Ten Tors 2012 - The Event

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On the 11th, 12th and 13th of may was the ten tors challenge 2012.
In the weeks leading up to the event, despite the 45 mile team being 2 people short, Mr Brewer convinced Will and Chris (2 of the people who completed 55 miles the year before) to do 45 mile with us.
We arrived at bear flat and departed at about 7:10, we then went to Oakhampton. We had a brief stop at Exeter services and then arrived at the army base at around 10:00.
When we arrived we quickly unloaded all out kit from the coach and went through 'tent city' to where the three beechen cliff flags were - looking better than all the others!
There we met Mr Brewer, Mr Stewart and the teachers from castle school, Mr Sayers had travelled in the coach with us. We then waited in the tent for about an hour while the 35 teams sorted out their kit for scrutineering. When the 35's were done, we spoke to Mr Brewer and Mr Stewart, before headed up to the scrutineering shed. The queue wasn't very long and, despite a paper airplane fight breaking out, we were seen by one of the scrutineers quite quickly. When we reached the scruitineer he said that we didn't have enough food, despite us telling him that we were going to make our lunches later so that they were more fresh, he refused to pass us until he had seen them, so Mr Stewart had to send someone back to our camp area to borrow some peoples sandwiches, so we could pretend they were ours.
After we got scruitineering stamped on our route card, we dumped our kit at our 'base' and went to the compulsory briefing where there was a massive queue because someone had fainted halfway through one of the earlier briefings, which had caused a major delay. As a result of this, the army were cramming the briefing room with as many people that they could physically fit in there. During the briefing they told us all the basic stuff - don't drop litter, motivation, etc.....
After getting briefing stamped as well we went back to our mess tent and planned our route, this didn't take very long and afterwards we went to where the people from BCS who were part of the Keynsham ATC have a look around.

We then had dinner which comprised of pasta which this year hadn't been left cooking all day because Mr Stewart wasn't cooking this time, with bolonaise followed by Apple pie and without the cold, straight out of the can custard which we got last year. Afterwards we had free time until bed at ten so we all chatted fpr a while before trying to get an early night, despite the parties going on around us.
The next morning I woke at 5:00am as over the camp tannoy came chariots of fire for us to wake up to. This was then followed by other inspirational music such as, we are the champions, these boots are made for walking, dancing queen? and many more. I then had lots of cereal for breakfast, because there wasn't a vegetarian alternative to the bacon butties. We then had our team photos, before putting on our bags and heading up to the start.
We took are place on the ring of participants and gave our flags to the teachers (we could see all our other teams because our flags were so much bigger and taller than everyone else's). We were a bit late to the top because there had been a backlog of people trying to get up to the start, so we were caught unawares as then two huge guns then went off and all hell broke loose. Everyone ran down the hill at once and it was absolute chaos. We quickly got on route and headed to our first tor. The map of our route can be seen below:

We made our way quickly to Hound tor by taking a road/track most of the way, going past the Jubilee challenge on the way. We then continued upwards and onwards, past Watern tor, following the wall round to our second tor - Sittaford, where Rob was given a replacement emit card (the computer chips they use to check where we are), because our old one has broken. We then headed down through a valley, a wood and over some giant stepping stones, before climbing up to Combestone tor - our third, were we saw the teachers from Castle school, including Mr Brewer's sister. We then went diagonally up to Ryders Hill, and then straight across to higher hartor, where on the way, we were waved at by the people in 'the small helicopter', which as a result, got it promoted to my 2nd favorite instead of by worst helicopter (below the zebra helicopter, and above the green sea king). Once we got to higher hartor, we were delayed because at Sittaford, they'd given us the wrong type of emit card, so we were forced to wait for about 15 minutes while they registered us with another one. We then headed straight down, following a noticeable path, to Trowlesworthy tor, before heading straight back up to higher hartor again. We then followed the yellow brick motorway up to South Hessary tor - number 6. We then raced on, hoping that we might reach Beardown tors (7) before the 8pm cut-off, meaning that we'd be allowed to go on to our 8th. We went very quickly through Princetown, but came to the conclusion that we weren't going to make it, so slowed right down and took a leisurely walk up to Beardown tors where the temperature quickly started to drop. We put our tents up and ate as quickly as possible before setting our alarms and going to bed.
The next morning we woke up at around four. We got our stuff all ready inside our tents, and then (stupidly) decided not to have breakfast. We left the tents up for as long as possible as there was a significant wind chill, and it was cold enough the the ground was frosty. After we'd put the tents down, the military people who were in charge of the tor made us all stand around a square outside their check in tent. They then handed out all the 35's routes cards and at exactly 6:00am, the person in charge of the tor blew his whistle and Rob (who was our team leader) ran to the checkpoint to get our route card (45 and 55's don't get theirs handed out).
We then headed off, along with most of the other teams, down and across a small valley, and up to our 8th tor - Lynch tor. From there we headed down to a river crossing which we had used on previous training sessions, and then straight up to Kitty tor (9) - this is where we suffered the most because of not eating breakfast, and we slowed right down, however after having some food we soon got back up to speed. At Kitty we had a nice chat for the army people for a few minutes. We then headed along a well made track - which we've also used numerous times before in training - which took us round to our tenth tor - Sourton. From there, we went down a really steep path into the valley, and up the other side, before heading underneath Yes tor, and joining one of the paths that leads into the camps where we met Mr Stewart and some of the other teachers, who gave us the school flag - which I carried - and a union flag.
We then walked 'the walk of fame' down into Oakampton camp and completed the challenge at 12:10am!

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