1 April 2018

Students Brave the Elements to Conquer the Challenge

Outdoor education is a hugely important part of College life and we often see students flourish in College after facing their fears or conquering a challenge outside of the classroom. From climbing club, abseiling and coasteering to bikeability there are lots of things on off er for anyone willing to test themselves. 

The learning recovery teams have been out and about over this very cold term braving the weather and facing some big challenges. Due to the strong winds and rain we visited the Dewerstone cliff in the Plym Valley often because of the shelter the woodland gives us. Even so the teams found themselves on exposed ledges attached to cliplines waiting for their turn on the abseil. All the students were brave to get themselves to the edge of the fifty foot cliff, however Lee excelled himself and managed to complete the abseil, even though he was scared. The next week they returned to climb next to the abseil site, this time starting at the bottom and working their way up. It was Hayden’s turn to show the way with a superb effort over the slippery rock, escpecially at the top where a few scary slips got him to the summit. He waited for the other two, but ony Lee made it over the fi rst hard section to join us on the top looking down on the trees. The other team had even worse weather so only managed to climb once, but they also summitted Leather Tor in stinging hail where they signed some letterboxes we found up there. A great effort from everyone. 

The last week saw the teams zooming along the Plymbridge to Yelverton bike track. The route out is really difficult as it looks flat but is actually uphill all the way, meaning that if you stop pedaling you go backwards. All the students put the effort into getting a long way along the track, the morning team even making it through the long tunnel to the other side. The students pushed themselves really hard and overcame some difficult challenges, whilst also competing with rain, wind and the bitter cold. Well done to them all.

Climbing club has seen a core of committed students pushing themselves and each other to do really well. There is healthy amounts of competition between them all. They have learned how to keep each other safe and the techniques involved in moving on steep ground. We always start in the bouldering cave where they throw themselves at difficult moves, then we put on harnesses and progress out to the main wall. Last week Hayden came along fresh from his victory at the Dewerstone and joined in as well. He made it a long way up the main wall and refreshed his belay technique. Libbi zoomed to the top as usual, whilst Morgan and Skye remembered their skills having not been for ages. Skye made it to the top of the main wall and Morgan did really well belaying her and getting up over half way. The Life Centre has dropped its prices so it is now £3 if you want to come along every Tuesday (and a few Mondays). Please get a letter to take home from Mr Alcock.

I look forward to seeing you all next term for more adventures.

Mr Alcock
Outdoor and Adventurous Activities Coach

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