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By SNC, Mar 23 2020 05:25PM

Last weekend, our #EBC2020 team (plus our adorable guest Wilma the cocker spaniel) reunited for our second training weekend in the charming town of Keswick. As with tradition, the weekend started with many a Cow Pie and drinks at The George pub (our natural base camp for training), before hitting the sack in anticipation for our hike the next day.

We started our Saturday morning raring to go with all the gear and rather more idea of how wet and windy the Lake District can be, so we donned all our waterproofs! Our guide for the day, Tim, took us up to High Seat which is unsurprisingly quite high - even though the view was mainly fog, rain and more fog. Although our hike took us through boggy earth and wind, we kept the fire going and reached 738m at our highest point. We walked 700m of cumulative ascent and made it back to Keswick town in one piece after our 15km stroll.

Saturday evening saw us at The George pub, out for a well-deserved team dinner and then back at The George (is it really a surprise?!)

We spent our Sunday morning at Moot Hall, where we talked through fitness regimes and our fundraising efforts so far. We shared our top ideas to raise as many donations as possible over the coming months – including golf days, speed dating and dog walks to name a few. It was encouraging to see all the great ideas which have raised donations already and especially motivating as Hazel took us through a history of SNC and our specific fundraising project was announced - funding a Vocational Training School in Kathmandu for young people from across Nepal, furthering their education and skills upon leaving school which is an amazing project to work towards.

Roger took us through his top tips of what to pack and more importantly, what not to take to make sure we use our limited luggage allowance for Lukla airport as best as possible. The weekend once again sparked our excitement for the trek and has only built more anticipation for our trip!

Thank you to our fabulous team for another great weekend - I’m already looking forward to our next weekend in May and of course, making it up the mountain together in November!

Jaiminee Patel

EBC 2020 - March training weekend
EBC 2020 - March training weekend

By SNC, Jan 13 2020 04:00AM

The forecast for the weekend didn’t look good, instructions had been sent out to bring waterproofs and be prepared, little did we know.

So Friday 10th January dawned and 14 excited members of the #EBC2020 team started the journey to Keswick preparing to meet up as a team for the very first time. One member had sensibly booked a holiday to Thailand and promised the rest of us that he was in training out there!

After a summer of completing a mammoth application, surviving both a telephone interview and a selection day on either the South Downs, Brecon or the hills around Keswick – our team had been selected and these enthusiastic adventurers were looking forward to meeting up and starting the team bonding exercise.

Most of them made it to The George, the traditional starting place for weekends like this in Keswick. Banter started early, Cow Pies were eaten (and shared) and an early night was had by all.

It was a soggy team that arrived in Costa the next morning, all with smiles on their faces, hot drinks and packed lunches in their rucksacks and prepared to test out their equipment on a “quick” 6 hour walk round the lake! Our guide, Wes, laid out his map and showed us the route. Due to the weather we would be staying low, not only was it raining cats and dogs, it was also blowing up to 50mph…….everyone hid their nerves behind fixed smiles as we took a group shot before heading out of Keswick.

It was heads down and hoods up for most of the way as we headed up in the direction of Walla Crag (but not up to the top!) Within about the first 20 minutes we all realised the limitations of our waterproofs but kept battling on. There was no stopping for pictures today, there were no views for a start, and the only times we were stopping were just to regroup as naturally the group spread apart as we walked.

But spirits were still high, at times the winds buffeted us and threatened to take us off our feet (note to self, thank god it was just after Christmas and I’d had all that extra cake) but still the laughter and chatter filled the air. Sometimes it was difficult to hear the person you were talking to as the wind would change direction and take the conversation off with it! But still we smiled our soggy smiles.

We made it to Surprise View – it was a surprise, there was no view other than clouds and rain. Everyone by this point was soaked and cold but still we battled on. Wes told us we were about to head down through the woods and it could be a bit slippy so to be careful. Well, the path was a river and we were all up on the mossy banks at the side, edging our way carefully down the slope to the main road.

It was definitely a bit much, even for the seasoned trekkers amongst us. When we made it to the road there was a “get out” and yours truly “got out” and jumped on the bus back to Keswick. My usually reliable waterproofs had let me down big style – when I got back to my B&B every single item of clothing was soaked!

