A young person's experiences of British mountains

Posted by By Fahid Arshad on 26/06/2012

Many young people enjoy being introduced to our hills and mountains. Fida Hussain, who sits on the BMC's Equity Steering Group, supports young people from all communities in Rochdale in this. Below is a report from Fahid Arshad, one of Fida Hussain's students, detailing three recent hill walks.

The Aim
The aim was to introduce young people from Rochdale to the beauty of the mountains in preparation for other trips, to learn respect for the mountains and to study the geograpghy of the chosen areas.

Fahid himself was preparing for a trip to Madacascar in July 2012. 

Several of the group are Gold Duke of Edinburgh Students and are currently preparing for their Gold Final, which will take place in the Trumantan Mountain Range of Majorca.
 

Fahid Arshad's report

Skidaw
On the weekend 7th to the 9th of October 2011, a team from Rochdale consisting of myself, Fida, Marco, Amber, Phill and Ash decided to trek up the 4th biggest mountain in England. With thorough planning going into this weekend by me and Fida we managed to leave Rochdale on the Friday on a cold, clear but dry night. We arrived in the lakes after a couple of hours drive and stayed in High Wray base camp which belonged to the national trust. After we were all set and our luggage put away, the excitement was building for the trek which was on the Saturday.

On the day, the weather was satisfying with no rain thankfully but still with cold air and heavy wind in the atmosphere.

The whole trek up to Skidaw and then back down to High Wray base camp took about 7 hours. It was quite a challenging walk, requiring good endurance and a different kind of stamina demanded from each member in the group. With a steady walking pace set in the group, everybody was managing fine.

As we started to ascend up the mountain, the conditions got worse, it started to rain heavily The path on the mountain became slippy and suddenly the trek felt much tougher. We originally decided to have lunch at the top of Skidaw, but because the conditions got worse we only stayed there for about 2 minutes. The weather reduced the views and it was hardly possible to see the next member in the group walking a few yards in front of you. With great humour in the group, even in the bad conditions, we managed to get down Skidaw Mountain and returned to our base camp. We came back, rested and then gradually felt a sense of achievement. Sunday was the day we returned back to Rochdale.

Overall, I found this weekend very well organised. The day on the hill was quite demanding, but I feel as a team we did really well. Beside the weather, I really enjoyed the weekend and I would like to thank Fida Hussian and all the other members of the group for their commitment, team work, organisation and of course their sense of humour.


 

Scafell
On the weekend 16th to the 18th of March 2012, a group from Rochdale organised a weekend in the Lake District in order to climb the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike.

The group consisted of me, FIda, Phill, Ash and Graeme. With thorough planning and organisation going into this walk, the weekend was set up for a cracker.

We left on the Saturday, bright and early in the morning, with the weather cool and dry. It then took a couple of hours to reach Wasdale in the Lake District where we were going to start our trek.

The weather was quite nice with sunny spells and no glimpse of any rain. It then took us about 20 minutes to get prepared for the walk. After thoroughly preparing our equipment for rainy and sunny conditions we then set off. We decided as a team, to go up the corridor route, up Lords Rake to Scafell and then to Scafell Pike. At first, the going seemed quite steady with a good pace set in the group which everybody could manage. As we continued, the weather got better and better. The sunny spells became permanent, and strong sunlight glowed on the mountains of the Lake District. Even without the humid conditions the going was challenging, but with high humidity and strong sunlight the trek became much, much tougher.  A lot of water intake was required in order to keep us well hydrated.

However, the more challenging part of the walk was the last big climb up to Scafell Pike. The weather had eased and the air seemed much cooler. The final part of the trek near reaching Scafell Pike was very challenging with a lot of steepness requiring good stamina, endurance and strong mentality.

Finally, after reaching the top, we stayed there for about 20 minutes and as were high into the clouds, some of the views were quite distorted. However we still had lunch and took some pictures. The top of Scafell Pike was quite busy with a lot of people coming out for a walk on this nice sunny day.

Returning back to Wasdale campsite from the top of Scafell Pike, we descended down Mickledore and along Lingmell Gill.  Coming down from Scafell pike matched the same challengingness as going up. With severe steepness coming down and a strong mentality required we managed to get down in good order. The whole journey up to the summit of Scafell Pike and back down again took about 8 hours. On returning to the campsite, we put all our equipment away into the van and after about 10 minutes, set of to come back to Rochdale. 

Overall, I conclude that I really enjoyed this weekend’s walk and would love to do it again. Even though, at some points, it was quite demanding, I feel as a group we all helped each other and all managed to finish the trek with no injuries. I would like to thank Fida Hussain and Graeme Hill for their brilliant enthusiasm, guidance and sense of humour. In the same way, I would also like to thank the other members of the group for their excellent communication between one and another, good teams work skills and for their generous desire to help one another. 


 

Snowdon
On the weekend 23rd to the 25th of March 2012, a group from Rochdale consisting of myself, Marco, Shannon, Laura, Sabia, Samra, Fida, Phill and Ash planned to trek up the highest mountain in England and Wales. With thorough planning and hard work going in to this project the taste of a brilliant weekend was on the verge.

Each member of the group agreed to help raise a minimum of £50 for me because I am going on an expedition to Madagascar.

The group left Rochdale on the Friday on a clear, bright evening. We arrived in Snowdonia national park in Wales after about 2 hours drive and stayed in the pen-y- pass youth hostel. The accommodation was good, with most essential things provided and luckily the weather in Wales stayed rain free. We all put our luggage away into our rooms and sat down together and discussed the plan for Saturday.

As Saturday morning approached, the weather was great with almost entire sunshine and rarely a cloud in the sky.

Before we set off, we had breakfast then packed our bags with our equipment including our lunches and made sure we all had sun cream on.

We ascended up the mountain via the pyg track. The route was very strenuous and with everyone having different levels of fitness we managed to set a good pace in the group. The pyg track was really busy which was expected as the weather was beautiful. As we were getting higher and higher towards the top, the heat from the sun was getting stronger and stronger.

As a group we were mentally strong but also we had a good fitness and we all made sure that we were drinking enough water to keep hydrated.

Finally we reached to the top, it was like we were in Trafford centre or with thousands of fans walking to a football game, that's how busy it was.

We decided to have lunch at the top, take pictures, and just absorb the wonderful views from the highest point in Wales. After spending about 20 to 30 minutes at the top we descended back to the hostel via the miners track. Coming down Snowdon was not as strenuous as going up and after a couple of hours we were down and in our hostel.

The whole walk up to the top of Snowdon and back to the hostel took about 7 hours.

We got back, packed our kit away and everyone showered. Soon after we all had dinner and decided to rest for the night. Sunday morning we packed all our kit, cleaned our rooms and then set of to come back to Rochdale.

Overall, I personally really enjoyed the weekend and would love to climb Snowdon again. I would massively like to thank Fida Hussain for all his help and leadership shown throughout this project. In the same way I would like to thank all the other members of the group for raising their £50 and making this weekend as wonderful as it was. Without their excellent communication between one and another, good teams work skills and their good desire to help one another this weekend would have not have been as good as it was.


By Fahid Arshad



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