Gold D of E – Brecon Beacons

This week I have spent 4 days up in the sunny Brecon Beacons working on a Gold D of E Qualifying expedition with Windsor High School.

I have been working as an assessor/supervisor with 7 young people who were completing the final stage of there expedition phase for there Gold D of E.

On the first day we met up and discussed there route planning for the next 4 days and what was expected of the group during this time.

The format for each day would be to meet my group in camp at the beginning and end of each day. During there expedition I would meet the group at several identified checkpoints throughout the day to check on there progress and welfare.

During the expedition the team walked over several mountains including Pen Y fan, Corn Du, Fan Llia and Fan Dringarth.

Whilst waiting on the summit top to checkpoint one of the other teams out on the hill I witnessed a large group of local gym enthusiasts ascend Pen Y Fan and proceed to hold a tug of war contest on the top. I can safely say I have not witnessed an event like this on a mountain before.

Start of Climb up to Pen Y Fan
Start of Climb up to Pen Y Fan
Looking along the ridge towards Graig Fan Ddu
Looking along the ridge towards Graig Fan Ddu
The team on top of Pen Y Fan
The team on top of Pen Y Fan
Tug of War
Tug of War

As a supervisor and assessor I like to get out onto the tops and walk in to meet my teams. On this day I got to climb Pen Y Fan twice in the morning and then early evening watching the ever changing light conditions as the sun set.

Late evening light on Pen Y Fan
Late evening light on Pen Y Fan
A checkpoint in the distance - Cadair Fawr
A checkpoint in the distance – Cadair Fawr
Emily looking towards Pen Y Fan in the distance
Emily looking towards Pen Y Fan in the distance
Crossing the Afon Hepste
Crossing the Afon Hepste

Whilst walking in wild country it is always nice to stop and talk to local farmers as you pass through and over there land. At this particular farm they were cutting up a 120ft tree which had been blown over in storms on Boxing day narrowly missing the farmer and his family whilst in the farmyard.

Tree blown over by Boxing day winds
Tree blown over by Boxing day winds
Final checkpoint on Fan Llia
Final checkpoint on Fan Llia

The expedition was a great success and all of the team were successful. It was a pleasure to work with such a motivated and fun group who were always smiling and laughing no matter how tough the trip was at times.

Thanks to all the team and there teacher Emily for making the 4 days such a memorable experience.

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