News and Events

Initial Ten Tors training culminates in 1633 Challenge

Posted: 22nd March 2024

students at the 1633 Challenge

Expedition training commenced in January with a cold visit to Ford Farm. Mist and icy conditions had turned Dartmoor an eerie white. Immediately, pupils had to apply their newly found skills in taking a bearing to find their way and were required to take careful note of distances and timings.  All in all, perfect training conditions!

Training 2 also saw further mixed weather as pupils travelled from Postbridge to Haytor, stopping over at Heatree where they tested their Dartmoor knowledge in a team quiz during the evening.

Training 3 confirmed what we had suspected all season – Dartmoor was soaked and wasn’t drying out in a hurry.  Tricky ground underfoot was challenging for pupils, but they battled through Saturday to arrive at Princetown.  With Sunday forecast predicting a large amount of rain, along with cold conditions, the decision was made to head home early.  Pupils made good use of the time waiting for the coach, taking part in some theory-based activities, considering what to do in the event of an emergency.

The 1633 Challenge took place over the weekend of 15-17 March. 57 Pupils travelled to Princetown on the Friday, ready for a 7am start in on the Saturday. A small army of volunteers saw to it that they were fed in the evening and morning, before the off. Teams were operating independently for the first time, whilst being checkpointed and overseen by staff, and struggled bravely through worsening conditions. After a wet night under canvas, their persistence was rewarded by intermittent sunshine on the Sunday, as they progressed along the eastern side of Dartmoor. At Ford Farm, cheering crowds of parents were waiting to see relieved pupils into the finish.

All told, 54 pupils completed the 1633 Challenge and are hoping to be selected for the final teams to go ahead to the Ten Tors Event in May.


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