It's the second week in November and time for our annual visit to the National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centre at Windermere. This year, we came with 21 cadets and 9 staff and, as soon as we walked through the door, it felt as though we'd never been away...
The first walk of the week took us over the Langdales in misty weather, emphasising the importance of accurate navigation. Walking in small groups, we found that the cadets were fit, well motivated, and good company, even when we turned homewards on High Raise to walk straight into a cold wind.
The cadets stayed in the same walking groups on Monday to walk over St Sunday Crag. The cloud base remained stubbornly below the top of the crag, but we enjoyed superb views over Patterdale at one end of the crag and Grisedale tarn at the other
On Tuesday we spent the morning at Kendal climbing wall, while a small group of staff went to Blencathra to walk over Sharp Edge. After lunch, we all met at Rheged to visit the national mountaineering exhibition. This year Rheged celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest with a new exhibition which features the history of climbing on Everest, and we enjoyed a very interesting talk by our guide before watching the very spectacular IMAX film of Everest
All the weather forecasts suggested that Wednesday would be the best day of the week, so we planned a "high" day, with two groups on Helvellyn and one on the Fairfield horsehoe. The forecast was spot-on! As the Helvellyn groups crossed Striding Edge and climbed to the summit plateau, the wispy cloud lifted to reveal spectacular views in all directions - in contrast to last year, when we did the route in hill fog and cold winds.
The forecast for the final two days was for deteriorating weather, with a storm likely on Friday. We had hired mountain bikes for both days so that we could take half the course on each day - after all, what does a little rain matter when you're already soaked from riding through giant puddles. On Thursday, the non-bikers went for a good walk on the Langdale pikes, and managed to complete it before the rain arrived late in the afternoon
Friday was wet and windy, so the non-bikers settled for a pleasant low-level walk to the East of Lake Windermere. All too soon, the week was over and we were cleaning up and packing for Saturday's journey home.
Here are a few more pictures to commemorate an excellent week with a first-class group of cadets. Just click to enlarge them (the pictures, not the cadets...)
|Web site by: Flt Lt Geoff Bowles RAFVR(T), ML(S), SPA This page last updated on 23 November 2003|