Perse Exploration Society in training for North Africa
Lower Sixth student describes her recent adventure to the Peak District with the Perse Exploration Society (Summit 12 group).
We spent enrichment day and the entirety of the weekend at Gradbach Campsite in the Peak District in preparation for the summer expedition to Morocco. Being very fortunate with the weather, we were able to carry out a variety of strenuous yet enjoyable activities, aimed at preparing us for our 16 day expedition in the summer, where we will climb the highest summit in North Africa. Not only were the skills we learnt valuable for the expedition, but made for a thoroughly enjoyable weekend as well.
With an early start on the Saturday morning, we had the whole day ahead of us consisting of first aid training and a night hike. Shortly after the arrival at the campsite, the tents were set up and we had an essential first aid activity, in which we learnt about the risks we may face on the expedition and how to deal with them if any were to occur. In our groups we were taught, and then tested on, how we should respond to injuries whilst on an expedition; some vital skills that perhaps not all of us had known before, thus making it an entertaining but useful experience.
On Saturday evening the group underwent a night hike of approximately 5km around the Black Forest where the impressive gritstone edges provided us with astonishing viewpoints looking over the moonlit Peak District. We also visited Lud’s Church (an immense natural cleft in the rock on the hillside above Gradbach. We travleed through the chasm in the dark, using only our head torches to view the 15-meter-high cliff walls. This was a remarkable experience, making the weekend all the more memorable.
The Sunday entailed a 15km hike to the Roaches with an abseil halfway through. The group split in half and both groups completed the 20 meter abseil and 15km hike throughout the day. Given we will be doing a lot of hiking in Morocco, it was a brilliant opportunity to test our abilities in the Peak District, and with the added bonus of an abseil. We had a large BBQ altogether on the final evening, thus adding to the valued social aspect of a Summit 12 trip.
The whole weekend was a success and contributed greatly to all of our skills that are necessary for Morocco. With another field weekend in February, the group will further their knowledge and abilities in preparation for the final expedition.