Enrichment Week – SnowdoniaThe Snowdonia week started almost as soon as we got off the bus! After moving into their bunkrooms the students ate fish and chips, put on wetsuits then walked into the first gorge. The sunny weather meant there was not much water in the river but everyone had fun splashing about. Halfway up was the ‘Washing Machine,’ a waterfall that runs into a mine cavern. We walked into it then saw how many could fit in behind. The team were working well and zoomed to the top of the river where they all splashed around in the lake as the sun set and they were so tired they slept really well.
The next day saw us take on the big gorge, the Afon Ddu or ‘black river’. There was lots of water pouring down it and we climbed successfully through the narrows in the morning. We carried on up to the impressive 40 foot waterfall with only a few believing the staff that we were going to climb it directly! A couple more very wet rock climbing sections and a squeeze through a tiny gap saw us at the top and a jump into a lovely pool. Back at the cottage the duty teams swung into action and cooked everyone a really well deserved dinner of spaghetti bolognese. The third day was a poor forecast and we woke to driving rain, which we took full advantage of to go and view the biggest waterfall in North Wales, Aber Falls, in full flow. It was exhilarating to stand below it, hearing it thundering into the rocks and getting us all completely soaked in the spray. The afternoon brightened and we went to Conwy, first to lower down the top of a huge cliff and watched the seagulls below us and see the view up the coast to Liverpool, then to explore the castle walls of the town and eat ice cream. Again the duty teams cooked a great meal, after which there was a quiz and card games, or a walk around the lake for those who were still feeling adventurous.
The Thursday saw our attempt on the mountain itself. On the drive there, as Snowdon appeared bigger and bigger, the minibus became quieter and quieter! Very excited students stormed the first section of the P.Y.G. track, taking many photographs on the way. We were making very good time and stopped to enjoy the views as the clouds swirled around the mountain. Luckily it cleared just long enough to see the summit, then the mist came in and the temperature dropped to 5 degrees. A huge effort from everyone saw us reach the summit in a very respectable 3 hours; half an hour quicker than last year! We enjoyed the summit cafe for an hour then made it back to the bus in 3 hours. A fantastic day that will stay with them for a long time. It was a fitting finale to a very challenging and very adventurous week.
Thank you to all the staff; Miss Ferguson, Miss Symons, Ms Akeroyd, Mr Saberton and to all the students who helped make it a safe, fun and rewarding week!
(Outdoor Education & Adventure Activities Instructor)