After a slow start being stuck in Winchester due to heavy bank holiday traffic, HSX eventually headed up the motorway towards the beautiful Lake District without too much delay. We arrived at 1.30am at Great Tower Scout Activity Centre; bed was the one thing we were all ready for, so we hit the sack.
Following a fairly good night’s sleep, it was great to get together with everyone for bacon sandwiches and meet more members from HSX. Liam then proceeded to brief us about the plans for the day and a few house rules for the weekend.
Team Cambodia departed at 9.30am (HSX time) for Farleton Crag, a huge limestone pavement east of the M6. Along with Steve and Tom, we completed some bottom and top rope climbs after a short walk to the crag and then finished the afternoon off with abseiling. As a general trend for Team Cambodia, people with longer hair (Bradley and the girls!) were more successful at climbing and keeping their dignity. It was nice to be as a whole team again because we had some quality bonding time. Meanwhile, the other members of HSX either enjoyed a day of climbing at White Ghyll or walking after wild camping at Angle Tarn.
Whilst Friday kept in line with the tradition of beautiful weather in the lakes for HSX, Saturday took a complete U-turn as water and wind came in fast and frequently throughout the day. With an earlier start of 7:00am for breakfast, Team Cambodia had a departure time of 8:00am for Jack’s Rake (Jake’s Rake if you prefer) on Pavey Arch along with another group, whilst some members were running on the Kentmere Ring. Although one successful group did manage to reach the top of Jack’s Rake, Team Cambodia decided to turn back after Stickle Tarn as the winds continued to crash against the rock, as little shelter could be found as the fog thickened over the water and base of the scramble.
Another early start looking for the Easter bunny made us all jump out of bed, but to the great disappointment of no chocolate! With another breakfast of bacon sandwiches, Team Cambodia was told to pack for a day of micro navigation at Skelwith Country Park, whilst other members of HSX could scramble up Harrison Stickle or Micro Navigation around Grisedale Forest. Although we only covered 5km in 4 hours, the day was very enjoyable as Team Cambodia were taught some very useful navigational skills like leapfrogging and got to improve our individual map reading skills and using contour lines. Despite the constant moist nature of the day and the occasional surprise hail storm, the weather held up pretty good. The same cannot be said for those up Harrison Stickle, who saw more hail and rain. Team Cambodia were also faced with the challenge of dealing with 3 injuries at the same time ( Tom broke his leg, Matt got hypothermia and Liam had a panic attack) which showed how we could work well together as a team, but still very much needed guidance on what to do in a first aid situation. It turned out that these injuries were in fact not real, but just a test to see how the team would cope. Once we were all dry, Matt taught us a few Confidence rope skills at Great Tower which was a nice skill to learn, especially as it was an activity we could do inside.
All in all great weekend was had by all despite the weather.
Special mentions to Craghoppers as the team were presented with our Cambodia Uniform (Kit Review to follow soon).