The usual spring migration occurred at the close of the Lent term, with a bus load of cadets beating the well-trodden path up to Ffridd Farm in Snowdonia. After a brief stop for the traditional fish and chips from the Dolphin Fish Bar, we were soon settled into the bunk house up above Harlech and getting organised for a week’s outdoor adventures.
The first morning dawned clear and chilly, giving us perfect walking conditions over the Nantlle ridge. Wonderful dry rock, great scrambling and brilliant views in all directions made a great start to the trip. The next day was similarly idyllic, allowing for some relaxed climbing and abseiling on the crags above Barmouth followed by an exploration of the old slate workings above Tanygrisiau. Just to show us what Welsh weather is usually like, Monday saw a resumption of normal service with rain and low lying clagg, so after a beasting on the mountain bikes above Betws y Coed, discretion was the better part of valour and we retreated to the indoor climbing wall at the Beacon centre.
Fortunately the worst of the weather blew through overnight allowing the two groups to set off on Tuesday for their overnight expedition round the Rhinogs and Trawsfynydd. Low overnight temperatures, hail and a dusting of snow on the higher tops ensured that everyone was in their tents by six thirty in the evening, giving the staff a pleasantly relaxed evening.
As usual the week concluded with a trip to the dubious delights of go karting and paintballing out on the Llyn Peninsular, prior to packing up and preparation for the long drive home.
My thanks to a mixed and enthusiastic group of cadets who threw themselves into everything (including peat bogs) with great enthusiasm, Gordon Bryant for all his help and “admin” and Angus Young for coming along to help out.
Maj SAH Young
Contingent Commander Cranleigh School CCF