With most HSX members packing their bags for the October weekend the week before, some of the Cambodia Leaders and HSX members didn’t get back into the UK until the early hours of the Friday morning from their trip to Kalymnos. With a few hours’ sleep, (thankfully other members of HSX were driving) on Friday evening we set off to North Wales, collecting people from the Tesco in Winnal, Winchester and Eastleigh Train Station.
The drive seemed to last a long time, with people fighting back their tiredness with excitement for the weekend ahead. The unknown for some people who had never been to the mountains! With the traditional stop of at McDonalds for a ‘dirty burger’, we reached our accommodation at Cornel Scout Centre by 01:00 on the Saturday morning. All of our excitement on the drive up now seemed to have fizzled out as we finally crawled into our sleeping bags for a night of broken sleep thanks to those infamous first night camp nerves.
Getting up at 07:00 for breakfast we discussed the plans for the day and left the centre at around 08:30. The Cambodia team went to tackle Tryfan; via the North face scramble, proving slightly challenging to me and other members, who had never been on a roped scramble or exposed rocky steps, but we reached the summit with no issues. On the way down, the participants tested their mountain navigation skill to get the group back to the car, using slightly unorthodox routes on occasion and with varying degrees of success.
The rest of the team completed the Snowdon Horseshoe, and were lucky enough to get some breaks in the clouds to take advantage of the views and see just how exposed the ridge of Crib Goch is.
On the second day, Cambodia Deputy Leader Liam, took us to Willy’s crag where we got our first taste of outdoor climbing on real rock! We did a couple of top rope climbs each and got a master class in setting up different systems up for groups from Liam.
Meanwhile, the remaining members of HSX did multi pitch climbing on Little Tryfan, looking at placing gear, leading two clients and improvised rescues before meeting up at 13:00 and heading back to Hampshire.
I found the weekend challenging and exciting, whilst also experiencing outdoor climbing for the first time and realising I need to improve my mountain navigational skills…. significantly. It’s safe to say, I’m super excited and keen for the rest of our training!
HSX Cambodia Team