On the 1st February a group of five guides set off on their adventure to complete the Gold Award, the top award you can get as a Guide. The only information the guides had before setting off was to be dressed for the weather, bring a rucksack with sleeping bag, sleep mat, bivvy bag, hot water bottle, a change of clothes and that they would be back the next day!
So the adventure started before they even arrived, putting their trust in two very experienced guide leaders, Caroline Bentham from Ripon and Ann Durham from Skipton. When everyone was gathered together the plan was explained; a long walk to a barn where they would spend the night. All meals came from ration packs that were to be cooked on trangias, a new experience for some.
So they set off in very windy weather and spent the day walking 12 miles, with a few food breaks. Thankfully the wind died down, they negotiated the thick mud without incident and it was a pleasant afternoon, they even came up close to a large deer in the wood towards the end of their walk. It was dark as they emerged from the wood near the farm where they would sleep and the last bit of the walk was heading to the lights from the farm buildings.
On arrival at the barn that was home for the night, the guides started to cook their tea, not easy in the dark and cold, then bedded down for the night with hot water bottles filled from the trangias. After a refill of hot water bottles, handing out hand warmers for during the night and a bit of chocolate it really was time to sleep. Next morning, breakfast was cooked, everything tidied up and they had a short walk back to where parents would collect them.
They did amazingly well, 12 miles with a full back pack is no mean feat when you haven’t done anything like it before and the guides deserve their Gold Award for their efforts, well done to Amelia, Ellen, Molly, Aisling and Hettie.