Perse explorers battle bitter conditions to test their skills
Report by Ben Parker, Assistant Head of Outdoor Pursuits
The Perse Exploration Society’s Summit 12 group set off for the Peak District National Park early on Saturday 9th March to conduct skills training in preparation for their India 2013 expedition. The weekend was set to be an intense period of training in which pupils would trek across the Peaks in daylight and at night whilst completing first aid, navigation and team building challenges.
On arrival in Leek, Fires purchased their food for the weekend and then set out in teams to traverse the Roaches with the aim of reaching Gradbach Scout Campsite by nightfall. While rain was forecast, the weather gradually deteriorated into localised snow flurries and bitterly cold winds. Pupils did exceptionally well under these conditions, demonstrating many of the skills they have learnt in the PES training programme.
In camp pupils set up their tents and prepared for a night exercise intended to test their navigational and team work skills to the limit. Again pupils demonstrated a good understanding of navigation under testing conditions and delivered their teams accurately to most of the control stations.
On Sunday morning the weather had deteriorated and snow covered the campsite. While pupils were keen to continue and were getting on with their preparations for the day ahead, we made the decision to return to Cambridge in case poor road conditions eventually prevented the group from returning home on Monday.
Monday was not wasted however. Refreshed from a full night’s sleep, pupils returned to School and took part in classes at Wimpole on casualty care, sanitation, water filtration and micro-navigation.