Leaving early morning on the day after the end of the Michaelmas term, a group of students who will be taking part in this summer’s Arctic expedition to East Greenland departed for winter training in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.
The group were keen to put into practice some of the skills they had learned in the classroom over the term and wasted no time venturing out to brave the challenging conditions. With the heavy wind and hail beating the cliffs, the group climbed until dark.
Day 2 saw a coating of snow in the area, an opportunity that the group quickly identified as being a great introduction to winter climbing. They donned their waterproofs and packed, ice axes, ropes, crampons and a survival kit. The group had to practice moving together as a group on a rope and using an axe. They weaved their way through the various obstacles, summiting in the early afternoon and descending from Far South Peak down to the welcoming coffee shop at Ogwen Falls.
On the last day, the group negotiated Snowdon itself. The heavy blanket of snow made the climb difficult, necessitating the use of crampons and ice axes to provide grip and security under-foot. They were able to put their navigation skills to the test and they eventually reached the summit and stopped for a brief lunch whilst marvelling at the ice formations which had been created by the action of both wind and snow.
The trip has been a great way to prepare the group for their summer expedition. It gave the the group a chance to bond and work as part of a team, and they had some great technical and involved mountaineering experiences to prepare them for whatever they may encounter during their adventure in Arctic Greenland.
Good luck in all of the planning and training for your summer expedition.