It has been a busy term of training for Ten Tors and it is getting very serious now with the event only 4 weeks away in early May. We have one team entered in the 35-mile event, which involves hiking between ten tors (it is actually 14 checkpoints) on Dartmoor, navigating for themselves and with a wild camp on the moor – all entirely independently for the weekend. We also have a Jubilee Challenge team, who are challenged to walk 15-miles on Dartmoor, including over the highest point. Since Xmas, the teams have carried full backpacking gear and we have steadily increased the mileage. In January we did a 10-mile circuit on Dartmoor, over Ger Tor and Kitty Tor, followed by the classic Bodmin Skyline route, which is a 17-mile circuit over Brown Willy and Rough Tor. We followed that up with a 19.5 trek from Minions north onto Fox Tor on East Moor.
Last weekend we did the first of two wild camping weekends on Dartmoor. The 35-mile team started at Okehampton Camp and covered 17-miles including Steeperton Tor, Kitty Tor, White Barrow and we wild camped on a hillside north of Homing Beam. We arrived and started to pitch at about 7.30pm – conditions to pitch our tents and cook our food on Saturday night were extremely cold, with a light spinking of ice, so everyone was very glad to finally be able to wrap up in their sleeping bags. It was a very cold night, probably -4C or so, and most of us slept in our clothes, coats, hats and gloves. It was just as cold in the morning until the Sun came up properly – and everything had frozen overnight. We had ice formed on the insides of our tents, water in bottles in our tents had frozen, our boots froze solid overnight – and anything left out, such as Ewan’s socks, was as stiff as a board. Despite the testing conditions, almost everyone had been warm enough and got some sleep, and everyone got up cheerful and ready to go in the morning.
One of the great things about Ten Tors is that you have to cope with how tough it can be – both our 35-mile and Jubilee Challenge teams have risen to every challenge this year; they work really well as a team and help each other, and everyone has pushed their limits. Training for the 35-mile team have been Lily Love-Williams, Felix Mitchell, Jake Newton-Webster, Leo Trankle, Evie Toms, Lexis Lawrence, Sol Abadio and Rhys Davy, and the Jubilee Challenge team: Tyler Trotter, Isabelle Davies, Ewan Fullbrook and Rose Marsh.
We have two training walks left; a “quick” day out of 22-miles from Polruan to Hannafore and back on the coast path, and then a full dry-run of a 35-mile challenge on the weekend of 22-24th April, on Dartmoor. The Ten Tors event itself is over the weekend of 7-9th May. Please do look out for us and track the team’s progress on social media and on the Ten Tors tracker. We are team number 1885 Fowey River Academy.
We would like to thank Speedo Mick and the Speedo Mick Foundation for a grant of £1000 to help us with our running costs this year and next, and to thank the Headstart Fund for a grant of £5000 for some more lightweight tents and stoves, plus a fully equipped mess tent which will enable us to do camping expeditions, seating and catering for up to 35 people. We are extremely grateful to Melissa and Chris Williams who are very kindly catering for us for our final practice walk, and at Ten Tors, and we would like to say a huge thank you to Julian Mitchell, who has come out on every trip this year and without whose help we would have really struggled this year.