Students reach the peak of fitness

The photograph shows the team at the summit of the final peak (Inglebourgh).'Back row (L-R): Paul Mordue, Craig Summers, Carl Halliday, Michael Whitley, Nathan May, Chris Scott, Dan Maddison.'Front row: Phil Nixon, Tony Myers, Andy Smith, Eve Armit, James Gowdey.
The photograph shows the team at the summit of the final peak (Inglebourgh).'Back row (L-R): Paul Mordue, Craig Summers, Carl Halliday, Michael Whitley, Nathan May, Chris Scott, Dan Maddison.'Front row: Phil Nixon, Tony Myers, Andy Smith, Eve Armit, James Gowdey.

PONTELAND students have a mountain to climb to complete a charity trek this summer — so they have already made a start by tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Twelve outdoor education students at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus overcame dark and poor weather to take on the 12-hour challenge in Yorkshire.

The event was organised to help prepare the group for an even bigger test this summer when they will climb the 6,153m peak of Stok Kangri in the Himalayas.

The expedition team will spend nine days climbing the mountain, but they will stay in North India for a week beforehand to acclimatise to the conditions.

The Yorkshire challenge, which brought in £1,000 in sponsorship, is just one of a number of tests they will face in the build up to their Indian trip.

Expedition Leader and Outdoor Education Tutor Carl Halliday said: “The team did exceptionally well to complete the challenge within 11 hours. The visibility was poor for much of the day, meaning that effective map reading and navigation skills were required.

“I was very impressed with their teamwork during the challenge.

“We were over the moon to raise £1,000 of sponsorship, half of which will go directly to the school in Leh where we will be volunteering during our acclimatisation week. The other half will help students with some of the expedition costs.”

The group has received £200 in sponsorship from national qualification provider NCFE.

NCFE Business Development Officer for the North East Meredith Ashford said: “We are incredibly impressed by the challenge that the group has set itself and are pleased to be supporting such a worthwhile project, undertaken by NCFE learners.

“The trip will allow the students to put to use the skills they’ve learnt on their NCFE Outdoor Activity course and will provide a truly valuable experience, preparing the students for careers in the outdoor industry.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor the students, or provide equipment, can contact Mr Halliday at carl.halliday@northland.ac.uk or call 01670 841200.