Training for the summer Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition to Morocco took place in Snowdonia, north Wales, from April 15th to 18th. The task was to replicate, as best we could, the conditions we would face in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this coming August. An altitude of nearly 15000 feet, primitive accommodation, very hot days and freezing nights, Moroccan food and language, and Berber culture were all going to prove difficult.

However, Snowdonia in north Wales was able to provide some other features of this coming summer’s expedition for 14 Cranleighans. The terrain is not dissimilar and the weather gave us a good taste of the extremes we will meet. The exposed and steep ridges of Snowdon and Tryfan provided an ideal setting. Most importantly, the group learned to work together, face challenges, whilst also getting to know their own strengths and weaknesses better and getting excited about climbing the highest peak in North Africa, Mt Toubkal. I’m grateful to Mrs Thomson for assisting and the group for showing such a positive attitude.