Workin’ on the chain gang

Friday was the final day of the Knox’s S2s R.O.P.E. Challenge delivered by East Lothian Council Outdoor Education Service …. and the E is for Exploration. The team had chosen to travel over to Fife to do the Chain Walk near Ellie.

Click here for a full screen slide-show.

The route allows you to explore a number of inaccessible bays around Ellie Point, reached by rocky scrambles just above and in the intertidal zone. Several of the trickier climbing sections have fixed chains; and it’s for this reason the route is often jokingly referred to as Scotland’s mini via ferrata.

Click here for a full screen slide-show.

The forecast of wet and windy weather … was accurate, we got both. While the climbing was technically easy, the rock was slippy and wet. So, on the traversing sections, the climbers protected themselves by clipping slings attached to their harnesses onto the chains. On the longer vertical sections a top rope was used for security. Despite cold hands the group were kept focused by the climbing tasks. This, and the waves crashing about our feet, meant there was never a dull moment!

For this group of eight Knox S2 pupils today was the last of a four session adventurous outdoor activities program called the R.O.P.E. Challenge. The first session, Rock-climbing was at the climbing wall at Tranent. The second, Orienteering was navigation in the Lammermuirs , the third Paddling was a canoe journey. This final Exploration day has allowed the group to travel further afield and to put into practice some new skills and the teamwork developed in the earlier session.

This short program has given these youngsters some new outdoor skills, put them into situations that has challenged them, developing their confidence – but above all it has hopefully whetted their appetite for further outdoor adventures.

If you took part in this prorgam your parents will be sent a letter and a certificate. We would also really appreciate if you could fill out the online feedback form.

(For future reference … the drive from Tranent is about 2 hours, it’s 30 minutes walk to the start. We started the first chain at 1pm, which was about as early as we could after a 11am high tide (a 4.0m at 11am at Anstruther). The last chain was completely clear of the water, we completed the last section by 15:00, back to the bus by 3:30. So total time, bus-to-bus with no stops, was about 4 hours)

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1 Response to Workin’ on the chain gang

  1. Charles Kennelly says:

    Great to see our youngsters enjoying the wild outdoors! So few opportunities are made available for this kind of adventurous activity so it is really uplifting to see secondary school students taking advantage of those that are.

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