Awarded - The Gold Standard Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Inner Chimp

This evening the centre manager ( Mark ) was luckily enough to get a ticket to go and see Sir David Brailsford.  Being a very keen cyclist since an early age this was a fantastic opportunity for Mark.  Sir Dave was giving his talk at a local school to the centre Ysgol Brynrefail. ( Ysgol means school in Welsh and Brynrefail is the name of a local village. )

Sir Dave was a pupil at the school being brought up in the village just down the road from Blue Peris. He is very proud of being Welsh,  the area he was brought up in and still visits on a regular basis friends and family here.   It was a great honour to have Sir Dave speaking at the school and giving the local people a chance to meet and listen to him talk about his journey in life.

For those of you not having heard of Sir Dave, he is the person who changed British Cycling.  The UK is now looked upon,  in envy,  by every other country in the world in view of track and road cycling.

Alongside numerous gold medals for track cycling in a variety of Olympics, Sir Dave took the UK to it's first ever Tour De France win and then a another 2 Tour De France wins ( by Chris Froome ) within a 4 year time span.   All with Team Sky. Quite impressive.

One of the strong messages to come from Dave, was have a dream, or many dreams,  then go and work hard at trying to achieve these dreams.  Stay focused , work hard and do not give up. Have values in life and stick to these. It was interesting to here him say that he values effort often more than results. Yes you need results, but effort accounts for a lot in life.

So for any young person reading this post, take note,  go and dream, believe in your dreams, work hard have values in life and stick to them. Do not let others around you drag you down.

This fits nicely into what Blue Peris promotes on our courses. Its not about results its about the process and the positive values we have have of each other and life. Finally,  as many of the young people that visit us find out, they achieve what they thought was impossible and that is in between 5-7 days. Imagine what they can achieve in a lifetime if given the opportunity.

So to the inner chimp. I will let you google that !

Mark the Blue Centre manager in action, realising Sir Chris Hoy makes it look easy

The whacky side of the Tour De France

Friday, 20 November 2015

We are the winners

When I say we, I mean the pupils for all their energy, enthusiasm, hard work and smiles, the instructors for being so motivated with challenging weather and conditions  and the visiting staff for being so positive . I should not forget the energy they have given to enable the pupils to flourish

There is such a buzz in the centre this evening and its a shame the course has come to an end. There will be many lifelong memories going back to England this weekend and tired young people.

The last days of the course,  the groups have been out and about with a mixture of climbing ( indoors and outdoors ) raft building, orienteering, underground mine adventure, gorge walking and orienteering.

Well done to the parents and guardians for seeing the value in a educational and learning vist to Blue Peris.

Are we really about to underground and see have the Victorian's worked the slate mines.

 Yes we are

Gorge walking in North Wales-Outdoor Learning



Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Day 2 . Centre 1 - The Weather 0

Firstly on yesterdays post, when we said " no one wished to come to work"  it meant.  Oh dear, its going to be a tricky one this week and we always wish the best for the pupils.

So day 2 dawned and not matter how many different forecasts we looked at we could not find any good weather  !  After a lot of discussion about what venues would work, what would maybe  un safe to visit, we proposed 2 groups go gorge walking and 2 groups go for an underground adventure.

Well off to work we went and the groups really worked well today. Lots of team spirit and determination.

What will day 3 bring ? Will the centre win or will it be the weathers turn ?

Monday, 16 November 2015

New group, They have made a great start, We escaped the rain, What better start could you have

Looking at the forecast yesterday,  no one was looking forward to work today. However, we managed to pull it off. Dry and a tad windy ! that was good day.

The wind gave much fun on the top of our well chosen mountain summit and the climbers managed to tick many routes. Well done to everyone.

What is planned for tomorrow. Lets wait and see what the forecasts have to say in the morning.

Its dry and sunny and we are rock climbing outside. Wow !

