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Ten Tors...completed it!

20 Years of determintion pay off!

Ten Tors...completed it!

27 May 2024

  • Somerset ACF

Persistence is the name of the game for Somerset Army Cadets, and it has taken nearly 20 years of determination to get every team across the line at the annual Ten Tors challenge, but 2024 is that year!

After opening training in November 2023, three teams from Somerset took part in a scorching hot Ten Tors challenge over the weekend of 11th and 12th May and saw all three teams cross the finish line on the Sunday.

Each year, the event, hosted by the Army’s Headquarters South West, sees around 2,400 teenagers in 400 teams of six, attempt to navigate routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles across the northern half of Dartmoor visiting ten nominated tors in just under two days. The teams must be self-sufficient by carrying all they need to complete their route and stay out overnight safely.

Months of training

The training carried out by Somerset cadets and led by a team of dedicated adults, headed up by Battalion Adventure Training Officer, Captain Andrew Bissett, saw cadets not only getting to grips with the distances expected in the time needed to complete the challenge but also to learn or improve on skills in first aid, navigation, cooking while on expedition and learning how to handle the unique environment that Dartmoor has to offer.

Prior to the event, the teams made up of six cadets, must complete a training programme which includes a minimum of four days training on Dartmoor, two nights of wild camping on the moor and experience of walking in a remotely supervised group and as a team need to be prepared physically and suitably equipped to take on the challenge unaided in the instance of adverse conditions.

Given the notoriety of Dartmoor for its quickly changeable weather cadets were prepared for any condition although the hot and sunny weekend did come as something of a surprise. However, this did not dent morale and all teams set off with high hopes.

"I think what you are about to do is amazing. The journey started when you volunteered. Now you have done your training and preparation. On your backs you have the kit you need. In your head, you have the information you need. Now you have to look inside your hearts to find the strength you need."
VIP Guest and starter, bushcraft expert and explorer, Ray Mears


'This one is for Pete!'

Teams also set off with purpose unique only to Somerset Army Cadets, with the recent loss of volunteer Peter Cooper, a stalwart of Adventure Training in Somerset ACF, the 45-mile team dedicated their challenge to his memory and crossed the finish line on day two with their handmade t-shirts emblazoned with ‘This one is for Pete!’. Crossing the finish line just before 5pm, the 45-mile team, looking remarkably fresh, made Peter proud!

All participants, even those who needed to retire from the event, should be proud of what has been achieved this year as they have shown that not only are they dedicated and hardworking, but that Somerset Army Cadets have the tenacity to keep coming back, facing adversity and overcoming it.

"It has taken six months of training to get to this day, to say I'm proud of them would be an understatement and I that most of all they are proud of themselves
Adventure Training Officer, Capt Andrew Bissett


You'll be back...

All teams were presented with their Challenge medals by newly in post Somerset Army Cadets Deputy Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Marshall.

Will this year’s participants return for 2025? Most think so and one who wasn’t sure on the day said he would ‘have to think about it, but I could be persuaded!’

We think he will be back...

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