

The story begins on Wednesday evening in the courtyard for Jacob and the store cupboard for me. We were on opposing teams with different activities, one we had to get a ball out of a pipe using only water but PLOT TWIST the pipe has holes in it and we had to work together to block the holes and get the ball out, getting completely drenched in the process, at one point (in Jacobs group) every one let go of the holes and left Mabel  hugging the pipe. The second activity we had to create certain shapes out of rope but PLOT TWIST (again) we were blind folded. At the end everyone was up against each other, in this game we had to get from one side to the other using tiles of carpets but PLOT TWIST(ok that’s the last one) if a tile was left unattended The swamp monster (Miss Webster and Keith) would take them and decrease our number of tiles to use, in Jacobs group Alex almost lost the entire game by picking up tiles at the end instead of going straight over the line and also blocking himself (thanks to Mr Swamp Monster) away from the end.

The next day the hailstones (the best group) went on a 45-minute drive to the coast. We started with a bit of rock climbing. clambering over a wall, me with the speed of a seal with crutches and Jacob going the speed of a gorilla on steroids (that’s fast). On the other side of the magical wall, we walked down a special path. At the end of the special path, was a small rock face. This was a challenge. We paired up and had to direct each other as were to put our hands and feet, with multiple “power slides” (slips).  Moving swiftly on we went around rocky rock pools and had a break shortly after. To get to the top of the cliff we had to go through the claustrophobic cave of claustrophobia (try saying that three times fast). At the top of the cliff, we went back to the van for a spot of lunch. After lunch, we walked down another special path (this is another special path but this one is not so special) and arrived to find Mary (Our instructor) on an island with ropes between the island and our path area. We had to get to the island using harnesses and the rope. We were taught how to do a backflip (sort of) on the rope. Getting to the other side was fun yet hard and only Jacob and Aenea did the backflip. We then had a gander through the rocks. During our little gander, Jacob managed to lose his shoe down a little cavern, but fear not for I, Adam, managed to save the shoe (shoe saver, I am considering putting an advert in the paper for shoe saving). The day was coming to a close and we got to jump into the sea, I did a cannonball and Jacob persuaded Mary to let us dive in. The day had ended, and Rachael had managed to slip only twice, a record, and now we’re in the lecture room writing about our day.

By  Jacob Hyland & Adam Marshall

Hailstones vs The Three Very Windy Mountains

Last night, we did some outdoor problem-solving activities. The most notable moment was probably when Joe swung on the rope with a full bucket of water and got drenched. It was extremely funny. Some people went to the climbing centre, it was fun but also challenging.

This morning, Hailstones reached 3 mountain peaks. We took the minibus to the bottom of the first path. Then we slowly made our way up to the bottom of the first mountain (Carnedd y Filiast). Once we made it to the peak, we sat down and ate our lunch in a stone shelter. As we continued, it was downhill to the next mountain (Mynydd Perfedd). There were very harsh gusts of wind. Mary was worried that Jacob would fly away so Chris had to hold him down. Aiming to reach the second peak, we scrambled up some steep rocks, almost slipping on the frost. We made it up to the second peak with thankfully not too many slip ups (unlike Rachael yesterday). The climb up to the third peak was quite challenging for some of us. At one point, as we were walking across a very narrow ridge, the gusts were so strong that we were almost thrown down the cliff. It was very exhilarating and quite scary. We all had really great attitudes and tried our best to help each other and work as a team. On the final climb to the third peak (Elidir Fawr), the rocks were quite wobbly and slippy. Beth was walking across two rocks and all of sudden she was laying on her stomach with her head in between them. About two metres from the top, Chris was excited and happy to have made it to the peak. He seemed to have forgotten that he had a big rucksack on and accidentally barged Rachael out of the way and she fell into the rocks. When we had all made it into the stone shelter on top of the final peak, Mrs Webster decided it would be a great time for a photo and stood on the top edge of the shelter. We were worried that if the wind blew hard enough, she would be knocked off of her feet and thrown down the steep side of the mountain.

Filled with pride to have accomplished our goals for the day, we began the journey back down to the minibus. We had to take baby steps as it was very steep and also quite slippy. We stayed tight as a group to prevent anyone falling down and severely hurting themselves. Luckily, nobody was hurt. However, on our zigzag route down the mountain edge, Beth’s feet began to slide and she fell down, rolled over a rock and then slid down the mountain path until she was finally caught by Liam. It was very funny and Beth was not hurt. A few times down the mountain, Rachael also slipped. Once we were off the main area of rocks and onto the grass, the ground became very steep and we have to move extra carefully. Adam decided it would be best to grip onto Rachael’s bag and attempt to pull her up when she kept slipping over. We also all took it in turns to use the mountain stick that Mary had in her bag. Slowly but surely, we made it down the steepest part of the mountain and onto the much less steep part of the journey down. As we kept making our way down, we found a rock that as you stood on it, it flipped and the person stood on it plummeted into a hole. Aenea was the first to discover it. Eventually we made it back to the minibus and we drove to The Centre. On our return, we returned all of our kit and cleaned out our lunch boxes. Dinner was either Bolognaise or Macaroni. Dessert was either Angel Delight or Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Slip counters:
Rachael Slip Counter: 23 slips
Best slip of the day: Beth sliding down the mountain

Best Parts:
Reaching the final peak
Scrambling up the rocks
Working together and supporting one another

Worst Parts:
The rain at the beginning

The three mountains we climbed:
Carnedd y Filiast
Mynydd Perfedd
Elidir Fawr

By Rachael Lewis and Aenea Goult

Cold gorge Afon Ddu

We started out by eating breakfast at 7.45 were there were option of bacon,smiley fries, scrambled eggs, pain au chocolat and a selection of cereals we then headed into the common room for a meeting with our team instructor,mary, who told us what we should pack and wear. we assembled in the courtyard to collect our wellington boots, helmets, belt and life jacket.
we got in to the mini van and left at around 10.10 the journey took around 45 minutes. we stopped near the beginning of the gorge and dismounted the mini van and tried on our: belt,helmet and life jacket. before we entered the gorge we had a small safety briefing that covered the basics of gorge climbing we were told that the gorge was a SSSI (special site of scientific interest) this basically meant that there are some area were rare plant and species were thriving so therefore we were not permitted the enter these areas.