This is so cool.  Well Outdoor Education at Blue Peris always is

The trust involved is real and not manufactured

How come Alex can make map reading so enjoyable 

Discussing the route for the day

Saturday, 14 November 2015


Matt, one of our instructors and myself went off to explore a new venue with the possibility of taking groups there. This trip involves 4 abseils and a variety of crawling which enables you to go down through an old lead mine.  You enter the mine via an open rift  at the top and work your way down to pop out the bottom tunnel.

It proved to be a great trip and one we are defiantly going to take certain groups down when we get the opportunity.  So much potential here in N Wales. 

Matt abseiling down the first pitch

Mining adventure North Wales

Matt jumaring ( Mechanical clamps used to ascend the ropes )  back up the ropes at the end of the trip. On this occasion we left fixed ropes in on all the abseils and used them to climb back out the mine. 

Outdoor Education Exploration in North Wales

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Its been busy since Monday

Due to some IT issues we are behind with out postings.  However, its been a very busy few days. Tuesday we had groups underground on a mine adventure, groups at the climbing wall / visiting Electric Mountain in Llanberis as part of their engineering degree course and groups  under going a team challenge. This involved orienteering, raft building and abseil.

The weather has played a key part in this weeks programme, with a big swell out on the sea, floods and high winds elsewhere.  But true to the  "show must go on"  that is exactly what has happened.

Wednesday morning the first group headed back to university and the next group arrived. They took part in the team challenge event and today underground mine adventure , climbing and Electric Mountain , abseiling and orienteering.

Oh we also had some canoeing and caving staff training slotted in.

Busy Busy

Mine adventure at Blue Peris Mountain Centre in North Wales

Hey Dude


Told you it would float-Outdoor Education North Wales

Cooommmmeeee Back

We are going to nail the race

Is that the sun !!  Quick head onto real rock

Monday, 9 November 2015

A new day a new dawn a new group

It was going to be a challenge for the staff team today due to the weather.  So after a review of the programme it was down to the Blue Peris staff, to take on this weeks course aim Teamwork in order to have everything in place for the arrival of our 70 students.

The the university students arrive in good time and good spirits and it was not long before all groups headed out on activities. The Engineering students were tasked with Orienteering and Raft Building teamwork task, whilst the Product Design team headed indoors.

All three climbing groups focused their efforts in the climbing wall today. Many of the students had little climbing experience prior to coming to Blue Peris, but respective of this they all picked up the techniques very quickly, allowing for many climbs to be completed. Working well in small, efficient teams, every participant was able to try their hand at numerous styles of climbs.

A tremendous effort by all. Each participant pushed themselves  today, whether it was through overcoming fears by reaching a high point during their climb, or by choosing an even harder route to tackle.

I asked for something steep, but this ! are you kidding

 “The Purple Overhang Challenge”

 After the groups had excelled on the ropes we took to the groups for a spot of bouldering. Contesting amongst one another but dutifully encouraging at the same time, the lads here battled it out for who could complete the “purple overhang challenge”. Arms fully lactic, the groups were truly worn out by the time to leave and felt an overwhelming sense of achievement (and tiredness)!

Neck and Neck

With each climber being looked after by 3 others on the ground controlling the ropes , having built up their trust the climbers could concentrate on who was join to top out first

Outside Groups

You may well be asking where are the pictures of those hardly soles who braved the outdoors and got somewhat wet ? Well we have to admit, those cameras got left behind at the centre. Ops ! However, reports in were very good with high levels of motivation , good raft designs and much humour as the raft completed the set course.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

You might well ask why ?

What is it that attracts certain outdoor folk to head off and explore caves ? An afternoon of crawling, at times flat out and in water. ( good move wearing our wet suits under our waterproofs toady ) Other times stooping and cursing ones back.

Maybe it is the knowledge that caves are quite inspiring environments,  formed by nature over many years and that not many people actually get to see the wonders they offer.   Calcite curtains, stalagmites and tights and fossils there are a few impressive caves to be found in North Wales.

