News & Events

22-Oct-2010 to 25-Oct-2010

D of E: Bronze (Brecon Beacons)

D of E: Bronze (Brecon Beacons)

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a presentation given by a group of cadets on completion of their gold DofE practise expedition.

For 4 days and 3 nights in October 2010, six cadets of 2327 Sqn, Danni, Leah, Rob, Richard, Gracey and Regan navigated their way through rain, fog, wind, ice and surprisingly some sunshine in the Brecon Beacons.

On Saturday 22nd October the group set out to capture the geographical features of the beautiful countryside of South Wales.

Through photography and video they have showed landscapes, meteorology and wildlife; and on behalf of the group we hope you enjoy watching their journey through the good, the bad, and the somewhat funny adventures of their half-term.

Meteorology or rather the British obsession with “the weather”!

D of E: Bronze (Brecon Beacons)

Throughout the journey there was a sequence of cold and hot fronts in quick succession bringing us a vast amount of various weather. Day 1 saw rain, Day 2 brought with it low cloud, Day 3 was icy in the morning but seemed to brighten up during the day, and Day 4; well a bit of everything really. D of E: Bronze (Brecon Beacons)From gusting winds to fog, to sunshine, yes, we got it all throughout our 4 day expedition, although at times we felt it was against us; we realised in the end that it is part of the expedition and gave us a better experience overall.

Geography, wildlife and on digging deep in the Brecon Beacons

Looking more at our aim, which was to capture the geographical features of the Brecon Beacons I can safely say on behalf of our group, that we achieved it. When our expedition started on Saturday morning we were surrounded by hills and countryside, at the time it seemed a bit daunting! We made a short but steep climb to reach a small valley which led us into an amazing aurora of Britain, mist still set above the lake, forests for as far as we could see and Fan Llia shadowing us.

As our work settled in we started our 300 metre climb to the top of Fan Llia where we had lunch, during this time we came across wild horses and various wildlife but most of all, a view of what was to challenge us for the next 3 days!

Day 2 saw an early start with a very long journey ahead of us. During the morning we had to go downhill, about 80 metres which took us into one of South Wales many U shaped valleys. The biggest challenge I think the whole group found that day was ridden with marshland. This saw us climb a total of just under 600 metres which seemed big enough, but in fact was only half way up what we were climbing on Day 3; Penny Fan. The ascent saw us contour round Penny Fan and down a valley filled with waterfalls and forests to our campsite for the night.

D of E: Bronze (Brecon Beacons)

Day 3 was a chilly start with ice at first dawn. Penny Fan had blocked the rising sun to the east for a good part of the morning making it much darker, and colder than what we had already experienced so far. As we somewhat backtracked our tail end journey of Day 2 we eventually reached the bottom of Penny Fan which did not seem as bad as once thought of, I think by that time we all new that we couldn't give up now, and the best thing was to push ourselves as much as possible; and most of all, enjoy it.

As we seemed to get closer and closer, in actual fact we just got more and more false summits! But surprisingly these did not detour us, instead they drove us more and more to reach the top, and that reward eventually came. All around us were valleys and mountains; Fanny Big and Cribyn created a horse shoe cliff face to the north of us, and the east was our campsite, surrounded by marshland and forest was a picturesque reservoir.

Day 4 was slightly more eventful, fog and low cloud had set in from early hours, although we tried to take our original route which was half way back up Penny Fan and then contouring around we decided as a group that is was unsafe, with gusting winds and bad visibility we went down and found a new route. The newly decided plan took us into a forest. Hand-railing the river it eventually led us to the end of our journey.

D of E: Bronze (Brecon Beacons)There were ups and downs but overall this has been an experience that has been rewarding, the route we had set out on paper looked unachievable at first when seen in reality; but when teamwork, motivation and just self-belief push you; the limits are endless. I know we can't wait until we can do this again and on behalf of the group we hope you have enjoyed our presentation.

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