Their story, in their words….
We had never been on a trip alone before so the journey to the campsite was filled with anxious moments. All was well till we missed several stops and had to persuade the bus driver to let us travel for free to the correct location since we lost our way! The biggest challenge we faced in the first day was carrying our hiking bags and equipment because the sheer weight of all our equipment made our journey to the first campsite very exhausting. We had a very good experience cooking our dinner considering it was our first time using the cooking gas cylinder.
On the next day, we packed up our tents and we’re off again to the second campsite. The walk with our backpacks taught us to persevere till we reached our goal, despite multiple breaks and groans. Luckily, we were greeted with beautiful views and a ray of sunlight upon the hills at our second campsite. The weather “celebrated” the beginning of our hikes with punishing rain that didn’t stop and continued with strong winds until the end. We met grazing sheep and soon realised they didn’t care about us! The walk was a challenging one but with each other’s company we made it back in good time for dinner.
On the 3rd day, we aimed to hike to Kinder Downfall and back. We hoped that the hikes we had completed prior to this day would be helpful when hiking up what residents had quoted to be the ‘steepest’ and ‘most difficult’ hike in the Edale! As we ascended, we followed both the map directions and asked many hikers whether we were going on the right route to ensure that we did not get lost!
However, soon after we coincidentally started talking to an ex-ranger of the national park, who said going to Kinder Downfall and returning to Edale would be too dangerous because we would be walking at night! We were faced with the dilemma of continuing or saving ourselves from being lost on a mountain peak at midnight! Therefore, using our maps we decide to change our route and return home by going through Pym Chair then Grind’s Brook. Several members of our group became extremely tired and developed blisters on the feet so we went at a slow pace suited to everyone. Even though it took long, the beautiful scenery made the hike worthwhile and we took every opportunity to take photographs.
When we had returned to ground level, a few of us, exhausted, decided to roll down the hills but we later discovered this was not the best idea as we stunk of the sheep faeces but the memory will remain forever!
Finally, on day 4 we completed our set hikes and explored Edale. The highlight was the team spirit felt when all 5 of us locked arms to help each other get across the river. It was a fun experience since we had never done anything so adventurous, which was an excellent way to end the challenge.