Derwent Hill Field Trip
Friday 17th September
We woke up to a lovely sunny morning on our last day at Derwent Hill. After breakfast we finished packing our things and prepared for our final activity. As we had enjoyed it so much earlier in the week our group decided to do another High Challenge task. Instead of the trapeze we did the Gladiator Challenge and the See Saw Challenge. For the Gladiator Challenge we had to find a partner and decide which one of us would be blindfolded. We then had to scale the obstacle as quickly as we could. To make it even more difficult we had to reach across at certain points to shake hands in order to gain more points. This was hard enough even without the blindfold. Once we reached the top our points and times were recorded before we abseiled back to the ground. Brandon Hulley and Dan Rutherford were crowned the champions with an impressive time of 1 minute 16 seconds and a massive 1800 points!
The second challenge, the See Saw Challenge, was even harder. Two people had to climb up a vertical pole at the same time, one on each side. Once at the top they had to climb on to the see saw. To gain another 2000 points they then had to stand up and walk to the very ends of the see saw without falling off. All teams managed to completed the challenge with Brandon ‘Spiderman’ Hulley and Miss Johnson gaining first place with a time of 1 minute 3 seconds and a maximum score of 4000 points.
After an excellent action packed week we waved goodbye to all of the Derwent Hill staff and headed back to Sunderland.
Thursday 16th September
Today our first activity was kayaking, so we went down to the changing rooms to put on our wetsuits and collect our paddles then headed for the lake. We were given a quick safety lesson and Pam showed us how to use the paddle correctly. It was then time to try it out for ourselves so we launch our kayaks from the jetty. After a few screams and wobbly moments we soon got the hang of it and in no time we were all whizzing around the lake. To improve our kayak skills Pam gave us a series of challenges. These included standing up in our kayaks, crawling to the end and back and swopping boats all whilst we were floating. We then had some free time where we practiced capsizing and went for a swim. When we were so cold that we couldn’t feel our hands and feet we headed back to Derwent Hill for some lunch and a hot chocolate.
After lunch we went rock climbing on a crag a few miles from Derwent Hill. Pam set up 3 different climbs so that everybody was able to take part even if they had never climbed before. We all had a go of climbing as well as belaying the other climbers.
As it was our last night we went back to Derwent Hill to pack up our belongings and had our dinner. Tomorrow we will only have time for one more activity before heading back to school. Fingers crossed for a sunny day!
Wednesday 15th September
This morning was another early start as we prepared to scale the mountain. When we had our team meeting we were told that we would be climbing not one, but two mountains! We left the bus at Whinlatter forest and headed up the steep slope. Our guide Pam talked to us about the forest and the different trees that were there. She showed us how to identify the different species by smelling them and feeling their leaves. Further into the walk we stopped again to looked at the different varieties of toadstools that were growing on the forest floor. As it was raining heavily Pam decided to take us off the beaten track and through the thick forest. We had to scramble through the trees and the undergrowth to try and find our way back to the path. As we approached the summit of the first mountain, Lord’s Seat, the rain cleared. When we reached the top we had views of both Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite as well as Scar fell Pike (the highest mountain in the Lake District) and Scotland. As it was a long way back down we decided to have a roly poly competition part of the way to see who could get down the fastest. Once at the bottom we started to climb up the next mountain known as Barf. There was lots of loose rock on the way up so it was a bit of a scramble. When we reached the top it was really windy so after a few photos we headed back down. On the way we found wild raspberries, blackberries and wood sorrel which we were able to taste. Back at the bottom we visited the osprey centre where we learnt about how the birds live and the conservation projects in place to try and protect them. After another tiring but fun day we headed back to Derwent Hill for a well deserved rest.
Tuesday 14th September 2010
We had an early started and met downstairs for breakfast at 8am. Our first activity was called the High Rope Challenge. We had to climb up a pole that was about 12 meters tall. At the top we had to climb onto a platform but found it hard to keep our balance at the top as it was very wobbly and windy. Some people found it challenging and difficult as they were afraid of heights. As well as the climber there had to be 3 people belaying which involves holding the rope supporting the climber. There was also a communicator who encourage the climber and gave them advice on how to get up the pole. Once we were standing on the top of the platform we had to leap off it and grab a trapeze that was hanging away from the pole. It was great fun but we were pleased to have our feet back on solid ground.
Next up was a team build exercise where we had to stack large plastic crates to make a tower as high as possible in 15 minutes. Two people stood on top with harnesses on in case they fell or the tower collapsed. By working as a team we got the crates up to 13 stacks high (65 crates in total). One person below had to pass the crates up to the people on top using the climbing sling. Once the time had run out and the task was over we got to kick it over which was fun.
After lunch we took part in the orienteering competition which was held in the grounds of Derwent Hill. We were given a map of the grounds that guided us to certain numbered locations were we had to search for a letter marked in blue. We recorded the numbers on the answer sheet. We had to find all of the letters as quickly as possible as we were racing 5 other pairs.
We left the best activity until last...the terrifying High Jump! We had to wear our harnesses and helmets and have a safety check. We then climbed up a ladder onto the platform high up a very tall tree. We sat at the top of the tree while our instructor Pam tided us in with safety ropes. It was now time to jump off! As we walked towards the marked area at the edge we all started to feel the tension build. Then we took the leap of faith and swooped down through the trees and over the heads of our team members.
After dinner we took part in the Team Challenge which was a circuit of activities around the building. After the winning teams had received their prize we all took part in a quiz.
After another busy day it’s time for bed. Tomorrow we are taking part in a mountain climb. We’ll let you know how we get on tomorrow!
Monday 13th September 2010
We arrived at Derwent Hill at about 11:30a.m on Monday morning. On the bus we had been given information about our rooms so it didn’t take long for us to get unpacked and settle in. One of our first jobs was to go to the kit room where we were given all of the special equipment that we would need for the following 5 days of activities. The kit included a waterproof coat and trousers, hiking boots, wellies and a back pack.
For our first activity we took the mini bus to a small village where we had planned to do a gorge walk. As it had rained all night the rivers were full and over flowing so we had to leave gorge walking for another day. Instead, we scrambled along the side of a smaller river and climbed up the waterfall. At the top of the water fall was a small tunnel that went underneath the road. It was really dark and full of fast flowing water and rocks. We had to army crawl through this on our tummies to get to the other side. It was really scary at first but was great to get out of the other side.
After we had all made it through the tunnel ,we went down to Derwent Water where we had a water fight, swam in the lake and played under water limbo. After we had completely soaked Miss Johnson we headed back to Derwent Hill for tea.
Later that night we got our water proofs on, took our torches and headed out for a night walk. We had to use a map to navigate our way to the mini bus that would pick us up and take us back to Derwent Hill. We had to hike in the pouring rain through dark forests and muddy fields until we reached a mountain called Catbells. Up the mountain it was really windy and very dark as we were miles away from the nearest street lights so we had to rely on our torches.
We were relieved to see the bus at the bottom of the mountain so we could get back into the warm and dry. After the busy day we had we were ready for bed!