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Mountaineers return after a wild day on Arkle

The Blue team in the col below the first summit of Arkle

York House School

Mountaineers return after a wild day on Arkle

Sunday September 10th 2017

A challenging day in the mountains today for the Year 8 team. We woke shortly after 7am and with the forecast for rain early in the day we had already made the decision to leave tents pitched and breakfast in the bothy.

The two teams left the bothy shortly after 8.30am to start their ascent of Arkle. The route weaves its way through a small stand of pine trees before zig-zagging up a stalkers track and from there the two teams split with the Blues taking a line up the edge of the escarpment that runs along the southern side of the mountain, with the Reds opting for a line up a burn that flows over rock steps and terraces.

We seemed to get off lightly in relation to the forecast for the first few hours of the ascent. We could see bands of rain sweeping across the surrounding mountains but we stayed largely dry but always under moody skies. The mountains have the first tinges of autumn now with the tops of the deer grass now a rusty brown rather than their bright summer green. All very atmospheric and cloud blew in and out on the wind. The rain finally came on the final approaches to the first summit and with it came strengthening winds.

After three and a half hours of graft the teams reached the first summit. A great achievement in the conditions. From the first summit the route drops into a col and then climbs again along a narrow section of ridge to a second summit. The second summit wasn’t a viable option in the conditions and so the teams began to descend from the col, returning to Lone shortly before 4pm. A full and challenging day in the mountains but with a resoundingly positive approach from the pupils.

Survival skills tomorrow in preparation for the island, with a swim for all before breakfast. More news to follow over the coming days.