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Sixth Form News

Ups, downs and watery escapades on Gold DofE practice expeditions

The Easter holidays were the perfect time for our Gold DofE candidates to get some practice in Snowdonia and on the River Severn.

The canoeists realised early on in their expedition that they had brought an excess of kit. This really caused problems on the second morning, when they were required to fit all of their sleeping bags and equipment into barrels for safe transportation on the river. As one adventurer put it “actual pillows have no place on Gold DofE!”

The walking teams began their expedition in Llanberis and made the short trek to the base of Snowdon. After a night in camp, they opted to attempt the summit with light kit, rather than trek the base with full packs. Having photos taken at the 940m peak was a real highlight, despite the freezing temperatures.


Meanwhile the canoeists, having taken a more “brutal” approach to packing, made their way to the second campsite through beautiful weather and countryside. The third canoeing day offered the prospect of some white water and, having unburdened their boats, the teams attempted the rapids at Ironbridge. Only one team swam temporarily with the fishes, with the others putting in some strong paddling to make it through the rapids undrenched.

The walkers scaled a further peak on the third day and had a few slips and slides on the descent, all met with good humour and fortunately no injuries.

All teams learned a lot about the skills and organisation needed for a successful expedition and will be putting all they’ve learned to the test in the Brecon Beacons and Ecuador on their assessed expeditions in the summer.