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Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition

A group of Year 12 and Year 13 students departed school on Monday 5 April to Snowdonia, in North Wales for the year 13s to complete their final expedition within the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, and for the year 12s to complete their Gold practice walk.

On route to Wales we stopped to do the food shopping for the week, as we were staying in The Old Corris Youth Hostel, where we cooked dinner in small groups every night. On Tuesday, our first day, the Year 12s walked in one group, practicing our navigation and map skills, being careful to consider contour
lines in our route, to ensure successful map reading for when we complete our final expedition. In the evening the Year 12s split into three groups to plan our routes for Thursday, where we would be in these teams following the plotted routes to meet the teachers at a local village, something that is vital in order to complete our final expedition.

On Wednesday we climbed up Cadar Idris which has an elevation of 893 meters. Unfortunately, due to strong winds and poor visibility, we were only able to walk up two-thirds of the mountain before turning around, however all of us gained a valuable experience of the terrain that we will be walking in during our final expedition. On the way up the mountain we had a short history lesson from Mr Ross, who told us about Mary Jones, a 15-year-old, who in the year 1800 walked from Meirionnydd, through the valleys of Cadair Idris, to Bala, walking a total of 28 miles barefoot to get a copy of the Bible. Once back at the foot of the mountain, we had a short stop at Holgates Ice Cream Shop, which Mr Ross claims to have the best ice cream, while we waited for the year 13 group to reach the checkpoint so that we could give them more water for their final night out.

Finally, on Thursday all three Year 12 groups successfully walked the routes that we had planned on Tuesday night, and arrived at the village of Abergynolwyn, the final checkpoint where we were picked up, as well as the Year 13s.

After our final night of many games of Uno, we embarked on the lengthy journey back to school on Friday. The week in Wales has taught us many skills, where there is no doubt that we will use these on our final expedition next year.

Article written by Alice M, Elena F and Ellie R, Year 12

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