THE bleak expanse of Dartmoor was on the minds of 30 Explorer Scouts and their leaders as they travelled to the West Country over the last half-term holiday for a challenging weekend of endurance.
On the Saturday afternoon they were taken down Pridhamsleigh Cavern, near Buckfastleigh Abbey, to the scary depth of 50 metres to explore and crawl their way through dark, wet caves, navigating the underground sumps for a good kilometre of so, and sometimes having to crawl through gaps less than a foot high.
After completing their route cards and enjoying a good night’s sleep at Broadleas Boys Brigade Activity Centre, at the foot of Haytor, they set off early on the Sunday to conquer the Ten Tors hike in eight hours, fortunately in brilliant sunshine.
The following day, with weather conditions the opposite of Sunday’s, and with very damp conditions of poor visibility, the Scouts spent most of their remaining time climbing and abseiling on the outdoor rocks at Haytor, before setting off for the familiarity and comfort of their Woking home.
“It was an action-packed weekend, and it was so pleasing to see the Explorers were all up for the challenges,” said Brian Pinto, Explorer Scout Commissioner for Woking.
He added: “For a number of the Scouts, this was their first experience at caving and outdoor climbing.”