Friday, 11 September 2015

UCLan Outdoors team enjoy busy summer

The UCLan Outdoors team have had a hectic few weeks preparing for the new academic year.

In addition to taking part in the International Adventure Conference at Sheffield Hallam University and carrying out staff training in North Wales, the team have enjoyed a variety of experiences to further enhance their knowledge of the outdoors.

Rosemary Powell spent time canoeing and surfing on the west coast of Ireland, sailing at Rhosneigr in Wales and also pulling up an invasive species (Himalayan Balsam) on nature reserves.

Helen Hooper instructed cavers from South Wales Caving Club (SWCC) and Reading University Caving Club in Single Rope Technique (SRT) and rigging skills, and took part in a caving expedition to Dent de Crolles in the French Alps with SWCC.

Helen also conducted a research study with older females from North Yorkshire (aged 60 and above), looking at the benefits of exposure to new challenges in older adulthood.

Keith McGregor climbed the north face of the Piz Badile on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Tackling the mountain by the difficult Cassin VI+ route it took Keith 10 hours to reach the summit, but 12 hours to descend due to the complex nature of route finding.

He also travelled to the Dolomites in Italy to climb the north face of the Cima Grande, but had to abandon the attempt due to extreme cold weather conditions. Keith had better luck on the south east face of Tofana Di Rozes, reaching the summit and back in six hours.

Loel Collins had a more relaxing time, witnessing the Northern Lights, listening to Loons, paddling with whales and seeing the biggest land dwelling carnivore on the planet.

Chris Gunn visited Oberstdorf in Bavaria, enjoying a variety of outdoor and adventure sports, while Alli Inkster worked on a research project with sea kayakers looking at active ageing.

New team member Alice Mees led a group of teenagers on an expedition to Morocco where they successfully summited Mount Toubkal. She also spent a week working with the ASNI association, rebuilding damaged roads in the community and learning about traditional Berber culture.

With these new experiences under their belts, the team are now back on campus and ready to welcome new and returning students to UCLan.

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