Going for Gold in Scotland

18 Lingfield Students Successfully Complete the Qualifying Gold Expedition in Scotland

The Gold DofE Qualifying Expedition to the Grampian Mountains was a tremendous success. The 18 participants collectively made their way to Fort William via plane, train and car without supervision. They undertook some acclimatisation on arrival, including visiting Fort William for last-minute shopping, a final meal, and one night in a recognised campsite with all the homely comforts. They ascended to the Lochan on Ben Nevis and set up a wild camp on Saturday morning. That afternoon, they ventured up to the 1,345 m (4,413 foot) summit in good conditions, although the view from the top was limited due to cloud cover. On average, the summit is only clear 30 days a year, and today was not one of those. After celebrating their achievement with a group photograph, they descended to the Lochan and wild-camped in the fierce wind and the odd shower throughout the night.

The following day, they descended and started making their circular route from Glen Nevis to Spean Bridge rail station. Setting up camp 3 km past Steal Ruins, a location 10 km from the nearest road, that night, they experienced eight hours of torrential rain that flooded the ground and turned the gentle streams and rivers into torrents. Monday was the longest trek, covering 23 km over undulating boggy ground with a 600m ascent. They did not see another soul en route (without any mobile signal) - a true challenge they met with aplomb. Their final night was not much better, with intense winds and heavy rain, but it must be said the rain had been perfectly planned, with it only coming when all were under canvas. 

The last day was a final descent onto Spean Bridge along good tracks and paths to catch the 11:56 to Glasgow Central and begin the return journey to Gatwick. All participants were a credit to themselves, their parents, and Lingfield College. They now deserve a well-earned rest at home—well done, all.

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