During the Easter break 2017 nine ACF Cadets, supported by 4 Adults all from Bucks ACF completed a week long exploration of the Bavarian Alps.
Based out of Garmisch Partenkirchen, Bavaria the expedition aimed to introduce cadets to trekking and enhance their leadership skills by exposing them to challenging routes. Additionally it aimed to enhance their navigation skills and introduce cadets to foreign maps.
After the long journey the first day started very slowly with the cadets exploring the local town of Garmisch Partenkirchen finishing the day with an ice-cream at a traditional German Ice-cream parlour. In the evening the real work started with the cadets planning the next day’s routes.
The cadets began their walking week by trekking over the PartenachKlanm, on to Eckbauer (1236m), back to Garmisch through Wamburg as a gentle introduction to the hill walking skills they would be needing for the rest of the week. On day 2 Cadets then consolidated these skills with a walk in the Kreuzeck area and a visit to Eibsee Lake. During these two days cadets learnt to use their walking poles, became adapt at selecting their equipment and packing a rucksack. By the end of the day they were even becoming used to German maps, however the differences in contour lines continued to confuse them throughout the week!
By the middle of the week it was time for a break from the mountains and the cadets enjoyed a day exploring Neuschwanstain Castle – the castle of Prince Ludwig II, also where the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was filmed, enjoying fresh doughnuts and a ride in a horse drawn carriage,. Followed by shopping in the local town of Fussen before heading back to Garmisch for a trip to the local pool. In the evening the cadets were treated to a traditional German meal at a local restaurant learning about German foods and traditions.
Well rested the team then spent a gruelling day trekking to the summit of Wank at 1780m the highest peak of the trip, the weather was poor but this didn’t deter the cadets who remained in good spirits throughout. Nevertheless they were thrilled to find the hut open at the top and happily enjoyed a hot chocolate before the descent through the clouds. Physically and mentally this was the toughest day for all; however the sense of achievement at the summit meant the hard climb up was quickly forgotten.
On the final day cadets headed up past Neuschwanstain Castle, over the Marienbrucke and to the Tegalberg summit (1708m). The views were stunning across the Alps and certainly worth the climb up. Finally the cadets were treated to a ride down in the cable car and a trip to local town, Fussen to buy some well earned souvenirs.
It was a challenging week but was certainly enjoyed by all. Cadets learnt to overcome their fears and truly achieved things they didn’t consider possible.