Three cadets from 487 (Kingstanding & Perry Barr) Squadron recently attended the Gold & Silver expedition assessments, based at the Llanbedr Air Cadet Centre. Cpls Nil Bhakta and Beth Edmonds were going for gold, whilst Cpl Lucy Basaran was on the Silver route.
Day 1: We started at Nantcol. The Golds started at 07.30 and the Silvers 08.00. The Silvers then took the easier route around the Rhinogs whilst the Golds went up and through the middle of them. After a steep early climb before the mid-afternoon heat the Gold group had done most of the route before the hottest part of the day. With the weather mainly dry the Silver group made it back to the Llyn Trawsfynydd campsite at 14.00. The Gold group arrived slightly later, at 18.30.
Day 2: We left Llyn Trawsfynydd at 07.45 and whilst the Silver group walked straight toward the second campsite called Byrn Bwbach which was a nice campsite, the Gold route was a longer plod. Day 2 was really hot and Beth Edmonds ended up with having heatstroke after the midday heat but still Day 2 was the easiest route out of the four days. The Silver group made it back at 16.00 and the Gold group made it back not that far behind at 17.00. Then we had plenty of time for messing around.
Day 3: The rain had been lashing down since 4 am so the tents were wet and morale was already low. Day 3 was, by far, for both groups, the hardest day mentally. It was the longest day in length for both too. The silver group had the motivation of walking for their last day and were making for Llanbedr village pub carpark, arriving at 17.00, for the staff members to pick them up. During the long trek, the Gold group had to deal with a cadet who was cold and wet through. After an 11 hour walk we made it we made it back at 18.00 to Park Isaf which was the best campsite.
Day 4: For the gold group we had to climb three mountains one after the other so walking wise it was the hardest day physically. Add in the fact it was a warm day and got really hot from about midday onwards. We struggled up hills and more hills in the heat but we soldiered on. We made it back to the finish point at about 16.30, barely walking and all out of water. But the sense of achievement was worth all the walking and pain we had gone through. We achieved our lifelong ambitions and now are off to meet Royalty now.