Eight Newton Abbot College students and four members of staff braved the elements and attempted to climb mount Snowden on 17 April as part of their fundraising efforts for their Summer Borneo trip in August 2016.
Students were given the chance to use the climb to help fundraise the £4,000 needed for each student travel to Borneo to undertake voluntary work in local communities. Those students not fundraising used the time for essential team building and bonding within the group. The climb is one of many fundraising efforts that students have organised and attended, include an ice gala swim, car boot sales, music events and much more.
Despite weather warnings detailing ice and snow at the summit, the team set off on their intrepid journey with high spirits and enthusiasm for the challenge. For five hours, staff and students taking the ‘Miners’ Track’ were treated to incredible views past old copper mines and inspiring landscapes that framed the journey to the summit.
Year 12 student, Megan Selley, couldn’t wait for the opportunity: “The Snowden climb was incredible. The opportunity to really bond with the team was fantastic; I have got to know students from other years who have subsequently become great friends. We are all so looking forward to the amazing opportunity Newton Abbot College has given us to visit Borneo – it will be a totally life-changing trip!”
The weather warnings proved accurate; the climb was abandoned towards the summit due to heavy snow and icy conditions. This didn’t affect the climbers or their sense of achievement, reports Tracy Dommett, member of staff and Head of House: “After the amazing day of laughter, team work, hard work and real camaraderie between staff and students alike, it didn’t matter at all that the summit wasn’t reached. The memories we will take from this experience will stay with us all for a long time and we are so proud of the students’ resilience, efforts and determination on the day.”
Staff and students will be travelling to the Asian island of Borneo to live within the local communities and undertake projects such as building foundations for primary schools and nurseries, as well as journeying into the jungle to perform rainforest and conservation work, planting new trees, observing wildlife and visiting an orangutan sanctuary.