By: Blonde Two
Because you tend to look at it as a green mass (on the ground or on the map), it is easy to forget that Fernworthy forest is a bit hilly (we are not talking mountains here – from 350m around the reservoir to 504m at the edge of White Ridge). If decide to walk around it with a group of youngsters new to Dartmoor, you soon discover the hills. You also discover that 12km can feel like 20!
Dear OS, now that we Blondes are Champions, please can we use some map snippets from OL28 (the finest map in the world) on our blog?
I wrote this particular Ten Tors training route a few years ago, around the time that the army, for logistics and safety reasons, changed the event routes. The route wasn’t designed just to circle the forest; it takes in Postbridge, Kestor Rock, Watern Tor and Grey Wethers as well.
The whole route is a challenge for our beginners and for me at the pace of our more experienced youngsters. Some achieve it, some end up on a arboreal circumnavigation. There is almost always a race against the fading daylight (we have finished in the dark more than once); not, I hasten to add, because our planning is out; but because youngsters who are learning to navigate and discovering bogs and mud for the first time, do not always walk at 4km an hour.
Luckily we Blondes are good at route adjustment. Even more luckily (although it would be fair to argue that luck had nothing to do with it) our Young Leaders (now fully fledged and qualified) are equally experienced. We all had to do a bit of fine tuning on Saturday but everybody arrived back safe and sound, and for once, everybody was smiling!
Note: If your young person would like to take part in The Ten Tors Challenge http://www.tentors.org.uk/ then ask at their school, cadet corps or Scout group to find out if they run teams.