Adventurous Perse students savour Sweden expedition

Intrepid students took part in the first international trip by a Perse group for more than two years as they travelled to Sweden for the Summit 12 expedition.

Covid pandemic-induced uncertainty led to wide-ranging plans for the expedition venue, with the original intent being to undertake a trekking-based adventure in Iceland.

As such, students undertook winter mountaineering training in the Cairngorms during the February half term.

However, due to challenges obtaining travel insurance, the venue changed to Sweden, which required students to retrain in very different skills, including cutting tools, canoeing and fire lighting, at short notice.

Enthusiasm was high though, as Summit 12 participants showed a great deal of flexibility and tenacity to ensure they were ready for what lay ahead.

Having arrived in Gothenburg and prepared for the eight-day expedition, students paddled out in torrential rain, which lasted non-stop for 24 hours.

They had to work hard to dry out all of their equipment and establish camp for the very first time on a remote island.

Despite the challenging start, pupils showed great resilience and went on, in improving weather, to explore the lakes and islands of Dalsland.

On the way, the adventurers learned about fire lighting, including fire by friction, wood carving, backwoods cookery, paddling and even improvised canoe sailing.

Perse Head of Outdoor Pursuits Ben Parker said: “This was the first international trip for PES (Perse Exploration Society) post-Covid and a great success.

“Returning to Sweden after a long break was a pleasure and pupils benefited from the access to true wilderness terrain.”


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