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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Yammy Yammy Gorge Gods

Exciting day for our groups today exploring the gorge.

Despite the beautiful sunshine's rare appearance in the skies of North Wales today, we tried to stay mainly dry whilst navigating up the gorge. But don't worry we did of course have to pay our respects to the Yammy Yammy Gorge Gods.

All the groups were very success in working towards their aims:
push themselves out of the comfort zones, learning to live and work together and becoming more independent.

Lots of teamwork, bits of rock climbing, natural waterslides and hiding behind waterfall were all involved in todays adventures.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Day 2 on the summer mountain leader course and today it was all about heading upwards. The main focus today was looking at leadership, route choice and group management in rocky ground. These are key aspects to a mountain leader skill set.  All through the course we will discuss and look at environmental aspects such as flora and fauna.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Summer Mountain Leader Training course gets underway

Day one and the students spent the day focusing on navigation using 1.25.000 maps, alongside discussing group management and starting to look at the flora and fauna.

Quite an intense day, but given the nice weather then life was more relaxed than if it was raining and windy.

This training course is the starting point for those interested in leading others in the UK mountains in summer conditions ( all year round )  The course is 6 days long, so all students are going to leave having learnt many skills.

This course is the industry standard for mountainous terrain.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Choose Your Adventure

Adventurous options day.

Today we had 4 different groups going out to totally different locations, experiencing North Wales outdoors/ underground environments in their preferred ways.

Deep Mine Discovery
Our first group went deep down into the dark tunnels and caverns of an old former lead mine.
Whilst underground they committed themselves to multiple abseils, including one of at least 100ft down into the darkness. All to then navigate along the tunnels, over old walk ways and squeezing through some narrow gaps. A very different experience to the slate mine they explored earlier in the week, none the less they all came out looking far too clean with massive grins on their faces.

Team Miners

Abseiling down into the darkness.

Traversing the old walkways within.

Bed time? Is it night or day outside?

Sea Cliff Exploration
Our second group went out traversing the rugged welsh coastline.
With the sun yet again making a rare appearance in the skies above Holyhead, these adventurers went off to the sea, climbing and scrambling along the coastline, jumping across gaps and hauling themselves over coves.

They even managed to stay dry up until the end. Where the temptation to see how cold the water actually was took over. After leaping in, none stayed in the water too long.

Looking prepared to begin their adventure.

Navigating across a small recess in the coastline.

Crossing a tyrolean over a small cove.

Real Rock Experience
For some students Monday's rock climbing experience wasn't enough, they wanted more.
So we went over to Holyhead Hountain to find some bigger cliffs for them to push themselves on.

Sheer determination was needed, as not only did everyone in the climbing team, climb up and abseil down the 100ft cliff face 4 or 5 times, we also finished the day by topping out of the last route with our bags on our backs. With the blue skies above and the sun shining, the view over Holyhead and out to sea was spectacular.

The realisation of the students at what they had signed themselves up for.

Learning new skills at our first crag.

The final route at the 2nd crag of the day, ascending up and over the top.

Ocean Adventure
Our 4th and final group decided they preferred water to land.

Starting the day beautifully they paddled out to sea in the sit on the top kayaks, exploring the coastline from boat. To then later scramble across the rock cliff, finding the most fun way to cross the gaps and plunge into to the water.
Exploring the coastline by boat.

Tyrolean crossing above the water now.

One, Two, Three, GO!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

It's been another fantastic day with glorious sunshine for the groups to enjoy.(except the miners)

Two groups headed off to the gorge this morning and the third team headed underground to complete their rotation of activities ready for their options day tomorrow.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Terrific Tuesdays!

Well the great weather has stuck around for another day here at Blue Peris. Although that didn't matter too much for our groups heading underground today it was most certainly appreciated by those who were sampling a few of the many stunning climbing venues north wales has to offer!

Big Smiles on the waterfall climb.
 Two groups headed to Rhiwbach mine whilst the other group went to lion rock for some early morning sun. The groups underground not only pushed them selves by having lunch in the dark but had a smashing time climbing a waterfall and having a boat ride!

One for the welly catalogue perhaps?

Forging friendships at Blue Peris
 The group were listening well and having worked on their objective they were rewarded with more climbing in the time they had before heading to the atmospheric blast shelter quarry for an abseil.
Brilliant balance!
But its not just about awesome activities and amazing weather, oh no! There was a more curriculum based focus to some aspects of the day and the group used trigonometry to work out the height of the abseil cliff. On the final activity before dinner, (the low ropes course) the group were set a series of challenges and had to apply their evening session last night on Euler pathways to complete them. More information on these subjects can be found here:
What's down there?

Here's hoping the weather sticks around for the rest of the week, these young people are working so hard they definitely deserve some sunshine!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Is winter over?!

Thumbs up!

This weeks group seem to have brought the weather with them all the way from Bedford as we were blessed with beautiful sunshine here today in north wales a place better known for it's liquid sunshine! To make the most of this our groups were straight out into the natural playgrounds today with a group in the gorge at Geirionydd and another two groups using venues closer to the centre for abseiling, rock climbing and even using our purpose built low ropes course!

Extreme sunbathing at Yellow wall crag.

The groups are using outdoors activities to meet a wide range of specific curriculum based aims this week and today the groups used various methods to find out the height of the cliff they were abseiling down (after they had already abseiled!) They also used the ropes courses to look at traversability and Euler pathways.
More information on these subjects can be found here:

Big Smiles for a big abseil, but how big?

Auditions for 'Finding Dory' Underway on the Ropes Course

 The final group headed into the gorge today for not only gorgeous views but also loads of action packed fun!  Splashing around and whizzing down slides, exploring some mines and jumping in the lake were all just part of the fun. Rumour has it there was even a dance off!

Can you spot the (now cleaner) student?
The group worked well with each other and looked at different aims from the maths based ones, in particular they were working on listening, respecting the environment and working with each other.
By the end of the day the group had done so well they were leading each other through the rocky watercourse and listened to their peers for advice and support. After a quick litter pick en route they group were rewarded not only with a sense of achievement for completing the mighty Geirionydd gorge, but with a swim in the lake!

Stunning lakeside views

Back to the centre for a freshly home cooked meal and into a classroom session before bed, but what will tomorrow bring? Hopefully similar weather!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

If this is not a great classroom what is ?

On days like this there is no better place to be than on the tops.  With such beauty and stunning conditions, experiencing a mountain day is always special. However on a day like today what a memory and achievement. North Wales in winter is a special place.