Last week (starting on the 28th Jan) members of the A+ team started their Lowland Expedition Leadership (LEL) training with former A+ instructor Mark D’Sa. There were some classroom based activities but mostly outdoor training and activities.
On the first day we started off in the classroom, going over the plan for the week. In the afternoon we planned and mapped a walk and then set out off to Bampton and back (we ran out of daylight!).
On the second day we again started indoors and planned our routes for the next three days. We then got everything ready for our three-day expedition and cooked on different types of camping stoves for lunchtime (bacon on a Trangia is very good!) We were then driven to the start point for our expedition, 8km away from Far Peak Campsite in Gloucestershire. That first leg of our expedition was very wet and cold; it even snowed for a lot of the time! We got to the campsite in the dark after trekking through a very muddy path and set up camp.
After a very cold night in our tents, we set off on our walk for the third day. Throughout this walk, we had many discussions and training and some people gave mock sessions. That third day was a lot nicer in terms of weather with clear skies and frozen puddles! We got back to the campsite in the daylight and set up our tents after watching a hot air balloon take off (which Graham and Mark helped with!) We then had a few more sessions and cooked dinner on our Trangia. We did a few activities and discussed the plan for the next day. The sky was clear that night and we all took some time to look up at the stars, point out constellations and talk about God and the awesomeness of the universe.
On the fourth day we woke up to -7 degrees C weather (thanks for the info snapchat) and managed to pack everything down and have another session without getting TOO cold! We then set off on our walk to the end point. This day has to be my favourite in terms of walking because it was minus temperatures for most of the day meaning there was beautiful frost everywhere meaning the scenery to be even more beautiful and picturesque. We were picked up in the afternoon at the finish point and travelled back to site. A quick shower later we were back in the nice and warm training room to discuss how it all went and have a bit of debrief and training.
Snow was there to greet us on the fifth day. We woke up to about 5 inches of snow and it proved slightly challenging for Graham and Kevin to get to site but a little snow won’t stop them! We started off indoors doing a few different activities and training and then headed out for a walk around the fields just after lunch. This walk was filled with snowball fights but also a lot of training as we did some First Aid scenarios. These exercises helped us to deal with different expedition related injuries and issues. We got back to the classroom for a bit more training and discussion time before saying our goodbyes but only until a few weeks’ time when we do come more training in Cannock Chase!
Overall it was a great training week with a lot of learning and experience gained whilst also having a lot of laughs and great fellowship in a God centred environment.
Thanks to our GAP instructor, Frazer for this write up and the amazing photos.