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Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition April 2019

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition took place from 20th-23rd of April. The boys were split into two groups, Alpha and Bravo, accompanied by Mr Robertson, Mr Alexander and Mr George.

Day 1

We started promptly leaving school at 8.15am to give us the opportunity to get the earlier boat, however with a fully booked crossing we did not hold out much hope. We then arranged to meet at the Ardrossan port for 10.20am.

Thankfully, we managed to get on to Arran two hours early. The group made slow progress over the top to Loch Tannack and got to camp by 8 pm. Both groups were tired after the initial exertions but happy to have the first day under their belts.

Day 2

Both groups started slightly later, owing to the short distance of this day. The end location was Lochranza, with a castle, distillery and visitor centre to investigate. It was hot going with broken boggy ground at the top and temperatures reaching 19 degrees. It was short in distance, however tiring in its technicality and groups made it to the campsite by late afternoon – tired and grateful for a rest.

Day 3

Both groups made earlier starts today, owing to the longer distance and hot temperatures involved. Some blisters were starting to present, but both groups were proactive with tape and compeed. Good camp craft and prompt starts made for a productive and fast paced day along the coast to Sannox. Lots of research into wildlife and geology had already revealed Adder snakes in the morning and Hutton’s Unconformity ( a geological inversion of sedimentary rock over metamorphic rock).

Again, the groups made good progress and got to camp in the late afternoon for a well earned rest.

Day 4

The groups made an early start and were separated by 30 minutes, as there was some close supervision through Glen Sannox Saddle. Two supervisors made an early start to set up a security rope. The weather was a little cloudy but still warm with a stiff breeze in the early morning. This was welcome as we made the ascent up to the saddle. The groups made good progress into the ascent and were through with sufficient time for some early dinner down at Brodick. All groups worked hard on their expedition oral report and were happy to have the three day camping experience in time for qualifying in June.

Darren George