So, after the challenge of the real Ten Tors back in May, we needed a new challenge… And so was born the challenge of attempting the three highest South West Peaks all in one day: Dunkery Beacon (519m) on Exmoor, Brown Willy (420m) on Bodmin Moor and High Willhays (621m) on Dartmoor. Sixteen students took up the challenge and this is their story…
On Friday 24th June, after school, we travelled up to Horner Woods Scout Campsite where we’d spend the first night. It’s a lovely site next to a river, in a steep sided valley, which meant mobile signal was non-existent so everyone had fun playing Frisbee and making s’mores on the campfire, without the use of technology, before an early night.
Saturday 25th June was an early start, arising by 6am, to leave the campsite and start the challenge by 7am. All the students got themselves up, got on with it, packed tents away and were ready to go by 7am on the dot. We drove the short distance to a nearby car park and then summited Dunkery Beacon by around 8am, taking a group photo with our CVCC flag on the summit to prove to everyone that we had made it!
After that it was back on the buses to head to Bodmin Moor, Nathan keeping everyone entertained with music from his phone to the bus speakers via Bluetooth. Arriving ahead of schedule at about 10:30am meant we could have a leisurely stroll up the two big hills to reach the trig point on top of Brown Willy.
There we took another group photo, before returning to the buses by about midday. Following that it was the relatively short hop down the A30 to summit High Willhays on Dartmoor by about 3:30pm and we had done it!
On returning to the buses with an enormous sense of achievement we gave everyone a limited edition medal featuring the iconic three peaks – big thanks to Mr White, Mr Hewlett and Mr Purchall for helping us make them! We also shared a lovely chocolate cake, sang happy birthday to Nathan and gave him a card signed by everyone there.
Then it was time for a spot of wild camping above Okehampton Army camp with lovely views South across the moorland and North into the distance.
Sunday 26th June saw us help one of the Dartmoor NPA Rangers, Rob, with some conservation work as a kind of thank you to Dartmoor, having used the moor for the past six months for all the Ten Tors training and the main event too. Our task was to reinstate some cross drains, shovel some hardcore and trim some gorse on the track between Nodden Gate and the Fox & Hounds campsite, which was quite apt as we had used that very track on our first overnight camping weekend during training.
The students all did very well, listened intently to Rob’s instructions and then got straight on with the task, working very well as a team and getting it all done in record time!
So a big well done to all the students involved. It was a pleasure spending the weekend with them, and hopefully that helps fill the gap between Ten Tors ending in May and the training starting again in the Autumn…
If you’re interested in participating in Ten Tors next year, look out for more information just after the October half term.
Ten Tors Manager