First Ten Tors training on Dartmoor

On 16th and 17th February, the Ten Tors training continued with our first trip down to Dartmoor.

The long journey down went smoothly, broken up by some delicious fish and chips at Okehampton before the first challenge arose – pitching tents in the dark with 30 mph winds. Through group-work and perseverance, we managed to get camped, however some tents didn’t make it through the night and some students had to use our silver, metal emergency tent.

‘Smoky Bill’s Grill’ was fired up at around 6 am and some lucky students enjoyed a fabulous fry-up before embarking on the intensive navigation workshop with Iain or Mr Gray’s 17 mile “learning about the Moor” hike. The weather was typical for the Moor in February – misty, drizzly and windy.

Students marched through the tussocks and scrub, crossed several rivers, fell into muddy puddles and showed superb resilience and determination to keep on going. The navigation group similarly impressed with their compass use and map-work. The 45 mile group also got some hefty miles under their belt, although terrible visibility hampered their navigation somewhat.

Saturday night brought a mean chilli from Bill, but also more noisy 40 mph winds, and many students struggled for sleep, and when added to their efforts the day before several found hiking on Sunday a real challenge. Huge respect to those who shunned the minibus, grabbed a hot breakfast and stayed out for the whole weekend. We’re definitely starting to see who our teams may consist of now!

As always many thanks to my helpers Iain Richards, Bob Brice, Xavier Lord and Bill Smith – it’d be impossible without you!!

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