Challenge Accepted

Hi! It’s Alex again. I hope that you have all enjoyed the ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ project week: I am sure that you have learned a lot, as well as enjoyed yourselves immensely. As for Year 8, we took on the 3 Peaks Challenge, climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) respectively.  Before leaving, we congregated at Bickley Station, early on Saturday morning. Our energy levels were extremely high, ready for our long and tiring journey ahead to Glasgow.

On the first day after arrival, we climbed Ben Nevis, the highest of the three peaks at 1345m.  This turned out to be the greatest distance due to the winding paths. The sun beating down upon us increased the intensity.

We then moved on to our next camp site, at the foot of Scafell Pike.  I must say that Scafell Pike was, in my view, the easiest of the three peaks to climb.  It also allowed a breath-taking view of the surrounding Lake District. In fact, the views from all three mountains were equally spectacular.  Now for Snowdon!  This was by far the steepest and most physically demanding to ascend.

During the week, we experienced a variety of special and extremely enjoyable activities that connected us to nature in a unique and exciting way.  For example, the day after climbing Ben Nevis, we went canyoning. This involves making one’s way down a canyon by sliding and climbing down the rocks.  At the end of the canyon, we stopped as there was a zip line waiting for us.  We then dropped into a cooling rock pool beneath.  The next activity was just as fun and is known as ‘Via Ferrata’. This involves making one’s way up a mountain on tightropes and metal staples.  This was particularly difficult for some of us, especially those who are afraid of heights.  In spite of this, we conquered this challenge, with the encouragement of our friends.

In Snowdonia, we experienced what is the fastest zip wire in the world and the longest in Europe, called ‘Velocity’.  We reached speeds of up to 125 miles per hour whilst travelling across a beautiful, glistening lake.  Can you imagine this?  The final activity before we climbed Snowdon was caverning. This involves making one’s way through a dark cavern which was originally used for mining during the Victorian times. There are various ways of caverning, such as climbing and using zip-wires and monkey bars.

Overall, the whole week was utterly unforgettable and rewarding. I would recommend every aspect of this trip to everybody (except the midges!).  This experience allowed me to realise that, despite my initial dislike for camping, Mr. Cash and his team, who accompanied us on the trip, made everything so enjoyable and safe.  I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Mr Cash, Mrs French, Mr Bailey-Dainton, Mr Poole, Mr Powell and Mr Alabaster.

That’s all for now and I look forward to seeing all of you on Sports Day!