On Thursday 13th October 20 Court Fields students from Years 7, 8 and 9 went to Snowdonia for the school’s annual residential trip.
On Friday 14th the group took on the challenge of scrambling up the North Ridge of Tryfan. For many students this was the first time that they had visited North Wales and also the first time they had climbed a mountain. The group were accompanied by 3 experienced members of staff who were all very impressed by the team work and resilience shown by the students.
Maya Thompson-Gardiner and Micaela Sellick take up the story
At the top of Tryfan we stopped for a summit photo at two large rocks named Adam & Eve and Mr Jenkins entertained the group with some mountain poetry before we headed down the south ridge and back to the Ogwen valley. On the walk back to the minibus the group found a sheep with its head caught in a wire fence but Mr Greenfield came to the rescue and managed to free the animal. Back at the centre we were provided with hot chocolate and Mrs Robertson’s cake and later on an evening meal before an early night to rest our tired legs.
We were up early the next day to explore the Rhiw Back slate mines and find out more about the history of mining in North Wales. We discovered that North Wales slate was once exported around the world as a roofing material but these days’ slate has some more unusual uses such as bulking powder in makeup and toothpaste!
Our underground trip started with a paddle through a flooded cavern on an inflatable boat. Next we went on a zip wire across another pool which was great fun. Wherever we walked there was water and the adults in the group had to duck their heads to avoid some of the low roofs. After the zip wire we abseiled into another chamber and stopped to eat our lunch. We then climbed up another level and found out more about the dangers of being a miner and what it was like having to work by candlelight without the benefit of any of the modern safety equipment.
Whilst we were underground we watched a film that was projected on to the side of the chamber about the work of some Welsh miners this was one of the earliest Welsh language films ever made.
Our final challenge was to exit the mine by climbing metal steps up a waterfall which was very exciting. We were lucky because during our time in Wales there was no rain and it was sunny so there wasn’t as much water running down as usual so we didn’t get as wet!
After saying goodbye to our instructors we headed back to the centre to wash the slate off our faces, pack the buses and start the long drive back to Somerset.
Many thanks to Mr Jenkins, Mr Dickson, Mr Greenfield and Mrs Robertson for organising the trip and looking after us while we were away.