Herts & Bucks Wing

  Adventure Training Group


Easter Mountain Activities Course 2003

After concentrating on staff training courses over the winter, it was good to be running the first cadet course of the year in North Wales over Easter. We took 13 cadets from Squadrons across the Wing, and set up our base at a private campsite



Two members of staff drove to the campsite on Thursday morning to erect the tents and set up an impressive kitchen and dining area.  The rest of us left Watford on Thursday evening towing a box trailer full of food and equipment behind our minibus. We were passing Banbury when a mechanical problem reduced the number of wheels on the trailer from four to three...  Several hours later we were back at Watford where we spent what was left of the night... Our thanks to the RAC for recovering the trailer, and to a cadet's parent who drove across from Hertfordshire well after midnight to help us get everyone back!

On Friday morning, the contents of the trailer were reloaded into various cars and the course finally arrived at the campsite at around 1630. The cadets stretched their legs with a simple navigation exercise near Harlech beach while the evening meal was prepared


On Saturday, all staff and cadets went mountain biking at Coed Y Brenin, using bikes hired from the nearby ski centre, and some personal bikes brought by members of staff. We regularly use Coed Y Brenin, which contains some of the finest trails in Britain, but the trails are physically and technically challenging - especially for anyone whose cycling experience has been gained mainly on roads

On this occasion, we spent the day on the mbr route, and survived without seriously damaging any bikes, cadets or members of staff

For Easter Sunday our plan was for a big mountain day. We had noticed that the local campsites, towns and roads were busier than we had seen for many years. This was very good news for the local economy, but with stories of traffic jams and crowded hills in Northern Snowdonia we decided to avoid popular mountains like Snowdon and Tryfan, and chose to ascend Cader Idris from the Minffordd hotel instead

None of the cadets had done this route before, so we split them into three small groups and got them to navigate us out of the car-park and  onto the mountain. As forecast, there was a cold easterly wind at high level, but visibility was good and the rarely seen view from the summit was well worth the effort





An early start on Monday saw us clearing the campsite and filling every corner of the bus and two cars with equipment before we went to the crag and set up and abseil and two top-roped climbs. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse, with  a cold wind and heavy showers, but we carried on regardless and everyone had the opportunity to do as many abseils and climbs as they wanted, before we set off for home with a bus full of tired but happy cadets


      Web site by: Flt Lt Geoff Bowles RAFVR(T), ML(S), SPA                                                            This page last updated on 23 November 2003