Ten Tors Training - Dartmoor 1

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This weekend was the first proper ten tors training which took place on the south moor of Dartmoor. We arrived at school (B4 geography room) at 7:00 and after putting our phone numbers into a spread sheet we were given our route cards and planned our routes. We did this, listened to Mr Brewer and said hello to Mr Stewards dogs, Max and Mere, until 9:00 when the sports barn was free for us to move into. 
Once we'd moved in, we checked our kit, adjusted our bag straps, and divided up group kit. We then decided unanimously that my roll mat was harder than the wooden floor, and went to bed.

At 4:00am we were woken up and quickly packed up our kit and ate a breakfast of pan au chocolat, flap jack, fruit, fruit juice and strawberry and kiwi flavored water. We then all put our bags in the horse box (makeshift trailer) and boarded the mini-buses, for most of journey from school until Exeter services, I slept.
When we reached Exeter it was just before 7:00am, I bought some red salmon and cucumber sandwiches from M&S for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. We then set off it the minibuses towards our start point...princetown.
As we drove across the north moor towards princetown and amazing sunrise came up over the moor.

When we reached princetown, everyone got there waterproofs on and gaiters (except me because I don't have any) and almost immediately set off towards our teams first tor: North Hessary tor (below and left)
The start in Princetown (bottom right)
to North Hessary tor (top left)

When we were climbing it, the tor was so misty that we didn't see the giant mast on the top of it until we were about five meters away from it 
The transmitter on
North Hessary tor

We then went from North Hessary tor to Rundlestone the B3357 and followed it left (west) until Yellowmeade farm junction were we reached a stream and a junction where some of us filled up our water bottles, we then went diagonally across a stretch of the moor to king's tor, successfully practicing to use a compass bearing, where we met Mr Mason and had a short break

North Hessary tor (middle left) to Ruddlestone (top right)
to Yellowmeade junction (top middle) to Kings tor (bottom left)  

We then went south along a bridleway to Leeden tor where we met Mr Brewer and Mr Stewart who wanted to check that we ALL knew where we were (which we all did). We then went down the other side of Leeden  tor and crossed the B3212 to go up to the top of Sharpitor where we again met Mr Mason. We then went back down Sharpitor the same way as we had come up and followed the B3212 right (north east) until we reached Black tor. At the top of Black tor we had another rest and ate some food for our lunch before going down the other side, crossing an annoyingly wide river/bog and then ascended hart tor
Leeden tor (top left) to Sharpitor (bottom left) to Black tor (top middle) to Heart tor (top right)
 At the top of Heart tor we met the other team from BCS doing 35 miles and decided to walk with them to the next tor, South Hessary tor, which, after walking through some seriously boggy terrain and massively regretting being the only one without gaiters, we arrived at it to find Mr Brewer and Mr Stewart who told us that we had to split back up into two teams. We rested at South Hessary tor for a bit while Mr Brewer explained to us how that the whole of Dartmoor used to be on a tectonic plate boundary and used to be a mountain range like the alps and had be eroded down to how it is today. 
The Devonport leat

Our team were the first to be ready so we left before the other 35 mile team and went south along the well build public footpath that Mr Brewer continuously referred to as being "a motorway". Because of the path being a lot easier to walk on than the moor we went exceptionally quickly for quite a long stretch and caught up on any time we had lost in the bogs between Heart tor and South Hessary tor. About halfway along the path we saw Mr Brewer going the other way which was strange because we had only just seen him about 10-15 minutes before, he claimed he had aperated :)  We walked with Mr Brewer, whilst discussing who would win in a fight between Darth Vader and Lord Voldemort - we didn't reach a conclusion. We then reached Nun's cross and the end of "the motorway" where we met Mr Mason who we left along with Mr Brewer heading north west. We had been advised by Mr Brewer to find and follow the Devonport leat back to Black tor where we were camping for the night, unfortunately, we found a section which came off the leat first which confused us a bit, luckily after finding the proper leat and meeting the other team again, we all followed the leat back to Black tor, just before we arrived we filled up our water bottles from the leat and climbed the side of the tor about half way up, until we found the flat ground which we would be camping on.
Black tor (top left) to Heart tor (top middle) to South Hessary tor (top right)
along "the motorway" to Nun's cross (bottom right) following the leat to the flat field on Black tor (bottom left) 
Not wanting to have to pitch our tents in the dark, we quickly pitched them, put our stuff inside, and lit our trangia to boil the water for our ration packs. At about that time, the teachers turned up and checked that everything was running smoothly before leaving us to eat our dinner. At around 6:00pm, just after it got dark, we decided to go to bed to get the optimum amount of sleep ready for the next day.

At about 9:00pm it started to rain, which wasn't a problem. At around 10:00pm the wind really picked up which was more so. At 11:00pm we woke up to find that one of the guy ropes on the outside had been ripped out of the ground by the wind and Josh who was in my tent, went out and fixed it, At about 1:00am we woke up to find that one side of the tent had effectively collapsed onto the third person in our tent, Ollie, making him quite wet! Me and Josh moved ourselves so that Ollie was no longer submerged and attempted to get to sleep again. At 5:30am the alarm on my phone went off and we all got up and started to get ready for walking at 7:30am. We soon realized how wet everything on the inside was, due to the extreme wind, and put our waterproofs on (I found a puddle had materialized all around my coat) we quickly packed away all our personal kit and met with the other 35 mile team to decide that due to the weather we would act as one big group. 
First we put all the bags in one of the other tents and started to take down ours which was a lot harder that it sounds when it is half 5 in the morning, dark, the wind powerful enough to blow you over (I was almost blown over twice), and with rain constantly pelting it down. After we had packed away the first tent we moved all the bags again and started to pack away the tent that bags had been in (I don't have a clue why we did it in this order). After we had finished this we were about to start putting down the third of our four tents when the teachers arrived back saying not to.
We were then told that we were in a severe weather warning and because of this were not able to do the second days walking, but our teachers, deciding as always not to take the soft option, said that we could walk back to Princetown instead of taking the mini buses. 
We then quickly packed away the other two tents and were split back into our original two teams. My team was ready first so we set off along the B3212 towards Princetown. 

For the whole of that walk the weather didn't stop and I was blown into the opposite side of the road twice, luckily it wasn't very busy. 
It didn't take us very long to reach the reassuring sign which said: 
Although it wasn't snowing :)
We quickly made our way through Princetown to the inn where the teachers were staying and the minibuses.

We then drove to Exeter service station, where we gave all the school kit we had been carrying (tents and trangia's)  back, before relaxing inside for about 15 minuets

We then went on the 2 hour drive back to Bath where we unpacked all the kit and finally went home...

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