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High Adventure 2013

15th - 17th March 2013 - Ilkley Moor

Over 100 Explorers and Network members leave Leicestershire to brave the cold weather and the snow at a mystery location.

After weeks of preparation, and in what has now become a tradition of the High adventure Mountain challenge, Friday the 15th March saw over 100 explorers and network members from Leicestershire board coaches to head for a mystery location somewhere in the UK. What they didn’t know was that they had been unknowingly singing about the mystery location around camp fires for years.

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?” “On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at” discloses the location for High Adventure 2013 perfectly. For the uninitiated this translates to “On Ilkley Moor without a hat” and for the competitors and staff, that might have been caught on the moor without a hat over the weekend, could have resulted in their heads getting covered in snow!

Following a 2 hour coach journey the competitors arrived in Baildon south of Illkley Moor and were dropped straight into the adventure. Being dropped off in the middle of a moor and being asked to walk 20mins to base camp at Sconce Lane campsite, isn’t nice, but it’s definitely exciting!

After pitching tents, a quick cup of hot chocolate and discovering the toilets had hot water, none of the teams needed convincing it was time to get some sleep in preparation for the adventurous two days that lay ahead. Especially the first team that would have a start time of 6.00am!

Saturday morning saw the eager participants clambering out of their tents early ready for two days of walking and adventure. After a hearty breakfast, kit check and mountain safety briefing, teams were able to plan their 8 . hour orienteering style route to an overnight camp site.

There were 28 different checkpoints manned and unmanned which teams could visit on route. Checkpoints were worth between 5 and 20 points depending on how challenging they were to reach.

A simple task, until teams were told that for every 5 minutes they were late arriving at the overnight camp they would be deducted 5 points. Suddenly planning and timing was vital for success.

The first team left at 6.30pm for their 1st day of competition. Some teams planned their route with almost military precision while others went for a less organised approach, and although a few teams had little idea of where they were at times, the mountain team did a good job of monitoring where each team was while they were out on the moor.

At the end of the first day of walking most teams made it to the overnight camp within the designated time and after pitching tents and kicking off soggy boots they soon tucked into their boil in the bag rehydrated meals or pot noodles.

With night fall, most teams, exhausted from the days walking, sought another early night in readiness for their second day of adventure.

What they had not perhaps anticipated when they woke up the next morning was a blanket of snow covering the ground, their tents and as far as the eye could see.

Luckily after some motivational words of encouragement from the overnight camp staff, teams had eaten breakfast and were once again on their way. It seemed a bit of white stuff wasn’t going to stop teams tackling another challenging day hiking across the moorland.

As the snow thawed, Sunday’s challenge was much the same as Saturday’s. Teams once again planned their own route in a hope to visit as many checkpoints as possible. But in additional bonus points could be gained by visiting challenge bases such as blindfolded football.

After another tough day, all the teams eventually made it back to base camp, where they received a warm welcome, a filling hot meal and would wait for the presentation ceremony and the announcing of the final scores.

And so it was congratulations to Thomas, Henry, Amani, Guy, Matthew, Stephen (Team Pr0team) from XESU who won the Explorer Unit Competition and to Monty, Erin, George, James and Iann who formed the combined team from Harborough Network and Qwest Explorer Scout Unit, who won the overall competition.

Jez Chapman, Assistant County Commissioner for Explorer Scouts in Leicestershire said, “Well done to all the teams that attended High Adventure this year. It was great to see all the teams finish and a pleasure to be part of a great event which is unique to Leicestershire. The buzz around the event is fantastic, so a big thank you to everyone that attended and everyone that made it happen”.

Richard Coppock, Organiser, added, “The actual High Adventure event is only part of the story. For weeks before the competition units practice for the event by improving their navigational skills, learning about lightweight camping, or practising cooking meals - skills which come in very useful for other expeditions and awards.

Since High Adventure was restarted in 2009, it has quickly become a popular event for the participants and has also helped the county expand the pool of available trained adult support to run other activities and events. Well done to all the teams that attended High Adventure this year and a special thank you again to all the dedicated staff team who worked tirelessly to make the event possible”.

View the Team Rankings.