This month has kept all of us here at Dragon Activity Guides pretty busy on the adventure front! From new qualifications to trips to the Peak District and adventures as far as Scotland, we’ve been non-stop.
At the beginning of this month, our guide Bramble (Paul Bramble) travelled up to Fort William, Scotland, to help assess a group of DofE students who’d planned a 5 day canoe trip for their Gold Award assessment. They planned to paddle up the Great Glen (or Caledonian Canal) which starts at Fort Williams and heads 97km North East until it comes out of the other side of Scotland at Inverness. Despite the fact the Glen Way is known as ‘canal’, only one third of it’s entire length is manmade, withthe rest of it being formedby Loch Dochfour, Loch Oich, Loch Lochy, and the famous Loch Ness. As well as planning their trip, they had to make dynamic assessments and changes as they went with variables such as wind and weather to think about, and they were setting up camp and bivi’ing out at night, cooking up their own food and sleeping in the wilderness. A super determined group, even getting everybody up before light one day and paddling until after it got dark!
Some where along the way they had the very much-appreciated assistance from the wind, giving Bramble the perfect opportunity to try out his P&H sea kayak sail. Even though it was designed for sea kayaks, it was easy to set up and use in the canoe and didn’t require much tweaking once it was up and going giving Bramble a bit of time to relax, sit back, and keep his eye out for the Loch Ness Monster...
As one tagged back in, another tagged out, as on the day of Brambles return to Pembrokeshire, I left for Llangollen for my UKCC Level 2 Coach Training course with Getafix Coaching. Four days with 12 totally new people who were there to learn just as much as me meant the week was a great success, with lots of laughs, and lots of learning. We got to pick up loads of new coaching techniques and ideas, a whole new collection of games, peer-to-peer coaching, and we all left with a bunch of new friends and a promise to sit our assessments soon.
This last week has been half term week, and while Bramble and myself stayed in Pembrokeshire to explore the coast and spot the seals with some very lovely families on their holidays, our guide Alun was on a holiday of his own in the Peak District! The Peak is a world renowned climbing spot famous for it’s very individual and challenging style, and is totally different to the climbing in Pembrokeshire. During his trip, Alun and his partner Sina sampled a little bit of every crag they could get to, even getting benighted on more than one occasion in their excitement to get as much climbing into their week as possible. Throughout the week they tried to climb as many ‘Top 50’ routes as they could, a couple of favourites that stood out being The Sentinel at Burbage North, and Tody’s Wall at Froggatt, and somewhere in the mix Alun learnt to love jamming too! After falling victim to the classic British weather change and loosing a couple of days to the rain, they both finished the week with loads to go back for, and another winter trip already in the diary!