Rydal Penrhos’ Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator Dr Jim Lewis brings us a special account of the recent Gold Award expedition, which saw candidates tested to their limits and show a tremendous work ethic in difficult conditions throughout.
Over four days and four nights, pupils from Year 13 completed their Gold DofE qualifying expedition, trekking through the very heart of the Rhinog mountains.
This wild moorland presents many challenges: The paths are faint, navigation is demanding, the climbs are tough and the terrain is, at times, brutal.
Added to this, unknown animals come in the night and steal food from rucksacks, the bogs and mires are relentless.
As a bonus, though, at least your feet only get wet once – they just then stay that way for four days!
To quote Joe Morrow: “It’s like a metaphor for life. You have to be optimistic; any pessimism will backfire on you.
“You have to enter into a mentality of discomfort and learn to like it.”
Yes it’s tough to put on cold, wet socks at the start of each day, but it’s only temporary.
The ice on your tent will melt in the morning sunshine. The mist rising off the lake is sublime in its beauty. The sense of isolation does provide something incredibly precious.
If in doubt, do as Carol does and eat noodles – any old food may sustain us, but noodles and mountains will truly make us come alive.
It was a pleasure to be a part of it folks. You were all immense!