Our instructor lead us through the gorge which was wet, slippery and rocky. The rocks in the gorge were greasey with the slime that was transported from the top of gorge.Our instructor told us exactly were to go and were to not go because you will slip into the water which was very cold. Near the beginning our instructor toke us through the “elephants bottom” which were two boulders that were jammed together at there tops. We had to crawl through the hole between the boulders (that was very small) and we had to shimmy through and exit out the other side of the boulders through the opening at the top. We then stopped 10 minutes later for a short lunch break and continued up the gorge until our instructor told us to drink out of a very small waterfall which had pure water. We continued on. She then stopped us again and told us to eat little things that looked like four leafed clovers but when you grind them up in your teeth the taste like the the skin of Granny smith apples.

When we were nearing the end of the gorge we were told that we were to pair up and clip on to the rope that our instructor knotted up. One person went in front and one went at the back and when the rope had straightened in the direction of our instructor ( who was waiting at the top of the waterfall). We then had to hold the ropes for the others whilst they climbed up to join us. Right at the end of the gorge we were given the opportunity to jump into the plunge pool which engulfed you completely and was very cold.

When we exited the gorge the boys had to walk into the forest and take off our wet things and put on our dry things that we kept in the mini van and we returned to the centre and ate dinner.

By Liam Cowdery and Christopher Plichta

The (more than) Three Peaks!

After having breakfast at 8 o’clock (really early for some people) we gathered in the common room to discover our groups for the coming week. While waiting we enjoyed some quality time watching Justin Time, Ben and Holly and Peppa Pig. Once we were separated into our groups, we had a conversation with our instructor about activities we were keen to do in the week and any potential strengths and weaknesses, we decided to go for a mountain hike. A short while later, we set off on our trek up the mountains.

It started off as quite laid back, walking at a steady pace on a smooth path past never before seen Welsh animals, also known as sheep that reside in Wales. The three peaks we wanted to reach were those of Foel Goch, Foel Gron and Moel Eilio. After walking for just over an hour on the tarmac path, had a short break, and began the more difficult remainder of our journey. This was very steep uphill and along a very grassy and rocky terrain. It was a lot more tiring. After finally reaching our first peak, we stopped for a bite to eat but some of the more immature members of our group were more fascinated by the layer of ice that had formed over a deep puddle. Once we finally convinced Liam and Adam to part with their beloved puddle we carried on down the other side of the mountain. Rachael, who by this point was tired and had achy joints, tried desperately to convince Beth to carry her in her backpack. Funnily enough she refused!

Time for the second peak! After reaching the valley between Foel Goch and Foel Gron we began to climb the latter. This was very long and steep so required a lot of energy but once at the top, Liam decided he just wanted to sleep. The view from the top of the mountain was incredible and we were all breathtaken by the beautiful Welsh scenery. The extraordinarily steep drop from one part of the mountain sparked a discussion about Cheese Rolling, a traditional Yorkshire tradition in which people risk their lives by rolling after a wheel of cheese down steep mountains and hills. Ms Webster was very knowledgeable about this extreme sport- we decided not to try this as we had no cheese and henceforth we all think she was secretly disappointing. Not only this, she also tried to cram in a bit of maths- talking about the hypotenuse of Snowd0n, we all switched off way before the words ‘Pythagoras Theorem’ were even mentioned.

We continued with our mountainous walk- the next peak was the top of Moel Eilio- the only problem was that we could see 3 other peaks in the way. It turns out that these were not actually classed as proper mountain peaks due to the fact that they were too close together! The only problem was that they required the same amount of energy if not more. While we were making our way to the third and final peak, Beth, Rachael and Adam began an in depth discussion about Marvel in which Beth started ranting about the latest film, Infinity War. We will make this spoiler free but will just say that she was unhappy with many aspects of the film, including the hair colour change of a main character and an unsatisfactory ending. This conversation distracted us from the difficulty of the final climb.

When we finally got to the top of Moel Eilio, we all stopped for a well earned rest.To Liam and many others’ satisfaction, it was all downhill from there. Despite this it was just as perilous due to the fact that it was steep, rocky and covered in frost that we slipped on multiple times. This very long downward slope was not kind to our ankles and knees! By this point it was about mid afternoon and we were getting increasingly tired and anxious to get back to the centre to give our feet a nice break.

Once we were clear of the mountainous terrain we had to walk through a forest where our instructor pretended to not know the way, thankfully Ms Webster’s keen eyes remembered one of the paths from our late night walk the day before! We then walked through the pleasant Welsh village where Rachael was fascinated by a restaurant called ‘Pete’s Eats’. A short while later, we arrived back at the centre and were all satisfied by how much we had done and interested by the other groups’ own achievements. We all had a great, tiring day and were eager for a good night sleep!

By Rachael and Beth