COMING UP - BOHUNT EXPEDITION TO THE HIMALAYAS
Bohunt's next big expedition is to the remote Himalayas. A group of staff and students will leave for this once in a lifetime trip in July 2013. If you (either an individual or Company) would like to find out more and/or sponsor the expedition then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
The publicity generated will be significant. The Greenland teams received over 19,000 hits on their Internet blog pages over the three week period!
Examples of the Greenland Expedition press coverage can be seen by clicking here: Bohunt treks to Greenland; Bohunt's Incredible Greenland Expedition; Bohunt's life-changing Greenland Trip.
BOHUNT STUDENTS GO WILD IN GREENLAND
19 July to 5 August 2011
Bohunt's 22 intrepid explorers returned in August from their unforgettable journey to Greenland and Iceland full of stories to tell about this incredible trip. This was a once in a lifetime experience for this group of 14 - 16 year olds, which had the aims of bringing back scientific information, understanding and helping the local Greenlandic community and inspiring others.
Back in October 2009, the idea for an expedition to Greenland was put forward. Students were asked to submit a written application and attend an interview to assess their suitability.
The chosen students faced numerous challenges over the 18 month lead-in, including training sessions in appalling weather on Dartmoor in February and fundraising nearly £3000 each to fund their trip. The money was raised in a variety of ways, for example organised events with guest speakers, including Mike Stroud, sponsored sports events, busking and selling cakes – every penny helped!
After a build-up day in school when kit was checked and packed, the team departed on 19 July from London Gatwick to Reykjavik, Iceland. After a one night stopover they headed to Kulusuk in south west Greenland. Here the team split into two groups and food, fuel and a shotgun were distributed to each group. The shotgun was due to increasing polar bear activity, it was unlikely the teams would see them, but safety of the groups was paramount.
"Flying into Kulusuk was pretty exciting due to all the turbulence, but the main thing that caught my eye was flying through the mountains with the seemingly tiny icebergs below. It isn't everyday you see a scene like that" (Tom Fox, expedition member).
The next leg of the journey saw the teams weaving in and out of icebergs aboard a small boat laden with crew and kit. The boat trip took the two teams to separate, remote parts of Amassalik Island from where they set out to trek to their science fieldwork sites. The first main trek was hard physically due to extremely heavy packs, steep gradients and rocky terrain, but the students were all amazed at how well they coped, even with the annoying mosquitoes!
Not every day was so successful however. “On Day 5 the weather took a turn for the worse. Gale force winds and rain lashed our tents at over 40mph, so even going to the toilet was dangerous to say the least! This was a low point for us as we were kept in our tents. On the plus side it gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better” (Alex, expedition member).
One of the highlights of the trip was walking on a glacier. With the aid of crampons the teams traversed the glacier conducting scientific experiments, avoiding large ‘Moulin’s’ (deep, dangerous shafts eroded into the ice by water) and drinking from the fresh glacial streams. The teams collected samples of ice, which will be sent off to the British Antarctic Survey in order to find out the age of the ice and how global warming has affected ice melt. Weather records were also kept and these will be sent to the Royal Meteorological Society. All the data and analysis will be used by future Bohunt students as extreme environments and climate change are both key parts of the curriculum.
Next there was a change of scenery for the teams as, after a two day trek, they reached the town of Tasilaq. "The town seemed like something out of a movie. On first sight the town doesn't look real but more like a toy town as they were a mixture of bright colours" (Alex, expedition member).
The two groups each had different community projects in the town; for example, one team built a traditional turf house for the local museum. The projects were tough work, but much appreciated by the locals. Carlerik, museum curator said: "Thank you very much for rebuilding the museum’s potato house. You may now call yourselves Turfhouse experts!" The community projects really helped the students to be immersed in the community and have a better understanding of their culture and way of life.
The final phase of the expedition was an ascent of a large mountain peak. This provoked a mixture of reactions from the team. For some it presented a challenge, whilst for some it seemed a daunting, impossible task. The climb itself was the hardest terrain faced on the entire trip, the constant climbing over extremely large rocks, which at some points involved free-hand climbing on very steep and occasionally vertical slopes. Superb team spirit saw both groups summit and, upon reaching the peak, it was clear that everyone thought that it was worth it for the magnificent views and sense of achievement.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when we reached the peak. I suppose you forget all the hard work and pain when you have achieved something like this. I never thought in my life that I would see something like this, it is one of those moments that will stay with you forever” (Tom, expedition member).
After spending a couple of days in Iceland having some much needed rest and relaxation, which included a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon, it was time to depart and return home. The trip finally came to a close when the teams raced through arrivals at Gatwick airport into a crowd of eagerly awaiting parents. For this group of explorers the trip maybe over but the memories and life skills they have learnt on this trip will stay with them for a lifetime.
“This was a challenging, yet awesome experience which I am so glad to have taken part in. The expedition has definitely shown me what I can achieve if I have the support to reach that peak!" (Edith, expedition member).
"Going to Greenland was like nothing I've ever done before. It was incredible in every way possible - so challenging and beautiful. It has allowed us all to take opportunities we've never been able to have, enabling us to express ourselves and push ourselves to our full potentials. We have all made friends for life and we could never, ever forget it!" (Emily, expedition member).
"Greenland has been probably the most fun, scary and worthwhile thing I've ever done. The people, challenges and scenery will stay with me for the rest of my life" (Jess, expedition member).