The plan for the day was to do most of the climbing at the beginning, followed by a ridge walk, with the possibility to bag another peak at the end if people had enough energy. Putting the majority of the climbing at the beginning was a way to do a bit of a shakedown to determine who might have some problems, so we could make adjustments to groups and/or route.
We stopped at the first view point, about 1/3 up the climb and at that point determined we would break up into three groups. One group (beginner) would go back down and take a relatively flat path along the base of the mountain. A second group (intermediate) would continue up and along the ridge to our destination. The third group (advanced) would do the same ridge walk, but bag another peak at the end. I was one of the instructors in the intermediate group.
My takeaway, after having done two of these trips now is that it is really easy to take for granted all I have learned and experienced through hiking and backpacking. What feels like a short easy jaunt for me can be a difficult and trying time for a teenager. Most of them don't spend any time in the outdoors on a regular basis. The fun (for me) slightly exposed rocky sections made some kids genuinely nervous. The undulating trail along the ridge frustrated some of them, who assumed a ridge walk is flat. Spending a day, without headphones, was a challenge for a few.
After all these years, I am still convinced that the #onedayaweek protocol should be a part of every child's upbringing. There is just so much to learn and experience from our natural environment.
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