Further to my three previous posts here is my fuller account (1) (2) (3) of this year’s 10 Tors Challenge.
Lets start with tent poles – the wind on Thursday trashed a significant number of poles to which we made running repairs for the weekend. Here are the damaged poles which some of our Rangers will repair in advance of next year’s event.
One of the very striking things about 10 Tors is the massive gathering of minibuses – here are a small selection of those present.
One of the tasks for Friday is something called scrutineering – this involves queuing for hours so that people can empty your rucksack and check that all your gear is up to scratch. Here are the Wild Tribe 35 mile team with team Manager Pete Davies (our Senior Ranger in the Plym Valley) finally emerging … it didn’t all go smoothly but it was finally sorted.
Before we headed off for our evening meal at Betty Cottles we had some team photos. Here are Torquay Boys Grammar School’s 35 milers.
Here are the TBGS first 45 mile team.
At Betty Cottles just after the ‘thank you’ speeches I managed to snap the Stoodley Knole 35 mile team with their Managers Dave and Dennis.
Sunrise Saturday morning over our camp (note tents still standing) – the first and practically the only time we saw the ‘sun’
Got a few snaps of teams as they prepared for to go to the start. Here are the Wild Tribe 45 milers.
And here are the Wild Tribe 35 milers
From here we all head up to the start – 2400 young people waiting for the off – which signalled by a cannon being fired. By this point the weather had already disintegrated as the following photograph illustrates. You can’t actually see the 2400 participants but you can see the smoke from the cannon!
And then they are all gone! Which leaves all the team managers with time on their hands. Here we are back at base camp chilling and talking nonsense.
It’s a good time also to try and take a few arty photos – a bit of sunshine would have helped but I did find a nice curvy road!
Fleetingly on Saturday afternoon some blue sky appeared.
Saturday evening involved a visit to the camp bar – no photos fortunately exist from this.
Sunday morning arrived and again the weather was foul. Between our merry band we had seven teams out on the moor and as a result I spent from 10am to 4pm on the moor in the pouring rain waiting for them to arrive and come in. Here is a ‘waiting’ shot. You can nearly see Yes Tor in the background.
Sustenance was provided by Kirsty who made some amazing cup cakes – very National Trust I thought!
And then the teams started arriving – first in were a 45 mile team from Queen Elizabeth Hospital School in Bristol – well done guys- great effort.
TBGS 35 milers were third team in – brilliant.Then came TBGS 45 milers and then the Wild Tribe 35 milers, followed by the second TBGS 45 mile team and then the Wild Tribe 45 milers, then the TBGS 55 milers and finally the Stoodley Knole 35 milers who on saturday had been held up for hours attempting to cross the East Dart at Sany Hole Pass. All teams in and on one person had to drop out. 41 out 42 who had started got in – a 97% success rate compared to a 77% success rate overall – well done guys and girls -an awesome achievement.
Here are the second TBGS arriving at the finish
Cameron, member of this 45-mile team said, “Our first river crossing has to be one of the most memorable parts of our walk. We spoke to the Dartmoor Rescue Team stationed at this point and they informed us that no-one has crossed here yet, so we had to use everything we had been taught to ensure our crossing was safe. Our strongest men, Seb and Tristan, took firm placement standing in the water to aid us across to the centre island. A Rescue Team member went down river as a precaution. We did the same from the island to the other side, successfully defeating the river and gaining half an hour of the teams that were forced to divert. We were soaked and the water was cold but we kept marching on and soon warmed up again.” !!!!
Here are the Wild Tribe 35ers at the finish – complete with the NT ‘feather flag’ which in the wind and rain was particularly easy to handle!
After finishing teams get their medals – NB some smiley faces. This is Wild Tribe 45 milers.
And here are the TBGS 55 milers (a couple of whom have been in earlier Wild Tribe teams).
This year’s event was tough – the weather was awful and conditions were really bad – particularly the river crossings. To get all our teams round is a credit to their fortitude, stamina and grit. They will never forget this weekend and I really hope they use it as a springboard for the rest of their lives.
Finally a photo (labels attached to boxes of chocolate) which for me makes the last 9 months all worthwhile!