Y8 Edale 2016
Y8 enjoy some outdoor adventures...
Y8 left Leicester at 9.30am on a warm (ish) February Saturday heading up the motorway towards warnings of heavy rain in Derbyshire. Sure enough – it was raining when we arrived – but although we didn’t know it then, the rain didn’t really matter because we were about to get absolutely soaked canoeing and the rain made little difference. Combs reservoir looked deceptively quiet, but the canoes were lashed together in rafts to ensure that they were stable in the strong winds that were forecast. Everyone got their feet wet before we even ventured into the canoes because of the big puddles in the carpark. Once afloat the girls quickly got the hang of paddling and in true Leicester High spirit there were no complaints. After perfecting our paddling technique and a few races we were all encouraged to stand on the gunwales (the sides) of the canoes and introduce ourselves. Predictably, most of us refused to anything so crazily unsafe, but equally predictably, ten minutes later every single person had achieved it. We then paddled over to the other side of the reservoir for a game of world domination, which consisted of madly paddling after balls and then trying to throw them into the canoes of other teams. After a few games this resorted into a water fight with everyone getting wet. Then we decided to paddle back to shore standing up. At the end, after putting away the canoes, we were all ready to warm up in the minibuses but were invited to go for a swim first!! Four brave souls accepted the challenge and plunged into the freezing cold water.
After returning to the youth hostel for a meal and dry clothes we were soon out again ready to throw ourselves off Millers Dale viaduct in an abseil in the dark. This was enormous fun and everyone took part - once the initial rumour that we were being asked to abseil into the raging river was dismissed. The instructors were even persuaded to let everyone have two turns each.
The next morning, after a good breakfast we all got kitted up in fleece onesies, wellington boots, caving suits and hard hats with head torches. These took some getting on (but this was not as hard as taking them off afterwards). We set off to Bagshawe Cavern which is reached by descending the mineshaft of an old lead mine. Although we were told that we would be below ground so would not get rained on, this did not mean that we didn’t get wet! After a very steep descent down steps (luckily with a hand rail) we got to the cave and were given a short talk on geology. We were able to see stalactites and layers of calcite on the cave walls. We followed a passage until we were 50 metres below the surface. At one point we had to wade through a very muddy puddle, this introduced us to that exquisite feeling that happens when the water goes over the top of your wellies and a freezing cold sensation as it floods around your feet. For the least tall members of the party, the water was well above their knees. At one point we had to crawl on hands and knees to get through into the next section of the cave. Here we all turned out our headlamps and experienced true darkness. Then we were persuaded to rub mud into our skin – this is allegedly the same mud that people spend hundreds of pounds on when it is used in a spa! At the end of the cave, some of the bravest girls wriggled through a really small passage way to experience true pot-holing. It was lovely to emerge from the cave and into the fresh air.
This was a lovely school trip and Dr Singleton and Dr Hills thought that everyone had behaved really well and been very brave in taking part in some of the more scary activities. They were only disappointed that there were no really good Dr Dr jokes!
More photos on the gallery.