Saturday, March 27, 2010

Night Hike 2010 Montgomeryshire Scouts

What a wonderful challenging evening lay ahead. The Montgomeryshire District Scouts had organised a night hike across the mountains, hills and valleys of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant.
The route covered 14 miles in all groups of cubs, scouts and explorers in teams set out. Aaron armed with his survival kit set off at just after 7pm with a group of six scouts. They had maps to find the route which headed over fields, lanes, tracks up on the mountains heading around the Ceriog Valley. All teams have been taught orienteering so Aaron is an avid map reader.
Malcom and I set of, as we were manning check point 5, the half way mark at the highest point way up on the back lanes over looking the mountain the hikers had to cross. Armed with radios, phones, top up snacks and first aid kits.
Aaron`s group arrived 2ND around 9pm all the boys were in high spirits. We topped them up with drinks and snacks before they headed off towards the next check point.
Many teams passed through the check point that night we marked them all down as they went by. Whilst waiting Malcom and I sat chatting drinking coffee.
Finally another group arrived along with the sweepers.
The sweepers were two men who new the walking area well and mountain range. They walked behind all the groups taking part, to make sure everyone got to there next check point. Tallying the numbers up something wasn't right. One group had passed through check point 4 but had not come to us at check point 5. The sweepers were with us.
Were had they gone ?
Malcom was connected up to google earth to track other paths where the team could have gone astray. An SOS was sent out by us to alert the check points we had a team missing.
The sweepers went back up the mountain splitting up to widen there search. Malcom and I watched the mountain carefully looking for lights in the distance. The lower check points also watched the mountain looking for the lost team.
A land rover also joined in the search with its search lights. The leaders had a good idea were they may have been heading. Some footprints had been found off the tracks.
After a while I pointed to Malcom at a group of lights coming over the crest to the east of us. Malcom and I shone torches to alert the group of our whereabouts. Thankfully it was the lost team a group of Welshpool explorers. Radioing in the group had been found, after topping them up they carried on there journey.
Malcom and I waited for the sweepers to return. We closed our check point and went down to check point 6. By this time it was very late near midnight. The sweepers took to the hills again to find anymore lost kids. Check point 6 was closed, so we all headed back to the village hall.
We check in looked round for our kids no sign. I said to Malcom there not here.
Checking the computer system which was tracking all the movements 3 of the scouts had given up. The other 3 had carried on Aaron included. The 3 had passed check point 7 some time ago. Nerys was out side as we tried to phone the boys to see were they were. We managed to get hold of Rhys he said they weren't far away. Suddenly as very muddy Aaron came running round the corner from the Waterfall rd alone. This boy had some energy after walking 14 miles at 1am in the morning.
After eating lots of hot dogs and hot chocolate we headed home. Aaron didn't get up this morning till 11am. It was a wonderful night we all really enjoyed it.

Aaron`s Tale
We set off up Waterfall Rd, we then went up a very steep drive. Half of the scout group ran off up the hill. Me Callum and Rhydian stayed back because Rhydian was slow. Then we got to the first check point Haf was there. Then we went over a style were there was lots of mud and big sticks which we had to walk through. It was very hard.
There was then a very steep hill going down, we then went over a bridge crossing the river were the 2ND check point was. We walked up the road then we all stayed together as it was getting very dark by now. We all had illuminating coats on. We carried through the check points reaching mum and Malcom at check point 5. The longest point. We then carried on back down the lanes to check point 6. We crossed back into the fields were we got lost. A man on a quad came and said to walk straight up the lane past the chapel up to check point 7, were half the scout group were to lazy to carry on. Lots of groups went passed then Me Callum and Rhys decided to carry on with another group. We carried on through the check points then Rhys decided his legs were hurting. We got eventually back onto the Waterfall road which we had to go over another style to cross the fields before heading back to were we started up the steep drive. Except this time we were going down hill instead of up. Then Callum and Rhys were getting tired slowing down. I ran all the way down the drive down the Waterfall Road back to the village hall were mum was flapping wondering were I was. her face lite up as she saw me coming towards her.
At the village hall I ate hot dogs and drank hot chocolate. I felt really happy that I had completed it all. I got a certificate for my effort.

Today Saturday we are having a rest as well as going for a walk locally with Fred our dog.

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