shorter routes with most kit except tents. Each day we took a different group, today’s were a super-quick team that I worked with on bronze. They were so fast on the descent. Navigation was superb amongst these, my confidence was very high.
Coming out of Castleton, our path off the lane was flooded, the water flowed towards us, muddy and deep. They said, come on, we can do this. They picked a way through the slimy mud and nettles without complaint. That illustrates their whole attitude, they are physically approaching their prime and full of confidence. This group contained all the stars of the recent Sports’ Day.
However, on the climb up to Mam Tor, ZK with a recurrent knee injury had it flare up considerably. I could tell she was beyond comfortable. I’ve had knee injuries in the past and know how painful that can be. I carried ZK’s pack up the main climb, despite her reluctance. She clearly wanted to avoid letting the others down when I suggested we get a lift back after the summit. “Z, You don’t have to prove anything, your capability is already clear, we could even start the drive home early if we stop now”. She is a participant who went straight to Silver. Perhaps ZK feels there is more to prove.
Wind at the summit was strong, as it was all along the ridge. They were tired now, at took a break on the ridge.
Immediately, most of them got their phones out. Delighted to have a signal. They buried themselves in pointless online updates. Some had posted videos of talking in silly voices. I can’t understand it myself.
Overall, it’s a big deal for teenagers to walk 7 – 10 miles with a full pack. they find it really hard. They have to maintain the concentration right to the end to avoid navigation mistakes. Mistakes can cost them many hours correcting a wrong direction.
I’m filled with admiration for their determination, their can-do attitude.