Knox S1s dust off the x-country skis

I’m told that it’s been many, many, many years since we’ve been able to plan ahead to use the x-country equipment that we have in Outdoor Ed.  But the conditions we’ve had over the last month made it well worth while digging out the skis. They don’t look they’ve been much used this millenium. Really. 

The first group to use them was on Friday with a session with the Knox S1’s. It was the 3rd session of their R.O.P.E program (also see While this session was supposed to be Orienteering , when snow conditions like these come around you just have to grab the opportunity when you can.

Getting the mini-bus up Gifford was the first challenge, but luckily the roads as far as there were fine. We geared up outside at the village hall and skied straight form there.

View Gifford x-country Ski in a larger map

Skiing up the up the village green the snow was pristine; too deep for people to have walked in and messed it up.  From there we went on up the estate road towards Yester house.   Our eventual destination was intended to be the Gobin’ha – the castle up beyond golf course, not the pub!  Skiing up the by the river was on fine paths; up to a metre or more of soft powder. I’m sure there was be lots of wildlife to be seen – but the constant shrieks of kids falling/crashing/capering kept all well hid.

In the end we started to run out of light, and some out of energy – and weren’t going to make it to the Goblin’ha. After a quick snack break we headed back the way we came, getting back to the van for about 3:30. Weather and snow conditions were excellent all afternoon, never got much above -5C. Hopefully an outing with memories that will stay with all the pupils for a lifetime.

I’m pretty sure I got some really got photos and would have included them in this post … unfortunately my camera is having an unplanned ‘winter break’ in a Lammermuir snow-drift after going AWOL during a weekend ski outing. 🙁

Festive Canoeing …

Final friday of the year!  While most softer folk were off for their Christmas Dinners seven of the hardier S1 Knox pupils opted for a canoe up the Tyne.  We put in at the Aubigny , and paddled up to the meadow in front of Clerkington Mill – a great location for a festive picnic of mince-pies and mulled fruit punch heated on the fire.

This was the second of a four session program of Outdoor Ed sessions being delivered to Knox.  The program’s acronym is ROPE … which stands for Rock, Orienteer, Paddle and Explore.  The first Rock session was at Tranent climbing wall, and the festive canoe trip was the Paddle. In January there will be an Orienteering/navigation in the Lammermuirs.  It’s then up to the pupils, with some guidance, to select a day long exploration of somewhere further afield.   Options include climbing a munro, or traversing the Chain Walk in Fife.