Jamie’s back on the trail of adventure

A MORPETH adventurer has been back on the trekking trail and this time he has taken on two very different overseas expeditions.

Jamie Pattison returned to southern Morocco with a group of Newcastle College students, but unlike last year when he climbed a 4,167metre-high mountain, this trip involved travelling across desert terrain on the edge of the Sahara.

And he also went back to Norway to support some scientists, who did surveys of ice glaciers to help measure the effects of global warming, this time in a leadership role.

Temperatures were often below zero degrees centigrade.

The Lancaster Park resident and others in the party to North Africa spent 10 days going across a vast area of sand and at one point they did go up to a point more than 2,000m high.

But most of the time they had to cope with the extreme heat during daylight hours.

The students, who raised money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent through the trek, did enjoy some free time to explore the city of Marrakesh and a coastal town.

Jamie said: “It was tough because it was very hot during the day and at night we had to deal with the temperature dropping to single figures.

“Like the locals, when we were travelling we wore scarves covering our heads to help us cope with the sun and we got up early so we could stop for a couple of hours during the hottest part of the day.

“There were some interesting sights, including an oasis in Zagora which looks really nice.

It has received a lot of investment because scenes for famous movies such as Star Wars and Gladiator have been filmed there. I also enjoyed riding a camel into town at sunset.

“It was fascinating to see that the culture of the Bedouin people in the desert is very different to the Berber people who live not far away in the mountains.”

In Norway he was in charge of moving the group of experts across a few glaciers, located in the Tunsbergdalsbreen area of the country, in a rope team so they could get the important data.

He and the other climbers who went out there hiked up some ice walls and crossed some challenging crevasses in their spare time.

The 21-year-old said: “It was my job to keep everyone safe and make sure they got to the right places to do their studies.

“Being selected for the role at my age was massive for me and I enjoyed the extra responsibility. It felt good that I was someone people would approach to ask a question about trekking.

“If all the work was done during the morning and afternoon we were able to go out and play around in the evening.

“We found a really good crevasse to climb and it involved going round a waterfall which was a fantastic sight and a lot of fun.”

Jamie recently graduated from his Health and Exercise Science foundation degree at the college and is working at the moment. He is aiming to get on a student paramedic course in the coming weeks.

More foreign expeditions are likely and he is looking to take a team out to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania next year.

“It’s great to see different parts of the world, but the good thing about living in Northumberland is that you can have plenty of fun adventures in the county as well, such as treks in the Cheviot Hills or exploring the coastline,” he added.