In February 2022, the Outdoor Activities staff took a group of 22 students up to the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland to enhance their skills as adventurers, putting the students to the test in the snow-covered wilderness.
The trip was open to both those studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Outdoor Activities and those on the Higher National Diploma course. Having students of a range of ages and abilities on the same trip encouraged everyone to work as a team and support each other in challenging weather conditions.
The group stayed at Badaguish Outdoor Centre, where they took part in a four-day course run by a company called Scotch on the Rocks Guiding. The students thoroughly enjoyed the course, through which they learnt skills including ice axe arrests, using crampons, avalanche awareness and navigation in winter.
Trips to teach the Outdoor Activities students essential winter skills are a crucial part of their college courses and take place every year. However, the 2022 trip is the first year that there has been space for second year HND students to return to Scotland for another trip and work on more advanced skills.
John Brazier, who was one of these returning HND students, explained how helpful this follow-up opportunity has been: “This is my second college trip to attend a winter skills course in Scotland. It helped build on my existing experience and develop my skills in winter conditions.”
“I learnt how to journey on steep terrain, build a snow hole, and use ropes to move on hills. I graduate this summer, but if there was another trip to Scotland, I would go back.
You can view photos from the trip in the gallery below.