During Leave-out 10 cadets were deployed to Capel Curig Training Camp located just outside Betws-Y-Coed in North Wales.
The weekend is aimed at providing winter mountain training for cadets who have an aspiration to attend the demanding Winter Mountaineering Course held in Scotland every February.
The first day’s trekking was undertaken west of the Snowden Massif in an area known as the Nantlle Ridge and consisted of a steep ascent followed by some gentle scrambling made all the more demanding by a low hanging fog which didn’t quite do enough to hide the drop off to one side of the ridge.
Despite a 25mph south-easterly wind with a wind chill factor of -9 on the summit, the cadets moved fluidly over the ground and covered the distance quickly. The route down was uneventful but with a drop-in altitude we got below the fog and were rewarded with spectacular views. A quick journey into Betws-Y-Coed allowed the cadets and staff to warm their hands around mugs of steaming hot chocolates with all the extras!
With a good first day in the bag and the weather promising to improve, the cadets set off the following day with the summit of Moel Siabod in their sights. This time it was a long steady ascent but, once again, the top of the mountain was shrouded in fog - this could be a contributing factor to one of the cadets not noticing a particularly boggy patch and ending up waist deep in water. The approach to the summit required further scrambling which the cadets accomplished once again with aplomb, even waiting for the less nimble members of staff to heave themselves onto the next stage. A brief stop on the top for lunch, this time in a –12 wind, soon forced everyone back down the mountain!
Capel Curig 2018 was a fantastic trip, made all the better by the quality of those cadets who took part and enhanced the experience. Special thanks have to go to WO2 Paul Gillespie-Antal, Royal Marines and Lt Andy Lister for the quality training they delivered.