But the team ploughed on, walking through Grange and over down the side of Cat Bells and round into Keswick. They tell me it was good fun, even if it was a bit wet – but they all figured they were wet anyway, what difference would another hour and a half of walking in it make? Well, they were right of course. But I still enjoyed my long hot shower even if my team mates were still out in the rain!

Everyone made it safe and sound back to Keswick and headed off to dry out before meeting for a lively dinner and drinks that evening.

Sunday morning dawned with bright skies and clear views of the hills – was this really the same place as yesterday? We headed down to Moot Hall where the team were treated to overviews of the trip and Nepal and what to expect, along with great presentations from a previous EBC-er, Mark Brant and Chris Short of Far Frontiers who is organising all our logistics for us. Mark gave the team some top tips about fundraising whilst Chris took them all on the journey to Base Camp and made it come alive for them.

There were lots of questions and lots of comments about how it all feels real now. Now the hard work begins, both in terms of getting fit enough to make it, and also raising those much needed funds for Supporting Nepal’s Children.

Thanks to all our team – we are so excited to be able to introduce some new people to the wonderful country we have fallen in love with. We know that this will be a special trip for us all.

Until March when we do it all again!

Hazel Grace

Supporting Nepal’s Children

Training weekend
Training weekend

By SNC, Feb 10 2019 08:00AM

On a damp and windy Friday. 15 brave souls (and one dog) made their way to Keswick to introduce themselves to each other and start to bond as a team before they all head to Nepal (minus the dog) in November.

There were nervous faces in The George as they walked in looking round to see if anyone looked vaguely like the pictures that had been distributed a few days ago.

A corner was taken over, conversation was flowing, cow pie was eaten and only a small amount of beer and gin was 10pm only Nadine and Hazel remained, clearly the talk of the changed route due to the wind had struck a chord with everyone.

Saturday dawned and the news round the team was that very little sleep had been had due to the gale force winds overnight.

After a briefing by our guide Tim Mosedale, the team headed off in the direction of Blencathra but luckily enough, weather conditions today meant they would not be heading high. Immediately a fallen tree was spotted, proof of the strength of the strength of the overnight winds.

Up we headed...slowly spreading as a team and people starting to find their own pace and get comfortable with their equipment.

It was windy, it was cold, it was wet underfoot. Luckily the rain stayed away but conditions at certain parts of the trail were challenging. As the gusts got stronger and we headed up the valley with Blencathra on our right we were all silently thankful to have Tim's local knowledge to keep us on a safe but still challenging route.

Then those of us at the back saw a sheepish Roger and Tim walking back towards us telling us to turn round! They had been so engrossed in their conversation, they had missed the path to take us across the valley and back towards Keswick!

The winds had died down slightly so next to a beautiful waterfall in a fairly sheltered spot we settled down to grab a spot of lunch.

Before leaving Tim told us we would manage to bag a summit today, we would take in Latrigg on our way back.

As we headed down then back up again it became windier and windier, 2 ladies heading down from the summit warning us that we will definitely need to hang onto our hats - they weren't wrong!

We were rewarded with the sunrays breaking through the clouds and stunning views over Keswick towards Cat Bells and beyond. A great reward for a fabulous day in the hills.

A fun evening at a local pizzeria followed with lots of laughter and stories of our day being told..the team had bonded well.

Sunday was all about meeting up to find out exactly what was in store in November along with lots of idea sharing over fundraising tips and how as a team we could raise our target in order to help a school just on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Lots of questions and answers about kit, accommodation, food, how we would all cope and lots of excited trekkers left with arms full of goodies and hangouts, heads full of ideas and looking forward to the next get together in June.

Many thanks to our new team for all your enthusiasm this weekend, we know fundraising targets will be smashed and we will have a great time in Nepal in November as part of #Build&Trek2019

Roger, Hazel and Nadine

Supporting Nepal's Children

By SNC, Jan 12 2019 07:00AM

The third and final practice hike took place in a wet, windy and cold Brecon Beacons. The team had a good work out over some rough terrain and wintery conditions, even managing to conquer Pen Y Fan in the mist!

By SNC, Oct 20 2018 07:00AM

The Stroud Valleys played host to the second training weekend for the EBC team. A glorious scenic route took the team from Rodborough to Whiteshill via the Woolpack in Slad. Lessons learned from the weekend: the team biscuit is now the Penguin, always book a taxi when staying out late in Cirencester, loo techniques need some work and our fifth couple for the trip are now Big Spoon & Little Spoon.

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