With the alarm clock beeping continuously in my ear, I and Mei desperately scrambled to turn the lights on. As we didn’t want to wake the others up, we tried our best to be quiet! Cleverly, the night before we had planned to wake up early so we could be the first to have a shower. However when we finally managed to get to them, it didn’t turn out to be as pleasant as we hoped [it was either to hot or too cold] When getting ready, we struggled to know what to wear as we were still getting used to the new experiences. Gathering the breakfast at 7:45, as instructed we all filled our stomachs to the brims. We didn’t want to get hungry up in the mountains so some of us even had seconds! We all agreed that the food here was better than Germany. Soon afterwards, we gathered in the common room to find out our groups. Nervously, we all opened our ears and listened intensely, however, soon after Mr Alderson had spoken, Mrs Webster announced that we would be in a group with herself and an instructor Mary. Pushing and shoving into a new room we had never seen before, we were then told that today we would be climbing a ring of three mountains. We were also told the equipment we needed, what we needed to wear and more information about our day. Luckily, we were in a group where we all got along and could conferee with each other about what we needed to do and when. We got our things, shoved them into our bags and walked downstairs to the place we were told to meet Mary. We then promptly changed into our mountain boots and toppled into the minibus. From then on it was only the 10 of us. Getting out of the mini bus after a short 5 minute journey we were soon greeted with an amazing display of mountains [3 of which we were planning to hike]. We stared of strong but quickly got tired but Mary then explained that it was completely normal and we would get the pace soon. It was a nice journey up the mountain even though some people struggled. There were many pauses and stops when people could catch their breath and have a quick drink or snack; however we tried not to guzzle our drinks because sooner or later we would run out. Working our way up the first mountain called Carnedd y Filiast, many people tripped or slid down the muddy hills. The weather was great but the nearer we got to the top, the wind got stronger. Finally, when we reached the top of the mountain, it was an amazing feeling and the picturesque view could not be better. However, the hike wasn’t over yet, there was still more mountains to climb… The second mountain of the three was called Mynydd Perfydd and it ended up being a lot easier than we thought as we were energized after eating our lunch. When we got to the top most of us were feeling astounded by the fact that we had climbed 2 mountains. On the other hand most of us were thoroughly exhausted so Mary made the prompt decision that we would head back down. This upset some of us because it wasn’t as great of an achievement as it would be if wed climbed all three, although it turned out to be the correct decision. Over all it was a great experience and we both can’t wait for tomorrow.
Winter conditions in Snowdonia National Park are rare in November
British Summer Time ends at 2:00am on Sunday 28 October 2019. The clocks go back so you will get a bit of a lie-in on Sunday morning.
Of course, the weather doesn’t always get colder just because we have said goodbye to British Summer Time.
The weather forecast for next week is looking favourable for our trip. It’s too early to be sure but strong winds and prolonged heavy rain (the conditions most likely to narrow our of choice activities) do not feature at all.
As you would expect of an outdoor activities centre located at the foot of the highest mountain in England and Wales, KMC is well prepared and equipped to make the best use of any weather and underfoot conditions – whether that be mild, sunny calm days or falling snow and what hillwalkers and mountaineers call ‘winter conditions’.
We always plan our activities based on an up-to-date weather forecast and any conditions can bring some exciting opportunities. For example, a cold, wet day at the Kent Mountain Centre (KMC) usually means it’s snowing on the mountain summits. The experience of walking on the mountains of Snowdonia National Park is something very special at any time of year but the addition of a little snow or the stunningly wide vistas of a cloudless Autumn day can make it magical.
On a practical note, please do heed my advice (at the parents’ meeting and in the equipment list) about appropriate clothing for the outdoor activities. Nothing has changed just because it’s going to get chilly but, if you have a little space left in your suitcase, fill it with extra warm items like a fleece top, hat, gloves etc.
The coach leaves promptly at 8:00am so please be outside the school gates on Broadstairs Road by 7:45am.
I find that most year nines I have taken to KMC struggle with the same challenge; organising themselves and their equipment.
It is a fact that, when I stood in front of you at an assembly in the Spring term, I made it very clear that you should only apply for a place on this trip if your main motivation is experiencing the unique outdoor challenges offered (as opposed to being convinced by your mates it’s a good idea or simply wanting another week off school). Assuming you followed my advice, the next week will not disappoint. But, be warned, you will have to work hard at thinking for yourself and planning ahead. Continue reading →
I’ve just published a page of answers to queries and questions we tend to get asked every year – usually on the coach as we travel to KMC.
Please take a look – you’ll find some questions you didn’t even know you needed to ask.
You will probably use more energy in your time at KMC than you ever have in any other week. At the parents’ meeting I mentioned the importance of eating well during your stay and how this is made easy for you by the catering staff. Here are some more details:
We we will be working in four groups during the daytime. We always organise groups by physical ability to ensure the activities are suitable for as many of you as possible. The same groups stay together for all daytime activities (although there are occasionally minor changes at the end of Monday).
You will find out which group you are in on the Monday morning when you meet your instructor.
Evening activities require different sized groups which vary each day.
Each evening, a small group will be responsible for writing the daytime activity group blog posts. We will be looking for different volunteers from each group for each evening. Everyone will contribute to the blog at some time in the week.
Problem solving activity in the grounds of KMC – November 2016
We like to keep you busy on this trip. Your days will be filled from 7:30am to at least 9:00pm every day. During that time you will have an hour or so to yourself but most of that will be used up organising your belongings, showering etc (more of this in a later post).
After the evening meal, everyone is involved in organised activities.
Thank you for attending the meeting this evening. I hope you all feel ready for the adventure and your parents are well informed. I did forget to make one thing clear and, as it could save you some packing space and expense, I’ll mention it here.
All specialist personal equipment and clothing is supplied by Kent Mountain Centre. This includes a personal issue for use all week consisting of a waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, boots (and other outdoor footwear as required), rucksack for use on activities, gloves, warm hat and a fleece. Extra clothing will be issued in certain weather conditions. This includes a windproof jacket and gaiters (for use in deep snow and heather).
Technical equipment is also supplied, usually on a day-issue basis and depending on the type of activity being carried out. Items such as wetsuits, climbing helmets, harnesses and bouyancy aids are usually collected immediately before departing from the Centre and returned as the group sort out their belongings in the courtyard before going back into the Centre.
Visiting staff and KMC instructors work hard to ensure the safe return of equipment and care of personal clothing is completed as soon as possible. Participants play an important part in assisting with these tasks and are expected to help out until the job is done. This will still leave time to have a shower and prepare for the evening meal.
If you missed the meeting, you can find dowloadable copies of the information covered here.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here:
This little website provides up-to-date information for participants on Dane Court Grammar School's annual November visit to Kent Mountain Centre.
Parents are able to check here for important news before departure and read blog entries posted throughout the trip.
Every day during the visit students volunteer to write about their outdoor adventures; sometimes using a good deal of poetic license. Nevertheless readers will get a flavour of the exciting challenges.
The blog also serves as an ongoing record of previous visits.