Page 25 - Chiron Calling Spring 2019
P. 25

 On September 8th 2018, 18 personnel from 101 MWD, embarked on their journey to Capel Curig, Snowdonia; in order to participate on 3 days of hillwalking and mountain biking. The intentions of the exercise were to form team cohesion with leadership skills, to practice navigation preparation and ground work for the upcoming field exercise and lastly, to try and examine our own personal mind sets and test where we lay on the scale of fixed, to growth mind set.
From the off we knew we had several obstacles to overcome. The first being the poor weather conditions. Most the group had low ability and not had the experience of navigating in low cloud, with horizontal rain coming in and freezing winds to contend with. Not only the adverse weather condition, but the group also carried a few injuries and meant the pace had to be set accordingly, and this was something the group found most the difficult!
As the weather had improved, on the first day we decided to go on a steady walk up Mt Snowdon. With everyone being fresh and eager to get out, we flew up the mountain with no issues. Morale was very high, and only grew knowing we could buy a cream tea at the summit cafe. After a well-deserved lunch break, we headed down the miner’s track and back to the van, in perfect timing, before the rain came in.
Day 2 was a slightly harder day for some, much more challenging as one would expect. I led another group up Mt. Snowdon and we decided to get our heads down and crack on up the mountain, and for some fun, we tried to crack as many jokes as possible to break the monotony. Unfortunately the weather set in early and navigating the last section to the summit was a challenge in itself. All credit to the group, they got us to the top with real ease. With growing confidence we headed back down to Pen-y-Pass, having a dip in one of the lakes en route. Although this did not last long as the water was absolutely freezing!
On the final day we went to the Devils Kitchen which was another high peak. The
RAVC Res enjoing the view from Cantilever Rock on top of Glyder Fach
By Pte Ellie Samuels
selected route was tough and arduous but with high morale, we quickly reached the saddle between Tryfan and Glyder Fach. We then faced our biggest obstacle yet. The mountain goat. With horns like no one has ever seen before. So, we chose to carry on into the valley to escape the goat. This escape plan did not last long as the goat proceeded to follow us all the way down, quickly picking up his pace, obviously thinking we had food to feed it. With panic setting in, we decided to peel off into some bushes and wait out for the goat to overtake us. Eventually he trotted past and we could then proceed without ascent up Glyder Fach. We spent the whole afternoon climbing over all the rocks and exploring the unusual terrain this mountain has formed. Unfortunately we did have to descend the mountain quickly as we were cutting it too fine to the return deadline. This descent was slightly tricky due to the steep scree down hills. However, we stuck as a team and swiftly, yet efficiently got back to the van just in time.
As the SML instructor I had many challenges of my own. This was the first AT exercise I had instructed on, with the Army. Converting from taking people out in the hills on a daily basis in civvy street, to taking military personnel out, was
quite a contrast. The procedures and risk assessments were easy enough to get my head around. The toughest I found was being one of the newest members to 101 MWD Squadron. I knew I would have to find the right balance of how to lead the groups effectively, whilst trying to set a good first impression to the guys and girls I would soon be working on the same level with. Overall I feel I did myself justice and overcame a few mental obstacles I had set myself beforehand.
In the words of Tony Robbins- “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”, every person managed to step outside of their comfort circle and test how far they could stretch themselves. Before, we all knew we had a fixed, negative mindset towards certain parts of this exercise. From having a fear of heights, to not wanting to be out in the freezing cold, navigating somewhere they do not feel comfortable. Each person managed to transition into the mindset that they could tackle these challenges and embrace whatever the mountains threw at them. All in all, a very successful exercise and thoroughly pleasing from a leader’s point of view, and I am convinced all the other Reserves has a positive experience too.
Reserves Adventure Training in Wales
 Reserves AT IN Capel Curig Pte Ellie Samuels, Pte Connor Janes, Pte David Fisher, Pte Christian Effernberg and Pte Frank Ciufudean

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