Teenagers earn stripes in tough mountain challenge

A dozen fearless young students earned their stripes when they successfully completed their latest Duke of Edinburgh challenge.

The 10 students, aged 15 to 17 from schools across the borough and Bexhill, took on their silver and gold challenges in Snowdonia and the Lake District.

The gold group consisted of Holly Crosby, Ryan Borthwick, Daphne Coates and Mae Jackson. Gabe Wood, Alex Luscombe, Dan White, Simeon Negus, Rob McIver, Jack Bull-Grant and Tamara Bowie made up the silver group.

The silver challenge saw them walking for three days and camping for two nights while the gold challengers did an extra night’s camp and an extra day’s walk.

They both tackled Mount Snowdon on a wet and windy day at the end of July and all passed with flying colours.

After their camp in north Wales they moved on to the Lake District where they camped in the village of Braithwaite close to Derwent Water.

While there they tackled Red Pike and Haystacks mountains and also tackled the Gasgale Gill using ropes at times The gold team went up while the silver’s came down..

The groups wild camped and carried all their own supplies. They have to plan their own routes and must have them passed off as safe by the Cumbria board of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Gill Dearman, the group leader, who is assistant principal at St Leonards Academy, said: “I am very proud of the team. It’s the first time they have seen mountains like this and they were in awe of them.

“The silver group, with a record number of blisters, demonstrated exceptional teamwork as their route negotiated a rock step at Gasgail Gill.

“They had to pass up their bags to each other in order to scale the rocks. The gold group were faced with an unprecedented series of challenges, from a team-mate with an injury to an unforeseen change of weather on the mountains that forced them to make an additional unplanned wild camp to make a safe descent in the daylight. Their assessor was full of praise that they were able to draw on their experience and skills to complete a very challenging, memorable and successful expedition. And it always looks very good to have it on their CV.”