10th May 2019
Hi, I’m Olly.
I am a public service level 3 student and in April I went on two expeditions with my class alongside 40 other people to learn the navigation and survival skills required to carry out expeditions in the public services. As part of these two expeditions we had a one day expedition and an overnight expedition...
On, Tuesday 2nd April 2019, we headed off to the Brecon Beacons national park to a, wide open, flat ground bit of land, just down from Pen Y Fan, where there was a bunch of shake holes that we used to navigate to. We arrived at a siding on the main road and started doing our paces to see how many steps would take us 100m, we then used that to calculate how long it would take us to go to each shake hole. Once we had done our paces we started to use our compass and map to go in the direction of each shake hole and completed the route around till we had lunch. At lunch, we explored one of the shake holes and as you can see from some of these photos; it was snowing when we were doing our navigating, which made the rest of the expedition even more exhilarating. After lunch we played a game as a group of search and rescue. The aim of the game was to find a casualty who was somewhere in the grass land, and as team leader I had to get everyone in one long line and I had to get them to keep to the same pace as me until one of us stumbled across the casualty. The weather was not on our side at this point and we were trying to navigate the casualty in thick snow and in the cold so things were tough, but we worked together as a team well and we found the casualty. We then trekked back to the buses and that was the end of the micro-navigation expedition. Needless to say, the next day everyone was very tired!
Students climb a shake hole
Just under a month later, on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th April, we headed back to the Brecon Beacons to a set of waterfalls on the first day and Pen Y fan on the second day. After fighting through the traffic and collecting food to cook, we got back on the bus and we were on our way to the first walk in which we walked behind a waterfall! What an amazing experience that was, and the weather was just perfect. On the route to the waterfall we got on the wrong track but all was ok as it meant we could get a lovely view of some sheep and the size comparison between a sheep and pen y fan. After trekking through the woods for a good 45 minutes, we got to the waterfall, and after 30 seconds of being there, we had to go under it and continue with the last part of the walk but it was so memorable as you can see from the photo. After completing the walk, we got on the bus to the campsite which was on a farm and we all set up camp for the night. No one on the camp could sleep, but it meant we got up early at 4.00am and I was able to catch a beautiful sunrise over the camp and it was perfect because we had the condensation rising off the grass because it was so cold. We then left the campsite at 7.00am and drove to the north face of Pen Y fan where we started the last walk. We scrambled up Fan Y Big and then onto Pen Y Fan to the summit. What an amazing view over wales, but a shame it only lasted 5-10 minutes. Then we walked along the ridge and started our descent to a Dam where we got some incredible views and the sky was perfect. We walked over the dam and back along the road with forests on our right and our left but it was such a shame to see them being destroyed. And we arrived back at the buses and we were on our way back home.
This whole expedition was a show of our team work and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of my public services class, as well as the other classes who participated. It was one of the greatest parts of my public services course and I would highly recommend the course to anyone who enjoys working with other people or loves the outdoors. You won’t regret it!