Ten Tors 2024 Triumph

Posted: 16th May 2024

The Ten Tors 2024 Challenge (10 – 12 May) takes place with close to 2,400 young people in teams of six tackling 35, 45 and 55 mile routes across Dartmoor National Park.

Mount Kelly had four teams entered into this year’s Challenge: two 35 mile teams of Year 10 and 9 pupils; a 45 mile team of six Year 11 pupils, all of whom had completed the 35 mile Challenge before; and one 55 mile team of Year 12 and 13 pupils.

The weather for the whole weekend was in stark contrast to most of the training completed this year, with glorious sunshine and clear blue skies, which meant the navigation was a little easier. The hot weather did, however, present different challenges, with many young people having to fall out from their teams due to heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Our teams arrived on the Friday evening at the campsite in Okehampton Army camp and had a couple of hours to soak up the atmosphere and, for the 35 teams, to appreciate the sheer scale of the event. After a few hours sleep they were up at 05:00 to pack, have breakfast and then start to make their way up to the start line, along with the other participants. We were treated to a superb aerial display by the Army Parachute Display team before the opening address by bushcraft expert Ray Mears and the firing of the cannons at 07:00 to signal the start. From this point onwards, the teams were on their own, with no outside help allowed.

Throughout Saturday all teams made excellent progress along their routes, with the 45 team in particular setting a very fast pace. The pupils coped well with the heat and ticked off one check point after another. In the afternoon the 35B team slowed down significantly due to one member who had started the event with a nasty cold and who therefore began to struggle more and more to keep up with the pace. By teatime it was apparent that he would not have been able to continue for much longer, and the team would have been at risk if they continued at that pace, so the difficult decision was made by the team captain to press the emergency help button on the tracker to summon help. The team member was then airlifted off the moor in one of the helicopters and returned safely to camp.

On the second day of the event all the teams were up and away by 06:00 and continued their impressive progress, with the 35B team catching up on most of the lost time from the previous day. The 45 team was the first team from Mount Kelly to cross the finish line with an impressive arrival time of 11:50am, making them amongst some of the quickest 45 teams on the day. They were closely followed by the 35A team at midday, the 35B team just after 14:00 and finally the 55 team at 16.15. Sadly the 55 team had lost one member that morning – Sophie Luxton, the Head Girl, who had stepped in to be the sixth team member, despite completing the event last year. A pre-existing injury caused problems and she took the decision to fall out fairly early on in the day to ensure that the rest of the team would finish.

A huge well done to all of the pupils who took part over the weekend and a big thank you to staff and parents who supported the teams at the start and finish and helped over the weekend. It’s now time for a well-earned rest before we start thinking about next year.

Categories: Adventure News
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