Llandovery College Expedition to the French Alps
A group of twelve pupils from Llandovery College, all members of the Combined Cadet Force, experienced a two-week programme of Adventurous Training in France, where they were accompanied by Cadet Officers David Drinkall, Stuart Robertson, and Glyn Evans. The first three days were spent camping and bouldering in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just south of Paris: bouldering is an increasingly popular sport in the AT world, both in its own right and as providing superb preparation for the more demanding requirements of technical rock climbing.
After a final afternoon spent seeing the sights in Paris, the group moved south to their next campsite, at Chamonix in the heart of the Alps, which was to be their base for the next ten days. Here they were joined by former pupil Ferdia Earle, a recent graduate with First Class Hons in Geography from Edinburgh University, and an experienced and first-class climber in her own right. The group then proceeded to follow a full and varied programme of Adventurous Training activities: top-rope climbing and abseiling on two managed but natural Alpine rock faces, a via ferrata trail, white-water rafting on the glacial waters of the Arve, high mountain walking on the Flégère plateau up to Lac Blanc at 2352m, gorge walking along the Diosaz and glacier walking on the Mer de Glace, all culminating in a three-day high mountain trek in the le Brévent range which crossed the Col du Brévent at 2368m and offered unsurpassable views of Mont Blanc at every turn.
Adventurous Training experiences such as these form an important part of the co-curricular programme available at Llandovery College through the Combined Cadet Force; they have the full support of HQ 160 (Wales) Brigade in Brecon, and offer young people a range of challenging and life-enhancing experiences.