By: Blonde Two
Our Blonde apologies to those of you who do not live in the South West. We keep talking about the Ten Tors Challenge and forgetting that it is not a country-wide phenomenon. Some of you have asked us questions about Ten Tors (this may not have been wise because we can talk about it for hours)!
We will do our Blonde best to explain in a precise and succinct manner;
The Ten Tors Challenge is held on Dartmoor during the second weekend in May. Teams of six youngsters (always six) aged 14-19 leave Okehampton Army Camp on the North Moor at 07:00 on the Saturday morning, aiming to return by 17:00 on the Sunday. They carry everything they need for two days plus a night’s wild camp. Each team is given a set route covering ten different Dartmoor tors over distances of 35, 45 and 55 miles. They have to manage everything from their navigation to their emotions on their own; apart from checkpoints, they have no contact with adults and make all of their own decisions. If they get back before the 17:00 cut off point, they get a medal, if not, they don’t.
It is a really tough mental and physical challenge. The weather can be awful and the terrain very difficult. Dartmoor is a tricky environment in which to navigate and teams require a high level of skill and self-motivation. I have seen many of them walk across the finish line in tears.
Many adults from these parts will tell you that their Ten Tors experience was a life-changing one. Being involved with training has certainly been life-changing for the Two Blondes. I can think of nothing to compare with seeing our own teams cross the finishing line (they don’t always make it), young people that we have worked with, laughed with and sometimes cried with; it is always a complete and utter privilege.