Pupils tackle the snow in the Lake District
On the final day before the Christmas break, 30 students from Year 9 and above set out for Eskdale in the Lake District National Park. After a long journey by coach students disembarked at the Wool Pack Inn and walked the final narrow country lane (too narrow for even the smallest coaches) to their accommodation for the weekend, the remote Eskdale Youth Hostel. Situated beneath the well-preserved Hardknott Roman Fort (Mediobogdum), the youth hostel offered comfortable shelter from the sometimes harsh winter mountain conditions. The tiring journey ensured all students were swiftly in bed and asleep!
The dawn of our first true mountain day in the Lakes saw the mountains covered in a layer of snow and ice. Students set off, accompanied by two members of staff, in groups to tackle the second highest summit in England, Sca Fell, standing at 964m above sea level. Half the group tackled the summit from the south, scaling Slight Side Crag and the Long Green whilst the remainder took a north-easterly route via Burnmoor Tarn. The journey was challenging for most, however with stops for the occasional snow ball fight the time soon passed. All groups met victorious at the summit for a photo and then returned following the ascent route of their opposite number.
On Sunday the weather took a decidedly damp turn. Groups ventured out onto the lower summit of Harter Fell in gusting winds and heavy rain. Many groups took the opportunity to visit the Roman Fort, still miraculously well preserved, none of its majesty lost despite the weather. Returning to the youth hostel, students warmed up around the fireplace and were served ‘signature’ hot chocolates by the student catering team on duty for the evening. If this was not enough, the very same student catering team went on to produce a full Christmas dinner for 42 people. Not an easy feat on two domestic gas stoves and ovens.
The trip was a great success where the students demonstrated great organisation and teamwork throughout despite the damp conditions at times.