Mountain adventure for gold award trio

Intrepid explorers Lauren James, Shimal Patel and Alethia Hayden
Intrepid explorers Lauren James, Shimal Patel and Alethia Hayden

THREE Steyning students have been trekking in Nepal for their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

The life-changing experience marks a ‘new dimension’ in gold award provision at Steyning Grammar School.

Intrepid explorers Lauren James, Shimal Patel and Alethia Hayden set off on their 10-day mountain adventure last Sunday.

The challenging expedition took them over Himalayan terrain, reaching altitudes of more than 3,00 metres, with breathtaking scenery around the Annapurna area.

Sally Randall, director of the sixth form college, said: “This expedition gives a new dimension to our Duke of Edinburgh provision at gold level.

“Currently we have a further 20 year-12 students in their first year of the gold programme in the college who have recently completed their initial expedition training in the Peak District.”

The students had to plan their route but Sherpas provided guidance along the way and accommodation was a mix of camping and lodges.

The Nepal experience followed a training trek in the Brecon Beacons, where altitude experience was a priority.

Lesley Rickman, Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator, said: “The students were outstanding and it was possibly the most successful event I have been involved with.

“They all worked hard, were keen to learn and worked well together at all times. It was a real pleasure being with them and seeing them enthusiastically journey across the Brecon Beacons.”

The trio will be sharing their experience with sixth form college students through photographic presentations.