Sol one of our trainees is dead keen for exploring mines and caves of later and has no issue of squirming off up some muddy low level passage.

A good day off work ! We thought so.

Would we go back, definitely and next time taking more ropes and ladders with the view of abseiling down too the lower level , having found some fixed anchors.

Some rather poor pictures not quite selling it for some 

Loving it- Caving North Wales at Blue Peris Mountain Centre 

A lot better as it was deeper and lower earlier

Back to the real world

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Perfect Storm

It felt like a bit of a whirlwind day today at Blue Peris, with our first set of students heading to the climbing wall for a taste of top-rope climbing & bouldering whilst our second set of students arrived at the centre. A simultaneous wave goodbye and a welcoming smile ensued!

Team 2 ready to set sail on their newly-crafted rafts

The weather did not greet the students as well as the instructors however, as the groups swiftly departed from the centre and down to Llyn Padarn for some team building exercises and to battle against the oncoming storm. 

Dark clouds loomed but the teams continued on, completing all of their tasks, enabling them to earn materials to construct their vessels.
Avoiding the storm on Llyn Padarn

Whilst out on the water all the teams worked well to navigate their way to various destinations.

Success for team 3 having reached all of their points on the map!
Success for all the teams having weathered the storm and stayed afloat throughout, albeit a little damp after the compulsory splashing toward the end of the afternoon!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Great Gorge Gathering

After a quiet night at Blue Peris the groups were well rested and after a great day yesterday were all buzzing to get out on their mystery activity, but what was it?

Gorge scrambling!

The groups were soon suited up an off on a stunning drive over to the Avon Ddu or the 'Black River'

Rushing out of centre mean no time to shower - quickly rectified in the  gorge.

The groups were working on the same aims as yesterday with a real focus on communication and working as a whole group supporting each other with minimal input from the instructors to give them a real feel of ownership.  The groups stepped up to the mark and worked very well today. Under the watchful eyes of Blue Peris staff the students from Liverpool helped each other up waterfalls, supported each other along rocky traverses and even belayed each other up rock faces all with great instructions, briefs and feedback given by the students.

Future instructors / leaders in the making?

To top the day off the students were rewarded with stunning views and a pool to jump into at the top of the gorge. Then it was back to centre to prepare for tomorrows activity, which is..?

Well, all I can tell you, is that it involved bit of old aeroplane tyres.

Team 3 having a blast in the gorge.

Monday, 2 November 2015

November- No way ! Its far to warm and sunny

Today the group arrive from Liverpool in record time and were straight out on mystery activities!

The group are here to work on their reflective practice, teamwork and time management whilst they get the know their new year group. All in an unseasonably sunny Snowdonia, where we have marked the first few days of November with a heatwave, surely better than lectures no!?

Its KNOT as easy as it looks you know!

Once they returned with vouchers from the orienteering markers for materials to build rafts no time was wasted in constructing lake worthy vessels to transport the team to undisclosed checkpoints around the sun lit lake.

After some brief teamwork orientated 'brain teasers' the students were sent off to use their brains, maps and teamwork to find some orienteering markers down at Llyn Padarn. With not enough time to get them all in one group would they split up and get back on time? Of course they did - and with time to spare!

Tip top teamwork & timing 

To prove they had reached the checkpoints they were given the cameras to document their triumphs. What trip to North Wales would be complete without a Snowdon selfie?

Super smiley students Snowdon selfie!

Made it to the checkpoint - quick! Get a photo!

 Once the checkpoints were completed the group headed back to the minibuses as the sun was setting, a beautiful first day wasn't finished yet.  Once the groups were back and sorted they began their reflective practice workshops discussing how to improve their efforts for future team tasks.

Stunning scenery and terrific teamwork

What's in store for the students tomorrow? They have no idea so you'll have to wait and find out!