Students test their mountaineering skills in Aviemore
10 Mar 2016
Last weekend, the Perse Outdoor Pursuits Summit 12 group ventured to Scotland for a weekend of mountaineering. The particular camp was in preparation for the group’s upcoming trip to Bolivia. James Irvin and Claudia Tomkys in the Lower Sixth have written an account of their trip – we hope you enjoy reading.
“On 3 March, the Summit 12 expedition party set out on their second field weekend into the Scottish mountains near Aviemore, in preparation for their trip to Bolivia. After a restless trip down on the Caledonian sleeper train, the group settled down in the youth hostel, which they would use as their base for the duration of the weekend.
Following a welcoming hearty breakfast, they promptly headed out to the snowy slopes of the Cairngorm Plateau. The group then undertook basic mountaineering training, including walking in snow with ice axes and crampons, along with a full scale snowball fight to blow off some steam.
On the second day, the group travelled further into the mountains to take on emergency ice axe arrest training in stormy conditions. This involved being hurled down a mountain in various orientations including forwards, backwards and sometimes upside down! Later that evening, Mr Parker and Dr Davies gave talks on the risks of avalanches when on the mountain along with the health risks of being at high altitude.
The final day saw the group take on a challenging trek up to Cairn Gorm Summit at 1,245m. In doing so they brought together all the skills that they had learnt throughout the weekend, epitomised by the ascent of 35ᵒ ridge riddled with rocky terrain and icy patches. The group was relieved when they finally saw the weather station, marking the peak, emerge from out of the icy fog. That evening the group collapsed onto the train back home, and discussed what had been the best PES trip they had experienced… so far.”