Students set their sights high

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A GROUP of Northumberland College students is preparing to hit the heights on a charity trek this summer.

The expedition team will climb the 6,153metre Himalayan peak of Stok Kangri over nine days, which will provide the members who are training towards careers in the outdoor industry with valuable experience.

Prior to the trek the group of 11 – consisting of two tutors and nine current and past students – will base themselves at Leh in the Ladakh region of North India, where they will spend a week acclimatising. They will be away for three weeks in total.

They met at the college’s Kirkley Hall campus last week for the first time since the team was confirmed to discuss plans for the trip.

Expedition leader Carl Halliday, an outdoor education tutor based at the Kirkley Hall campus, will oversee the preparations, accommodation and plan the trekking logistics, with input from all members of the team.

He said: “The aims of the expedition are to climb to the peak, to make some form of positive contribution to the local community and to complete the expedition as environmentally friendly as possible.

“We have been talking to the organisation ‘Volunteer in India’ and are planning to do voluntary work teaching in a school in Leh and also spend some time helping with reconstruction work following the devastating floods that swept through Leh last summer, killing 170 people.

“Students are paying for most of the trip themselves so are saving up like mad. The team will be raising sponsorship money over the coming months and we will be extremely grateful for any support we can get.”

Northumberland College has donated £300 towards the expedition and granted use of the college mini-bus which the group will use to travel to their training weekends and to travel to Heathrow for their flight to Delhi.

To sponsor the students, perhaps by donating money or equipment, email Mr Halliday at carl.halliday@northland.ac.uk or telephone 01670 841200.