Students find their way through the Lake District with PES
22 Nov 2018
Ewan Morris (Lower Sixth) shares an insight into the recent Perse Outdoor Pursuits trip to the Lake District.
On arriving at the first campsite in the Lake District, we immediately pitched tents and cooked dinner. We had spent most of Thursday travelling to arrive in the evening in Glenridding, near the southern end of Ullswater. The group comprised of around 40 participants across the Gold and Silver programmes, all split into smaller teams of around six.
The Friday was set to be a day of navigational training and we spent the morning familiarising ourselves with the routes we had planned. We then left the site with teams paired together – each group of two teams was accompanied by a mountain leader and another member of the Outdoor Pursuits staff. We practised skills such as the use of tick features and catching points, as well as pacing’s for distances, while walking on the foothills surrounding the campsite. We returned to the same campsite at around 5pm and after a debrief began cooking dinner using Trangias.
We rose early on the Saturday morning to pack down our tents, cook breakfast and load our backpacks. We spent a long day of around 12 hours walking, managing to summit Helvellyn amongst other peaks in challenging conditions.
The next day we spent a small amount of time re-planning our route as we were starting from a different campsite to that we had planned (a navigational error of the previous day). After being dropped off in a car park in a location closer to our destination we began walking in greatly improved conditions compared to the previous day. We climbed Silver How making good progress and reaching the summit in good time. Taking a moment to savour the views over Grasmere we descended towards Great Langdale, our final campsite.
Once we arrived at the campsite, we had lunch and pitched our tents before sitting down to do some more training, going through the criteria for the Gold Award and the 20 Duke of Edinburgh conditions. This was the last night and there was much reflection by many on the achievements of the trip so far, as well as celebration.
Monday morning greeted us with splendid weather doing justice to the beautiful landscape which surrounded us. In our training groups, we set off for a short walk without the weight of our tents and food. We were taught higher level skills to assist with navigation, including recognition of geographical features to locate your position. After this we returned to the campsite and got on the coach and minibus to begin the long journey home, during which many caught up on some much-needed sleep.